Juul’s story has its beginning in a short piece of news published on a Belgium newspaper: A 13 years old boy commits suicide after being abused by other boys.
This book by Gregie de Maeyer and Koen Vanmechelen is apparently a hard story, but it is a warm and commited plea for attention to make readers reflect and be aware of the cruelty and violence that sometimes children have to deal with, in Spain as well.
Juul is an educational Project in which institutions such as Technical Cultural Association in Tongeren and the Institute for Education Science in Hasselt (Limburg) have taken a part.
Municipal Foundation for Culture in Gijón has also created its own educational project using this book and sculptures by Juan Stové, an artist from Gijón that has duplicated other sculptures made by Koen Vanmechelen (you can read an article by Paco Abril on CLIJ Magazine, issue 111)
Additionally, it has been used as a starting point for a theatre play by Ultramarinos de Locas theatre group.
Some of the awards it has obtained:
-Eulen des Monats (Bulletin Jugend und Literatur Alemania) May 1997
- Luchs, selected by Die Zeit German magazine
- 7 best books of May, 1997, selected by Bremen Radio
- Selected by International Library of Youth in Munich to contribute the traveling exhibition “The White Ravens”
- Honourable mention of Catalonian Illustration Award in 1997, to the firstly-published work by an illustrator.
“An astonishing picture book” (El País).
“When stories greatly impress you, their memories remain. When fiction gets tangled with life, or, saying it in a different way, when life gets shook by fiction, Literature reaches its summit. It is then perceived as something essential and urgent. What this book finally do with their readers is a reflection of what Nora, the other main character in this story, does with Jull’s remains: caressing, comforting them, giving a pencil to them and encourage them to tell, to express the pain, to get rid of the angst” (Juan Mata, Peonza issue 100).
“Indifference is difficult after reading it. Totally recommended” (Llibres News)
“It may be the most touching story that has been published lately” (Paco Abril, La Oreja Verde)
“A blunt and restrained book. It is terrible and delicate at the same time. It is able to provoke the purest catharsis and the sharpest thoughts… It is a book that deals with pain, but also with love. It deals with pain, but also with reparation. Extreme violence that causes lot of people to shoo away can’t let unnoticed the final gesture displayed by Nora, her reparation and her encouragement. This is a disturbing, beautiful, necessary book” (Juan Mata, in his blog: El discreto lector).