The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Norwegian / Norway


(High school)

Kvammen, Anders N. (text/illus.)
Oslo: No Comprendo Press, 2016. – [128] p.
ISBN 978-82-8255-055-0

School  | Search for identity  | Graphic novel

Reading age: 12+

White Ravens issue: 2017


Loudmouths such as Jon and his loudmouth-companions make life at school hell for Aksel. From day one, the teenager hates high school, where the biggest gobbies rule and fists are employed occasionally. “Ungdomssskolen” follows in the footsteps of classic school novels, recounting the story of an introverted boy who enjoys comic books, listens to Nirvana, and loves skiing. When Eirik, his cousin and best friend, dies in an accident, Aksel’s life is thrown off course. Everything becomes too much: the horrible schoolmates, Eirik’s death, and the search for the meaning of life. Eventually however, Aksel manages to cope with his crisis and, three years later, school is finally history – and literally so: In his graphic novel, partly based on his own life, Anders N. Kvammen, sketches Aksel’s school career in black and white. Thanks to an alternation between time-lapse and slow-motion narration, the novel creates a perfect arc of suspense; the language is not overly sentimental, the story’s tone almost casual, which makes it all the more convincing.