Literature Many adults would be surprised if they read a youth book, says author Anniina Mikama: “It teaches you to understand the change that is happening in the world.”

Adult, grab the children ‘s book. Or read a youth book.

This is the author Anniina Mikaman, 44, the answer to how to improve the status and visibility of children’s and young people’s literature in Finland, and with it more children and young people to get excited about reading.

Mikama sits on the sinking couch in the cafe and sips tea. The gaze is straight and focused, the subject important.

“However, adults are the ones who buy books and take children to the library. That’s why they should get excited first. ”

Many adults would be surprised to see how big social issues on the nerves of time are dealt with in books, Mikama speculates. Natural loss and environmental crisis, sexuality and racism.

According to Mikama, today’s youth books are often even more up-to-date than adult-oriented works.

“By reading youth books, an adult learns to better understand their own children and see how new generations grow up in a different attitude,” Mikama thinks. “It teaches you to understand the change that is happening in the world.”

And reading children’s and young people’s books is no drill, Mikama recalls. Where others pack deserters for a summer vacation, Mikama stacks a selection of good children’s and youth books for herself.

November 26 was published in the HS by a high school student Elli Pöyhönen an opinion paper in which Pöyhönen criticized the school’s book offer.

“Most of the classics that are difficult to understand are pushed into the hands of young people in schools,” Pöyhönen wrote. “Since the books pushed to us are indeed in this category, it should come as no surprise that a large percentage of young people do not bother to read them.”

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Read more: Old classics don’t inspire young people

Seven brothers is a great book, but it’s not the best book to evoke the joy of reading in today’s youth, ”Mikama says with a laugh.

“It’s awful if young people are killed with enthusiasm by pushing an old classic that the young person can’t get anything out of.”

Mikama himself enjoys tremendously getting to visit books and reading with children and young people on school visits. She is also involved in organizing the Lanu!

Halla’s house in Seurasaari is one of the role models of Kivihalmi’s house rising in Anniina Mikama’s Myrrysi.

author hand us the small brown envelopes. They feature twelve photo postcards that Mikama described as being published in August Myrrys (WSOY) inspired by his youth novel. Saniainen leaves from Nokia, forest source in Suomussalmi Hossa National Park, gray buildings of Murtovaara House Museum.

We walk across the bridge to Seurasaari, an icy wind blows from the sea. When writing the book, Anniina Mikama also sought inspiration for Seurasaari, its forest and buildings. Rising on a hill, surrounded by pine and spruce, Halla’s house has served as a model for the novel’s Kivihalmi house, Mikama says.

Mikama’s first work Magician and pickpocket (2018)

won the Topelius Award in 2019

and the sequels also garnered praise.

Where the successful trilogy falls into the 1890s filled with magic and fast-paced adventures, In a storm Kainuu in the early 19th century, where there were several consecutive years of disappearance. 14-year-old orphan Niilo lives in harsh conditions in Kivihalmi’s house, where a sudden and violent host holds power.

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However, after various twists and turns, Niilo ends up as an apprentice to Martin, a healer living in the middle of the forest. Myrrys is an old Finnish language and means a sage.

Anniina Mikamaa has always been interested in magic, the mysterious forces in the possession of only a few and the chosen ones, such as the spirits of nature in the Storm.

Book started off with a strong opening image, Mikama says.

“The young boy was alone in a forest cottage in the middle of a gloomy forest, and the spirits in the forest spoke to him. I set out to find out who this boy could be, what the spirits want of him and what if he just decided to face them. ”

Mikama’s family roots are in Pirkanmaa, but the author also has a family history In a storm is. In the aftermath of the novel, the author tells the story of his grandfather’s grandfather, who, as an orphan at the age of ten, went from house to house with a group of beggars until he was taken up by a family.

However, Mikama’s ancestor did not become a healer of the healer, but a carpenter and a member of the Tampere City Council.

To Kainuu Myrrys places, because there the folk faith was still in force at the beginning of the 19th century, Mikama says.

“There were still natural spirits, sacrifices were taken to sacred trees and springs, magic was used to protect the house, livestock and goods. In case of serious illness, a local connoisseur was consulted. ”

Mikamaa has always been interested in magic, the mysterious forces held by only a few and the chosen ones. Myrrys still required a great deal of clarification of the historical facts. For the book, Mikama read everyday history, the local history of Kainuu and studied old maps. He mentions the author and the teacher of the Oulu School for the Deaf as a particularly good source Samuli Paulaharjun (1875–1944), who collected a large amount of folklore from various parts of Finland, Karelia, Lapland and Ruija during his travels.

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The storm indeed, the local sage, Niilo’s doctrinal father Martin, has become a favorite character of several adult readers, Mikama reveals. A mysterious, silent healer knows mystical things and has seen the world.

“Different women have cometo admit to falling in love with this gloomy and murmuring sage of the world, ”Mikama says with a laugh. “They have asked me to write a sequel to Martin’s youth adventures in the Arab world. I’m seriously considering it, but I don’t promise anything! ”

Anniina Mikama

  • Born in Tampere in 1977.

  • Studied visual arts and graphic design at Pekka Halonen Academy and writing at Critical University

  • The debut work The Magician and the Pocket Thief was published in 2018 and won the Topelius Prize in 2019. In its publication year 2019, Huijari’s apprentice was nominated for the Finlandia Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature. The final part of the trilogy Tin Warriors appeared in 2020 and was a Young Aleksis Award nominee in 2021.

  • Also co-authored children’s nonfiction books with Carlos da Cruz.

  • Lives in Helsinki with his wife.

Read more: Anniina Mikaman’s fantasy novel as a Finlandia candidate is a delicious addition to Finnish steampunk

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