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Jealousy, bullying, running away. From three different angles, ‘Vluchtweg’ shows that life as a school-age teenager is not always easy.

Miro is new in class. She was bullied at her previous school, now she is ready for a fresh start. Nadesh is also new: he had to flee his homeland, where war is raging. Jana has been the undisputed leader of the class for years. When things go wrong at her house – and it happens quite often – someone in the class has to pay for it. And Miro soon turns out to be the ideal victim.

escape route consists of short chapters in which Miro, Nadesh and Jana alternately speak. Not only does that make it possible to empathize with each of them, it also shows how differently these young people view the events. Their reality is colored by what they have experienced. Miro has been bullied so often that she eventually sees evil in everything, even when the other person doesn’t mean it that way. Jana is so jealous of Miro’s home situation that she convinces herself that with such luck, Miro couldn’t possibly suffer much from the bullying. Nadesh has learned that you have to flee to survive, and takes that strategy to the classroom.

In this book, author Goedele Ghijsen shows bullying in all its complexity and from so many angles that every young person will catch a glimpse of themselves somewhere in the story.

Goedele Ghijsen, Vluchtweg, fiction, from 12 years, Davidsfonds Infodok, 144 pp.

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