Photo shoot with the new jury

September 30, 2014

September usually means a photo session with the new jury, and this year is no exception. Brilliant photographer Stefan Tell caught the jury members this morning, before their meeting. The result will be published on the ALMA web and in our press room later this week.
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Jury member Anna Höglund awarded the Nils Holgersson-plaque

September 29, 2014
Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

Today the Swedish Library Association announced Anna Höglund as the recipient of this year’s Nils Holgersson-plaque for her book “Om detta talar man endast med kaniner” (approx. Things you only talk about with rabbits”). Anna Höglund is an author, illustrator and member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury.

The citation of the jury:

Living looks so easy for some people. They are who they are; they live their lives; they talk about everyday things. Other people spend their lives out on thin ice, questioning with every step what is real, what is true.

This year, the Nils Holgersson Plaque goes to a picture book that is not for children: a lyrical picture book for adults and young adults about the feeling of being an outsider and the desire to find a greater community. Anna Höglund succeeds in portraying a emotional sensitivity that is almost impossible to describe in words. There is a vulnerability in the way she draws, a fragility and a presence in her pictures. A way out of loneliness does exist, and if we really look, we can find similarities between ourselves and others. A rabbit can be a trusted comrade, and though we might sometimes be our own worst enemies, we can also be our own best friends. This is a deeply affecting picture book. It goes straight to the gut, straight to the heart.

The award ceremony is held on October 20 at the Stockholm City Library.

The Nils Holgersson-plaque was established in 1950 and is awarded annually to the author of the best book for children and young adults the previous year. The plaque is administrated by the Swedish Library Association.

The first recipient of the plaque was Astrid Lindgren, who received the prize for her book Nils Karlsson-Pyssling.

Link to the Swedish Library Association here.

Nominated Candidates for 2015 to be revealed on October 9th

September 29, 2014
Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

On 9 October, the nominees for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) are presented at the international Frankfurt Book Fair. The list of candidates is presented by Boel Westin, Chairman of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury.

The program begins at 4:00 pm with the following participants: Silke Weitendorf, Publishing Director at Oetinger Verlag, Jury Chairman Boel Westin, ALMA Director Helen Sigeland and moderator Felicitas von Lowenberg, culture journalist at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Program

4:00 pm         Welcome by Gabi Rauch-Kneer, Vice President of the Frankfurt Book Fair

4:05 pm         The Work and World of Barbro Lindgren

4:30 pm         The 2014 Announcement and Beyond

4:40 pm         Presentation of the nominated candidates for 2015

5:00 pm         Reception

Venue: Frankfurt Book Fair, Children‘s Book Centre, 3.0 K 137

The list of the nominated candidates will be published on www.alma.se/en after the end of the program.

Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

New video from Göteborg Book Fair!

September 26, 2014

Huge audience listened to Barbro Lindgren in Gothenburg

September 26, 2014
Lots and lots of book signings...

Lots and lots of book signings…

The visitors of the Göteborg Book Fair rallied around for Barbro Lindgren’s program yesterday, all of them were very well attended. The day began with a public conversation at the Swedish Arts Council’s stage with jury member Mats Kempe. Then, the time just flew with a full agenda, lots of book signings and many, many fans wanted to speak with Barbro and show their appreciation.

The obvious question on most scenes was, of course, about if Barbro Lindgren’s life had changed in any way after the announcement of the ALMA. The answer was that now almost everything was back to normal. Almost. Except that more people recognize her. (“I didn´t think I could write for a while. But after a few weeks I was able to get started again.”)

The day ended with a 45 minute-seminar in a crowded Seminar Hall with jury member Maria Lassén-Seger. The conversation was among other things about Barbro Lindgren’s childhood and how it has affected her writing, but also about her ability to speak directly to the child, whether she is offering amusing escapades or more serious reflections.

“I’m not interested in others than the underdogs. Happy childhoods are not for me. “

Two younger fans asking for autographs.

Two younger fans asking for autographs.

Interview at Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter's stage.

Interview at Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter’s stage.

Preparing for the final seminar with Maria Lassén-Seger.

Preparing for the final seminar with Maria Lassén-Seger.

Maria Lassén-Seger and Barbro Lindgren.

Maria Lassén-Seger and Barbro Lindgren.

Reading promotion project Pause – you and a book

September 26, 2014

With cool music and daredevil movements by three young free runners, the reading promotion campaign Pause – you and a book started yesterday at the Göteborg Book Fair. Author and skateboarder Johan Unenge, also known as a cartoonist and Sweden’s first National Ambassador for Reading, is Pause’s “reading coach”:

– The world of sports is a perfect arena for reaching young people. Here, you find commitment from children, parents and coaches, says Johan Unenge.

Johan Unenge and Lotta Brilioth Biörnstad at Ung scen at Göteborg Book Fair.

Johan Unenge and Lotta Brilioth Biörnstad at Ung scen at Göteborg Book Fair.

Pause is an effort to get more young athletes to read books during their spare time. All over Sweden sports clubs and libraries are working together to improve young people appetite for reading. The initiative comes from the sports movement and the Swedish Arts Council. Johan Unenge:

– The goal is to reverse today’s negative trend, and to give young people a pause – a pause that gives them a richer language, a better reading comprehension and a wider world.

Johan Unenge will be blogging on the Pause web and travelling around the country to inform, pep and spread knowledge about the project. The hub in this reading promotion project however, are the sports leaders. Librarians and parents becomes important as supporters. A sports club wanting to join the Pause project choose what level they want to add books into their activities. To contact the nearest library could be the first step and in time perhaps the club or municipality wants to launch a major long-term project.

Victoria Caliber, Johan Unenge and Lotta Brilioth Biörnstad from the Swedish Arts Council.

Victoria Caliber, Johan Unenge and Lotta Brilioth Biörnstad from the Swedish Arts Council.

There are already several sports and reading promotion projects going on in Sweden, and Victoria Caliber from Läsmuskler (“Reading muscles) in Ulricehamn explains how they work with several different sports. They have recently appointed a “stall for reading” at a riding school, they’ve got comfortable and cosy reading pouffes in the shape of footballs, they run a caravan filled with books to football games, and help sports clubs to select books and audio books.

– Our experience is that there is a great demand for books in the sports world, they are appreciated by the athletes but also by parents and siblings, says Victoria Kleiber.

Written by Cecilia Eriksson, Swedish Arts Council

Bok och Bibliotek 2014, LŠssatsningen Paus

Pause 1

The Arrival at bilingual theatre Uusi Theatre

September 22, 2014

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Last Saturday was the premiere of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival at the Swedish Finnish Uusi Theatre in Stockholm. The Director Emil Sandberg says that the themes, language, identity and alienation in the book felt anxious for the bilingual theatre.

– The new country, which Shaun Tan’s story is set in, is as foreign to all beholders of different cultures and languages, but thus equally available, says Sandberg.

Back row: Stage Designer Karl Anders, Composer Yves Diop, Director Emil Sandberg. Front row: actors Jaakko Kulmala, Sannah Nedergård and Sanna Sandberg.

Back row: Stage Designer Anders Karls, Composer Yves Diop, Director Emil Sandberg. Front row: actors Jaakko Kulmala, Sannah Nedergård and Sanna Sandberg.

The performances are played on either Finnish or Swedish entirely dependent on the audience, but also dominated by a ringing nonsense language spoken by the inhabitants of the foreign city, completely incomprehensible to both the protagonist as well as the audience. Sandberg says that the entirely wordless graphic novel invites you to a dramatic performance, just as the movement and sounds from actors and stage design opens up a possibility to give the story new interpretations. The performance is played by three actors: Sanna Sandberg, Jaakko Kulmala and Sannah Nedergård, and is set at Uusi Theatre’s home stage at Hälsingegatan 3 in Stockholm. The music has been composed by Yyves Diop.

/Elina Druker, member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury

Illustration: Anders Karls, Uusi Teattri

Illustration: Anders Karls, Uusi Teatteri

Festival Dedication to Katherine Paterson today at the Burlington Book Festival

September 19, 2014
Katherine Paterson at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 2012. Photo: Stefan Tell

Katherine Paterson at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2012. Photo: Stefan Tell

Today the annual Book Festival in Burlington, Vermont, USA, opens. The event is called a celebration of the written word featuring literary luminaries from around the world and just around the corner.

And just around the corner lives ALMA Laureate author Katherine Paterson, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2006. Today she is celebrated at the festival:

– Each year the Festival is dedicated to a Vermont figure who has made a significant contribution in the areas of literature or literacy, says Festival founder and director Rick Kisonack. Katherine’s selection is a no-brainer given her distinguished, world-renowned work in both of these areas.

According to Williston Observer “Fans can also get the first look at her memoir—Paterson’s publisher has agreed to make copies of “Stories of My Life” available for sale at the festival dedication, a month ahead of it’s October release.”

Katherine Paterson is presented at the Book Festival’s web like this:

Katherine Paterson’s international fame rests not only on her widely acclaimed novels but also on her efforts to promote literacy in the United States and abroad. A two-time winner of the Newbery Medal (“Bridge to Terabithia” and “Jacob Have I Loved”) and the National Book Award (“The Great Gilly Hopkins” and “The Master Puppeteer”), she has received numerous additional accolades for her body of work including the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. For her career contribution to “children’s and young adult literature in the broadest sense”, she won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council in 2006, the most prestigious prize in children’s literature. She has also served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2010-2011). Katherine received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the American Library Association in 2013 and has been named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

Teachers about working with the ALMA Laureates

September 19, 2014

What happens when the whole school is working with the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award? Ulrika Lindmarker and Cilla Dalén, literature teacher and school librarian from elementary school Hjulsta describe how they completed a literature project which involved the whole school.

The project has been described earlier on this blog, link here.

Children’s Right to Culture at the Göteborg Book Fair next week

September 17, 2014

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Heads up for this year’s edition of the Göteborg Book Fair! Focusing on reading promotion, the Swedish Arts Council will present a much bigger stage – Ung scen (Stage for the Young) – than usual, an over 170 square meter stand and an extensive program. The overall theme is Children’s Right to Culture, which makes the program a continuation of the venture of the Bologna Book Fair 2013, when the Sweden was guest of honor. A lot of organisations have been envolved in the program planning: other authorities, agencies, publishers and reading promoters, and also organisations whitin sports, the media and schools. Eva Ottosson, project manager at the Swedish Arts Council:

– The point is that we need to engage people. When we engage and use the platforms, venues and powers that we already have, we´ve got a strong joint movement for children’s rights to culture and young people’s reading.

Another topic which permeates this year’s program is the 25 year celebration of the UN Rights of the Child. The CRC recognizes the individual child’s right to participate feely in cultural life and arts. Signatory States should respect and promote this right. They should also encourage the availability of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural and artistic activities.

– Seemingly, this is obvious, but in practice it is not always easy, says Eva Ottosson. What do we mean by these fine and important words?

Photo: Jonas Hallqvist

Johan Unenge. Photo: Jonas Hallqvist

The previous – and present – laureates of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be presented in the stand, and this year’s laureate Barbro Lindgren will participate in a full program on Thursday, September 25. Among many many interesting lectures and seminars, we look forward to listen to Johan Unenge on the first day of the fair. Johan is an author, former National Ambassador for Reading and new “reading coach” for reading promotion project “Pause”, a collaboration between the Swedish Arts Council and the sports movement to inspire young athletes to read books in their spare time.

A longer seminar will focus on children’s right to culture celebrating 25 years. Under the headline Vision and reality, a talk on how to ensure children’s right to culture is conducted by author and illustrator Pernilla Stalfelt, poet Daniel Boyacioglu, UNICEF Program Manager Christina Heilborn, Sylvia Blomberg and Benny Marcel, Head of Department of Arts and Culture at the Swedish Arts Council.

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