Today the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award publish a teacher’s guide to Barbro Lindgren’s books Jättehemligt (Super Secret, 1971), Världshemligt (Top Secret, 1972) and Bladen brinner (Pages on Fire, 1973). The teacher’s guide is written by researcher and jury member Maria Lassén-Seger.
– The guide is for anyone who wants to know more about the books and would like tips on how to introduce them to young readers, says Maria Lassén-Seger. I hope it will encourage people to read, reflect on, and discuss the books.
The Secret books are fictional diaries inspired by Barbro Lindgren’s memories of her own childhood and teenage years, even though she notes that not quite everything in the books is true. The trilogy includes the young Barbro’s diary entries from ages 10 to 15, in which she records her innermost thoughts about things that are nice, awful, or just plain weird. The teacher’s guide poses questions to the reader about the books, questions that allow the reader to get under the surface of the story to deepen the reading: What things do people expect of Barbro as a girl? Are they the same things people expect of girls today? It is hard for Barbro to fit in and be a part of larger groups. What groups does she try to fit into? Why do you think this is hard for her?
– The Secret books were among my most important reading experiences when I was young, says Maria Lassén-Seger. I have reread them often over the years and I am amazed at how powerful they still are. They are so heartfelt, so honest, and so devastatingly well-written.
Maria thinks everyone should read the Secret books:
– But especially young people who think life can be both nice and awful, and who wonder if anyone else in the world feels the same way.
The Award office has previously published 14 reading guides by 11 laureates. All of them can be downloaded for free here.
Link to the new Reading guide here.