Kirjakori 2017 overview

Children's and youth books in Kirjakori-exhibition.

Kirjakori 2017 overview (PDF)

Kirjakori 2017 statistics (PDF)

According to the Kirjakori statistics, the amount of published books for children and youth was slightly on the rise during 2017. Kirjakori exhibition entails 1257 titles, amounting to 200 more books than the previous year.

The bestseller of 2017 was a Finnish children’s book, Koiramäen Suomen historia (Otava) by Mauri Kunnas. It sold a record-breaking 163 100 copies. According to the Finnish Book Publishers Association, other top sellers were e.g. Tatun ja Patun ällistyttävä satukirja (Otava) by Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen, Lystileikit vauvan kanssa (Oppi&ilo) by Pirjo Suvilehto and Risto Räppääjä ja väärä Vincent (Tammi) by Sinikka and Tiina Nopola.

Societal discussion topics appeared in last year’s children’s and youth literature: climate change, environmentalism, equality, tolerance, emotions and health, as well as Finland’s 100 years of independence. Alongside the societal themes, the books are based on imagination and fairytale tradition, though strictly traditional fairytales were few in 2017.

In March Svenska Barnboksinstitutet released their statistics on children’s and youth literature published in Sweden in 2017. Also in Sweden the societal discussions continued in children’s and youth literature, which has been published in increasing amounts since 2010. The number of published titles in Sweden last year was 2532, which is proportionate to Finland’s amount per capita.

The Finlandia Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature was awarded to a picture book written in verse: Sanna Manderin’s Nyckelknipan / Avain hukassa (Schildts & Söderströms / S&S), which introduces the inhabitants of a blockbuilding. It also won the Rudolf Koivu award. The book introduces the various inhabitants of the house in neutral tone, without judging them or their way of living. Mennään jo naapuriin (Tammi), a book written by Riina Katajavuori and illustrated by Salla Savolainen, invites the readers into the homes of people who have moved to Finland from different cultures. The broadcasting company YLE chose the book as representative of the year 2017, since it depicts the multicultural Finland of today. The book also won the Punni prize for a new opening in children’s literature.

Elina Rouhiainen’s Muistojenlukija (Tammi) was recognized with Topelius Prize, which is annually awarded to a high quality youth novel. Leena Parkkinen’s Pikkuveli ja mainio harharetki (Teos) won the Arvid Lydecken prize. The book is illustrated by Jussi Karjalainen. The new Runeberg Junior prize was given out for the second time, now to Karin Erlandsson’s rlfiskaren (Schildts & Söderströms), illustrated by Tuuli Toivola. The Finnish Literary Export prize (Tulenkantaja) was given to a children’s and youth novel for the second time in a row, this time to Magdalena Hai’s Kurnivamahainen kissa (Karisto). The book is illustrated by Teemu Juhani. The new Aarresaari prize is given to a translation of children’s and youth literature, and the first ever prize went to Raija Rintamäki for the translation of Onnentyttö Dunne (Mäkelä), written by Rose Lagercrantz and illustrated by Eva Eriksson.

Picture books

Picture books in Kirjakori-exhibition.

474 picture book titles were published in 2017. Both national and translated picture books increased in amount compared to the previous year. The amount of national picture books, 204 titles, is higher than ever in two decades. 270 titles were translations. 35 percent of all titles were wordless picture books for small children, the majority of which (129 titles) were translations.

The domestic picture books have a majority of girls as their protagonist: 26 books with a female main character compared to 19 with a male. In five books the protagonist is a child whose gender is ambiguous. Animal characters are still common, 43 national titles showcase an animal or a group of animals as their main character / characters. Most of the animals are personified, often walking on two legs and wearing clothes. Other protagonists include ghosts, trolls, snowmen, cars, icebreakers, meat balls, mushrooms and sushis.

The most common site in Finnish picture books is home: altogether 41 books have a story situated in the home of a human or an animal. There are 15 books with a city surrounding and 26 contain a forest or other natural environment. In Sweden, there was a prominent trend with forest themes and surroundings in literature. In Fnland there is a steady flow of forest related books every year, but no specific trend was seen here. Stories in picture books also take place in haunted castles, fairytale worlds, flea markets and cat houses. The sites in national books also included the Baltic Sea, a park in London, the historical Turku and Helsinki.

The translated picture books are mostly series by well-known authors or books linked to television characters, and they revolve around children’s life skills. Even the books with the highest artistic merit in various language districts are hardly translated at all.

Children’s novels

Children’s novels, including fairytales and chapter books were published more than any year in this millennia. Children’s books were published a record-breaking 257 titles; 157 national and 100 translated.

In national children’s novels there are substantially more girls than boys as protagonists, 40 girls and only 20 boys – and they are wondering how to get boys to read! In three books there is a child whose gender the story won’t reveal. In 14 books there is a girl – boy couple as main characters. In 10 books the main characters are formed by a group of children. Also in children’s novels there are several animal protagonists, sometimes accompanying a child protagonist. Some of the books focus on parents’ divorce and the workings of a blended family resulting. In all of those novels the protagonist is a girl.

The site in national children’s novels is often home, school or the child’s immediate surroundings. Recognizable scenes include Helsinki, Tampere, Scotland, Rhodes and Germany. Some stories are situated in a fairytale world such as Kardum, Pietimetsä, Hurjalinna and Sirkuslaakso. Hobbies present in children’s novels include singing, pets, horses, hobby-horses, synchronized skating, geocaching, and video games.

Youth novels

The publishing rate stayed in similar numbers compared to previous years; 169 titles, 90 of which national and 79 translated. There were considerably more female than male protagonists in national youth novels with 31 girls and 21 boys. There were also six couples and nine groups.

In Finnish youth novels the genres were divided evenly to fantasy and realistic fiction, with 32 titles of both. Besides them there was one sci-fi compilation, three adventure novels and four titles of crime / horror. Young adult fiction has gained some strong new authors also in Finland. Four dystopian novels were published for youth. The realistic novels showcase hobbies such as soccer, figure skating and floorball.

The translations mirror the vibrant Young Adult genre of the of the english-speaking world. Most of the translated titles are from series that have reached world wide popularity, or books that popular films are based on. Single books from lesser known authors are rarely translated.

Graphic novels

26 titles of Finnish graphic novels were indexed, increasing in number from previous years. Graphic novels are generally not defined by readers’ ages; there is no clear division between graphic novels for for children and youth or for adults. The Finnish Institute For Children’s Literature adds graphic novels to its library based on their suitability for young readers. Graphic novels directed specifically for children are published very little nationwide. The library takes in Finnish graphic novels comprehensively, and translations selectively. Besides the Disney publications there are autobiographies, documentaries and various serious topics. Female graphic novelists are on the rise; especially the Finnish female graphic novelists have produced many a high quality works.

Also nonfiction was published in graphic novel format, e.g. Michael Goodwin and Dan E. Burr’s Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work), in Words and Pictures (in Finnish Economix: sarjakuva siitä, kuinka talous toimii (ja ei toimi), Kampus Kustannus) as well as José Pérez Montero and Ben Alex’s The Life of Jesus (in Finnish Ihmeellinen Jeesus, Päivä Osakeyhtiö).


Poetry in Kirjakori-exhibition.

28 Finnish poetry collections were published. They include collections by well-known poets and illustrators, one collection of easy-to-read poems and 12 self-publications. The only translated work is Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts (in Finnish Elukat, Art House), with the absurd poems taking the side of animals rather than people.


In 2017 altogether 215 titles of nonfiction were published, 113 of which Finnish. The topics include games, coding, literary art, and reading. There was also a nonfiction picture books about chromosomes, and a herbarium modeled after a museum exhibition. The male-led autobiographies were starred by singers, YouTubers and footballers.

There is an ongoing flow of nonfiction about games and play. Toy phenomena like spinners, slime and Minecraft were the focus of 12 titles. The Finnish game culture is the topic of the nonfiction picture book by Kati Heljakka: Poppi ja Noppa ja lelutehtaan aarre (Tactic Games), which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the board game Kimble. Timothy Knapmas’s interactive History Quest (in Finnish Historiaseikkailu, Lasten Keskus) utilizes gamification techniques, that invite the readers to direct the story themselves.

Easy-to-read books

The increasing demand for easy-to-read books was met by publishing easy-to-read books as well as adaptations of children’s, youth and (suitable) general literature. Sinikka and Tiina Nopola’s Heinähattu, Vilttitossu ja ärhäkkä koululainen (Avain) was published as Hanna Männikkölahti’s easy-to-read adaptation.  Leena Kaivosoja’s adaptation of Harri Vestinen’s youth novel Kotitekoisen poikabändin alkeet (Opike) and Hanna Männikkölahti’s adaptations of Salla Simukka’s The Snow White trilogy’s first two books As Red As Blood and As White As Snow (In Finnish Punainen kuin veri and Valkea kuin lumi, Avain).


In Finland literature is translated mainly from english-speaking countries, over 400 titles last year. Swedish comes second with 61 titles translated to Finnish, while in Sweden there were only 20 titles translated from Finnish, and they all related to one Moomin- themed Christmas calendar. Next in line are German, French and Japanese (especially manga). Some titles were translated from Dutch, Norwegian, Estonian, Italian, Danish and Czech.

From rarer language districts we got a translation of the Estonian classic Bumpy (in Finnish Pieni Sarvipää, Atrain) by Oskar Luts. Tia Nav’s picture book Seven Little Elephants (in Finnish Seitsämän pientä elefanttia, Lector) was also translated from Estonian. Among the translations was also the Latvian Juris Zvirgzdiņš’ and The Lithuanian illustrator Lina Dūdaitė’s Rawrrr! or The Lion’s Roar (In Finnish Leijonan ärjy, Paperiporo), which is in its native Lithuania an award-winning children’s novel. Andri Snær Magnason’s youth fantasy novel The Time Casket (in Finnish Aika-arkku, Aula&co) was translated over from Icelandic. In Iceland it was awarded the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2013.

Plyppi aarnimettässä and Plyppi ja kevättulva were translated from Swedish to Meänkieli (self-published by the translator Jonna Palovaara).


Books on the theme independent Finland 100 years.

100 years of independence

Finland’s 100 years of independence was celebrated in 2017. This was seen both in children’s fiction and nonfiction. In Paula Noronen’s Supermarsu saa kilpailijan ( Tammi, illustration by Terese Bast), Maijaliisa Diecmann’s Ville Romunen ja mummo itsenäisyyttä juhlimassa (Mäkelä, illustration by Raimo Huittinen) and Kalle Veirto’s youth novel Henkka & Kivimutka ja joulukuun kuudes (Karisto, kuvitus Jari Paananen) all contain celebrations of independence. Laila Kohonen’s historical children’s novel Miehuuskoe 2017 (Otava) tells the story of a young boy’s experiences during the time Finland gained independence.

Heli Laaksonen and Iiris Kalliola’s book Tulevaisuuden kuusi (Metsäkustannus) is a Finland 100 jubilee publication about fir-trees, woods and their signifigance to people. Aku Ankka ja Suomi -comic collecection (Sanoma) contains Kari Korhonen’s stories situated in the alternative universes of Duckburg and Finland, published in Donald Duck -magazine during 2017. To honor the 100 year old Finland, Tuula Korolainen and Riitta Tulusto gathered poems for the jubilee collection Leijona se venytteli (Lasten Keskus).

Literature and reading

To celebrate Finland’s 100th birthday, the year was themed The Great Reading Adventure, with an emphasis on the importance of reading. Throughout the year the literacy of children and youth, and worries thereof were hot topics in societal discussion. The value of literature and books is highlighted also in the contents of last year’s children’s and youth literature, combined with different methods to inspire reading. Julia Donaldson’s The Detective Dog (in Finnish Etsiväkoira Ella, Mäkelä), illustrated by Sara Ogivlie, is a story about a dog who locates books that have gone missing from a school. Poppy Bishop and Alison Edgson’s story Bears House of Books (In Finnish Karhun kirjasto, Mäkelä) is about animals who keep reading the same stories over until they discover that the bear has a house full of books. Eventually the bear founds a library. Jo Cotterill’s A Library of Lemons (In Finnish Sitruunakirjasto, Stabenfelt) is a story of a girl who would like to reminisce about her deceased mother through books, even though her father stores the books away. Anne Leinonen’s youth novel Kirjanoita (WSOY) depicts a world where books have mainly disappeared off the face of earth. The last ones are accessible only to a handful of people and contain special powers. Kirsti Kuronen’s verse novel Pönttö introduces authors as friends.

Riitta Korhonen’s Ystävyyden kevätretki (Tactic Publishing) is a syllable book that rewards a beginner reader with a joyful story and an easy-to-read text. Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen’s Tatun ja Patun ällistyttävä satukirja (Otava) prompts the reader to take part in the storytelling – choosing tones, topics or reading styles. Johanna Hulkko’s mystery book Geoetsivät ja kadonnut muinaispurkka (Karisto) invites the reader to solve riddles together with the characters. The short stories take place in different locations around Finland.

As for Finnish nonfiction, reading and literary art are common topics. In the nonfiction picture book Eetu, Iitu ja kertomattomat tarinat (PS-kustannus) the bedtime storytelling is turned upside down: children tell stories to adults. Kaisa Laaksonen’s Suuri Lukuseikkailu (Avain) is the first national nonfiction title that broadly exhibits children’s literature to children. In Ronja Salmi and Mikko Toiviainen’s 12 tarinaa kirjoittamisesta (WSOY) professional writers share their experiences and advices to aspiring writers. Literary art exercises and stories combined appear for example in Eppu Nuotio, Maami Snellmann and Sanna Pelliccioni’s book Karhu ja kaverit (Bazar).

Wartime experiences and refugeedom

In relation to Finland’s 100 years of independence, several books on war were published. Carmen Thomas’ self published Lapset aikasillalla is based on war-time memories from a child’s perspective. Seija Helanders Tauno ja Nelli evakkomatkalla (Avain) is illustrated by Anne Stolt and tells the story of a family that is evacuated from battle area. In Tuula Pere’s novel Vadelmanpunainen (WickWick), illustrated by Georgia Stylou, Aino’s family flees from their home to be safe from war. Reijo Niinimäki’s Minne käynkin maailmassa (Suomen rauhanyhdistysten keskusyhdistys) had it’s third edition out in 2017. The book is about the experiences of a Tampere-born Reijo as a war child in Sweden. The nonfiction title 1918 minä olin siellä: elämää sodan aikana (SKS) sheds light on the events of 1918.

The refugee situation of 2015 still appears in children and youth literature. In Riitta S. Latvala’s Vertti ja Jessa tien päällä (Robustos) siblings are looking for a missing dog when they run into intimidating Home Guard troops that patrol the village. In the story a 10-year old girl has gone missing from a nearby immigration detention center. In Hanna Kökkö’s youth novel Väylänvartija (Mäkelä) a group of teenagers are on vacation by Tornio River, and notice their neighbor is hiding refugees that have come from Irak to Sweden.

Mika Lietzén’s graphic novel Jääkärit: viisi kertomusta (Pohjanmaan museo) is about the recruitment of boys to jäger (infantry) training during WW1. The graphic novel was made to order from Ostrobothnian Museum for their jäger-themed exhibition. John Boyne’s The Boy at the Top of the Mountain (in Finnish Poika vuoren huipulla, Bazar) depicts events unfolding during WW2.

Magdalena Hai’s allegorical fairytale novel Kurnivamahainen kissa (Karisto) contains references to war; all military troops have ended up in a cat’s stomach, with their arms and everything. Another war theme arises in Minna Lindeberg’s Lumi Azharian yllä /Snön över Azharia (Teos / Förlaget), where two girls are on a school skiing trip and pretend to be fleeing from war.

Non-fiction books in the Kirjakori-exhibition.

Environmental consciousness and climate change

The protection of natural and living environments comes up in Reetta Niemelä, Sanna Pelliccioni and Mia Rönkä’s Nähdään majalla, lintuagentit (Sammakko). The children bring the townspeople together to protect the rare little ringed plover that is nesting in factory premises. The book is a mixture of fiction and nonfiction. Kirsi Rehunen’s educative science book Tiedeleikkejä pikkututkijoille (PS-kustannus) and Laura Ertimo’s book Vesi – kirja maailman tärkeimmästä aineesta (Myllylahti, illustration by Satu Kontinen) teach about natural laws and the workings of nature.

In the Swedish-Finnish Eya Le Wartie’s book Tinga ja ystävät jäätikön luona (Artew) climate change makes animals worry. Martti Linna’s Isän luokse (Myllylahti) tells the story of Katri, who gets preoccupied with climate change and tries to make everyone in her school to understand the seriousness of the situation. Vuokko Hurme’s Kiepaus is the opening part of a children’s fantasy series, that can also be read as a dystopia. In the novel gravity suddenly disappears so everything that wasn’t attached to the ground, falls away to the sky. The situation in Kiepaus presents similar threats as climate change. People suffer from shortage of water and food, and since there is not enough for everyone, people become a threat to each other.

Winter is present in several books’ illustration and text. Perhaps the discussion on climate change and experiences of snowless winters has brought winter subjects forward. Benji Davies’ translated picture book The Storm Whale in Winter (in Finnish Toivo ja talviyö, Karisto) beautifully depicts winter time. In Veera Salmi and Elina Warsta’s book Pablo ja heiluvat hampaat children play winter games on the daycare yard.

Emotion education for all ages

Last year’s phenomenon – emotion education – was also strong within this years book collection; especially in picture books but also in nonfiction. In Finnish nonfiction about emotions Anne-Mari Jääskinen and Sanna Pelliccioni’s youth nonfiction Mitä sä rageet: tunteita sikanolosta sairaan siistiin (Lasten Keskus) stands out. It comes with a manual for caretakers and educators to support the emotional growth of young people: Mitä sä rageet: lapsen ja nuoren tunnetaitojen tukeminen.

The picture books also contain emotions faced by everyone from time to time. Heli Thorén and Pirkko-Liisa Toppinen’s Penny ikävöi (Cozy Publishing) is about the feeling of longing, and begins a new series of books devoted to feelings. In Disney Learning Everyday Stories -series (In Finnish Arjen taitoja, published by Sanoma Media Finland) readers are gently taught emotion skills in familiar movie settings: Sheila Higginson’s Hotheads (in Finnish Kiukkupussit) explores negative feelings and anger management with Riley from the motion picture Inside Out. In Vickie Saxon’s Just Like Me? (in Finnish Ainoa laatuaan) Olaf from Frozen learns to cope with disappointment and appreciate differences between family members. Beth Sycamore’s Who Needs a Hug? (in Finnish Halitaan!) teaches caring for others, supporting friends and showing empathy through the characters of Finding Dory.

In children’s literature there is also an increasing amount of mindfulness – consciousness skills and being present – a topic that is popular in books for adults too. Several of the emotion education books include mindfulness and breathing exercises, and sometimes they are interwoven in the fiction. Timo Harju and Nina Haiko’s Satu kameleontille ja muita ja satuja sinulle (Ensi- ja turvakotien liitto) is designed to bring comfort and a sense of security especially for children who have experienced post-divorce persecution. The book is complete with exercises for body awareness and breathing.

Tired parents

Parents today are faced with stress and fatigue, and the topic is present in children’s literature. Nadja Andersson’s picture book Hönans kalas (Schildts & Söderströms) tells of a hen who is preparing her house for guests with such enthusiasm that eventually she gets exhausted. In Ilja Karsikas’ picture book Ilja ja sumupuu (Etana Editions), Ilja’s father is so exhausted for working that he disappears into depression as if inside a tree of fog. Luckily the grandfather is there to help the son search for his father inside the fog tree. In Hannamari Ruohonen’s Kadonnut äitini (S&S) a fatigued and depressed mother has gone away. The child processes the issue with a toy dog, which in the child’s mind grows huge in size and breaks things that are related to the missing mother.

Children are fending for themselves in Briitta Hepo-oja’s Hylättyjen lasten kaupunki (Myllylahti). Mikko’s mother is exhausted of being a mother and leaves her son to the edge of a forest. Mikko finds a group of children who have established their own society inside an abandoned city.

Jack Cheng’s See You in the Cosmos (In Finnish Kosmoksessa tavataan, Aula & co) the 11-year-old Alex is left on his own devices since his father is dead and his mother is ill. Only after Alex travels alone to a rocket festival his adult older brother has to face the problems of their family.

Youth novels depict dysfunctional families that appear perfect on the outside. However, there are neglected children, like in Jukka Behm’s novel Pehmolelutyttö (WSOY). Nadja Sumanen’s Terveisin Seepra (Otava) is about a ballet-dancing Iiris, who keeps cutting herself. Her mother focuses on updating her lifestyle blog and perfecting the home decor, and is oblivious to her daughter’s distress.

Sanna Tahvanainen’s Kurre Snobb och popcornen (Schildts & Söderströms, in Finnish Kurre Keikari ja popcornit, S&S) is about a london-based dandy squirrel, who starts craving for popcorn. As various addictions  – social media, drugs, games – are taking over people’s lives, the topic is very up-to-date.

Visibility for disabilities

Disabled people are still a rare sight in children and youth literature, but last year there were at least some titles with disability themes or disabled characters. In nonfiction there is Heini Saraste, Kalle Könkkölä and Väinö Heinonen’s easy-to-read picture dictionary Voihan vammainen (Into Kustannus).  In Sanna Kalmari, Ulla Parisaari and Ilona Partanen’s nonfiction picture book Ihmetellään kromosomeja (Norio-keskus) Joonas who is a person of short stature, and his sister Emma make friends with disabled Anna, and together they learn about chromosomes and differences between people.

Within fiction there are only few disabled characters. R. J. Palacio’s Wonder (in Finnish Ihme,  WSOY) has grasped peoples’ attention as a book and as a filmatization. The 10-year-old protagonist August has Treacher Collins syndrome that causes facial deformation. Within Finnish titles there is Jukka Vuorio and Elina Penninkangas’ picture book Muskotin puuhakirja (Kuulovammaisten Lasten Vanhempien liitto). A cat named Muskotti has a hearing aid and its friend Jänö a cochlear implant. Tuula Kallioniemi’s children’s novel ppiä ja rettelöintiä (Otava) contains a character Verneri who has a mobility impairment. Helena Numminen’s Lillin villit seikkailut (Marketiimi, illustrated by Harri István Mäki) is a story about Lilli, who has some undefined trouble with her feet and is hospitalized for the second time for a surgery. While at the hospital she makes friends with Viivi Roosa, a person of short stature. Tiina Vaajanto’s Down Under (Myllylahti) introduces a protagonist who has a sister with down syndrome.

Multiculturalism and minorities

Discrimination and hardships faced by ethnic minorities are the topics of for example Angie Thomas’ translated youth novel The Hate U Give (in Finnish Viha jonka kylvät, Otava) and Koko Hubara’s essay collection Ruskeat tytöt (Like), which recounts the racist experiences of racialized girls in Finland. Emmi Nieminen and Johanna Vehkoo’s Vihan ja inhon internet (Kosmos) is an informative graphic novel about the misogynistic and racist hate speech on the internet. Also Sanna Mander’s picture book of poems Avain hukassa contains the character Erkki, who vents his spleen on the internet behind a screen name. He hates the color pink and unicorns, and there is a black cloud constantly hovering over his head.

Multiculturalism is a natural part of everyday life in Katajavuori and Savolainen’s picture book Mennään jo naapuriin, in the book Pablo ja heiluvat hampaat (Otava) as well as in the Swedish Åsa Mendel-Hartvig four part Titta-series which is illustrated by Maija Hurme, and in Pia Lehtinen and Niklas Gerkman’s picture book Harri i Helsingfors (self published).

The publication of Rassako reevos – Yökettu -picture book (Opetushallitus) is a significant cultural deed. The book contains texts both in Finnish and in Romani, and it tells a story of a Rom girl and her family. A Rom girl is also present in Kalliorinne’s ppiä ja rettelöintiä (Otava). Elina Rouhiainen’s Muistojenlukija’s (Tammi) protagonist is half Rom and and the story also touches upon the rights of paperless Romanian immigrants in Europe.

The other large national minority, the sami people are hardly present in Finnish literature, but the situation is slightly improved by Ann-Helén Laestadius’ Terkkuja Sopperosta (Kieletär Inari), translated from Swedish. On a brighter note, Tatu ja Patu päiväkodissa and the first edition of the anthology of children’s literature, Lumottu metsä (Saamelaiskäräjät), were translated to all three official languages of Finland.

Feminism and #metoo

In 2017 feminist themes emerged increasingly in societal discussions, most prominently through the Me Too -campaign against sexual harassment. Equality themes in children and youth literature are present broadly and at many levels, and are directly discussed in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book We Should All Be Feminists (in Finnish Meidän kaikkien pitäisi olla feministejä, Otava). The work is an essay based on a TED talk, and it was sent to all ninth graders in Finland. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (in Finnish Iltasatuja kapinallisille tytöille, S&S) was originally a crowdfunding project and introduces heroic women to girls in order to empower them. Within youth fiction Holly Bourne’s Am I Normal Yet? and its sequel How Hard Can Love Be? (in Finnish Oonko ihan normaali? and Mikä kaikki voi mennä pieleen?, Gummerus) tell about 16-year-old girls who start a feminist club for discussing equality issues.

Especially picture books present gender neutral protagonists, for example Peppe Öhman and Terese Bast’s picture book Kim ja pönttöhirviö sekä muita tarinoita (Tactic), Ville Hytönen and Mira Mallius’ Kuka tykkää röhinämummusta? (Savukeidas) as well as Mendel-Hartvig’s Titta series. Kaj Korkea-aho and Ted Forsström’s Zoo! youth novel series’ first part Virala genier / Viraalit nerot (Förlaget / Otava) has a supporting character Dharampreet, whose gender both students and teachers try to find out, but which is left undefined in the end.

The sexual harassment, power misuse and abuse brought up by the Me Too -campaign appear also in youth literature and graphic novels. Jukka Behm’s Pehmolelutyttö won WSOY’s Tuhat ja yksi tarinaa writing contest in the spring 2017. In the novel grown men buy sexual services from a 15 year old girl. Tanja Kaarela’s Lasissa on tyttö (Reuna) novel presents a world where it is not unusual for a 7-year-old to get attacked by a half naked man or teen girls to get abused by grown men. In Emmi Valve’s graphic novel Armo (Reuna) an unconscious girl is raped and afterwards the deed is downplayed. The victim’s mental health suffers greatly, which Valve effectively portrays in the graphic novel. The traumas caused by abuse are subtly described in Helena Waris’ dystopia Linnunsitoja (Otava), in which the protagonist tries to heal from years of abuse while working within a resistance movement.

In 2017 there was campaigning for transgender rights and reformation of the Trans Act. Transgenderism is a topic in Anna Hallava’s youth novel Valpuri Vaahteran maaginen korva (WSOY), and also Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls contains a story of a little transgender girl

YouTubing, technology and interactivity

Children's non-fiction on games and robots in Kirjakori-exhibition.

Aleksi Delikouras’ Nörtti 5 Multiplayer (Otava) continues the Nörtti series, where DragonSlayer666 alias Nörtti prepares for the international CS tournament in Toronto. Nörtti is also familiar from a television series and a YouTube channel. Elina Lappalainen’s Nyt pelittää! (Tammi), illustrated by Jussi Kaakinen, combines information and story while explaining how video games are created. In nonfiction the list of topics contain coding, internet skills and the relationship between people and information technology. The Finnish Linda Liukas’ Hello Ruby – Löytöretkellä Internetissä (Otava. The book will be published in English as Hello Ruby: Expedition to the Internet) describes the functioning of internet, while Seija Niinistö-Samela’s easy-to-read nonfiction Robotti ihmisen apuna (Pieni Karhu) explores how humans and robots can work together. Elina Hiltunen’s coding manual extends over to programming with Dibitassut.

Satukustannus has published four children’s books with an augmented reality feature operated with mobile devices. Also Caroline Rowlands’ Where Equestria Comes to Life (in Finnish Ponien maailma herää eloon, from My Little Pony series utilizes augmented reality. In 2017 for the first time two youth novels were published only as e-books: Riina Mattila’s Järistyksiä and Sanna Heinonen’s Noland, both of which were ranked high in WSOY’s youth fiction contest.

The popular vloggers have arrived to the book industry. Roni Back ja Ville Kormilainen’s Tubettajan käsikirja (Otava) lets the readers in on the secrets of YouTubing. Maiju Voutilainen, a vlogger known as Mansikka, has published a collection of poems called Itke minulle taivas (Otava). Laura Friman recounts the story of vlogger Mikael Hertell, known as Deata, in Deata – äoleta (Siltala).


Kirjakori team

Book acquisition : Päivi Antila
Book cataloging: Päivi Antila, Päivi Nordling, Noora Raiskio
Kirjakori exhibition: Päivi Antila, Noora Raiskio
Kirjakori overview: Päivi Antila, Kaisa Laaksonen, Päivi Nordling, Noora Raiskio
Kirjakori statistics: Kaisa Laaksonen, Päivi Nordling
Kirjakori web page and poster: Julia Pakola
English translation: Aino-Maria Kangas