Financial issues dictate the conditions of all lives regardless of world view or assets, and the topic is frequently addressed in Nordic children’s and young adult literature. Money, or rather the lack thereof, is a recurring motif, from Laura Fitinghoff’s Barnen ifrån Frostmofjället (“The children of Frostmo mountain”, 1907), via Astrid Lindgren’s Rasmus på luffen (Rasmus and the Vagabond, 1956) to contemporary Elin Johansson’s and Ellen Ekman’s Veckan före barnbidraget (“The week before child benefit”, 2016).

One might think today’s privileged Nordic children need not worry about money, but according to Save the Children child poverty and social class gaps are increasing all over Europe.

What role do financial issues play in children’s and young adult literature before, during and after the heyday of the Swedish welfare state? How is children’s and young adults’ relationship to money portrayed? For instance, is making money and becoming self-sufficient central questions in stories of growth and maturity?

Moreover literature, just like life, is conditioned. Over the years, the economic factors of producing and publishing children’s and young adult literature have undergone several radical changes that show money also controls and influences children’s and YA books as aesthetic objects. Would the Nordic picturebook have become what it is today without the help of a growing middle class with money to spend? Would the modern young adult novel have become a phenomenon without the post-war commercialization of youth culture? What economic factors influence publishing today? How do market and demand guide publishers’ marketing strategies, and the books’ exterior when it comes to aspects such as cover and typography?

Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research welcomes articles on the topic “Money” in a broad sense. The aim is to highlight how primarily Nordic children’s and young adult literature has been influenced by issues related to money. Possible topics for articles include but is not limited to the following:

  • Money, consumption and social class as motifs in children’s and young adult literature.
  • Subversive and/or utopian children’s and young adult literature.
  • The theme of money within different genres of children’s and young adult literature.
  • Historical perspectives on the market of children’s and young adult literature, text and image production.
  • Finance, marketing and aesthetics.
  • The commercialisation of children’s and young adult literature and culture.
  • The financial situation of publishing houses, writers and illustrators.

Deadline, abstracts: 10 september 2018                                             

Please send a 300-word proposal to The following information should be included: The title of the article, the name of the writer, affiliation, and e-mail address.

Deadline, articles: 8 april 2019

The articles will be published in 2019. Articles submitted for consideration may not have been previously published in any other context.

Texts are sent via e-mail to or via the login system on Barnboken’s website: For further information on submission details such as length, see Author Guidelines: A guide to our reference and note system can be found at the journal website.

Guest editor of this theme is Lydia Wistisen, PhD, Stockholm University, Sweden (contact: The editorial committee consists of Editor Åsa Warnqvist (PhD, The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books, Sweden), and Assistant Editors Maria Jönsson (Associate Professor, Umeå University, Sweden), Anne Skaret (PhD., University of Applied Sciences, Norway), Björn Sundmark (Professor, Malmö University, Sweden), Olle Widhe (Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden), and Mia Österlund (Associate Professor, Åbo Akademi University, Finland).

Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research is published by the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books. All articles accepted have been peer reviewed by at least two peers and will be published online under an Open Access model. The main language of the journal is Swedish, but articles written in Danish, Norwegian and English are also welcome. We are especially interested in contributions related to Sweden or the Nordic countries.

Barnboken is published with financial support from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet).

For more information, please contact:

Åsa Warnqvist
The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books
Odengatan 61
SE-113 22 Stockholm

Phone: + 46 8 54 54 20 65.