Thief of Glory

Thief of Glory

A Novel

Book - 2014 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A boy coming of age in a time of war...the love that inspires him to survive.

For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, a life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942. When the Japanese Imperialist army invades the Southeast Pacific, and his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings. But he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about his frail, troubled mother--a woman he barely knows.

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap his father and brothers left behind. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah's boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God's light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.
Publisher: Colorado Springs, Colorado : WaterBrook Press, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780307446497
Branch Call Number: BRO
Inspirational B TradePBK
Characteristics: 326 pages :,map, photographs.


From Library Staff

Winner of the 2015 Alberta Reader's Choice Award

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 23, 2019

I was absolutely stunned by the ending of Sigmund Brouwer’s latest book Thief of Glory. It was so easy to get caught up in the drama of life within the Jappenkamp that I overlooked the clues that Brouwer placed throughout the text. Will you see them? Add this book to your TBR pile to find out!

Thief of Glory is the first title that I have read from Sigmund Brouwer. His writing style alone would lead me to pick up another one of his novels. The author’s voice and sentence fluency were delectable. My favorite aspect of this book was the wit Brouwer bestowed upon young Jeremiah Prins. I laughed out loud at the boy’s crazy antics and inner dialogue. Scenes where Jeremiah’s attempts to impart wisdom on his younger brother Pietje were both entertaining and a bit disconcerting (moms of boys will relate).

If, like me, you gravitate to historical fiction to satiate an inner desire to learn as you read, then you will appreciate this book. Before I began reading this story I was unaware that the Japanese, like the Nazis, had concentration camps. Many of the same issues that plagued the Jews also dogged the Dutch, who were confined in the Jappenkamp – infestations, disease, food shortages and death. In both instances desperate situations led to resilient faith and acts of heroism.

There are multiple heroes in this story. Jeremiah stands out because of the responsibilities he undertakes for a boy of his age. As a result of his mother’s mental illness, he becomes the parental figure – provider and protector for his three younger siblings. He uses strategy and cunningness to secure the food and medical care they need. Dr. Eikenboom and Laura’s grandmother Sophie are also heroes in their own right. Dr. Eikenboom tends to both the spiritual and physical wellness of her patients. While Sophie’s leadership bolsters morale within the camp and inspires the women to stand up against their oppressors. More often than not, the cost of heroism was steep.

After the first three quarters of the book the author transitions from WWII Dutch East Indies to modern day Washington D.C.. On account of the seven decade leap in time, I found the transition a little rocky at first. However, once I regained my bearings the remainder of the book had a lot to offer. It’s in this remaining portion that we see the full impact of Jeremiah’s internment in the Jappenkamp. The author’s revelations in these final pages will shock you!

Nov 15, 2016

Brouwer engages the reader from the first page with his ability to paint a picture in words, describe the motivations of the heart, and recognize the various social pressures in any given situation - all with a concise and witty text. The hero is a clever, honourable young boy you can't help but love and respect. There is no scanning this book - every word is read and in the end the reader is left haunted but touched... this one stays with you for a long time.

Aug 26, 2015

Beautifully written. Excellent.

May 04, 2015

Beautifully written novel and engaging story of the Dutch internment in the Dutch East Indies during WW11. It was our book club selection in April and includes a Readers Guide. We all agreed it should be made into a movie. 5 stars!

Apr 18, 2015

Before reading Thief of Glory, I had no idea what the war was like for the Dutch residents living in what had been Dutch-occupied Indonesia. The novel was eye-opening to say the least. As with other books I’ve read with young protagonists dealing with the harsh realities of adults at war, I was left astonished at what war expects of the children swept up into its maelstrom.

Feb 03, 2015

Sigmund Brouwer had done a beautiful job with "The Thief of Glory." Telling the story based on his parents past in world war two. It is about a mans troubled past and him remembering it like it was yesterday . The book begins at a beautiful community. There in the community lives a boy and his family. First, his father and brothers are taken away, then he and the rest of his family are sent to a concentration camp. There it hard for them to survive little food, harsh labor and terrible treatment. Soon, everyone in his family have died except him and a brother who cannot stand the site of him. This book is a great read but is extremely sad. So, if you read it keep a box of tissues handy.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at EPL

To Top