All aboard a magical express train heading towards Christmas – Runeberg Junior Prize winner of 2021!
Author: Karin Erlandsson
Illustrations: Peter Bergting
Swedish original: Nattexpressen
Publisher: Schildts & Söderströms, 2020
Genre: Children’s fiction, fantasy, middle grade
Number of pages: 223 pp.
Reading material: Swedish original, English sample, English synopsis
Rights sold: Czech, Host Brno; Denmark, Straarup & Co.; Estonia, Sinisukk; Korean, KSI; Lithuania, Alma littera; Poland, Dwukropek; Russia, MIF; Slovakia, Ikar; Ukraine, The Black Sheep
Dania’s granny lives in an old station building next to a disused railway. Every year Dania, her big sister Nanda and their parents move to their grandmother’s for December in the run-up for Christmas. Granny has become older and more forgetful during the past years, and sometimes she speaks nonsense.
One evening Granny seems exceptionally absent-minded before disappearing from her room. The same night Dania hears something and sneaks out to see it with her own eyes: an express train is pulling up at the station.
Dania manages to stop the night train and the adventure begins. She boards the train that returns every night. On the train she meets Konrad, and it soon transpires that everyone on the night train has lost someone they love. With the help of a key from Granny and a mysterious music box, Dania and Konrad are able to bend time itself.
Will the children find their lost loved ones? And who has actually lost whom?
An enchanting and wildly riveting story brimming with the magic of Christmas has 24 chapters and is also splendid for reading out loud.
The book is illustrated by Peter Bergting (b. 1970), one of Sweden’s most famous illustrators. He has done illustrations and covers to numerous books for children, young adults as well as general fiction.
The novel was awarded with Runeberg Junior Prize 2021 and nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2021.
Song of the Eye Gemstone #1, The Pearl Fisher (2017)
Song of the Eye Gemstone #2, The Bird Master (2018)
Song of the Eye Gemstone #3, The Scaler of the Peaks (2019)
Song of the Eye Gemstone #4, The Victor (2019)
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