Current material
English sample and full German translation translation available
Original language
Dutch
Themas
Children’s / Teenage fiction: Classic fiction
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WINTER ICE

Multiple award-winning literary young adult novel

by VAN GESTEL, PETER

UNIQUE SELLING POINTS: • Over 50,000 copies of Winter Ice sold • Winter Ice is a three-time award winner: – 2002 Golden Slate Pencil: most prestigious children’s book prize in the Netherlands – Winner of the 2002 Woutertje Pieterse Award: Dutch literary critics award – Winner of the 2003 Nienke van Hichtum Award: for 13+ literature

1947: Post-war Amsterdam. During a long, hot summer, 10-year-old Thomas wanders through the city all by himself. He looks back on the coldest and longest winter ever. His mother has died; his father is an artist who can barely make a living. Then Thomas befriends a Jewish boy called Zwaan and Zwaan’s cousin. Thomas gradually discovers the scars the war has left on their lives, which considerably changes his own life.

The expressive detail and the constant changes in time and place create a three-dimensional map of post-war Amsterdam, including the smells and colours of a crowded classroom, the solid cold snow on the canals, the slippery ice of the river Amstel and the double bed in which Thomas and Zwaan sleep. The underlying emotions are timeless: children like Thomas are still bullied because they are different. Children and adults alike still suffer in silence, unable to share their emotions. This tale of a child who is physically and emotionally neglected deserves a place amongst the great classics.

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Comments

‘A beautiful story about two friends growing up’

Reviews: De Limburger (Dutch newspaper)

‘A masterpiece’

Reviews: NRC Handelsblad (Dutch newspaper)

‘A beautiful story about friendship and love’

Reviews: de Volkskrant (Dutch newspaper)

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