Eppu Nuotio & Sanna Pelliccioni: Free

“Any lock will open when you find the right key.”

Author: Eppu Nuotio
Illustrator: Sanna Pelliccioni
Finnish original: Sinä päivänä
Publisher: S&S, 2024
Genre: children’s illustrated fiction
Number of pages: 36 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English translation

It’s late summer in 1989, and a girl has lost her home keys. Granny is crocheting a hat, Mum is making doughnuts, Pavel from next door is researching isomers, and Martta has painted a sun on the kitchen wall. It’s a scorcher of a day – old men are playing chess, sitting in the shade of tall trees, and washing dries so quickly it’s worth sitting down to wait for it. On days like this ice cream vendors are sweating, and beaches are chock full of people. 

There’s something very special about today. People have been whispering about it for weeks and it is finally about to happen. Today everyone will stand by the roadside and hold hands with one another, forming a chain of freedom across countries and borders. 

In August 1989 some two million people formed a 600-kilometre-long human chain from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, to Riga, Latvia, and again to Vilnius in Lithuania. The chain stood for independence and consisted of people of all ages. They stood hand in hand and demonstrated peacefully for hope of freedom. 

About the authors:
Eppu Nuotio
Sanna Pelliccioni