Aline Sax’s ‘Crossing the Line’ wins De Kleine Cervantes 2017
De Kleine Cervantes is the youth literature prize of the Belgian city of Ghent. A jury consisting of one hundred and fifty twelve- to fourteen-year-olds from the city’s secondary schools chose Aline Sax’s Crossing the Line as the winner of this 19th edition. The prize for Aline Sax was a unique drawing by illustrator Carll Cneut.
Encouraging the pleasure of reading in a young audience
De Kleine Cervantes wants to bring young people from different schools and school networks together on the subject of reading. Each year, about one hundred and fifty students in the first grade of different secondary schools in Ghent participate in the project. After a series of creative workshops and debates about the five shortlisted books, they choose a winner. The prize is meant to encourage the pleasure of reading in an age group where reading is increasingly rare. It also wants to stimulate young readers to critically reflect on and debate about literature.
The following five titles made their way onto this year’s shortlist:
- ‘My friend Hitler’ (Mijn vriend Hitler) - Piet De Loof, Van Halewyck
- Hertz - Marleen Nelen, Querido
- Crossing the Line (Grensgangers) - Aline Sax, Davidsfonds
- ‘My little sister’ (Mijn zusje) - Inez Van Loon, Clavis
- The Boy, the Hornbill, the Elephant, the Tiger and the Girl (De jongen, de neushoornvogel, de olifant, de tijger en het meisje) - Peter Verhelst and Carll Cneut, De Eenhoorn
Crossing the Line
Crossing the Line is an epic tale of life in Berlin, a city divided by a wall that has an impact on all aspects of life. It is a tense sketch of a family’s struggle for survival which presents daily life in Berlin in a fascinating and convincing light. The threat of the Stasi gradually permeates, and the feeling that no one can be trusted continues to reverberate throughout. The book previously won the White Raven and also received an honourable mention for the Gouden Lijst.