Prata Bok – Children’s Book Talk at Helsinki International Book Fair
Helsinki Book Fair will feature children’s and youth program in Swedish as the Prata Bok (“Book Talk”) author interviews take to the stage. Prata Bok offers Swedish-speaking school classes a unique opportunity to meet with and to interview current authors.
Prata Bok is aimed at Swedish-speaking schools from all over Finland. The schools participating in Prata Bok signed up in March, and chose their books and authors to interview at the same time. Ten groups were selected from Ostrobothnia and Uusimaa regions. The youngest groups are from grades 5-6 and the oldest are high school seniors.
To give the young people stage experience and confidence to perform, they also get to take part in a training day, where they will receive tips on how to conduct a good interview. The authors’ books have been distributed to the school groups so that the students have plenty of time to familiarise themselves with the material before the book fair.
“The thing that makes Prata Bok interesting is that it is the young readers themselves who get to voice their questions and opinions on books aimed at their target group”, says Finnish Reading Center’s producer Barbro Enckell-Grimm.
The aim of Prata Bok is to inspire children and young people to read and to talk about their reading experiences. It is also important for the students to get to know Swedish-Finn authors and their work.
Finnish Literature in Swedish
Swedish is an official language in Finland, next to Finnish. There are a little less than 300 000 Swedish-Finns in Finland, who speak Swedish as their first language. Free education in Swedish is available from early childhood education and care to universities.
The Swedish-speaking population in Finland has a rich literary culture. The Finnish Reading Center is a bilingual organisation operating in both Finnish and Swedish, and Prata Bok is one of the ways to promote reading and literature within the Swedish-speaking community.
Prata Bok is organised by the Finnish Reading Center in cooperation with Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland. The project is financed by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and Stiftelsen Brita Maria Renlunds minne.