Salla Simukka’s youth novels Without a Trace (Jäljellä, Tammi 2012) and Elsewhere (Toisaalla, Tammi 2012), have been nominated for the Topelius Prize by the Finnish Union of authors writing for children, youngsters and young adults.
The winners will be announced on 14 January 2013. The prize is awarded annually to the most deserving books of the previous year. Established in 1946, the Topelius Prize is Finland’s oldest prize in recognition of the best Finnish book for children and young people. These days, the prize is awarded for the best youth novel.
In the meritocratic dystopia of Without a Trace, when coming back home after running away, Emmi finds herself in a world from which other people have disappeared. This otherwise empty world is inhabited by a few young people, and friendships are formed quickly under these exceptional circumstances. The youngsters are forced to look at themselves and the values they have from a new perspective. In Elsewhere, Samuel is enlisted to a project with the goal of creating a virtual world called The Empty World. A few young people, still looking for their own place in life and hence judged to be in danger of becoming excluded from society, are recruited as guinea pigs for the virtual world. Talking about the things that really matter in life, the novels are multidimensional depictions of the mindset of young people and the brutality of society.
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