FAMeulstee ROOTS in 2018
This topic was continued by FAMeulstee ROOTS in 2018 - thread 2.
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After some very bad reading years, I am back reading full speed. I haven't been reading like this since my teens.
In November 2016 I started to read through my childrens/YA books alphabeticly, to decide what I would keep and what to cull. Now there are 352 books to go and I hope to read them in the next two years.
In 2017 I have read 238 ROOTs, of those 172 were from my childrens/YA collection and I culled 61 of them.
I have set my goal for 2018 at 200 ROOTs.
I only list my ROOTs read here. To follow all my readings go to my 75 Books Challenge for 2018 thread.
ETA: Oh I forgot to add my tickers!
Total ROOTs read
Total books read
Total pages read
Total books culled
Total books added
Total of my childrens/YA books read (started with 352 books and 1 book added in 2018)
You are ambitious, Anita. But I am sure that you will read 200 ROOTs in no time. Have fun with your ROOTing.
Thanks everyone, for the warm werlcome.
My reading has exploded the past 18 months, it is hard to believe I could barely read a book a month in 2013 and 2014. With the speed I am reading now, 400 books should not be to hard to do.
I will be gone most of the next eight days, see you all in the New Year :-)
>8 cyderry: Thanks Chèli, I am looking forward to keep reading my own books.
Good luck with your big reading goal and happy new year! It'll be fun to see what you can accomplish!
ROOT 1: Het gouden oog by Hans Hagen
aquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1992, no translations, 155 pages
Historical fiction, 2500 BC in a village near the Euphrates, Yarim lives with his family. One night a lion threathens his fathers herd, and Yarim manages to kill it. He got wounded, and his arm is lame now. His father can't pay the landowner, as it has been a very dry year. So Yarim is sold as a slave and has to go to the city of Kish (south of Irak).
Hi Anita, Happy ROOTING! What impressive goals, it will be great following you here as well! :)
200 ROOTs! 400 books! Ditto what >4 connie53: said!! I will be following here in awe
>17 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen, the goal is 32 less thank I read in 2017.
>18 Deern: Hi Nathalie, nice to see you here. Goels are both some books less than last year.
>19 detailmuse: Thank you DJ, last year I read 452 books, 238 of them were own books. So expect this number is doable :-)
In January my numbers of ROOTS will probably be on the low low side, as it is the last month of my Kobo+ subscribtion. I have 15 Kobo+ books on my e-reader that I want to read before the subscription ends on the 25th.
I'm in awe of your reading goals, though not surprised after all those TIOLI sweeps last year. :) Good luck!
>21 madhatter22: Thanks, Shauna, I hope for a next incredible reading year :-)
>22 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit, I hope you have a good year ROOTing.
ROOT 2: De hond van Rafa by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title Rafa's dog, 121 pages
Rafa and his little sister are send from Madrid to the countryside, their mother soon will give birth to a third child. Rafa befriends a stray dog, named Moro, and they have a lot of fun together. The others in town don't like Moro and chase his away. Rafa has to leave Moro behind when he returns to Madrid.
I loved all books by Helen Griffiths when I was young, over the years I collected all her Dutch translated books. Now I like her earlier books more than the later ones, those are more of the same and miss the sparkle that is found in her earlier books.
ROOT 3: Kaas en de evolutietheorie by Bas Haring
aquired before 2008, YA, non-fiction, awarded, Gouden Uil 2002, no English translation, 159 pages
Evolution explained to older children. Clear explanations of genes, Darwin's finds, evolution, DNA and species. As it was written over 15 years ago some recent findings contradict what is written here.
ROOT 4: Sacha, de russische blauwe kat by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, childrens/YA, translated, original title Russian blue, 137 pages
When Artie finds a beautiful, blue cat, he knows he can't keep it. Pets are not allowed in the building where he lives. But the owner is advertising, she even offers a reward. So his mother forces him to bring the cat back to the owner. On his way the cat escapes and gets wounded. What to do now?
I loved all Helen Griffiths books when I was a kid.
ROOT 5: De rode hengst op de renbaan by Walter Farley
aquired in 2014, childrens/YA, translated, original title The Island Stallion Races, 137 pages
In 2014 I re-read the first 10 Black Stallion books. Some other 75 Books Challenge group members are reading them together, and I join them for the books I didn't re-read back then. Last year we read 10 books and this year the remaining titles. If you want to join us go to The Black Stallion Series Relaxed Shared Read thread
Steve is alone on the island Azul, he dreams about racing with Flame. Then aliens land near the island and they can make his dream come true. I prefer the Black Stallion books over the Island Stallion books. This is probably the worst of the series, really horse loving ALIENS..?..
>26 FAMeulstee: Heh, that does sound a bit far-fetched, even for children's literature! (which can be pretty 'out there'!)
>27 Jackie_K: Yes, it was way to far fetched, Jackie.
The boy and horse parts were good, as they always are.
ROOT 6: Majesteit, Uw ontbijt by Sjoerd Kuyper
aquired before 2008, childrens/YA, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1989, no translations, 88 pages
King Donald might be the only one who believes his wife Rosamonde will return. She disappeared in a stormy night, leaving the King and his daughter Iris behind. In each chapter he tells a story to his missing wife, to keep her alive.
Sweet book, each chapter is based on a existing fairytale.
ROOT 7: Het heksenkind by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, childrens/YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1978, original title Witch fear, 138 pages
Somewhere in Europe, 16th century, a very young girl wanders into a village. No one knows where she came from. A married couple, who lost their little daughter, take the girl in. The girl can't make contact, she has witnessed something very fearfull and hides inside. When she finds a little cat, she slowly comes out of her shell. Then rumours go through the village that the girl is a witch and should be burned.
ROOT 8: Doldwazen en druiloren by Ulf Stark
aquired before 2008, childrens/YA, translated from Swedish, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1986, English translation Fruitloops and dipsticks, 115 pages
Twelve year old Simone is moving to an other part of town. She does not want to leave her old neighborhood, but her mother wants to move in with her boyfriend. When Simone arrives late at her new school, the teacher thinks she is a boy called Simon. Simone decides to live on as a boy at school, wich is more trouble than she anticipated. Meanwhile her grandfather comes to stay with them, spending his last months with his daughter and granddaughter.
Despite some heavy content, anticipating the death of a grandparent, the story is funny and cute.
ROOT 9: Wolvensaga by Käthe Recheis
aquired before 2008, YA, fantasy, translated from German, no English translation, 444 pages
The wolfpack of Palo Kan and Akuna live in harmony with Waka (nature's law), when a giant wolfpack from the North takes over every pack around. They deny Waka, try to establish a perfect wolf-world by chasing away every other predator. Palo Kan is killed in the fight with Sjogar Kan, the leader of the giant wolfpack, his partner Akuna barely survives the fight.
Their one year old son, Sjiriki had visions since he was a cub. After a short time with the giant wolfpack he is thrown out, with the remains of his parents pack he travels south. According to old Bear on the Mountain Sjiriki will be the one who will defeat Sjogar Kan. After two winters Sjiriki returns to the giant wolfpack...
Very good animal fantasy, the wolves act true to their nature and are only minor humanised. The wolves live in a time before human dominance. In Sjiriki's visions you can sometimes see the world how it is today.
ROOT 10: De laatste zomer by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title The last summer, 153 pages
Spain, 1936, eleven year old Eduardo didn't do well at school and failed the exams. Instead of having vacation with his morther in the north, he goes with his father to the family farm near Sevilia. He is supposed to study hard, and when his father is statisfied with his progress, he will be allowed to join his mother.
At the farm lives an old mare, Gaviota (means seagull). She belonged to his aunt, after his aunt died, no one ever did ever ride her again. Then the Spanish Civil War breaks out and Eduardo looses his dad and many others are killed. He fleds together with Gaviota, who becomes his most steady companion in his way...
ROOT 11: Francisco, olé ! by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title Dancing horses, 156 pages
Spain, 1939, two orphaned boys, Francisco Javier and Pepe, have run away from the orphanage and travel through the country. Pepe dreams of being a toreador. Sometimes at night he enters a pasture where bulls are, to challenge them. One night Pepe gets killed by a bull and Francisco Javier barely survives trying to save his friend. Francisco Javier is nursed back to health by the daughter of the landowner and gets a job: taking care of the old mare Gaviota (we know her from the previous book The last summer). He dreams of riding Gaviota's son, Gavilán, and becoming a rejoneador (bullfighter on horse).
Great progress through your ROOTs and elsewhere, judging by your tickers. I'm intrigued you have so many children's and YA books!
Hi Donna, after being forced to read in highschool, my pleasure for reading was lost. After some years I picked up reading with the favourites of my youth, some of them were awarded books. Then I started collecting all childrens and YA books that got a Dutch award. After 2000 I restricted collecting to the 4 major awards. In 2005 I culled nearly all awarded picture books, and now I am reading through my collection to decide what can be culled, as the shelves are overflowing.
I wondered if you were a collector :)
It's great that you got over your high school experience - that can set your reading habits for life. I remember struggling with The Master of Ballantrae wondering how anyone would ever want to read classic literature.
>37 floremolla: I felt the same about literature.
The last few years I am reading some literature and even enjoy it :-)
ROOT 12: Het is maar een straathond by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title Just a dog, 135 pages
A stray dog in Spain has a litter of four pups. The book follows one of them. She is roaming the streets, struggles to find food and has some litters of her own. A few times she meets nice people, who give her food regularly. In the end she finds a human who keeps her.
A straight and nonsentimental tale of the harsh life of stray dogs.
ROOT 13: Het reality-essay by Dirk Vis
aquired May 2016, e-book, Dutch, short story, fiction, no translations, 36 pages
Free e-book, to celebrate the 180th aniversary of "De Gids" a Dutch literary magzine.
The writer and his wife compete in a reality-show. During that time their perspective slowly changes, the part of their lives that is seen on TV seems to become more real than their daily life. Accordingly he looses grip on his life and becomes the character he is playing in the show.
A short story, with lots to think about.
ROOT 14: De hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
aquired before 2008, re-read, translated, original title The Hobbit, 253 pages
Last year I re-read The Lord of the Rings, in December I watched the Hobbit movies and that made me want to read the book again.
The journey of Bilbo with the dwarves to to the Lonely Mountain is still a great story, love it!!!
ROOT 15: Stijfkop, de vechthond by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title The Kershaw dogs, 124 pages
Set in the north of England in the 1930s. Bill Kershaw has earned well in dog-fighting. Twenty years ago it became illegal, but that hasn't stopped him. His present winning dog is a Bullterrier named Brute. Bill's son, Dudley Kershaw is now old enough to have a dog of his own, and he will have a son of Brute. When they go and get the little puppy, it is the first being that Dudley loves. He names him Pig-head, as he grows into a very stuborn dog. When the time comes Pig-head has to prove himself in the fighting pit, he fails. Instead of fighting he runs away...
ROOT 16: Muizensoep by Arnold Lobel
aquired before 2008, childrens, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel, 1982, original title Mouse Soup, 64 pages
A childrens book can't go wrong in my eyes, if on the first page a mouse is reading a book :-D
Cute and funny story of a mouse, who is caught by a weasel. He delays his fate by telling stories.
With beautiful matching illustrations.
ROOT 17: Het is nacht, we gaan op jacht by Hans Hagen
aquired before 2008, childrens, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1992, no translations, 64 pages
Paralel stories of a girl and her grandmother, and a mosquito and her daughter in the same night.
The humans try to kill the mosquitoes and the mosquitoes try to sting the humans. Grandmother and mother mosquito both tell the story how the night came into the world.
Nice way to show different points of view at the same situation.
ROOT 18: Mijn hersens draaien rondjes by Rita Verschuur
aquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1995, no translations, 123 pages
Autobiograpic story, set in the first years after WWII. Diary-like chapters of Rita's daily life at school, at home with her dad and stephmother and the vacations with her real mother. It was very unusual couples divorced in that time, so Rita doen't want to tell others her stephmother is not her real mother. With her stephmother she tries to be a perfect daughter, when she is at her mothers place life is much more free. It isn't easy to live two different lifes. In the first year after the war, her memories of the war haunt in her dreams.
>45 FAMeulstee: That sounds adorable! I know his Frog and Toad books but I don't remember Mouse Soup. I'm going to look for this for my littlest nephew.
>45 FAMeulstee: That does sound lovely. It's a familiar trope - it's not so different to what the mouse in The Gruffalo does!
(touchstones not working for me at the moment)
ROOT 19: Tommie Station by Mensje van Keulen
aquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1986, no translations, 158 pages
A baby is found on a trainstation. Eef, the train driver, takes him home and names him Tommie Station. The owners of the diner at the trainstation don't like Eef and Tommie and try everything they can to get Tommie away. Later Tommie and Eef end up with a hoard of cats.
Funny book, reminds sometimes of Roald Dahl, especially the mean couple of the diner.
ROOT 20: Pablo by Helen Griffiths
aquired before 2008, translated, YA, original title Pablo, 166 pages
Pablo lives in Asturia, in the north-west of Spain. He lives with his grandparents on a small farm, as his parents went away to Germany, as jobs pay better over there. Pablo feels sometimes a bit lonely, until his grandfather gives him a very young puppy he names Neska. Then his parents return to stay, his mother is clear: she wont have a big dog in their appartment.
Again a very good book by Helen Griffiths. Besides the dogs there are some realistic descriptions of wolves in this story.
ROOT 21: Meneer Ratti by Mensje van Keulen
aquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1993, no translations, 86 pages
Mister Ratti lives alone in a basement. He doesn't like other people. At night he goes out to collect everything that might be usable on the streets. One day a cat enters his basement, he tries to chase her away, but she stays and keeps his feet warm at night. When a girl comes searching for her cat, he paints parts of the cat so the girl won't recognise her cat.
At times funny story, but not memorable.
ROOT 22: Maliff en de wolf by Hans Hagen
aquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1995, no translations, 64 pages
Maliff lives in Syria, together with his father and uncle they watch over the sheep. One day his uncle's donkey stumbles upon a wolf cub. Maliff wants to keep it, but his father and uncle argue it should go back to the wild.
Sweet story, based on a story the writer told his daughter when they were traveling through Syria.
ROOT 23: Schorshuiden by Annie Proulx
acquired November 2017, translated, original title Barkskins, 795 pages
Epic historical fiction, going from the end of the 17th century to present day.
Two Frenchmen arrive in the New World in 1693, they become woodcutters. René Sel marries a Mi'kmaw woman and his descendant live a harsh life, torn between western and indigenous lifestyles. Charles Duquet, who changes his last name into Duke, is the founder of a big logging company, that ruthlessly clears the woods where ever possible.
Very good read. Following the two families through over three centuries, the one shows the decline of the Mi'kmaw tribe and their way of life. The other shows us how far some will go for profit.
Considering the subject of forest conservation, I should have bought the e-book, as for my paper copy trees died...
ROOT 24: Anansi de spin weeft zich een web om de wereld by Noni Lichtveld
acquired before 2008, Dutch, childrens/YA, folktales, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1985, no translations, 80 pages
Anansi folktales from Suriname.
The tales about the smart spider Anansi originate in Africa, the writer heard them from het grandmother and aunts and wrote them down as stories for children. Anansi fools everyone around him, and because he is smart het gets away with it. Together with his wife Akoeba he has many children.
Most stories are funny, some have a message. With colorful illustrations by the writer.
ROOT 25: De adjudant van de vrachtwagen by S.R. van Itterson
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Beste Jeugdboek 1968, English translation Pulga, 196 pages
Pulga (flea) lives with his grandmother and siblings in a very small room in Bogota. He keeps himself alive with begging and stealing. One day he meets Gilimon, a truckdriver, who needs a new helper. With Gilimon Pulga travels through Colombia, a much better life with even three meals a day! On their way they have some scary and difficult experiences.
A good read, the book gives a little insight of life in parts of Columbia in the 1960s and the sad life of poor people.
ROOT 26: Zwart als inkt is het verhaal van Sneeuwwitje en de zeven dwergen by Wim Hofman
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Gouden Griffel and Woutertje Pieterse prijs 1998, no translations, 180 pages
The fairytale of Snowwhite in free verse, with some unexpected dark twist and turns. Illustrated by the author. The title translated: Black as ink is the story of Snowwhite and the seven dwarfs.
Root 27: Morgen is de toekomst by An Rutgers van der Loeff
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1981, no translations, 118 pages
Three short stories, title means The future is tomorrow .
- First story is set a few days before the end of WWII. A village is terrorised by a group of children. They are all runaways, from home or from the camps, others are orphans or just left behind by their parents. The group dynamics are terrible, as everyone grew up in a time of terror.
- Second story is set in the Netherlands, I think somewhere in the 1960s. A boy is left by his steph-fathers time and time again. His mother is abusive, when the court finally decides he should be placed in a childrens home, he finds comfort with one of the caretakers. When she leaves he goes completely mad and is send to prison.
- Third story, Giacomo came from Italy to Chicago. He worked for 33 years as a waiter in an Italian restaurant. When he gets ill, his collegues do a fundraising to send him back to his place of birth in Italy. When the inhabitants of the small Italian village hear Giacomo comes back, they all expect a wealthy man, who will help everyone in the village, but Giacomo is not rich at all...
ROOT 28: Jonathan, wat zag je in die zomernacht? by K.M. Peyton
acquired before 2008, translated, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1981, original title A Midsummer Night's Death, 146 pages
Joathan stays at a boarding school. One evening, when he is supposed to be at his room, he is walking around and sees two of his teachers. When one of them is found death the next day, Jonathan doesn't want to come forward, as he admires the other teacher he saw over there.
Well written YA book, combining coming of age with a mystery. Jonathan is a lifelike character. Apparently this a sequel, I might try to find the first book about Jonathan.
ROOT 29: Het boek van alle dingen by Guus Kuijer
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Gouden Griffel and Gouden Uil 2005, English translation The Book of Everything, 103 pages
Set in early 1950s, 9 year old Thomas lives with his parents and older sister. His father is a rigid christian, who rules his family with force. His mother tries to help Thomas against his father, but gets punched herself. All Thomas wants to be is happy. Their neighbor, Mrs van Amersfoort, steps in. The whole neighborhood can tell you she is a witch, but she becomes a friend for Thomas. Lending books, helping him to get rid of his fears, standing up to his father, she is a great help in changing the family dynamics.
It may sound like a heavy book, but there is a lot to laugh. Guus Kuijer is a great writer, who can keep the balance with a difficult topic between seriousness and humor.
ROOT 30: Sneeuw by Orhan Pamuk
acquired in 2010, translated Turkish, 1001 books, nobelprizewinnner, English translation Snow, 471 pages
Ka is a poet, who came back from Germany to Istanbul for his mothers funeral. On a friends request he travels to Kars, a city in eastern Turkey, to write about the local elections and the suicide of some girls, that seems to turn epidemic. On his way to Kars, it starts to snow, when Ka arrives in the city it is isolated from the outside world by the heavy snowfall. He hasn't written any poems recently, but in Kars the poems find him. He finds back the beautiful Ipek, he adored her when he was younger. Since she was recently divorced, his hopes are high they finally can get together. Kars turns out to be filed with secret government agents, islamic fanatics, Kurdish nationalists who all have their own agenda.
Turkey is a country between the West and the East, this novel is set in the time Turkey was more faced towards the West. In present time, under president Erdogan, Turkey has been turning more East. For the writer, and many others, it doesn't really matter. Freedom of speech is not appriciated anyway and oppression their fate.
The book impressed me with beautiful descriptions and language. Filled with suspence, even when the author already revealed what was going to happen. It gave me more insight in modern Turkey. It sadly doesn't make me optimistic about the future.
>64 FAMeulstee: That sounds really good. I've never read any Pamuk - the only Turkish author I have read (and I liked very much, I have another of hers on my TBR) is Elif Shafak.
>65 Jackie_K: It was a great read, Jackie, it was my second Pamuk. Last year I read and loved his book My name is Red (rated it 4 1/2*). Snow was even better, not a light read, but very beautiful.
Thanks for reminding me of Elif Shafak, I have heard her name before. Sadly I don't own any book by her, but I will look around at the library.
ROOT 31: Geschiedenis van de Lage Landen deel 1 by Jaap ter Haar
acquired before 2008 (probably 1970s), Dutch, awarded, Nienke van Hichtumprijs 1972, no translations, 432 pages
History of the Netherlands and Flandres, from Prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, written for young readers, first book in a series of four.
Early parts are a bit outdated, but still very readable history book. Combining non-fiction with short fictional stories set in that time.
ROOT 32: Het huis tussen de bomen by Irene Hunt
acquired before 2008, translated English, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1972, Newbery Medal 1967, original title Up a road slowly, 150 pages
When Julie's mother dies, her life changes completely. She and her brother Chris are going to live with their unmarried aunt Cornelia. Soon her brother leaves to attent a boarding school. Julie doesn't like her new life at first, but slowly adapts. We follow her through the years until she goes to college.
Coming of age novel, fairly predictable, sometimes a bit boring.
ROOT 33: Zwart op wit by Akky van der Veer
acquired before 2008, translated Frisian, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1989, original title Swart op wyt, 150 pages
Femke lives with her grandmother, Omastien, and the three boarders in the house, who came after her grandfather died. Her mother Ida was only seventeen when she got Femke and got married a few years back. Femke spends her vacations with her mother and stephfather. All Femke knows about her real father is that he has died. On her 16th birthday her paternal grandfather suddenly contacts her.
We get to know Femke and the people around her through her diary, that she started after her 16th birthday.
ROOT 34: La Bruja, de merrie by Helen Griffiths
acquired before 2008, translated English, original title The wild heart, 170 pages
After loosing her mother only a few months after birth, the mare La Bruja (the Witch) had to depend on herself. Despite being an ugly horse, gaucho's try to catch her, because she could run faster than any other wild horse. When she is caught, she learns to know the cruel side of captivity and escapes, after killing the man who caught her. She becomes a legend, and a rich man puts a prize on her. In the end a miracle is needed to keep her from being caught again.
I loved this book when I was a child, and still love it now. There is some cruelty, harsh men who are slaughtering and breaking horses for a living. The story is written from the perspective of the horse, without humanizing her.
ROOT 35: Godje by Daan Remmerts de Vries
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Griffel 2003, no translations, 87 pages
Five boys spend much time together, as they are at home during the summer vacation. Robbie, tells the story. He bosses the other kids around, makes them do things (like digging up a grave), they would never do on their own. On his own Robbie fantasises how things could be more exiting in the world.
Not sure what this book wants to tell. I really wonder why it got the Golden Pencil.
ROOT 36: Josja Pruis by Harm de Jonge
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Woutertje Pieterse prijs 2007, no translations, 135 pages
Set in a small village in the north of the Netherlands, November 1956. Homme and Ada are reconstructing the events that started two months earlier, when Josja came to town. Now Josja is gone, no one knows where he went. Most people in the village try to ignore the fact that Josja was ever around. He was a strange boy, in class he was reading other books, but always knew the right answer when a teacher asked him a question. He liked to hang around in the harbor, or at the graveyard near the graves of two German soldiers.
In three layers the story slowly unfolds, Homme and Ada telling what happend back then, Homme and Ada now and the notes Josja wrote while he was in the village.
I loved this book, the characters are drawn with love. Despite some heavy subjects (abuse, death of a twin brother), the story itself never gets overly serious of difficult.
Start of the March ROOTs
ROOT 37: Luna van de boom by Bart Moeyaert
acquired in 2012, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Uil 2001, no translations, 32 pages
A very rich king has three sons. Next to his castle is a special tree, the king is curious abou the tree and calls all wise men, asking what they know about the tree. None of them knows, but one remembers that his grandfather told him the tree would flower at strike of midnight and the fruit would be ready at the last strike of twelve midnight.
It is a retelling of Slovakian fairytale "Berona". With beautiful illustrations by Gerda Dendooven. The illustrations are full page, with the text on the illustrations.
ROOT 38: Noodweer by Suzanne Fisher Staples
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Eervolle vermelding 1999, original title Dangerous Skies, 204 pages
Buck and Tunes grow up together on the farm, owned by Bucks parents. Tunes is Afro-American and lost her mother when she was young. Her father always worked on the farm, so Buck and Tunes were almost always together. Buck never thought in terms of race and thought nothing could come between them. When someone is murdered and Tunes is a suspect, Buck learns there is a lot of racism and injustice around him.
ROOT 39: De vloek van Cornelia by Martha Heesen
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 2000, no translations, 98 pages
When Staf and his family move from Maastricht to big house in a village near The Hague, he immediately senses there is something wrong in the house. He thinks the house is haunted. But his parents and older sister don't believe him.
ROOT 40: Wat dacht je van mij? by Corrie Hafkamp
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1981, no translations, 124 pages
Toms older brother Maxim is both mentally and physically handicapped. He goes to a special school. Although Tom loves his big brother, it is difficult sometimes. His parents often don't have time for him, as Maxime needs their attention.
ROOT 41: Heksen en zo... by Annie M.G. Schmidt
since 1968, Dutch, fairytales, no English translation (there is a German and a Spanish translation), 112 pages
This book has probably been with me the longest time, I got it as a Chrismas present in 1968.
Modern fairytales with funny twists. Witches on brooms flying away like a jet plane, elevators suddenly going deep under ground, the usual princes and princesses and in one tale even a dragon.
Always fun to read books by Annie M.G. Schmidt. I have read this one numerous times in my youth.
>79 floremolla: your thread has made me nostalgic for my childhood books - not only did I not keep them but I can't remember their titles! I was given a set of Enid Blyton books when I could first read on my own - she's not considered politically correct nowadays but, my goodness, I loved her stories of fairies and teddy bears and they sparked a lifetime love of reading!
>79 floremolla: I didn't keep them all, Donna, many were culled in 2005.
Your post reminds me I had some Enid Blyton books and read many from the library. After a search here on LT, I remember that I had the Dutch translations of the six Mallory Towers books and a few of The Five Find-Outers. And have read St. Clare's, The Famous Five and some of the Adventure series. Sweet memories :-)
Enid Blyton sparked my love of reading too. The Adventure series and the Famous Five were my favourites, although I also liked the Faraway Tree books and I did read all of the Mallory Towers books too. I was less mad, even in my most avid Enid Blyton fandom days, on St Clare's, and I found the Secret Seven really boring - I think I just thought of them as Famous Five wannabes! Every so often in my favourite second hand bookstore, Barter Books, I see some of the Adventure series and think about buying them again, but they're really expensive!
So many great series. I think Secret Seven was pitched for a slightly younger readership >81 Jackie_K: - I remember trying to start a club in our garden shed with a tin for subscriptions, but there were no mysteries and none of us ever had pocket money to spare anyway. Happy days though! :)
>81 Jackie_K: Then Enid Blyton did a lot of good to us all, Jackie. Not all books were translated into Dutch, I can't remember a Dutch version of the Secret Seven. I am surprised the books are so expensive second hand, there must have been many copies around. I searched the Dutch secondhandbooks site, and the Dutch translations are still widely available and fairly cheap.
>82 floremolla: The only complaint I had in those days, was that you could not return library books on the same day and only were allowed to take two library fiction books (and two non-fiction). I would read two Enid Blyton books in a couple of hours and had to wait for the next day to return them and lend the next two.
>83 FAMeulstee: oh gosh, how frustrating! our library just never ever had a full series and I don't recall there being inter-library loans so I was always yearning for books that never materialised - maybe this is why I became an obsessive completist!
>84 floremolla: Could be it did feed your completism.
Back then I didn't mind reading out of order, every book in one of the Blyton series was fine. And there were nearly always a few available. Of course I did read other books, it was a rather small library. When I turned 12, I had read nearly all the books in the childrens department and was so happy I finally was allowed to lend grown up books!
>85 FAMeulstee: yes same here! Exhausted the children's section and began to browse the adult section at a similar age (yay for science fiction!) - I'd never have imagined other children in other countries having the same experience, I just thought our library was uniquely rubbish!
>86 floremolla: That is what I love about this site, meeting others with similair experiences :-)
No sience fiction from the adult section for me, for a long time I went for romances, like the Angélique series by Serge and Anne Golon.
I remember secretly reading Harlequin romances from the library. I had to smuggle them into my room, as my mother would not approve reading "such trash".
When I was 15 we moved to a large city, with a larger and better library.
ROOT 42: Piraten aan de Stille Oceaan by Karl May
culled in 2005 and re-added in August 2008, translated German, no English translation, 286 pages
Following the adventures of Gebhard von Greifeklau, he chases villains from Ceylon to Sumatra, to Canton, to Tahiti and finally to San Francisco. Gebhard, the main character, features in some other Karl May books. Some other characters are also known from previous books.
As all Karl May books, an enjoyable read. Written in the 19th century, so there is a some racism and our German hero is stronger, more intelligent, capable and skilful that any other character in the book ;-)
ROOT 43: Birk by Jaap Robben
acquired December 2015, Dutch, awarded, DJP Publieksprijs 2015, English translation You Have Me to Love, 255 pages
One day the father of a young boy dsiappears. He has probably drowned. As they live on a very small island, there are now only three people left on the island: the boy Mikael, his mother Dora and their neighbour Karl. Through the years the relation between Mikael and his mother grows more and more bizarre.
Dark story, how people can get mad living too tight together and not accepting loss.
ROOT 44: Zoals de wind om het huis by Johanna Kruit
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1996, no translations, 39 pages
Poetry for older children. Nice rhythm in most of the poems, about dreams, nature and family.
ROOT 45: Donderslag by Libby Hathorn
acquired before 2008, 1001 Children's Books, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1992, original title Thunderwith, 236 pages
After her mother has died, Lara goes to live with her father and his new family on a small farm. She barely remembers her father, as her mother left him when Lara was very young. Her father is very happy to have found her, but his wife does not want to accept Lara. Wandering in the woods during a thunderstorm, she finds a dog. She names him Thunderwith, and he becomes her only friend at the farm, when her father is leaving some weeks for work.
At school Lara and her stepsister are bullied and at school her only refuge is in the library and an Aboriginal tale teller, who visits the school once a week.
A beautiful story of loss, mourning and hope.
ROOT 46: Twtti Rhys Hec : een meisje van zestien by Hadley Irwin
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1983, original title What About Grandma?, 168 pages
Sixteen year old Rhys goes with her mother Eva to her grandmother Wyn, as her grandmother fell from the stairs and was placed in a nursery home. They will clean out and sell grandmothers house. But when they arrive grandmother has other plans, and returns to her home.
Soon Rhys and her mother find out that grandmother is very ill and came home to die. Instead of staying the month they planned, they will stay as long as needed. Mothers and daughters slowly find ways to better their relationships and Rhys fals in love for the first time.
A very good story of mothers and daughters, love, life and death.
ROOT 47: Van Hector die een kater was by Alet Schouten
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 98 pages
Robbie is telling the whole neighborhood that he will get a big dog for his birthday and he will name him Hector!
But instead a big dog, he gets a kitten at his birthday, he names it Hector anyway. We follow Hector growing up. Meeting the other cats in the neighborhood: the siamese Ming and the two male cats. He even befriends an Afghan hound named Soraya.
A sweet cat story.
ROOT 48: Lieve Tracey... Lieve Mandy... by John Marsden
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1995, original title Letters from the Inside, 142 pages
Two teenagers start writing eachother, after one of them put an ad in a magazine. We read the letters they write to eachother. At first fairly superficial, both claiming to have a perfect life. Slowly they open up to the other and find out their lifes aren't perfect at all.
ROOT 49: De encyclopedie van de grote woorden by Mark Boog
acquired May 2016, poetry, Dutch, awarded, VSB Poëzie Prijs 2006, no translations, 79 pages
The title translates "Encyclopedia of big words"
In 64 poems, ordered by title from A - Z, the poet gives new thoughts to "big words" like Evil, Love, Peace, War.
Some subtile humor and unexpected insights.
ROOT 50: Waarom kwamen de walvissen? by Michael Morpurgo
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1988, original title Why the Whales came, 127 pages
Gracie and Daniel live at one of the Scilly Isles. It is the summer of 1914, when they befriend the Birdman. All locals think the Birdman is crazy and dangerous. He once lived on the next island, and that island is somehow cursed and all inhabitants left. Then WW I starts and Gracie's father joins the Navy.
>97 rabbitprincess: And not only the concept was good ;-)
Sadly poetry is rarely translated, and if it is translated it is never the same.
I hope you like Why the whales came. My favourite by Morpurgo is Private Peaceful. I found it at the library last year and I just ordered a copy to have it on my shelves.
ROOT 51: De storm by by Gaye Hiçyilmaz
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1992, original title Against the storm, 167 pages
Mehmet lives in a small village near the mountains in Turkey. One day his parents decide to move to Ankara, like his uncle did some years before. They think life will be easier there. They end up in the slum, Mehmets uncle uses the whole family as cheap laborers. All Mehmet can dream of is one day returning to his village.
Despite her name the writer is English, she married a Turkish man and lived in Turkey for 20 years.
Beautiful and sad story, about the hardship of rural people who try to find their way and fortune in a big city.
ROOT 52: De kat in de gordijnen by Dolf Verroen
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1979, no translations, 72 pages
36 short stories for 4 to 5 year olds, featuring family, friends, pets in daily city life.
ROOT 53: Toen Faas niet thuiskwam by Martha Heesen
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Uil 2004, no English translation, 84 pages
Peter tells a bout a night, nearly two years ago, when Faas, his younger brother, ran away and stayed away all night. This was shortly after their mother died. Peter feels he was always responsible for his brother, and after the death of his mother his father leans on him too.
ROOT 54: Elfenmiddag by Janet Taylor Lisle
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1993, original title Afternoon of the Elves, 128 pages
Hillary lives next door to Sara. At school Sara is an outcast, but one day she invites Hillary to come over. The girls come together in Sara's garden and slowly become friends. Hillary's mother does not encourage the friendship between her daughter and Sara, as Sara is so clearly different.
Good story about how those who are different are treated, and how social position and judgement works. And how some can look through prejudice and offer true friendship.
ROOT 55: De prinses van Clèves by Madame de Lafayette
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, translated French, English title The Princesse de Cleves, 237 pages
Historical romance, written in the 17th century, the story takes place in the 16th century.
Mademoiselle de Chartres is introduced in the French court, supported by her mother. The Prince de Cleves falls in love with her, and soon they are married, making her the Princesse de Cleves. She doesn't love her husband, but promished her mother before she died, she would always do anything to keep her reputation. When the Princesse does fall in love for the first time of her life with an other man, who loves her dearly back, she tries to avoid him at all costs. Even after her husband dies she refuses to marry the love of her life.
Love, duty, honor, jealousy at the French court in the 16th century. It may sound as a thin romantic story, but it is not. It is the first psychological novel written, and I was lost into the story fairly quickly.
ROOT 56: Iolo komt niet spelen by Alet Schouten
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Griffel & Gouden Penseel 1975, no translations, 135 pages
Like every year Gerrit and his family go on vacation to the same house near the coast in Wales. This year everything is a bit different, not only because Gerrit got a little sister recently. He always played with Iolo, the boy who lives at a nearby farm, but this year Iolo chases Gerrit away when he comes looking for him. Slowly Gerrit finds out something odd, or maybe even scary, is going on. And he might be an important witness...
Good read, with typical Welsh stories and places woven into the story, like tales about Twm Siôn Cati and a ride with the train in Rheidol Valley.
ROOT 57: Metamorphosen by Ovidius
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, translated Latin, classic, English translation Metamorphoses, 459 pages
It was a great read, I already knew most of the tales of the gods and heroes, but it is always good to read again.
I didn't know much about Pythagoras, so there I learned he believed in reincarnation and was a vegetarian.
I can't say much about the translation, as I know no other translations than the one I read. But it was very accesable and not very difficult to read.
ROOT 58: Vos en haas by Sylvia Vanden Heede
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Jonge Gouden Uil & Vlag en Wimpel 1999, no English translation, 140 pages
Stories about Fox and Hare (on the left on the cover), who live together. Their neighbor is Owl, who hatches an egg and becomes the proud parent of Piep, the rooster. With lovely illustrations by Thé Tjong-Khing.
The stories start with easy words and sentences and gradually level up (levels in Dutch from AVI 1 to AVI 4).
ROOT 59: Uk en Bur by Wim Hofman
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1988, no translations, 79 pages
Short stories for starting readers. Two boys, named Uk and Bur, are having adventures in and around their house.
ROOT 60: De molen en de Boeseknor by Alet Schouten
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 110 pages
Alet Schouten is one of my favourite Dutch authors. I have all the books she wrote for children and young adults, most of them are historical fiction. Sadly only a few of her books are translated.
Set at the end of the 19th century, a big family lives in a windmill. This windmill is one of many that keep the polder dry. Five big children and the youngest three are triplets.
ROOT 61: Het Gilgamesj-epos
acquired January 2018, translated Akkadian, classic, English translation The Epic of Gilgamesh, 151 pages
This is a translation of the twelve tablets of the so called "standard Akkadian version", with use of other and older versions to fill the gaps. The oldest known parts of the epic are five Sumerian poems about Bilgamesh, king of Uruk, dating around 2100 BC. The standard Akkadian version dates back from between 1300-1000 BC.
Gilgamesh is oppressing the people of Uruk, so the gods decides he needs a companion. Enkidu is created by the gods and lives as a wild man. Enkidu is lured into civilisation by sexual contact with a woman, and then travels to Uruk with her. At first Elkidu and Gilgamesh fight eachother, but then they become friends. They have some adventures together, but then Enkidu falls ill and dies.
In despair over the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh goes on a quest to find the secret of eternal life. He finds a plant that povides eternal life, but looses it on his way back home.
In a way this is where it all began, writing books and reading them. In the text it is visible it originated in oral story-telling, many repeats of the same words or sentences. It is amazing to read the translation of something written down in cuneiform so many centuries ago.
>109 FAMeulstee: That is on my list, also. Great to know it is a rewarding read.
ROOT 62: Stralend kruid by Roberto Piumini
acquired before 2008, translated Italian, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1995, no English translation, 90 pages
In English the title translates "Radiant Herb".
The famous Turkish painter Sakumat is called to the palace of Ganuan. Ganuans son Madurer is suffering from servere allegies and has to stay always inside his rooms. Ganuan wants Sakumat to paint Madurers room with landscapes, so the boy can get a gasp of the world outside his rooms.
At first the painter and the boy talk much about what should be painted on the walls, the boy only knows the world from his books. Finally they decide to start with mountains, with some figures Madurer knows from his books. From the mountains to hills and then some walls with the sea. In the last of the three rooms, Madurer wants a field, not like it is in the distance, but how it looks when you stand in the field. Here the boy starts to help the painter with the painting. He invents and paints a radiant herb that glows in the dark. Then Madurers conditions gets worse.
A beautiful little poetic story about art, life and death, reality and fantasy.
ROOT 63: Verder alles goed by Nico Dijkshoorn
acquired March 2012, Dutch, Bookweekessay 2012, no translations, 62 pages
Letters and postcards written to friends and family, all dated in 2011, Some funny, some more serious.
Published in the Bookweek 2012.
ROOT 64: Verhalen voor een Afrikaanse koning by Humphrey Harman
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1986, original title Tales Told to an African King, 149 pages
Juba's father died when Jumba was very young. He grows up in exile on an island in the big lake, as his uncle came with a big army and took the throne. Juba was saved by a few loyal servants. One day Siggi, a storyteller arrives on the island. Through the years Siggi tells folktales, to prepare Juba for his return.
African folktales, put together in a nice story.
ROOT 65: De kwade inblazingen by Marten Toonder
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 66 pages
One day in autumn, two dwarves are on their way south, to escape the cold weather. Near Bommelstein (The castle where Bommel lives) one of them leaves a very heavy device next to a shed, as it is too heavy to take all the way. He leaves it accidentely switched on. Then strange things start to happen in the shed.
As always Bommel (main character, a bear, full name Oliver B. Bommel) messes up everything, while his young friend Tom Poes (other main character, a white cat) is the one who clears the trouble. Traditionally the last drawing is of a big diner at the castle.
One of the 177 Bommel stories. A kind of comic/graphic novel, originally published in a national paper. Every day three drawings and an accompanying text (about a book-page long).
ROOT 66: Wat is dat? een voelboek by Virginia Allen Jensen
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Boekensleutel 1979, original title What's That?, 22 pages
My shortest book this year.
Little Shaggy and his friends, in a very short story. A very special story, as the illustrations are raised on the pages, so you can explore them with your fingertips. This way the story is accessible for blind and partially sighted children.
ROOT 67: Vrienden van de maan by Mensje van Keulen
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Nienke van Hichtum prijs 1991, no translations, 140 pages
Luzabel is a vampire, she goes on a quest to find a bride for her son Landolino. She finds the perfect girl, named Anneke, in a bookstore. She takes Anneke back to the vampire castle. Meanwhile Anneke's parents and the neigbours son try to find Anneke, to bring her back home.
I am no fan of vampire stories, but in the genre it is a fairly good story.
ROOT 68: Geschiedenis van de Lage Landen deel 2 by Jaap ter Haar
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Nienke van Hichtumprijs 1972, no translations, 400 pages
History of the Low Lands (the Netherlands and Flandres), 15th and 16th century, second book in a series of four.
Important times for our nation, in 1568 the Dutch Revolt cumulated into war. Eventuallly leading to the Dutch Republic.
Very readable history book. Combining non-fiction with short fictional stories set in that time.
ROOT 69: De koperen tuin by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, Dutch, Dutch Literary Canon, English translation The Garden Where the Brass Band Played, 288 pages
Nol Rieske grows up in a small province city in Friesland. Being a son of a judge, he is part of the upperclass. When he is 8 years old, his mother takes him to the park, where music is played in a bandstand. Nol is impressed by the music and starts dancing with Trix, the 12 year old daughter of Cuperus, the conductor, and falls in love with her. He convinces his mother he wants piano lessons from Cuperus, who teaches him most of all his love for classical music. The lessons are at Cuperus home, but Nol rarely sees a glimpse of his beloved Trix.
After a disatrous performance of the opera Carmen (Bizet), Cuperus detoriates, heavy drinking eventually leads to his death. Meanwhile Nol started his study in the next city, he want to become a doctor. He writes some letters to Trix, but she keeps him at a distance. Called home to the deathbed of his mother, he finally finds the courage to declare his love to Trix...
It took two chapters to get into the story. It took me long to finish it, because classical music is important in the book. When a piece was mentioned, I went searching the internet to listen to it.
ROOT 70: De kat en de adelaar by Hans Hagen
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1998, no translations, 65 pages
Eight year old Farid lives in Dadu, Pakistan. He can't go to school, because he has to help his father, who drives a bus. When they leave for Sehwin the bus is overly filled, even some people (and sheep) on the roof of the bus. Farid has to collect the money from the passengers. His mother used to do that, but she broke her legs some time ago, when she fell of the roof of the bus. The whole way to Sehwin Farid thinks he is seeing a black cat, but others don't see it. Could it be a magical cat?
ROOT 71: De gevleugelde kat by Isabel Hoving
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Zoen 2003, English translation The Dream Merchant, 510 pages
Josh Cope is just an average 12 year old boy. So why is an international corporation offering him a job? Josh accepts their offer and finds himself soon in dreamworlds, traveling through time, to find a solution to a century old family conflict.
I don't know why this epic fantasy adventure is getting very mixed ratings on LT, as I loved it!
ROOT 72: Het huilen van Urgje by Marten Toonder
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 72 pages
One day in summer, Bommel and Tom Puss decide to go out camping. They set up the tent, when an awful noise is heard. Turns out to be a very big toddler who is crying. His family does everything to prevent him from crying, as the noise is unbearable.
As always Bommel (main character, a bear, full name Oliver B. Bommel) messes up everything, while his young friend Tom Poes (other main character, a white cat) is the one who clears the trouble.
Start of the April ROOTs
ROOT 73: Coriolis, de stormplaneet by Gerben Hellinga jr
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1987, no English translation, 198 pages
Two humans traveling in space get in trouble and are forced to land on an unknown planet. The weather is very strange, everywhere is always hard wind from the east. One of the humans dies, the other named Makombo, is now dependent on the first osbork he met, a female called Kazazi. They soon learn to communicate through drawings. Because of the wind, osborks always travel westward. Getting back to his spaceship Makombo has to go all the way around the planet.
I think I first read this book in the early 1990s. It was one of my first SF books and I loved it. I liked it very much again.
ROOT 74: Een osbork in de ruimte by Gerben Hellinga jr
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, no translations, 199 pages
Sequel to Coriolis, de stormplaneet.
Fifteen years later Makombo returns to the planet Coriolus. He came to ask Kazazi for help in his own world, but she isn't as adventurous as she used to be. Middle aged osborks prefer to stay home. But her son Nardov volunteers to go with Makombo. The world outside his own planet scares Nardov at first. But he grows up fast and even gets the chance to help uraveling an interstellar conspiracy.
Very good follow up on the first book.
ROOT 75: De paardentemmer by Walter Farley
aquired in May 2014, translated, original title The Horse-Tamer, 155 pages
While Alex and Henry are waiting for the plane to leave, traveling back to the USA with Black, Henry tells about his oldest brother Bill. Bill Dailey was a horse tamer, back in the day when horses were the main way for transportation. Bill tried to educate people about horses, using more gentle methods than most did. Henry worked some time together with his brother and learned a lot.
ROOT 76: Voor niks gaat de zon op by Els Pelgrom
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1983, no English translation, 68 pages
Set in the late 19th century, 12 year old Fine has to leave her home. She got a job in the city, as helper of the doctors housekeeper. Many children had to work in those times. She befriends the orphan boy, who takes care of the carriage and horses of the doctor. They are not treated nicely, but at least they get meals every day.
ROOT 77: Mevrouw Vis, aap en de vuilniskoningin by Norma Fox Mazer
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1982, original title Mrs. Fish, Ape, and Me, The Dump Queen, 119 pages
Joyce lives with her uncle, near the dump where her uncle works. At school she is bullied and called names with "dump" in it. Her teacher does not know how to help her, and her uncle tells her she does not need anyone besides herself. One day a temporary school custodian, Mrs Fish, does try to help Joyce and really listens to her.
I really liked the story.
The cover of this book is special, made by Nicolaas Wijnberg a Dutch painter/lithographer, who only made very few book covers.
ROOT 78: De genezing van de krekel by Toon Tellegen
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Uil 2000, no translations, 117 pages
Toon Telligen has written many books about the animals in the wood. In this universe there is only one of every animal, so their names are "Ant", "Cricket" "Elephant".
In this book Cricket and Elephant are the main characters. Cricket wakes up one day with a heavy head, whatever he tries, it does not go away. Meanwhile Elephant is climbing trees, and falls down each time when he finally reaches the top. Although he know he will fall again, Elephant can't stop climbing trees.
In a subtile way Toon Telligen is telling about depression (Cricket) and addiction (Elephant). The writer is very good in playing with words and has an absurd kind of humor. It is a book to read again and again, I am sure I find other things at a next read.
ROOT 79: Trioloog by Julian Barnes
acquired before 2008, translated, original title Talking it over, 208 pages
Two friends and one woman, talking about what happened in their relationship.
Stuart and Oliver are friends since their schooldays. Oliver always took the lead and is very surprised when Stuart finds the love of his life on his own. Gillian and Stuart get married and on their wedding day Oliver falls in love with Gillian. His aproach works, Gillian divorces Stuart and marries Oliver.
At times it was funny, because all three tell their stories, you get the whole.
The Dutch title isn't an existing word, but playing with the word Monoloog (=Monologue). As three people are talking in the book: Trioloog (would be Triologue).
ROOT 80: Sprong in de leegte by Lydia Rood
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Eervolle Vermelding 2006, no translations, 232 pages
Cornélie Vergouwe is an unusal girl, she is highly gifted intelectually. But in her early schooldays her classmates and teachers only found her annoying. She was punished for asking too difficult questions, so she stopped asking. At home it isn't much better, her parents think they have to protect Elsa, the younger sister, against Cornélie, although for Cornélie feels she can only be herself with Elsa.
Cornélie starts diving into risky and odd behavior, like skateboarding (hurting herself over and over again until she can do jumps at the half-pipe), starting an affair with a loverboy (she knows ahead what he wants from her), running away and staying with a circus for the summer. Besides her sister the horses are her main refuge.
When her sister gets badly wounded, after doing a risky move with her skateboard and gets into a coma, Cornélie feels terrible guilty and can't find a way out. The she meets Salomon Kats, an old jewish man, who lost his parents in WWII and later in life his wife and child. He knows all about the feelings of guilt Cornélie is going through and tries to help her finding a way out.
It is a lot that is packed in thsi book, however it worked very well for me. An unusual YA book, well worth reading.
The title would be in English "Leap into emptyness".
ROOT 81: De aard van het beest by Janni Howker
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1987, original title The nature of the beast, 150 pages
When the factory in Haverston closes down, Bill Coward's father and grandfather are loosing their job. The whole village is upset, as nearly everyone worked at the factory. At the same time a mysterious Beast is wandering around on the moors, first it killed the chickens of Bill's grandfather, later many sheep and lambs are killed. Almost everyone thinks it is a large dog that goes around killing livestock, but Bill thinks it is something else and goes after the Beast himself.
A very good story, it reminds me a bit of some books by David Almond.
ROOT 82: Het wonderlijke archief van Mevrouw Fitzalan by E.L. Koningsburg
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1983, original title From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, 111 pages
Claudia runs away with her younger brother Jimmie. She decides the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York would be a good hiding place. They hide at closing time at the toilets and spend the nights in an old canopy bed. When a newly acquired statue arrives, they go and see it, and wonder like everyone els if it might be made by Michelangelo. Claudia is determined to find out.
Adventure and mystery set at an unusal place, a fun read.
ROOT 83: Vluchten kan niet meer by Nigel Hinton
acquired before 2008, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1979, original title Collision Course, 124 pages
When 15 year old Peter sees a motorbike with the ignition key still on it, he can't stop himself and goes for a joyride. He loves the ride, but when he is going to return the motorbike he gets in an accident and someone is killed. He runs away from the scene and tries to keep a low profile for a while. But he can't run away from the feeling of guilt...
ROOT 84: Wie niet weg is wordt gezien by Ida Vos
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1982, English translation Hide and seek, 151 pages
Rachel is nine years old when WW II starts. She lives in Rotterdam, after the bombing of the city her mother wants to move closer to her family. At her new school in Rijswijk, some classmates don't want to play with Jewish girls. When later distant family members start to disappear, her parents decide it is time to go in hiding. At first the family can stay together, but later Rachel and her sister have to leave their parents and hide separately.
When the war is finally over, they have to get used again to "normal" life. Their parents survived, but many others from their family did not.
The author used her own memories to write this book, very impressive read.
ROOT 85: Wild vlees by Marita de Sterck
acquired November 2012, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Zoen 2001, no translations, 170 pages
Max is on vacation in the mountains with some friends, when his grandfather dies in an accident. When Max comes home, is grandfather has been buried. Max and his grandfather were very close, and Max has to find a way to deal with his grieve. He wants to know every deatail of the last hours of his grandfather, even when this is hurting the involved. It takes months before Max can go on with his life.
ROOT 86: Helden op sokken by Anne Makkink
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Griffel 1999, no English translation, 116 pages
Ten brothers and a sister live together with a cat in this fairytale like story.
Each day the brothers go out, competing in outdoor activities, while their sister stays home with the cat and prepares diner. One day the sister decides she has been home enough and wants to go with her brothers. They send her back home, but the next day the youngest brother stays with his sister and they end up in an adventure.
With beautiful illustrations by Marit Törnqvist.
ROOT 87: Het is fijn om er te zijn by Guus Kuijer
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no English translation, 100 pages
Second book (of five) about Polleke, an eleven year old girl. Her parents are divorced and her mother has a starting relationship with Polleke's teacher. Her boyfriend Mimoen shows interest in her best friend Caro. Her father lives on the street and Polleke wants to help him.
This might sound a bit hard and difficult subjects for a childrens book, but the writing is light and Polleke always sees a light or funny side in every situation.
The title translated: "It is nice to be there".
ROOT 88: Klein verhaal over liefde by Marit Törnqvist
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1996, no English translation, 59 pages
A girl sits on a pole in the sea. She sees many boats and ships pasing by. One day she sees a man on a small boat and falls in love. She keeps staring at the boat until it fades in the horizon.
Short story about falling in love, mainly told with pictures and a little bit of text.
The title translated: "Small/short story about love".
ROOT 89: Ronja de roversdochter by Astrid Lindgren
acquired before 2008, translated Swedish, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1983, English translation Ronia, the Robber's Daughter, 175 pages
A lovely tale of a robber's daughter and an other robber's son, who are not allowed to see eachother.
This book is in my Astrid Lindgren top 3, together with Pippi Longstocking and The brothers Lionheart.
ROOT 90: De vergeten hacienda by Sven Wernström
acquired before 2008, translated Swedish, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1977, no English translation, 126 pages
Abuses of workers in Mexico. Mateo is send to a remote part of the country, to find out what happened to the teacher who was send there. Turns out the workers are abused by a rich landowner, who does not like them being educated.
ROOT 91: De avonturen van Alice in Wonderland & Achter de spiegel en wat Alice daar aantrof by Lewis Carroll
aqcuired in January 2018, 1001 books, translated, original title Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, 244 pages
I never read these books before. Wasn't overly impressed, but can see what people might like in the story. Beautiful illustrations by John Tenniel.
ROOT 92: Athabasca by Hadley Irwin
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1986, original title I be somebody, 145 pages
Based on true events in 1910, ten year old Rap lives in an all black community in Clearview, Oklahoma, with his aunt Spicey. The people in town are talking about migrating to Athabasca (= Amber Valley, Canada), as they are afraid the Jim Crow laws will also come to Oklahoma. At first Rap doesn't understand what is going on, as he never faced racism in his small community. His aunt does not think about leaving, but one day she seems to have changed her mind.
A compelling tale about the call of a "Promished Land", without segregation and racism.
Article about the history of Amber Valley and an article about All Black Towns in Oklahoma.
ROOT 93: Maak me niet kapot by Lynn Hall
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1976, original title Sticks and Stones, 140 pages
Tom and his mother moved to a small village in Iowa, after his parents divorce. It is where his mother grew up. At fist he likes living in Buck Creek, but he misses a true friend. He finds some comfort when he plays the piano. One day Ward comes back to the village, after a few years away. In Ward Tom finally finds a true friend. But soon the gossiping starts about two boys who are way too close. By the time Tom finds out why he has become an outcast, he is not able to turn the tide.
ROOT 94: Vogels in het zwart by Piet Meeuwissen
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1985, no translations, 139 pages
Joost, Sjanet and Steef live with their mother at their maternal grandparents place. They moved there after their father died. One day they see that two boys from the neighborhood kill a pair of jackdaws, who were nesting at the roof of the house. The three children save the young jackdaws, with help of a neighbour, who knows a lot about birds. Their grandfather is not happy with three young jackdaws in his house.
ROOT 95: Een huis met zeven kamers by Joke van Leeuwen
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel and Gouden Penseel 1980, no English translation, 127 pages
Her favourite uncle takes a girl to his house. This house has seven chambres and in each chamber he tells her a story. Some are funny, some are a bit odd. With illustrations by the author, sometimes through and in the text.
ROOT 96: Doodgewoon by Bette Westera
aqcuired in January 2018, YA, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Griffel, Vlag en Wimpel and Woutertje Pieterse prijs 2015, no translations, 112 pages
Poems for children about death, burying, rituals and mourning.
Everything is beautiful in this book: the contents, the illustrations, the thick paper and the edition. It got two major childrens/YA awards in 2014 and I can totally see why.
ROOT 97: We gingen bramen plukken by Doris Buchanan Smith
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1977, original title A taste of Blackberries, 71 pages
Jamie and his friend are neighbors, they do a lot together. Jamie always dares a bit more than his friend. When Jamie suddenly dies after a bee-sting, his friend (who tells the story) has a hard time coping.
The author has written e very good book about a difficult subject.
ROOT 98: Verkocht by Hans Hagen
acquired in 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Woutertje Pieterse prijs 2015, no translations, 171 pages
Four year old Yaqub lives in Pakistan. Because of servere poverty his parents sell him to a man, who says Yaqub will earn a lot of money for them. Yaqub ends up near Dubai, with many other children, and is used as a jockey in camel-races. His parents don't get any money and Yaqub gets barely food, the lighter the child, the faster a camel can run. Some children die. Children who try to run away get serverely punished. After many years Yaqub comes back home, with help of outsiders who fight against child-slavery.
Based on true events, at the end of the book the author shows publications in papers about child-slavery in the Gulf States. In the UAE it was forbidden by law since 1993 to use children, but the law came not in effect until there was international publicity.
ROOT 99: Bijna iedereen kon omvallen by Toon Tellegen
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Griffel and Woutertje Pieterse prijs 1994, no translations, 122 pages
Toon Telligen has written many books about the animals in the wood. In this universe there is only one of every animal, so their names are "Squirrel", "Ant", "Cricket" "Elephant".
Here we first meet the animals. We read the most about Squirrel and Ant who are best friends. Elphant has already started to climb trees.
The title would be in English: "Nearly everyone could fall over".
Toon Telligen has a wonderful way with words, I try to translate very poetic sentence from the book. Ant has a small box with good memories. One night the box was a bit open, so the memory of a great birthday comes back to Ant. He closes the box and "He even thought for a moment that he could hear the taste of honey, but he wasn't sure if that was possible".
ROOT 100: De verdenking by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
acquired before 2008, translated from German, English translation The Quarry, 144 pages
Inspector Barlach is in the hospital, it is a few days before the New Year. When he is looking through an old magazine, his doctor comes along and looks at a concentration camp picture in the magazine. He is cleary off balance by what he has seen, be does not want to tell Barlach. When the inspector persists, the doctor gives in and tells he thinks he recognised a person on the picture, the man is also a doctor and runs a large private clinic in Bern.
As these are the last days as inspector for Barlach, his job will end at the end of the year, he decides to look into this, to see if there is a case.
Congratulations on reaching the halfway mark with your ROOTs reading - and over 30,000 pages read in total, wow!
>150 floremolla: Tank you, Donna, ROOTS are going very well this year :-)
Last year I was at 136 books and 33.260 pages at the end of April.
Start of the May ROOTs
ROOT 101: Op een ochtend was de khomre leeg by Hushang Moradi-Kermani
acquired before 2008, YA, translated (from the German translation), awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1995, English translation The Water Urn, 84 pages
A small village in Iran, at the school yard is the khomre (a big water urn) that is filled each morning. The children get water to drink from the khomre. One morning the new teacher finds a big crack in the khomre. Now the children have to go to the stream to get a drink. The teacher tries to get the khomre repaired, or find a new one, but that is a difficult task. Meanwhile the villagers gossip a lot, the teacher has a hard time coping.
Nice look into daily life in a small village in Iran. In 1992 a film adaption was made with the title "Khomreh".
The Dutch title translates "One morning the khomre was empty".
ROOT 102: Lola, de beer by Trude de Jong
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1988, no English translation, 93 pages
Noor gets a teddybear from het aunt for her birthday, a very special one! The teddybear, named Lola, can talk, although Noor is the only one who can hear her. In short chapters we read about Noor and Lola's adventures. If Noor gets in trouble with her father, Lola was the one who suggested it. Then Lola falls in love with Romeo, the teddybear of Christiaan, and they run away together to get married.
ROOT 103: De wereld bij benadering by Jean Rouaud
acquired before 2008, translated from French, English translation The World More or Less, 237 pages
This is the third book of Rouauds family saga, and now he is telling his own story.
We start on a soccer field, where the near-sighted main character is in trouble, as Gyf introduced him as the saviour of the team. But it was a long time ago he played, and only seeing 3 meters ahead doesn't help...
Then we return to the boarding school, where the main character and Gyf met. The boarding school was horrible, and then his father died, only 41 years old. But the main character finishes school and went to university. There he meets Gyf again and meets his first love Théo.
Self-ironic and sometimes even funny. The writer is well known for his use of very long sentences, the translator managed to make this work well in the translation.
You're reading up a storm! And most of them seem to be 4* or more reads, which is great!
>155 Jackie_K: Most childrens/YA book I own won an award, so they should be the best of what was published in that year. So that is mirrored in my ratings, as in most cases I agree it was worth to be awarded.
ROOT 104: De zwarte stenen by Guus Kuijer
birthday gift in 1988, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1985, no English translation, 237 pages
Dolon and Omar live in a village of stonecutters. All boys go to work at 15, cutting stones for building a large tower. In the next town live the traders, traders and stonecutters are not supposed to mingle. Dolon is curious, and wonders why life is arranged like it is. His brother Omar has no affinity with stones, he loves living creatures and nature. On their 15th birthday they start to work, when Omar dies and Dolon finds out the world is not like he thought it was, he runs away with a traders-girl.
Many themes and layers to think about in this book, from religion and beliefs to position in the world, outcasts and unequality.
ROOT 105: Het huis in Niemandsland by Christine Nöstlinger
acquired before 2008, YA, awarded, translated from German, Zilveren Griffel 1982, English translation Fly Away Home, 157 pages
When Vienna is heavely bombed in the last months of the war, Christel's mother is happy to get an opportunity to stay in a large undamaged house at the edge of the city. Leaving grandfather and grandmother behind, as they refuse to leave their house in Vienna. Then the Russian liberators arrive, Christel's family is lucky as the major and his staff move in to their house. This way they are a bit protected against drunken soldiers. Christel befriends Cohn, the cook from Leningrad.
The book is based on the writers own experiences at the end of WWII and the first months after the libration by the Russians.
The Dutch title means "The house in no one's land".
ROOT 106: Markus en Diana by Klaus Hagerup
acquired in November 2012, YA, awarded, translated from Norwegian, Eervolle Vermelding 2008, English translation Markus and Diana, 174 pages
Markus is shy, clumsy and easily scared. Without his best friend Sigmund he would not cope at school.
He collects signatures of celebrities, he is very good in writing letters with made up stories by made up personalities to get what he wants: an autograph! One day he finds out his friend Sigmund has a picture of the actress Diana Mortensen in his pocket. Markus write a touching letter to Diana, who lives in Hollywood, disguised as a Norwegian milionaire. To his surprise Diana does not only send a signed picture, but also a long letter in reply. Their correspondence is getting more serious in time. Then Diana announces she is returning to Norway and wants to meet him....
I saw there is a sequel Markus en de meisjes and requested it at the library.
ROOT 107: Jannes by Toon Tellegen, illustrations by Peter Vos
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1994, no translations, 61 pages
Jannes is a young elephant. He lives together with his mother, as his father is away at sea for work. Not only Jannes, but every living creature is called an elephant: elephants who talk (humans), flying elephants (birds), barking elephants (dogs) etc. All creatures in this world have elephant trunks, even the tiny elephants (insects). In short stories we follow Jannes in his daily life: going to pre-school, a day to the zoo, receiving a letter from his father. With perfect matching illustrations by Peter Vos.
Great introduction to absurdist humor for children.
ROOT 108: Ver van huis by Ouida Sebestyen
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1984, original title Far From Home, 189 pages
"Go to Tom Buckley he take you in, love him". That was his mothers last note to Salty, now all is left are his great-grandmother and his gander Tollybosky. Salty decided to go to Toms place, as his mother worked half her life there. Tom is obviously not happy when Salty arrives, he has enough trouble as it is, but his wife insists they can stay.
The story takes place during the depression years, when many struggled to survive.
ROOT 109: Wiplala by Annie M.G. Schmidt
acquired before 2008, Dutch, childrens, awarded, Beste Kinderboek 1957, no English translation, 164 pages
Wiplala is not a dwarf, he is a wiplala, a very little man who can do magic. But his magic goes often wrong, so he was send away by the other wiplala's. That is how he ended up in the house of the Blom family. Wiplala tries to stay away from magic, but sometimes it just happens and someone is turned into stone... After a lot of (sometimes hilarious) adventures all ends well and Wiplala returns to his own land.
ROOT 110: Wiplala weer by Annie M.G. Schmidt
acquired before 2008, childrens, Dutch, no English translation, 167 pages
Wiplala returns to the Blom family. The two children are happy he is back, but father Blom sees trouble coming. Wiplala tries his best, but when someone is threatening his friends, he turns people into animals with his magic.
Again a fun read :-)
ROOT 111: De jungle by Upton Sinclair
1001 books, own, translated, original title The Jungle, 351 pages
At the start of the 20th century a group of Lithuanian immigrants come to Chicago. They end up working in the meat industry and see all the terrible things that happen there. From the way the cattle is handled, how infected and rotten meat ends up canned to the terrible circumstances of the workers.
At first Jurgis Rudkus is convinced he will make it in the USA, but after being conned, lowered wages, fired more than once, loosing family members, he ends up broken. He finds strength and friends again when he joins the socialist movement.
Originally published in 1906, the same year Maxim Gorki's Mother was published. The theme is the same, although Sinclair emphasises more on what happens inside the factories. For workers it was no different to work in a factory in Russia or the USA, the same hopeless and desperate lives...
ROOT 112: Jinx by Margaret Wild
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Zoen 2004, original title Jinx, 215 pages
YA novel written in verse. Jen lives with her mother and her sister, Grace, who is special needs. Her father abandoned after Grace was born and lives now with Sheila. Jen falls in love with Charlie, who is a very toubled boy. When Charlie commits suicide, Jen has a very hard time. She starts daring and drinking in the park. One day she has a black out and Ben brings her home. She starts dating Ben, but he gets killed... Jen decides she does not want to be Jen anymore and renames herself Jinx.
A good read, although two dead teenaged boyfriends felt a bit over the top.
ROOT 113: Zwart water by Kerstin Ekman
acquired before 2008, translated from Swedish, English title Blackwater, 376 pages
A double murder on two tourists in the late 1960s in the north of Sweden. There is an investigation, but the murderer was never found. We follow three main characters in the next 20 years: a young mother, who discovered the bodies, the village doctor and a teenage boy who ran away from home that night.
It is a dark story, set in the closed community of a small northern village. After the murder life goes on, through time people stoped to talk about it, don't want to talk about it anymore. The tension between the village and a small idealistic commune near the village. Subtil racism towards the original inhabitants of the north, the Samen.
Twenty years later some start to talk and try to follow the trail of the murderer...
ROOT 114: Stormboy : een leven in de wildernis by Colin Thiele
acquired before 2008, 1001 children's books, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1986, original title Stormboy, 61 pages
In the south of Australia, a boy called Stormboy lives with his father in the dunes. One day Stormboy finds three orphaned young pelicans and rescues them. They grow up and two return to the wild, but one stays with Stormboy and his father. He turns out to be a very special bird.
A good read, but with a sad ending :'(
ROOT 115: Toen onze Daniel doodging by Janni Howker
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1993, original title Isaac Campion, 115 pages
An old man, Isaac Campion, tells what happened back in 1901, when his older brother Daniel died.
Isaac was born in a family of horse dealers. His father and the other horse dealer in town had a long standing hatred to eachother. Sadly it was a son of the other horse dealer who dared Daniel, what led to his death. Daniel was always his fathers favourite. Isaac has a hard time, he tries to keep his father from taking revenge and has to replace his brother at work.
A very good read, great way to learn how different life was at the start of the 20th century.
ROOT 116: Siddhartha : een Indiese vertelling by Hermann Hesse
acquired in february 2012, 1001 books, translated from German, English title Siddhartha, 139 pages
"Words do not express thoughts very well. They become a little different when they are expressed, a little deformed, a little foolish."
The life of Siddharta, son of a Brahmin, searching for answers of life. After leaving his fathers home he spends some years with ascetic Samana, learning a lot, but not what he longs for. He meets Buddha, but moves on learning physical love and becoming a wealthy man. This kind of life breaks him down and he leaves again, finding peace with a ferryman and the river.
ROOT 117: Het ga je goed, het ga je wel by Toeckey Jones
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1981, original title Go well, stay well, 187 pages
The story is set in Johannesburg (South Africa) in the 1970s. When Candy falls and hurts her ankle, Becky is the only one who cares. This is where an unlikely and difficult friendship starts, as Candy is white, lives in a nice house withe her brother and parents, and Becky is black, lives in Soweto with a lot of family members in a small house. There are very few places they can go together.
An enganging read written in the time of apartheid. Two ordinairy girls who try to maintain a friendship through fear, distrust and racial borders.
ROOT 118: Vechten met Veronica by Marilyn Sachs
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1984, original title Veronica Ganz, 113 pages
Veronica Ganz has bullied everyone in her class to do what she wants, or else avoid her. Now there is a new boy who dares to harass her! Veronica tries everything to get Peter, but he is way too smart and keeps avoiding a confrontation with her.
Her mother and stepfather have to work long hours to earn enough money, so often Veronica has to take care of her younger sister and half-brother.
ROOT 119: Pech by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
acquired before 2008, translated from German, English translation A Dangerous Game, 93 pages
A traveling salesman strands in a small village. As all hotels are full, he finds a place for the night at a retired judges house. He is invited to have diner with the retired judge and his retired friends: a prosecuter, a lawyer and a hangman. They ask the salesman to be their defendant, as they like to play court of law in the evening. The salesman thinks he has never broken the law, but during the evening it turns out he might be a murderer...
A very good read, Friedrich Dürrenmatt is great in playing with suspence and a dark kind of humor I like.
ROOT 120: Wie had gelijk, Mary Rose? by Marilyn Sachs
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1984, original title The truth about Mary Rose, 119 pages
Mary Rose is named after her deceased aunt. Her grandmother always tells her how friendly, nice and heroic her aunt was, how she warned the other residents in the apparment building when a fire broke out. And how she sadly died in that fire. In the livingroom grandmother has framed newspaper articles about her heroic death. Mary Rose's mother tries to explain that her sister was no saint, but a human being with strong sides and faults, like everyone. But Mary Rose likes to be named after a hero. One day she finds out there must be a box that belonged to her aunt in her grandmothers house, so she goes searching for it.
ROOT 121: Motu-Iti, het meeuweneiland by Roberto Piumini
acquired before 2008, YA, translated from Italian, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1994, no English translation, 122 pages
Long ago Tou-Ema lived on on Easter Island. Each year there was a canoe race to decide who would be the leader of the tribe for the next year. Seven years in a row Tou-Ema won the race. Some tribe members go jealous and decided to get rid of Tou-Ema. Everyone forgets him, except his girlfriend Kintea-Ni.
A lovely story how the big heads on Easter Island might have originated.
ROOT 122: Rutgers reis by Willem Wilmink
acquired before 2008, YA, no translations, 153 pages
15th century, Rutger lives in a monastry. He is send into the world by the abbot and is told to write down what he finds outside the monastry. Rutger travels through The Netherlands, Belgium and the North of France, making friends on the way.
The book is larded with poetry and citations from old books, all originals are named in the end-notes. An agreeable read, the writer was inspired by his favourite book from his youth Jan zonder vrees by Constant De Kinder. Now I am going to look for a copy of that book :-)
ROOT 123: Hoe weet jij dat nou? by Dolf Verroen
acquired before 2008, YA, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1981, no translations, 70 pages
Short stories for starting readers. Ten stories about a boy, named King, who is afraid of the dark and many other things. Ten stories about the girl Juul, who is never afraid. Then ten stories how Juul moves to the street where King lives. They become friends and find out King is braver than he thought and there are a few things Juul fears.
ROOT 124: Nancho van Bonaire by Diana Lebacs
acquired before 2008, YA, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1976, no translations, 120 pages
Nancho lives on Bonaire, one of the islands of the Dutch Antillen. His father is a sailor, so he is rarely home. When the roof of his house is blown away, he has to go and live with his grandmother. His brothers and sisters stay elsewhere, so his mother has her hands free to rebuild the house. At first Nancho doen't like it at his grandmothers house, but after a while he gets friends.
ROOT 125: Komplot op volle zee by Henk van Kerkwijk
acquired before 2008, YA, awarded, Beste Jeugdboek 1969, no English translation, 143 pages
Amsterdam, 17th century, Isaäc is a Portuguese Jew. His parents fled from Portugal to Amsterdam, after his grandfather was burned, because he was a Jew. His father is a ship-owner. One day a letter from his uncle arrives, who fled to Algiers. Isaäc is send on his fathers ship to meet his uncle and bring him to Amsterdam. On his adventurous voyage he learns a lot and barely escapes mutany.
ROOT 126: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
acquired in January 2015, non-fiction, translated, original title Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, 300 pages
A try to make economics more interesting, through asking unusual questions and searching for the numbers behind the question. This gives sometimes surprising results like Wade vs Roe caused the decline of crime in the 1990s. The only trouble is that Levitt does not question his own questions.
The best message this book gives is that it firmly shows that economics is a social science, I know way too many economists who think it is an exact science, because they work with numbers...
ROOT 127: Ongezocht ongeluk by Peter Handke
acquired before 2008, translated from German, English translation A sorrow beyond dreams, 107 pages
Written after the suicide of his mother in 1971, the author tries to tell about her life and woman's life in general.
Growing up in a narrow-minded village in Austria, she escapes her faith finding work in Germany. The father of her first child is a married man. In Berlin she finds a man who will marry her, and her second child is his. There is no love between them. After the war they end up in the Sovjet zone, after a few years they escape and return to her hometown in Austria. So she ends up back in the trap of narrow-minded village life, where women have no rights, nor say. Her husband stays an outsider in the village and becomes an alcoholic. She slowly falls into depression and one day she uses her pills to end her life.
Peter Handke is deeply engaged with the terrible faith of his mother and all women who were trapped in life. The male dominated sociëty had no room for them, they were predestined to household chores. His mother once was a happy and intelligent girl, but life pushed her into deep depression.
book 128: Het lied van de honden by Gary Paulsen
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title Dogsong, 140 pages
Fourteen year old Russel Susskit lives in Alaska with his father. He doesn't like modern life in the village. As his father can't help him, he goes for help to the oldest man in the village, named Oogruk. Oogruk tells Russel all he remembers about the old way of life and gives him tools he might need, his sled and dogs to use. It takes some time before Russell becomes a hunter and can handle the dogs. Then Oogruk sends Russell on a journey through Alaska to find his own way.
ROOT 129: De tranen knallen uit mijn kop by Guus Kuijer
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1981, no English translation, 112 pages
Jonathan can completely vanish into his daydreams Stories tend to come up in his head and then he forgets he is in a classroom and should pay attention to his teacher. He is in love with his teacher, so he imagines all kind of situations where he can rescue her.
We follow Jonathan in daily life, at home and at school, with in between Jonathans imaginative daydreams.
ROOT 130: Rooie, en andere verhalen over mij en mijn klas by Willem van Toorn
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1992, no translations, 111 pages
1960s, Walter is attending a small high school. The teachers believe the children do want to learn, if you give the time to discover things on their own. There are only two rules: #1 Be kind and don't bother others, your freedom ends where another's begins; #2 If you decide to do something, do it the best you can. Walter describes his friends at school, their adventures with an Italian boy (the son of a migrant worker) and his first love.
Start of the June ROOTs
ROOT 131: Het muizenhuis : Sam & Julia by Karina Schaapman
acquired in January 2013, children's, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Penseel 2012, English translation Mouse Mansion : Sam & Julia, 58 pages
The writer created the Mouse Mansion using papier-mâché, old fabrics and other items found on flea markets. Then she put the charcters in place and the photographer took the pictures. There is a lot to see, all mouse homes are different, with surprising details.
The stories, with the youngsters Sam and Julia as main charcters, are a bit thin. They play in the main hall, help their mothers and visit other residents of Mouse Mansion.
ROOT 132: Een toren tegen de Romeinen by Mollie Hunter
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1978, original title The stronghold, 176 pages
The story is set on the Orkney islands in the Roman time and tells how the Scottish Brochs might have originated.
Coll is a member of the Bear tribe. When he was young he got crippled when Romans raid the land, killed his father and took his mother. His whole life he is obsessed to find a way to stop the Roman raids.
Good historic fiction, I had not heard of brochs before.
ROOT 133: Koning van Katoren by Jan Terlouw
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Griffel 1972, English translation How to Become King, 168 pages
Stach is born on the night the old king dies. As the king had no children, the six ministers in charge take over and promish to look for a new king. But they don't, so when Stach is 17 he asks how he can become king. The ministers are willing give him 7 tasks. Of course they try to find tasks that seem impossible.
This was one of my favorite reads in my youth.
ROOT 134: Rinske en de stoomtram by Diet Huber
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1986, no translations, 174 pages
Friesland, 1937, Rinske's dad works for the tram engine company. But due to the crisis he has to accept a less paid job in an other town. So Rinske has to move. We follow Rinske in the last three classes of primary school in her new hometown.
A nice peak into life in the late 1930s and I learned about tram engines, I only knew electric trams before reading this book.
ROOT 135: Een gedeelde hamaca by Selma Noort
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1984, no translations, 127 pages
Mexico, early 1980s, since his father ran away, Manuel feels responsible for the whole family. He is in love with Juana, but her father thinks she can get a better man, preferable an American. When Juana gets the chance to live with her aunt in the USA, they slowly grow apart.
When Manuel's great-grandmother dies, he finds comfort with Lupe.
ROOT 136: De allerliefste jongen van de hele wereld by Ted van Lieshout
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1989, English translation The Dearest Boy in All the World, 40 pages
Seven year old Tim has a hard time after his father died. At the funeral his uncle told Tim to take care of his mother and older sister. But he doesn't know how. His mother always calls him "The dearest boy of all the world", so one day he goes out with his fathers hat, writes "The dearest boy of all the world" on a carton and sits on the sidewalk begging. Maybe he can earn money this way and take care of his mother and sister...
Sweet story about a little boy mourning, who thinks everything comes down on him.
ROOT 137: Eilandheimwee by Selma Noort
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1993, no translations, 80 pages
Raven lives with his parents and younger sisters on a small island. His grandfather and aunt live there too. In the summer some people come to the island for their holiday, but the rest of the year it is nice and quiet. One day three officials come to talk to Raven's parents: it is time he goes to school. Raven does not want to go to school, but he has to go. School turns out to be a nasty experience, he is bullied and his classmates don't believe him when he tells about the island. His teacher, miss Sippora, finds a nice way to make Raven accepted by his classmates.
The title would be in English "Islandhomesick".
ROOT 139: Het vlot by Wim Hofman
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Gouden Griffel 1989, no translations, 180 pages
Autobiographic, the writer lived in Vlissingen right after World War II. He tells about his life at home, at school and playing in the neighborhood and at the beach. After reading Robinson Crusoë and Tom Sawyer, he decides to make a raft at the beach to get away.
ROOT 140: De kaperkapitein by Karl May
re-acquired in August 2008, translated from German, YA, no English translation, 319 pages
Three stories in different times, around real historic persons.
The first story is set in the 15th century, with Frederick I, Elector of Brandenburg. His arch enemy is Diederik Von Quitzow, the vilain, head of a gang of robbers. With the help of Zoetemin, the main character and hero of the story, the robbers are defeated. Von Quitzow escapes, years later Zoetemin finds him and gets the chance for payback.
Second story about a conman at the time of Louis XV of France and Casanova.
Third story is about Robert Surcouf, the French privateer. It starts at the time of the French Revolution and ends after Napoleontic time. Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the characters.
Thin but amusing stories, where it is always clear who is our hero.
>193 FAMeulstee: Karl May wrote about Surcouf?! This is something I need to find. But thre stories must have been heavily abridged if the whole book comes to 319 pages. My version of the Quitzows alone runs to 670 pages in very small print.
>194 MissWatson: Yes, Birgit, he did in 1882. The original title of the story about Surcouf is "Der Kaperkapitän" and should be one of the stories in Halbblut. Sadly it isn't always clear if the book is abridged, or how much abridged, in Dutch translation. This Quitzow story is about 200 pages in fine print.
>195 FAMeulstee: Thanks for the info! I'll keep a lookout for that. He was a very wordy writer, most of the books run to several hundred pages. But as a teenager I didn't really mind, I had time enough then.
ROOT 141: Natuurlijk by Jan Terlouw
acquired March 13th 2018, non-fiction, Dutch, Bookweek essay 2018, no translations, 64 pages
The traditional Bookweek Essay was written this year by Jan Terlouw. He was a well know politican in the 1970s and 1980s and a successful writer of childrens books/YA.
In this short book he urges to take climate change seriously and explains how it is still possible to stop the ongoing damage humans have done the earth. Larded with scenes from nature in our country, to show there is still a lot that can be saved.
The tilte means both "natural" and "naturally".
ROOT 142: De Olifantsberg by Els Pelgrom
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1986, no translations, 143 pages
Long ago Hannibal and his elephants came over the mountain. That is why the animals still call it the Elephantmountain. They know from the stories their grandparents told. And now mother toad thinks it will happen again, so marten, chicken, old cat, squirrel and magpie go to the top of the mountain to see if the elephants are coming. They find just one elephant, called Hanibal, in a circus. Hanibal is stolen and wants to get back to his mother and aunts.
Nice animal story with lovely characters.
ROOT 143: Een dagje naar het strand by Heere Heeresma
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no English translation, 94 pages
A man picks up his daugher for a day at the beach. But he is an alcoholic, so at every chance he gets he is drinking. Slowly he gets drunk, and has no idea where his daughter is. In lucid moments in between he does care about her.
ROOT 144: In Babylon by Marcel Möring
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Gouden Uil 1998, English translation In Babylon, 474 pages
Frame story and family epic. Nathaniel Hollander and his niece Nina are stuck in the house of Nathaniels uncle Herman, who died 5 years ago. Nathaniel is a writer of fairytales. In four days we get to know Nathaniel, his family and the history of his jewish family, that started in Lithuania in the 17th century. Magnus Levie was a clockmaker, who traveled through Europe and ended up in the Netherlands. He changed his name into Hollander and his son went to Rotterdam, where the Hollander family stayed for 7 generations. Nathaniels father and his brother Herman decided to go to the USA in 1939. After uncle Herman's death Nathaniel and Nina are the last remaining familymembers.
ROOT 145: Wierook en tranen by Ward Ruyslinck
acquired long before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 139 pages
I read this book many years ago for school, it was considered a Flemish classic at the time.
When the Germans overrun Belgium at the start of the World War II, many people flee to the coast, hoping war won't get that far. 9 year old Waldo and his parents are fleeing. Sadly Waldo looses his parents when the Germans are bombing the fleeing masses. Waldo is slightly wounded and taken care of in a field hospital. Later he finds Vera, a 14 year old girl who was his neighbour back home. Together they try to get back to their home village.
The very sad ending of this one made me cry again. The title would translate as "Incense and tears".
ROOT 146: Verhalen van de Zwarte Kraai by Pauline Mol
acquired before 2008, Dutch, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1988, no translations, 110 pages
Collection of creepy fairytales, main theme is fear. Gathered and re-written by the author. Most are Grimm tales, others come from all over the world. Fairytales with witches, dragons, princes, giants, ordinairy people, talking animals etc.
The title would translate as "Tales of the Black Crow".
ROOT 147: De hemel valt by Kit Pearson
acquired before 2008, translated, YA, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1992, original title The sky is falling, 306 pages
10 year old Norah lives in England when WW II starts. Because of the bombings (Battle of Brittain) she and her younger brother Gavin are send to Canada. Norah does not want to leave, but she has no choice. Arriving in Canada, she feels miserable and does not want to fit in, her brother is spoilt by their temporary caretakers and Norah feels very alone.
Lovely story, at the time thousends of children were send to Canada.
ROOT 148: Severino by Eduard Klein
acquired before 2008, translated from German, YA, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1976, no English translation, 201 pages
After ten years Severino returns to his tribe in the West of Agentina near the Andes mountains. He wants to see his family and then travel on north to build a new life. But he finds his father dead, accused of stealing cattle and his tribe on the edge of a war against the cattle farmers. He feels he can't leave his tribe now, and tries to mediate between the tribe and the farmers. He gets caught in the middle and does all he can to bring peace to all.
Very good adventurous story, translated by Alet Schouten, one of my favourite YA writers.
ROOT 149: Harry Potter en de steen der wijzen by J.K. Rowling
acquired before 2008, translated, YA, awarded, Kinderjury 2002, original title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 228 pages
How Harry Potter went to magic school, after a miserable life with his aunt and uncle.
I am still in awe how Rowling created a magic world and all characters in it.
ROOT 150: Harry Potter en de geheime kamer by J.K. Rowling
acquired before 2008, translated, YA, awarded, Jonge jury 2002, original title Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets, 254 pages
Harry Potters second year at Hogwarts, full with adventure and evil roaring its ugly head.
Again a great read and more to go!
ROOT 151: Geschiedenis van de Lage Landen deel 3 by Jaap ter Haar
acquired before 2008, Dutch, awarded, Nienke van Hichtumprijs 1972, no translations, 432 pages
History of the Low Lands (the Netherlands and Flandres), 17th and 18th century, third book in a series of four.
After the end of the 80 year war with Spain the Dutch Rebublic has a time of florishing trade. Wars with England, France and German states, culminating in 1672, the year of disaster when the Republic has to fight on all sides. Followed by slow decline in the 18th century.
Readable history book. Combining non-fiction with short fictional stories set in that time.
>207 FAMeulstee: >208 FAMeulstee: I've still never managed to read any of the Harry Potter books. I do want to reach them, eventually, but I think with so many books to still read, it's going to take a while!
I'm thinking that maybe when my daughter is a bit older it might be a good thing for us to read together.
>210 Jackie_K: They are really good, this is the second time I read them.
ROOT 152: Schakelfout by Henk van Kerkwijk
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1971, no English translation, 144 pages
An UFO lands near a small city in the Netherlands. A policeofficer disappears, after he is send to look for the green lights reported by many. Aernout, son of the policeofficer and Bella, the girl next door, try to find out what happened to Aernouts father. But the police and the press are everywhere, they need help to get near the UFO.
Nice and wel written story, a bit outdated.
ROOT 153: Oorlogskind by Rudolf Herfurtner
acquired before 2008, YA, translated from German, awarded, Vlag en Wimpel 1992, no English translation, 114 pages
Near the end of WWII Clemens was send away to East-Prussia, so he would be safe from the bombs. But then the Russians came. Five years later he finally gets a chance to go to West-Germany to be reunited with his mother. He is traumatized and fleds from the Red Cross post, where he found the address of his mother. He tries to get there on his own, but when he arrives in the village, he is too scared, afraid to be rejected again.
Very good story, how the war goes on inside, long after it is ended.
Nearly forgot, I finished one more ROOT in June:
ROOT 154: Mag ik hem houden? by Steven Kellogg
acquired before 2008, picture book, translated, awarded, Zilveren Griffel 1974, Can I keep him?, 32 pages
Sweet picture book about a little boy. He brings all kind of animals home and is told by his mother to bring them back. She explains why each animal can't be kept in their house. So he goes on to find an animal that doesn't have the qualities his mother doesn't want and again mother explains why this animal also isn't suitable.
I could relate to the boy, when I was young I took home many dogs, cats, wounded birds etc. And I always had to take them back or bring them to the animal shelter. My mother, having 5 children, only had ONE explanation "I already have 5 dogs/cats/monkeys/birds". I disagreed, but that never helped.
First 6 months in numbers
Books read: 233
Pages read: 50,016
ROOTs read: 154
ROOT acquired before 2008: 133
ROOT acquired in 2008: 2
ROOT acquired in 2010: 1
ROOT acquired in 2012: 5
ROOT acquired in 2013: 1
ROOT acquired in 2014: 3
ROOT acquired in 2015: 2
ROOT acquired in 2016: 1
ROOT acquired in 2017: 2
ROOT acquired in 2018: 4
Project reading through my own childrens/YA books: 126/352, 226 to go
Books added: 63
Books culled: 101
This topic was continued by FAMeulstee ROOTS in 2018 - thread 2.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.