Winner of the Silver Pencil 2018

Nominated for the Golden Pencil 2018 ((Best Children’s Book)

Sable is the moving story of a boy who is arrested along with his family during the German occupation of the Netherlands and ends up in an internment camp. There, he has just one source of comfort: the red tomcat Sable. Through the boy’s eyes, we see the world around him get smaller and smaller. He clings to little everyday things and anything familiar. Sable stays with him until the very end, until finally the inevitable happens.

The lead-up to the arrest, the tearing apart of the family,  the threat of deportation, and at the same time the childlike perspective on everyday things and the hope for a good outcome: in a penetrating manner, Suzanne Wouda shows how interned children experienced the war.

Press on Sable
‘A small, penetrating story (…) Wouda works towards a gripping denouement and closely follows her innocent protagonists until the very end.’ – Trouw

‘A chilling story about Kindertransports and destruction, but also about the innocence of a little boy, the power of the imagination, and the comfort of a cat when all other certainties crumble and disappear.’ – Het Parool

‘[a novel that,] given its tone and approach, could almost be for adults, and takes the (young) reader seriously. (…) You wish every child, every human being, every reader, could have their own Sable, their own army of Sables.’ –

‘Rarely have I read a children’s book about the Second World War in which an author manages so successfully to draw the reader into the experience of a child facing great danger. (…) The story of Max and Sable is truly horrifying yet also comforting, because it is about the power of the adaptable mind of a child in which imagination is a lifeline.’ –


  • Fiction | 136 pages | 13 x 21 cm
  • Sabel
  • Hoogland & Van Klaveren