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Marie-Aude Murail's "Oh, boy!" : a story like no other

A prolific French author, Marie-Aude Murail has published several teen novels in which she dares to confront various important issues. Her best-seller “Oh, boy!” was awarded several literary prizes and has even been adapted for the TV under the title “One does not chooses one's parents. ” The book waits for you at Dibuka, feel free to (re)discover it!


Following the tragic suicide of their abandoning mother, the three children Siméon (14), Morgane (8) and Venise (5) swear never to leave each other. To  avoid being dispersed in different orphanages, they embark in a trip looking for other members of the family that could become their legal guardian. They soon find Barthélemy, an extravagant but immature character, and Josiane, an unpleasant ophthalmologist. Problem: these two hate each other. Will the children respect their oath? Will their relatives tolerate them?

Through this uncommon story, the author wished to approach difficult themes that concern today's teenagers such as death, sickness, suffering or extended and blended families. Marie-Aude Murail gives us here a lively gallery of portraits, a book full of subtle and engaging characters. Her daring treatment of usually taboo topics like death and sickness is a success, as is her clever use of humour in the middle of otherwise unbearable situations. This novel also engages with the debate on hot topics such as the adoption of children by homosexuals parents or marital violence (through the character of Aimée, a Barthélemy's neighbour). For the teenagers, the book invite to the dialogue with their parents as they will want answers to their many questions regarding these complex topics. This moving novel of Marie-Aude Murail is thus a must for every teenager aged 12 or more.


Click here to learn more about Marie-Aude Murail's work.

Books - Dibuka

  • DibuKids program

    Programme DibuKlub and DibuKids - February to June

    February - June 2019 Dibuka Francophone Multimedia Library at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg This year will be full of exciting events and activities at Dibuka. With movies twice a month on Wednesdays for adults; and storytime, films or activities twice a month on Saturdays for kids, there… Read more
  • 2018-DibukaFestival-facebook-2

    Dibuka Library Festival

    Not your ordinary book festival! 1 – 29 September 2018 Spring is coming! And with it, the Dibuka Library Festival, a new kind of book festival to celebrate Dibuka's new revamping and its 15th birthday. Dibuka Library Festival will run from the 1st to the 29th of September at the newly revamped… Read more
  • 2018-Dibuka-architecture-image

    Discover the new Dibuka

    The Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg are proud to present the newly revamped francophone multimedia library, named after the Setswana word for "books": dibuka. Dibuka is today the biggest francophone multimedia… Read more

Opening Hours

Monday: closed
Tuesday - Wednesday:  
9.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 19.30
8.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 19.30
9.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 18.00
9.30 - 13.30


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Fax. (+27) 11 646 1128

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