If you haven’t got a lot of time:
this is a story about a girl, Lowie.
She runs away.
In the end she (amost) dies.
And there’s more, of course, much more.
Coined Best Children’s Book of 2022 by Dutch teacher’s association
Until that fateful Wednesday in April, Lowie was employed by Mr and Mrs Simmer. Just like her mum (before she left) and grandmother (before she died). All day long - and all by herself - she has to do one lousy chore after the other. Until Mrs Simmer snaps her fingers one time too many. Lowie decides to run away. The thing you need to know about Lowie: when she gets angry or sad, she can jump so high it’s almost
as if she can fly.
She ends up in the village of Hinkel. Not wanting to stand out, she cuts her hair and pretends to be a boy. She/he finds work and lodging with hairdresser Roedie. A series of events puts pressure on her anonymous existence. The village discovers that she can jump very high, she meets the king, raises the Commander’s suspicious, makes friends, is forced
to admit that she is a girl and meets an old friend of hairdresser Roedie; captain Dobrik Dalmast. Then her past catches up with her: Lowie falls ill and can no longer jump. The Commander “unmasks” her as the Simmers’ ungrateful maid. Lowie realises that starting over is not for her. She ends up in the ‘pen’. But she underestimates how important she became to several residents of Hinkel, including hairdresser Roedie. After a revolt, the Commander has to release her again. With a bold move - death, maybe?- Lowie manages to escape.
Lowie’s world gets bigger and bigger. The book ends as the girl gets on a boat and embarks on a long journey with Captain Dalmast and the king. To an island where it’s said people live who, when triggered, can jump so high it’s almost as if they can fly ...
‘What has struck me the most when reading ‘Lowie’? It was the first book that I read in 2023 and it was immediately the first book that I gave 5 stars and listed as my favorite!
Stefan Boonen really wrote a book in which every word is perfectly in its place. ‘Lowie’ is quite a big book, around 320 pages, so perhaps it’s not for every child. But still, every word is right. No word too much, no word forgotten, just right. Perfect.’
(Books & Macchiatos, Marcella)
‘In ‘Lowie’ Boonen shows his literary side. Sublime texts. Not a word too much, no exclamation marks too few. Exactly what this special story needs. Occasionally, it read like poetry. This is by far a book to get deeper into with children from 9+. (…)
In short, ‘Lowie’ is a layered book. The basic story is good and surprising, the ending I absolutely didn’t see coming. But the layers that are in there can be used for so many purposes: talks about special abilities, about standing out, about being different.’
(Stoer Leesvoer, Linda)
‘Lowie is of a magnificent beauty. Stefan Boonen uses a writing style that needs some getting used to. The sentences are mostly short and only slowly reveal yet another layer than the sentence before. It’s like poetry. The sentences have a rhythm, a flow, and eventually they collide together into a musical melody. In that moment you are already enchanted, and you keep following the path that leads to a safe haven for the desires of Lowie.
The world in which Lowie lives is almost similar to the one in which we live. But, without revealing the details, the uses of fantasy creatures and fantasy objects give the story a fairy-tale-like dimension. (…)
Although the end of the story gives many answers, the author leaves room for a sequel. Full of anticipation, I will definitely wait for it!
(Bazarow, Peter van Bavel)
‘I love it, it’s touching, and it has surely touched me. Why? The style. Short chapters with short sentences, but with such a beautiful choice of words. The story is characterized by its simple yet beautiful use of language. It’s very accessible but it has a much deeper layer. You are going to love Lowie when you read the story. Lowie has a flutter-heart, but when the book is finished, she still flutters around in your head. And that is nice. I have read the book twice in a row and I will pick it up once again. Stefan Boonen knows howe to tell, with little words and in a very simple style, an exceptional story.’
(Hebban, Conny Schelvis)