Nine Open Arms

Benny Lindelauf (Author) John Nieuwenhuizen (Translator)


The Boon family story and their indefatigable gallows humor are Benny Lindelauf's literary memorial to those persecuted by history.

A ghost story, a fantasy, a historical novel, and literary fiction all wrapped into one, this highly awarded novel for young readers begins with the Boon family's move to an isolated, dilapidated house. Is it the site of a haunting tragedy, as one of the daughters believes, or an end to all their worries, as their father hopes? The novel's gripping language, enriched by Yiddish, German, and Dutch dialect, plunges the reader into the world of a large, colorful, motherless family.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Enchanted Lion Books
Publish Date
June 03, 2014
5.6 X 1.1 X 8.6 inches | 1.05 pounds
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About the Author

Benny Lindelauf is a multi-award-winning Dutch children's book author who has published twelve books in Holland, several of which have appeared in translation. He also teaches creative writing to adults and children. Nine Open Arms has been translated into six languages, including Czech and Korean, and both it and its Dutch sequel, Heivisj's Heaven, have won several prestigious awards in the Netherlands. Imagination, wit and drama are crucial ingredients in Benny's stories, where the narrative is always woven together in an exceptional way. Lindelauf once said: 'Writing is like moving from one house to the next over and over again.' In Nine Open Arms, the writing moves through many rooms and houses, even worlds.


A 2015 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book

"Every element of the tale has a purpose, and in the end, the multiple layers of past and present separate and come together in surprising, often discomfiting twists and turns. . . A challenging and entirely unique Dutch import." -- STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"Nine Open Arms is welcome proof that young adult publishers recognise the value of translated fiction, too. Originally published in 2003, Nine Open Arms has won several esteemed awards in its native Holland." -- Emily Gale, Readings

"Delightfully wild and incredibly quirky, this book is one of a kind. . . Beautifully written, magnificently crafted, this Dutch novel is like nothing you have read before." -- Waking Brain Cells

"Lindelauf's masterful rendering of fraught yet loving sisterly ties, snappy dialogue, graveyard mysteries, and "traces of a tragical tragedy" from generations past combine to humorous and poignant effect in this gripping tale of eclectic families and inveterate wanderers in search of a welcoming home." -- STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

"A family of nine moves into the titular rundown brick house in 1930s Holland and tries to figure out its mysteries, including the tombstone in the cellar, a forbidden room, and the homeless man who moves into the hedge." -- The Horn Book

"Ultimately, this is a story about storytelling, and it's sure to appeal to readers who dote on Roald Dahl or Polly Horvath and are willing to go further abroad." -- Francisca Goldsmith, Booklist