The thin sword

By Frida Nilsson

Sasha begins to call his mom Semilla when she gets sick. One night Semilla is gone from her bed and Sasha understands that Death has taken her away. He borrows the neighbour’s little boat and rows after them, determined to outsmart Death and bring his mother back. The adventure will take Sasha through the kingdom of Death, populated by fantastic creatures, the Hildins, the Spartans and the Hoos, where he makes both great friends and great enemies. A brave child takes on a challenge the adult world finds too frightening.

Frida Nilsson, (born in 1979), is considered one of the most talented children’s book authors in Sweden today. Her authorship is characterized by tremendous humor and great sincerity. She writes about the big questions in life – friendship, death and love – and has been compared to fellow writers such as Roald Dahl and Barbro Lindgren. Frida is internationally successful, and her work has been published in more than 20 languages.

Her books have been awarded Swedish and international prizes. She received the James Krüss Award for International Children’s Literature in 2019 and the LUCHS, annually awarded by Die Zeit, for her book “The Thin Sword”. She has been nominated for ALMA, the Deutscher Jugend Literaturpreis in Germany, and the August Prize (three times).  In 2017, the International Children’s Literature Hay Festival in Aarhus selected her as one of the 39 best European children’s book authors aged 40 and under. In 2021, Frida Nilsson was awarded the newly established Swedish Academy’s prize for children’s and young adult literature.


“Frida Nilsson is a great writer, and if anyone still needed proof of that, she has provided it with this fantastic, exuberant narrative […] She has written a timeless, dreamlike, thoroughly poetic masterpiece about being a child, not least about being human […] it is an unforgettable read that will stay with me and all of us on the Lynx jury for a long time to come.” – Laudatory speech, Lynx of the Year 2019.