Red Storm

Reading material

English sample & synopsis

Original title: Punainen myrsky

Published: 2019

Publisher: WSOY

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 300

As a small boy grows up in Iraq ruled by Saddam Hussein, fear is always present. His father is part of an underground opposition movement that tries to overthrow the dictator. The father ends up spending years in prison, and the boy learns that just one wrong word can put his life in danger.
The family escapes to melancholy Finland, a country recovering from financial depression. It is a safe country, but the boy grows up with mixed feelings: can one be a good Muslim and a good Finnish boy? When ISIS in rising in Iraq, the boy returns to his home country as a peace negotiator, hoping to build a county where his children can travel safely to one day.

The Red Storm describes with excellence the boundaries of a child’s consciousness, how imagination and dreams blend with reality, and how memories are shaped by the child’s comprehension. – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper


Red Storm is the best book you can bring home this autumn! – Turun Sanomat newspaper 30.10.


Hirvonen depicts fantasticly how the people who have fleed their homes will always bear a longing in them. The main character is able to leave his agonies behind and start a new life in a new county, but he will always long for the lost chance of happy lives with his family in his own country. One of the most important books of the year. – Seppo Puttonen, literary critic


Fast paced novel combines news material, interviews and real family stories. Verstatile and beautiful!

– Suomen kuvalehti magazine


Hirvonen has written a stunning, strong novel that lifts up humanity and love even in the hardest of moments. – Leena Lumi blog


Red Storm does incredile job discribing how it feels to have been grown up in the fear of constant violence, and then had to build a life as an outsider in a strange country. – Kirjaluotsi blog


”Hirvonen’s writing is beautiful and flowy, it strikes straight to the heart of a mother. – – – Red Strorm took me to another kind of world and showed another way of thinking. And it helped me to understand.” – Kirsin Book Club blog


”Hirvonen has been able to capture the young boy’s emotions, fears, anger and desire to be accepted so well.” – Kirjojen kuisketta blog


”In this short novel the entire human history meets the insignificance of a small individual in a breathtaking way.” – Lukulaiffii blog


”Elina Hirvonen always writes beatifully, but this time her sentences made reader feel like floating in the air, so clear and flowy was the writing.” – Amman kirjablogi blog


”It is shocking read, but Hirvonen makes it easy to relate to the feelings of a young boy. The authenticity is based on Hirvonen travel is Iraq and the real-life stories of survivals.” – Kirja vieköön blog

Elina Hirvonen

ELINA HIRVONEN is an author of adults’ and children’s prose, a journalist and documentary filmmaker. She has written four highly acclaimed adults’ novels that are at the same time tragic and beautiful. She is also known for her picture book series Princess Rascal, and she is currently writing a middle-grade trilogy – the first book of the series, Julia & P.A.L. will be published in fall 2020.

She has received Kalevi Jäntti Prize, and Nuori Aleksis Prize and has been nominated for Finlandia Prize and Debut Prize.



Elina Hirvonen

Princess Rascal

2017, Picture Book

Elina Hirvonen

Princess Rascal and the Potty Words

2019 May, Picture Book

Elina Hirvonen

Julia & P.A.L.

2020 Fall, Middle-Grade

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