Congratulations Sonya Hartnett, winner of Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Today Sonya Hartnett was presented with the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), established by the Swedish Government in 2002, the world’s largest children’s and young people’s literary award. Sonya was presented her award by Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and surprised her audience when she delivered her acceptance in Swedish.

Sonya Hartnett

The jury said this of her work:

“Sonya Hartnett (Australia) is one of the major forces for renewal in modern young adult fiction. With psychological depth and a concealed yet palpable anger, she depicts the circumstances of young people without avoiding the darker sides of life. She does so with linguistic virtuosity and a brilliant narrative technique; her works are a source of strength.”

Sonya Hartnett made her publishing debut at the age of just 15, since when she has written 18 novels for children, young people and adults – although she herself generally prefers not to specify which age group she is writing for.

Hartnett often depicts situations of power and dependence in small groups: a family, a group of friends or a pair of twins. One of the ways in which she has renewed young adult fiction is by delving deep into the psyche of young people with difficult and traumatic experiences behind them. What her characters go through is often hard to endure. No reader can fail to be moved by what she describes. She does not avoid that which is dark, unpleasant or malevolent. However, beneath the surface there is a powerful, throbbing anger at the way children and young people are sometimes treated – an anger that, coupled with her masterful narrative ability, creates a sense of empathy and involvement.

Sonya Hartnett has been translated into a number of languages, including Danish, German, Swedish, Italian and Chinese. She has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Literature Prize in the UK for Thursday’s Child in 2002 and the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers in 2005 for her children’s book The Silver Donkey.

Her latest novel is The Ghost’s Child.


The Gerlache Strait between Anvers Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Gerlache Strait.

Photograph by: Zee Evans, National Science Foundation. Date Taken: November 12, 20004


~ by abstraktbiblos on Thursday, 29 May, 2008.

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