Icelandic children’s author Kristín Helga Gunnarsdóttir received this week the 2008 Children and Teenage Literature Award from the West Nordic Council for her novel Draugaslód (“Ghost Trail”).
Gunnarsdóttir was presented with the award at a special ceremony at the Althingi parliament building in Reykjavík. The prize is almost ISK 1 million (USD 11,000, EUR 8,000).
Gunnarsdóttir to the right, members of the jury to the left.
The jury concluded that the book is welcomed by teenagers of all ages; it is full of contrasts where dream and reality clash and their interplay help solve the story’s mystery. The book also covers every-day subjects, like the problems faced by single parents and their children.
The jury especially liked how Gunnarsdóttir intertwines Icelandic folk stories into her plot, digs deeps into legends and creates a novel which is supported by these stories and the places connected with them.
In Draugaslód, 13-year-old Eyvindur Thóruson, who was raised by his grandmother, rekindles the relationship with his mother who moves back to Iceland from Italy to work as a ranger on Kjölur mountain pass. The boy spends the summer with his mother which is very eventful.
Gunnarsdóttir has dedicated her writing to children and teenagers for the past decade and has often received awards chosen by children ages six to 12.
The West Nordic Council Children and Teenage Literature Award was granted for the fourth time this year. Apollonia by Faroese author Edward Fugloe and Abct by Julie Edel Hardenberg from Greenland were also nominated this year.