“The Children’s Day is a deceptively delicate book carefully constructed, both subtly funny and melancholy. It teases apart the layers of memory and winds its young protagonist, deeper and deeper into his short but intense past and the aching dilemmas of his present. But under the novel’s surface, Heyns sustains a tangible, steely fury a real sense of absolute violence, abuse, loss and deep wrong. In Simon’s half-spoken relationship with the outcast Fanie we are offered a final sense of dangerous tenderness, potential self-knowledge and painful change. This is an important, lovely and thoughtful book."
"Successfully unveils the moral hypocrisy of the era..." Publishers Weekly, 6/29/09
"...fascinating...The result of his insistent moralism is a complex, destructive, angst-inspiring denouement that neatly captures, metaphorically, the corruptions, confusion and hypocrisy of the surrounding society. Mr. Heyns's novel deserves a wide readership."Martin Rubin, The Wall Street Journal
"...rich language...splendid characters...Heyns' story goes beyond Simon's coming-of-age and broaches something much bigger: society's own struggles with coming-of-age." Amy Wallen, The Los Angeles Times
“In a political and social climate drawn in hard lines, confusion feels oddly refreshing. It’s what makes The Children's Day a deeper read than more polemical takes on apartheid. Heyns is no less condemning of the inherent violence and hypocrisy of the arrangement, but Simon’s adolescent consciousness lends a more human perspective.”Time Out Chicago
"Eminently readable debut novel...reminiscent in structure and tone to Vikas Swarup's Q&A (the inspiration behind 'Slumdog Millionaire')...At times funny, surprising, and disturbing..." Tiffany Lee-Youngren, San Diego Union Tribune