The Best Thing about Kerstin

The Best Thing about Kerstin

Helena Hedlund & Katarina Strömgård

Original Title
Det bästa med Kerstin
Natur & Kultur, 2018
Fiction 6-9
Rights Sold
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The Best Thing about Kerstin

Helena Hedlund & Katarina Strömgård

Where the asphalt road ends and the gravel road begins, that’s where Kerstin lives. She is six years old and loves gold. 105 golden things are in a box underneath her bed. The nicest and most golden thing about Kerstin is her hair. It truly sparkles. Fatima says that Kerstin’s hair is orange, but it’s not true. The latest addition to Kerstin’s collection is a small ring that she found on the floor at school. When her teacher Lottie asks if anyone has seen her wedding ring, not a peep comes out of Kerstin’s mouth. And then it’s too late.

A story of tangled secrets, friendship, and the best thing about being Kerstin. The first part in a series of three books.

Helena Hedlund is an actress and a playwright. The Best Thing about Kerstin is her fictional debut.

Katarina Strömgård is an illustrator and writer. She works with books, comics, magazines, and animations for games.


“Kerstin is an unusual children’s book heroine, precisely because she is no heroine at all. She experiences the impositions of growing up in her own small world: finding out what she herself wants and standing up for these wishes. […] The swedish author Helena Hedlund has written many plays for children and youth. But she has always been an actress too. Maybe that’s why she manages to take on other roles so convincingly, to unfold the whole emotional world of this wonderful little Kerstin in front of us, whose despair is painful, whose tears are touching and whose joy is contagious.” Klaus Humann, DIE ZEIT

More books in the series


Press voices

“Helena Hedlund has written many plays for children and young readers. But she has also always been an actress. Maybe that’s why she so convincingly manages to slip into remarkable roles and present little Kerstin’s wonderful emotional world to us, where despair hurts, tears are touching and joy is contagious.” - The Zeit

"With a playful language and from an accurate child’s perspective, Helena Hedlund’s Kerstin depicts everyday yet vital problems. It’s so easy to get entangled with lies. The Best Thing About Kerstin is a debut that glitters like gold, both in the details and as a whole." Slangbellan, jury's praise "The books about Kerstin are discrete gems in the flood of books." Dagens Nyheter

"A modern Bullerby world (Astrid Lindgren) where the play is magical." Dagens Nyheter

"The chapters burst with dramatic everyday events, where realism is fed by a lush imagination." Smålandsposten


Slangbellan for best children's book debut 2018

Nils Holgersson prize 2019

Monthly Luchs prize (February 2022)

Monthly Leselotse special mention (Börsenblatt, March 2022)