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Linni Ingemundsen is from Norway and currently works in Malta. She does not know how to draw but is somehow also a freelance cartoonist. Linni has lived in three different countries and will never be done exploring the world. Still, what truly inspires her writing is her background growing up in a village on the southwestern coast of Norway. Linni began writing her debut novel while on the Oxford Brookes MA in Creative Writing.
Fitting in is hard for most teenagers because it is a time when being the same and therefore accepted seems the most important thing. And Sander has a particular problem because he has Silver-Russell syndrome, a condition which affects one in a hundred thousand, which means he will always be shorter than everyone else. Sander has to work through all the familiar feelings of being an outsider while also dealing with feelings that relate especially to knowing that he will always be so short. But gradually Sander discovers that much about confirming is unimportant and that what matters most to him, friendship in particular, is not affected by his size. Beautifully observed, this captures so much about adolescence from many angles and, in doing so, celebrates the importance of accepting difference.
In a Nutshell: Family secrets, second chances Authentic, funny, coming-of-age story in which inimitable Malin discovers that “a friend worth having is someone who doesn't make you do anything you don't want to do”. Branded a “weirdo" by most of her peers, fourteen-year-old Malin has a unique perspective on the world. She’s the idiomatic square peg in a round hole, with no mates beyond Magnus, the older cousin she turns to for advice and companionship. But when school “It Girl” tricks Malin into stealing, she strikes up a friendship with fellow outsider Hanna. While this is an unexpected source of joy, as is her sweetly portrayed relationship with fellow nerd Ruben, Malin’s home life remains confusingly fraught. There are tragic turns along the way, but Malin’s incomparable embodiment of the human spirit always shines through. She’s often naïve, but her voice is witty, laced with self-depreciation and nuggets of wisdom. While things might not go to plan, she learns that “sometimes okay is good enough”, and that everyone should have “a chance to make things right again”. Poignant and compassionate, this life-affirming bundle comes wrapped in a refreshing Norwegian setting, and also comes wholeheartedly recommended for readers who relish real-life honesty. ~ Joanne Owen