The Book of Everything
Guus Kuijer, Allen & Unwin $22
The Book of Everything is the story of Thomas growing up in post-war Amsterdam in a strict religious household. This little known is easily my favourite ever children’s book and is something I recommend to both adults and children. As Thomas’s father becomes an increasingly domineering presence, Thomas begins to challenge his father’s rigid religious beliefs. Incredibly funny and moving, this story manages to be deal with topics such as religious fundamentalism, domestic violence and war guilt with more complexity and pathos than many adult books on similar topics. Magic realism, jazz music and all the plagues of Egypt. Highly recommended to readers of all ages.