Kirsten Boye: Author of books for children and young adults | NDR.de – Culture

Status: 01/06/2022 10:24 AM

The 72-year-old is the inventor of the “Ritter Trink” and “Children of the Seagull Trail”: Kirsten Bue has long been one of Germany’s foremost authors of children’s and young adults’ books.

Her books are filled with awards: in 2007 she was awarded a special prize from the German Youth Literature Prize for her complete work. However, this is not over yet.

Stories on greaseproof paper


Kirsten Boie has authored over 100 books for children and young adults – and remains committed.

Kirsten Boye was born on March 19, 1950 in Hamburg. When he was five years old, the Hamburg native was already writing stories on greaseproof paper and loved the books of Astrid Lindgren and Enid Blyton. “I was an anxious child, reading helped me overcome my fear. It was great to dive into other worlds. I felt safe there,” she told Zeit Magazine in 2015. After graduating from high school, she first applied to study medicine, but then reflects on her love of literature. From 1969 to 1974 she studied German and English and received her doctorate in literary studies on Bertolt Brecht’s early prose.

The first book “Paule ist ein Glücksgriff” became a success

Boie initially teaches at a grammar school, but then transfers to a comprehensive school at his request. It was a key experience for her, she told Zeit Magazine in 2015. “I was shocked by the differences. Before that, I wasn’t aware of how different the living conditions of children in our country are and how powerful they are. Their development is so special.”

She began writing after her son was adopted, because the Youth Welfare Office prevented her from continuing to work as a teacher. In 1985 her first book, Paul ist ein Glücksgriff, was published, in which she told the story of a dark-skinned adopted child and was an instant success. Paul ist ein Glücksgriff has received excellent reviews and is on the shortlist for the German Youth Literature Prize.

“Children of the Seagull Way” and “Ritter Trink”

To date, Kirsten Boie has authored more than 100 books for children and young adults of nearly all ages – from picture books to stories for beginners to books for young adults. Her “Children of the Seagull Trail” is particularly famous, as it shows that one can not only experience a happy childhood in Astrid Lindgren’s “Büllerbü”. In February 2020, on the occasion of the series’ twentieth anniversary, the anthology “All Together on a Seagull Way” was published with three stories about the girl Tara and the children of her neighbors.

Among Bowie’s most famous works are “Ritter Trink” and “Pirate Moses”. There are also books for older children such as “Alhambra”, “Ringel Rangel Rosen” or “Schwarze Lügen”.

Great commitment to promoting reading

Teachers use Kirsten Boie’s books in German lessons, and her works have also been translated into other languages. The author, who is also involved in the Goethe-Institut, writes several radio plays and scenarios for the ZDF children’s series “Siebenstein”. Promoting reading is especially important to her: in 2018, she and other Hamburg celebrities launched the “Hamburg Declaration”. A nationwide petition calling on politicians – given the fact that every fifteen years of life in Germany is functionally illiterate – launch a campaign to promote reading. More than 119,000 people have signed the petition.

Several awards in honor of their work

Kirsten Boye (M), author of books for young people, receives Honorary Citizenship of Hamburg from Peter Tschentscher (left, SPD), 1st Mayor of Hamburg, and Carola Fett (SPD), President of the Hamburg Parliament © picture alliance / Daniel Reinhardt Photo: Daniel Reinhardt

Kirsten Bue (centre) receives Honorary Citizenship of the City from Hamburg Mayor Peter Chencher (left) and Carola Fett (right), President of the Hamburg Parliament.

Kirsten Boie has received a number of awards for her work and commitment: in 2008, for example, she received the Grand Prix of the German Academy of Children and Youth Literature, and in 2011 the Gustav Heinemann Peace Prize for “Ringe, Rangel, Rosen”. In the same year she was awarded the Cross of Merit of the First Class by the Federal President. In 2019, she won the Zurich Children’s Book Award for her hilarious family story ‘Summer in Somerby’, in which three siblings spend a summer without a mobile phone with their previously unknown grandmother.

Seagull Trail Foundation for Children in Swaziland

Kirsten Boie visits NDR . Radio Theatrical Production Department

Many of Kirsten Boie’s books are also set to music while the radio is on. For example “Thabo and the Nashornfall”, modified for NDR information in 2018.

The writer, who lives with her husband and their two adopted children in Barsbüttel in Schleswig-Holstein, frequently focuses on social issues. In 2011, in collaboration with the Hamburg magazine for the homeless “Hinz und Kunzt”, she described the fate of a man who ends up in the streets as a result of unemployment for a children’s book on the topic of homelessness called “Ein mittelschönes Leben”.

In 2013, she received the Luchs Children’s and Young People’s Book Award for her book There Are Things That Can’t Be Told, which is about AIDS orphans in Swaziland in South Africa. Through her foundation Möwenweg, which she founded with her husband in 2015, she is committed to educating, caring for and accommodating children in the country.

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North Magazine | 04.05.2022 | It’s 19:30

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