Posts Tagged ‘annika edlund’

Jury member Annika Edlund awarded the Minerva Prize

October 23, 2014
Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

Children’s librarian and literary educator Annika Edlund has been announced as recipient of Umeå County’s Minerva Prize, which rewards practitioners or promoters of cultural activities related primarily to Västerbotten, in the north of Sweden. This is the citation of the jury (our translation):

“Many people today are talking about a crisis in children’s and youths reading and falling figures concerning lending of books in libraries. That does not apply for Umeå. Umeå residents are using their libraries significantly more than the national average. The same applies to the lending of children’s books, where Umeå has twice as high figures compared with the national average. There are various explanations behind these successes. The most important explanation is that Umeå has many skilled and dedicated librarians who every day make a considerable effort to stimulate and increase peoples interest in books and reading. Annika Edlund is one of these librarians.

Annika is sometimes called ”the super librarian”, an epithet she more than well deserves. For a long time she has been a professional and dedicated volunteer working to increase interest and love of reading for children’s and young adult literature. That has given her a legitimate seat in the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury which annually distributes the world’s finest and largest children’s and young adult literature. She is also one of the founders of the widely spread and highly appreciated reading promotion program at Ersboda Library, the later Grubbe Library, in collaboration with various associations, educational associations and booksellers in Umeå. Annika is also one of the founders and a driving force behind the Book Café Pilgatan which now has developed into a nationally well known and very popular meeting place for Swedish and international authors, lecturers and habitants in Umeå interested in literature and adult education. Therefore Annika Edlund deserves Umeå municipality’s Minerva Prize for 2014, when Umeå is European Capital of Culture.”

Annika Edlund has been a member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury since 2012.

Magnificent opening of the IBBY Congress

September 11, 2014

Jella Lepman, founder of IBBY.


Wally De Doncker

The grand opening of IBBY’s 34th World Congress in Mexico City began with the Director and author Wally De Doncker giving an honorable speech about IBBY’s founder Jella Lepman, who was convinced that books can build bridges of peace and understanding between people and countries. The opening continued with more speeches, dinner and finally, after jubilant applauses, acceptance speech of the the laureates of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, illustrator Roger Mello from Brazil, and author Nahoko Uehashi from Japan. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is represented by Director Helen Sigeland and jurymember Annika Edlund.



A café for reading promoting

January 25, 2013
Image: Swedish Television

Image: Swedish Television

Café Pilgatan is not just any café. A quite small café with narrow premises, situated in Umeå in the northen parts of Sweden, what´s so special about this? Well, according to Swedish National Television, Sweden’s foremost writers are in fact queuing up to come to this small café. Because beside the ordinary café business, there are extensive reading promotion activities going on: visits by authors, social debates, café evenings, education , exhibitions, literary tours – often focusing on children’s and young adult literature. This year, the café turns five years and has got attention in the Swedish media. Annika Edlund, children’s librarian, reading promoter and member of the ALMA jury, is one of the initiators behind Pilgatan.

– We want this to be a living room for literature and  when people from here go to Stockholm or Gothenburg Book Fair and meet with writers and intellectuals, many of them already know about Pilgatan, says Annika Edlund to Swedish National Television.

Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

The general idea when Café Pilgatan opened in 2007 was to be a book café for cultural meetings. As stated on their web:  “We need places that take people’s need for education and culture seriously, in a way that makes them feel comfortable and relaxed.”

(A curiosity about the café is that each and every chair is bought by an author, as a contribution to the work of the book café.)

Why not read a really good book?

December 21, 2012

We suspect that many of you blog readers might have some lazy vacation days in front of you now. Why not read a really good book? Here are some suggestions from the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Mats Berggren. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Mats Berggren

Mats Berggren, member of the jury:

I´ll put your letters under the mattress – A correspondence 1971 – 2002 (our transl.) by Astrid Lindgren and Sara Schwardt (Salikon 2012). The best book I´ve read this fall. I was expecting some Astrid Lindgren curiosities, but this is something much more. Sara’s drama, which emerges through the letters, is captivating, I read the entire book at one sitting to find out how it went. She writes well, she is after all only 12 years old when the book begins. There is a directness in the teenage heart that makes me think of Barbro Lindgren’s books. Astrid is very skilled at being personal enough to get Sara to open herself. A the same time you get clues about Astrid herself – she complains about how hard it is to write, it took an entire spring to finish the last two chapters of the Brothers Lionheart.

Elina Druker. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Elina Druker


Elina Druker, member of the jury:

I´d like to recommend Kitty Crowther’s Le Petit Homme et Dieu (Pastel 2010,The Little Man and God , our transl., not yet published in English), a picture book about a little man who meets a strange creature in the forest, a creature that turns out to be God. The book, which is skillfully translated by Lennart Hellsing, is a fun but also staggering story that raises news thoughts and questions, and is perfect for both younger and older readers.

Helen Sigeland.

Helen Sigeland

Helen Sigeland, Director:

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Australia 2012) is set in World War II England. Two children, Cecily and Jeremy, are sent to live in the country to escape the bombing in London. The two siblings and ten-year-old May soon find mysterious ruins and learn about a terrible legend involving two missing children relating to Richard III. This is a wonderful thrilling novel about power and effect of war for (young) adults. Read it!

Annika Edlund.

Annika Edlund

Annika Edlund, member of the jury:

I can recommend the book Florian Knol by Guus Kuijer (Querido 2006). Florian is an ordinary boy with an unusually large and red hair. A small sparrow sits on his head and Florian names the sparrow Nico. Katya from his school, who is a grade above him, explains that she is in love with him, and that makes Florian’s tummy tickle. At the same time he’s thinking about whether he´s really ready for love, or if he is mature enough to take care of an old person…
… because in the neighboring house old Mrs Raaphorst lives, and she has forgot her key. That´s in itself not that serious, but Florian is perplexed as she talks about a fork when she apparently means a key. There is something very confusing about this. Together with Katya, he decides to help the old lady, whom they call granny.

The book of Florian Knol is a wonderful story about understanding, forgetfulness and love, written by this year’s award recipient, Guus Kuijer. The book was published in 2006 in Dutch, and this year in Swedish. I was delighted and had such a good feeling in my whole body while reading this book. It´s a philosophical and loving book for everyone.

(All images above are taken by photographer Stefan Tell.)

A chat with new jurymember Annika Edlund

June 29, 2012

Photo: Curt Dahlgren

On July 1st Annika Edlund will take the position as new member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury, along with paediatrician Henry Ascher and author and librarian Mats Kempe.The awardoffice caught up with Annika Edlund at her summer holiday home on the coast overlooking the Gulf of Bothnia, to ask her some curious questions.

Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Annika Edlund?

I’m a librarian, a literary educator and a former primary school teacher. I help run a cooperative book café, and I’m president of an arts association and an association that promotes young writers from Sweden’s north. I’m passionate about literature, children’s arts and adult education. I also write a blog about children’s and young adult literature. It consists mainly of book reviews and provides me with an easy channel for discussing what I’m currently reading with the teachers and educators I encounter in the course of my work.

My husband Janne, who’s the shop steward at the Volvo Trucks plant in Umeå, is also a great reader and shares my interest in literature and adult education. We have four children and three grandchildren, who still live in and around Umeå.

You’re described as a passionate supporter and readig promoter. What is it that drives you?

I just think children’s and young adult literature is so, so important! I really want everyone to take up reading, for the sake of a better life, for the sake of community engagement, for the sheer joy of it. But reading doesn’t promote itself – advocacy is critical, and I want to make people appreciate the importance of reading and embrace children’s books. You have to blow the trumpet for reading all the time. Interest in books among children and young people has fallen dramatically in recent years. In fact, very few of them now go through a book addiction phase. You don’t become a great reader unless you’ve had a great reading experience – and most people don’t get that without help. Adults, teachers and educators must constantly demonstrate the importance of reading. Once you’ve become a book addict, you’re hooked for life.

What makes a book a good book?

Now that’s a question! The language is important – it should flow well and be poetic. It should be easy to listen to when read aloud. The text should captivate the reader. If it’s a picture book, images and text should interact with each other and with the reading.

How do you feel about your new role as a jury member for the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature?

It’s a great honour, and I’m still a little stunned. It will be fun to learn more about children’s and young adult literature in other languages, and I’m particularly interested in reading promoters and the vital role they play in different parts of the world.

What will you be reading in your hammock this summer?

I always have a pile of children’s and young adult books saved up, such as Ingelin Angerborn’s Månfågel, Malte Persson’s new picture book and Michael Williams’ Now is the Time for Running. I’m also looking forward to reading Knausgård’s third book and a book called Born to Run, about how to find the soul of running, which my son gave me for my birthday yesterday.