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Thief of Glory: A Novel
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Thief of Glory: A Novel

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  655 ratings  ·  152 reviews
“Brouwer makes you live it....sharing each moment of an exotic and terrifying time and place in a gripping, personal way.”
—Bodie and Brock Thoene, authors of Take this Cup
A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.
For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashin
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by WaterBrook Press
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4.20  · 
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 ·  655 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
It's rare to find a WWII novel set in the eastern theater. Thief of Glory is set in the Dutch East Indies and told through the eyes of a "Jappencamp" survivor. Much of the story is told through ten year old Jeremiah's eyes. He is an easy character to love. He is kind, strong, stubborn and endures many struggles during his three year internment. Laura, Sophie and Adi were also great characters.

While I respected the way the story was told from present day with a look back in time, I found myself c
Alisha L.
**Note: I do not recommend this book for anyone who is not an adult due to some gruesome and graphic scenes/descriptions and mature themes.**

First off I would like say that I chose this book because I love reading books about World War II (both fiction and non-fiction) and I was excited to see a new realistic Christian historical novel based on that time in history being published. When I chose this book to read I was expecting a realistic look at what happened in the Dutch East Indies during Wo
Joanne Bischof
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book! An incredibly written story and I was thankful for the opportunity to sit down and chat with Sigmund Brouwer after finishing:
SUMMARY: A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.

For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reve
Of the books I've read from Sigmund Brouwer's pen, Thief of Glory is my favorite. In his signature storytelling style, this work of historical fiction is reminiscent of a memoir, shared like a series of journal entries written in the first person from the perspective of a 10-year-old boy; it is a completely fictional account of one family's nightmarish experience of interment in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. Yet the details are hauntingly real.

Jeremiah lived with his paren
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer is historical fiction centered around WWII. The blurb talks about love amidst the internment camp, and it sounds like this really good story. But trust me, it's not... Buyer beware this shouldn't be considered a Christian book in any sense of the word. It's different but not in a good way.

When Jeremiah Prins is ten, the Japanese take over the Dutch East Indies. They force Jeremiah, his mother, and his three younger siblings into a camp where they have to learn h
Reet Champion
One boy to protect a frail family in the middle of a Japanese concentration camp. It seems to be impossible but Jeremiah Prins has determined he will stand in his father's stead to care for his mentally frail mother and host of siblings. It's a task a grown man would find taxing; for Jeremiah the life of oppression eats away at his childhood setting into motion a series of events that will change the lives of so many people.

Sigmund Brouwer. An author I've heard so much about but whose works I ne
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, this isn’t like any World War II novel I’ve read. Not only because it deals with a different theater of war (I normally read those of the home front or European theater), it shows such a different side of war, through the eyes of a 10 year old boy and is based on the author’s own family history. It’s a beautiful and poignant tale.

This isn’t an easy read. It’s honest, it paints a picture of what life was like (in some ways reminded me of Unbroken), from the evil humanity is capabl
Jeremy's life as a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp during WW2 comes as a result of his being in a police station holding cell. He looks back on his life from his position as a retired architect in his 80s. We see the terrible struggles he had to endure in order to fulfill his father's last wish, to protect the family. We see how the things he experienced during those years in the camp have haunted him for his entire life.

I picked this book up because I am a fan of historical fiction. Also
Susan Meissner
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 (see The Book Thief, Sarah s Key, Diary of A Young Girl, Stones from the River} this one yanked fiercely on my mother-heart and left me astonished at what war expects of the children swept up into its maelstrom. ...more
Heather Manning
I have to admit that I was not completely in love with this book, while the general idea of it was interesting. I didn't like that I was made to believe that this was a romance, when it really was not. I hate to write a negative review, and I don't think the problem was with the book, but more so with the marketing involved with it.
I felt that the main character, Jeremiah, was able to do way more things than a ten year old should have been able to do. Since he was 10 for 2/3 of the novel, I had
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book 10 stars if I could. It is one of those books that are just that special. I have been to Indonesia five times, yet I found that I really knew nothing about the war in that part of the world. And my Dad served in New Guinea. But I never really talked with him much about that time.

The book was well written. There was a lot of action, some surprises and a bit of romance. You could really feel the cruelty of the Japanese. And it all makes you wonder how anyone could have survi
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
There comes some novels that are so rare and deep that when you finish them, you are left as though you have no breath left in your body. As if you are reliving something so horrible, you wish it were all simply a bad dream. But this is not the case with a different type of christian historical novel from Sigmund Brouwer, Thief of Glory and it is definitely a story of unspeakable horrors that occurred for one boy and his family that lived during the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Dutch Eas ...more
Josh Olds
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
QUICK HIT - With immaculate detail and a gripping plotline, Brouwer’s coming-of-age tale is one of his best yet.

What would you do if your perfectly comfortable world fell apart? Jeremiah Prins was ten years old when the Japanese invaded his home in the Dutch East Indies. He’d always been a tough kid, always one to take on a challenge, always one to relish a fight. But this is beyond him. This is when he learns that his mother is a bit mentally unbalanced. This is when he learns that, with his ol
Unusual view of war as Japan takes over the Dutch East Indies. Told through the eyes of a young boy coming of age in the throes of WW2. Descriptive, emotionally gripping and raw storytelling.
Worth recommending.
Nadine Keels
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was unprepared for how good this book is. It put me in acute remembrance of humanity's, and even my own, need for mercy.

I think it's fair to point out early that this World War II novel's description/blurb/back cover copy misrepresents what's actually in the book to a significant degree. Yes, the love between Jeremiah and Laura is important, but their relationship is not what's at the forefront of much (maybe even most) of what happens in the book. Also, while the blurb paints a picture of how
Kelly Klepfer
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession. There are books I won't read. My list includes books I think will be sappy or cheesy, or one dimensional. I kind of avoid sci-fi/fantasy because I have enough trouble remembering the important details in the real world. Lastly, I avoid books set in times of war. Now. I also have this bizarre deep vein of melancholy that loves a book that indelibly etches itself on my soul through the characters and writing. That may be one of the reasons I avoid wartime novels. Sometimes tho ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I really liked this book. This is the story of a family that is trapped in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) when the Japanese invaded during World War II. The men and older male children are sent to work camps. The women and children are sent to internment camps. This story is told from the point of view of a ten year old boy that is sent to an internment camp with his mother and younger siblings. It is a story of survival and it tells a story that isn't often told. I've been reading several bo ...more
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
{ ****/ 4.5 stars }

I am so glad this was on the Alberta Reader's Choice shortlist, otherwise I don't think I would ever have read it – and I really was taken in by this book. Mostly by chance, I've been reading a lot of of novels set during WWII this year, and while I am able to glean a little new information of what it was like in different areas from all of the books, I had no idea at all about the Dutch East Indies, Jappenkamps or anything of that sort. This book was both eye-opening and well
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christian Historical lovers
Not my favorite WWII area, the far east is not my choice when it comes to this type of story. But this was a well done book about a boy, Jeremiah Prins who finds himself in a Japanese prisoner of was camp during WWII. He is a Dutch boy who is living in the East Indies. Later, in the US after the war, long after marriage and children, he comes across his first love from those days.
Brianna Lewis
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What an amazing, heart wrenching book. I didn't know much about the Dutch East Indies during the Japanese occupation during the war. Very eye opening. The book was well-written, and I was almost immediately pulled into the story. Definitely one of the best books I've read this year.
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good story of how a young man survives a Japanese internment camp during WWII
Georgia Herod
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, the power and significance of memory! Jeremiah Prins, now an octogenarian, is trying hard to remember rightly his life story. He is the 10-year-old narrator of this sad and difficult work of historical fiction. A coming-of-age narrative--in the midst of a Japanese prison camp. Bright, clever, resilient, determined, bold and so much more, Jeremiah and his life are changed completely when Japanese soldiers enter his home and take his father and two older stepbrothers away. Having prepared for ...more
Kathleen E.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Monday, October 13, 2014
Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer, © 2014
This is a work of fiction. Apart from well-known people, events, and locales that figure into the narrative, all names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author's imagination and are used fictitiously. --The publisher.

In March of 1957, much in love, with all that they owned in suitcases, a young couple from the Netherlands boarded a ship to cross the Atlantic for an unknown future in Canada, both leaving beh
Katherine Wacker

In his book, Thief of Glory, Sigmund Brouwer tells the story of Jeremiah Prins whose advantaged life in the Dutch East Indies is swept up into World War II. Forced into a Japanese internment camp, and separated from his father and older brothers, Jeremiah takes it upon himself to ensure the survival of his mother and younger siblings. Spurred on by love and the will to live, he must make unimaginable choices that will haunt him the rest of his life. Will they be all that he remembers?

Thief of
Mr. Ethan Mingerink
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-owned
1. 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very interesting. I learned about a part of the war I hadn't really known anything about previously, and found the book to be educational as well as entertaining. The book really kept me interested and wanting to read more. WARNINGS: This book doesn't have any bad language that I can remember and the only other thing would be how people react to Jeremiah's mother when they figure out she is not pregnant with her husband's baby. The only violence w ...more
Maryann Jorissen
Oh my goodness, this book was so good. I could barely put it down until I finished it. The writing is done so well that it brings the reader into the world and minds of characters to root for them during each of their challenges.
I think the category is historical fiction. But there was an accuracy of the history that made me question the fiction label. Yet the prose was written in the style of fiction that hooks the reader into the characters' lives. That's how well the book is written!
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally enjoyed this book because I learned more about the WW II in the Pacific. I learned about the plight of the Dutch in the Dutch East Indies. The treatment of the POWs by the Japanese was similar to other novels/history that I have read. Because this was the perspective of a child, it allowed for a naïve point of view about the torture with which the Japanese treated these women and children. Shocking but realistic.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the historical part set in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and during the Japanese taking over this part of the Pacific. The unfolding of the story had parts both exciting and there are parts that is too descriptive that have me want to skip to the next chapter. But over all the book was well written. The end had me thinking of the human struggles, survival, and sorrows during those war times. Heart gripping! A great read!
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5. I really emotional yet "readable" book. It tells the story of a not well known side of WWII. That of Japanese occupation in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). What the colonial Dutch endured under the Japanese invaders, and the strength of certain warriors within the camps walls. I loved many of these characters. And cried for them and what happened. A goodie. Must read.
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Sigmund loves going to schools to get kids excited about reading, reaching roughly 80,000 students a year through his Rock&Roll Literacy Show.
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“For each of us, time is a thief of glory. What gives meaning to our lives and deaths is love and hope, if we are willing to share and accept.” 1 likes
“For each of us, time is a thief of flory. What give meaning to our lives and deaths is love and hope, if we are willing to share and accept” 0 likes
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