My Name is Vaselinetjie | Young Adult Fiction
Anoeschka von Meck
Rapport/Jan Rabie Prize (2005)
MER Prize for Youth Literature (2005)
M-Net Prize for Afrikaans text in short format (2005)
ATKV Prize for Grades 8-10 (2006)
She is Helena Bosman, from a tiny little town lost in the vast expanses of the Northern Cape, but Grandpa and Grandma call her Vaselinetjie. She is their little angel from the veldt, the beginning and the end of their world. But when Vaselinetjie is ten years old, two officials from Welfare step in and she is sent away to a boarding school in Gauteng – the orphanage where Madiba’s reject children have to live.
It’s a strange, hard, dangerous world of scum children, bad-tempered matrons and a harsh, unfair principal; a world of smoking cigarette butts, having one’s hair shaved off and making plans to run away. It’s a world where no one bothers about anyone else, where you too learn not to give a damn.
But as the months turn into years, there is one name that crops up again and again: Texan Kirby. And that name does strange things to Vaselinetjie’s heart.
Translated into English by Elsa Silke.
My name is Vaselinetjie was first published in Afrikaans in 2004 (Vaselinetjie). In 2006 it was selected as an IBBY Honour Book by IBBY South Africa.