My Happy Life

Lagercrantz, Rose
Eriksson, Eva
Swedish title
Mitt lyckliga liv
Children \ Fiction 6-9
Pub Date
Aug 23, 2010
144 pages, 148x210 mm, b/w illustrations
  • "

    "One of those joyous rarities: a book about girls who are neither infallible nor pratfall-prone, but who are instead very real — both admirable and relatable... If only all early chapter books were this beautifully conceived."
    New York Times, Notable Book of 2013

    "Heroine Dani is individual without being quirky, and the backstory of her mother's death, long ago, is woven in with matter-of-fact tenderness. The humor is gentle... Eriksson's beautifully composed line drawings are full of personality and emotion, and the whole book speaks of care and artfulness in its production."
    Horn Book Magazine USA, May 2013


My Happy Life was selected a Notable Book of 2013 by New York Times.

This particular night, Dunne can’t get to sleep. “Count sheep!" Dad says. But Dunne counts other things instead: all the times she has been happy - and unhappy. Dunne has longed to start school as long as she can remember. But when it is actually time, she feels as if her legs won’t bear her - what if she doesn’t make any friends! And going to school without having any friends there, that would be the worst nightmare possible, much worse than not being able to learn how to read and write. But luckily Dunne and Ella Frida find each other in the school yard the very next day. They start on the swings together, and they stay together all the autumn term.

Dunne is happy, and when she and Dad celebrate Christmas with Granny and Grandpa, she can’t resist longing for school to begin - because then she will meet her best friend again. But something has happened during the holidays. Ella Frida can’t manage to tell her what it is, the teacher has to do it. Ella Frida has to move away to another city. And Dunne doesn’t understand how she is ever going to be happy again. She slowly makes new friends but still misses her best friend. The only time she is really happy after Ella Frida's departure is when her father gives her the two hamsters she has been dreaming of. But then Ella Frida sends her a letter inviting her to come stay with her for the Easter holidays. That is why Dunne cannot sleep that night and has to count all the times she has been happy: the next morning her father will drive her to see Ella Frida!

Rose Lagercrantz has written about forty books since her debut in 1973. The books about Metteborg are the most popular - and it is in his class that Dunne starts in this book.

Eva Eriksson has illustrated many children’s books over more than 30 years, for example by Barbro Lindgren, Ulf Nilsson, Ulf Stark and Rose Lagercrantz (mainly the books about Metteborg). She has also made her own children’s books and animated film.