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The Book of Everything

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The Book of Everything Cover

ISBN13: 9780439749183
ISBN10: 0439749182
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Faith is joy is love is hope in this novel of exquisite power and everyday miracles, reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver's THE POISONWOOD BIBLE.

Thomas can see things no one else can see. Tropical fish swimming in the canals. The magic of Mrs. Van Amersfoort, the Beethoven-loving witch next door. The fierce beauty of Eliza with her artificial leg. And the Lord Jesus, who tells him, "Just call me Jesus."

Thomas records these visions in his "Book of Everything." They comfort him when his father beats him, when the angels weep for his mother's black eyes. And they give him the strength to finally confront his father and become what he wants to be when he grows up:

"Happy."

Review:

"This brief post-WWII novel packs an emotional wallop. In 1951, following the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, nine-year-old Thomas lives a fear-filled existence with his mother, sister and abusive father. Though Thomas's father ends every evening meal by reading aloud a Bible passage, he routinely beats both Thomas and his mother. Things change after Thomas befriends the reputed 'witch' next door. Indeed, Mrs. Van Amersfoort, whose husband was executed by the Nazis for aiding in the Resistance, takes subtle steps to help Thomas and his family. Her deep magic may also be responsible for the odd occurrences in Thomas's household, which eerily parallel the story of Moses and the pharaoh that Thomas's father is reciting. The young hero records these events, and his encounters with Jesus (funny, at times irreverent conversations) in 'The Book of Everything' he writes in each day. The narrative, told from Thomas's perspective, draws heavily on Christian symbolism — Mrs. Van Amersfoort serves Thomas a cordial 'as red as blood' — and frequent episodes of magical realism (e.g., the angels in heaven 'covered their eyes with their hands and sobbed loudly' when Thomas's father strikes his mother). Readers who enjoyed Frank Boyce's Millions will find the same sophisticated storytelling here (though without the plentiful humor), and a satisfying resolution, as Thomas's father gets his comeuppance, and the young hero sticks by what he wants to be when he grows up: happy. Ages 9-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

One of the best-loved authors in the Netherlands pens this uplifting story about a boy with a personal and powerful faith to sustain him in his abusive home life.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Sue Cowing, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Sue Cowing)
The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer is that rare thing, a truly original and moving book. Simply set in the life of a nine-year-old boy and his family and neighbors, it is a story of the triumph of joy over violence and the toxin of religious social control. The language is spare and perfect, as are the zingers of understatement: "When you have an unhappy childhood, it makes you disrespectful," "God was silent in every language." And who could forget its characters: Thomas, the nine-year-old boy who "saw things others didn't see" and only wants to be happy when he grows up; Eliza, the older neighbor girl with the squeaking leather leg and missing fingers who becomes his friend and future girlfriend; and Mrs. Van Amersfoort, the outspoken "witch" next door who lends Thomas books and shares and defends his rebel spirit? I give or lend The Book of Everything to everyone I know.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780439749183
Translator:
Nieuwenhuizen, John
Publisher:
Arthur A. Levine Books
Translator:
Nieuwenhuizen, John
Author:
Kuijer, Guus
Author:
Kuijer, Guus, Boe
Subject:
Christian Life
Subject:
Religious - Christian
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
Family problems
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Subject:
Religious - Christian - General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20060401
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects


Children's » Middle Readers » General
Young Adult » General

The Book of Everything Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 112 pages Arthur A. Levine Books - English 9780439749183 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This brief post-WWII novel packs an emotional wallop. In 1951, following the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, nine-year-old Thomas lives a fear-filled existence with his mother, sister and abusive father. Though Thomas's father ends every evening meal by reading aloud a Bible passage, he routinely beats both Thomas and his mother. Things change after Thomas befriends the reputed 'witch' next door. Indeed, Mrs. Van Amersfoort, whose husband was executed by the Nazis for aiding in the Resistance, takes subtle steps to help Thomas and his family. Her deep magic may also be responsible for the odd occurrences in Thomas's household, which eerily parallel the story of Moses and the pharaoh that Thomas's father is reciting. The young hero records these events, and his encounters with Jesus (funny, at times irreverent conversations) in 'The Book of Everything' he writes in each day. The narrative, told from Thomas's perspective, draws heavily on Christian symbolism — Mrs. Van Amersfoort serves Thomas a cordial 'as red as blood' — and frequent episodes of magical realism (e.g., the angels in heaven 'covered their eyes with their hands and sobbed loudly' when Thomas's father strikes his mother). Readers who enjoyed Frank Boyce's Millions will find the same sophisticated storytelling here (though without the plentiful humor), and a satisfying resolution, as Thomas's father gets his comeuppance, and the young hero sticks by what he wants to be when he grows up: happy. Ages 9-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , One of the best-loved authors in the Netherlands pens this uplifting story about a boy with a personal and powerful faith to sustain him in his abusive home life.
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