Publishers: Julius Beltz Verlag

The Big Black Bird
Der große schwarze Vogel

Hoefler Cover
Julius Beltz Verlag
June 2018 / 182pp
Children’s & Young Adults’

This book is outside of the five-year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest getting in touch with the relevant funding body for an informal conversation about the possibility of support. Please refer to to our  recommendations page for books that are currently covered by our funding guarantee.

Sample Translation here
by Nani Schumann


This title is an outstanding showcase for author Stefanie Höfler’s writing talent, describing with great tenderness and poignancy the experiences of two brothers in the days that follow their mother’s death.

The Big Black Bird is a gentle take on bereavement, showing how fourteen-year-old Ben, six-year-old Karl and their father each deal with grief, through flashbacks to the past as well as their ongoing interactions with the people around them. The book is full of poetic language and striking imagery, with blackbirds and feathers as recurring motifs, reflecting the lost mother’s deep love of nature. As well as the devastating account of the brothers’ immediate experiences of losing their mother, there are numerous scenes that give us insights into her love for life, her sense of independence and the wonder, magic and sparkle she bestowed upon those around her. These shared memories and lessons continue to shape the family’s life and enable them to move on and find a way of living with their grief. This is a truly wonderful book, beautiful in style and profoundly human and uplifting.

press quotes

‘This book is a little pearl.’

about the author

Stefanie Höfler was born in 1978 and studied German, English and Scandinavian language and literature in Freiburg and Dundee. Her debut Mein Sommer mit Mucks was nominated for the German Children’s Literature Award, and she received the Luchs des Jahres prize for her 2017 novel Der Tanz der Tiefseequalle. She lives with her family in a small town in the Black Forest.

rights information

Julius Beltz GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)

Tel: +49 (0)6201 6007327

translation assistance

Applications should be made to the Goethe-Institut.

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