Being Young was the best-selling YA book in Norway 2018. It received fantastic reviews (6 out of 6 stars), as well as several awards. With more than 100 000 copies sold, the book has definitely reached a large audience. Being Young also enjoyed great success on the Norwegian theater stage, where it was nominated for the prestigious Hedda Award in 2020.
Linn Skåber has interviewed young people and asked them about their lives – about everything from acne to peace to loss. What’s the best thing about being a young person? What’s the worst? What would you change about it? Why are adults so lame? What are you afraid of?
Skåber has used this material to compose fictional monologues about this both wonderful and hopeless time – the transition from child to adult – as seen from a young person’s perspective. The hallmark of all these short monologues is that readers will recognise themselves in them – whether as a young person currently navigating adolescence or as someone looking back on this time from adulthood. The texts have been written with a light, humorous touch, but in true Skåber-style, an underlying sincerity always shines through. The book is beautifully illustrated by Lisa Aisato.
What a debut! Skåber and Aisato both have a rare mix of sweetness, poetic depth and twisted humour.
It’s a cheeky move to steal the title of Nordahl Grieg’s famous war poem when debuting. But Skåber is not just any debutant; she can clearly write in addition to all her other talents. The fact that the outstanding Lisa Aisato illustrated the text makes this a rarely successful youth book.
This year it was easy to choose the prize winner. The choice became clear and easy as soon as we became aware of Being Young. It is an exceptionally successful book, and it is a pleasure for us to give Rikmålsforbundet’s children’s and youth book prize to Linn Skåber. Congratulations!
Riksmålsforbundet (The Riksmaal Society)