Langenskiöld, Sweden, 2013, 213 pages
Original title: Pojken i trädkojan
Genre: Children’s fiction 9-12
The Treehouse Boy is a beautiful story about belonging and having a home. With his unadorned, easy-flowing language, Danny Wattin has created a modern but timeless Mowgli-like saga, full of humour and unexpected events that turn your thoughts to the worlds of Roald Dahl and Astrid Lindgren. The story expresses simple, tender wisdom that is brought to life by wonderfully-whimsical characters, absurd schoolyard revolts, explosive love letters and arm-wrestling principals.
Johan is ten years old and lives alone in a treehouse in the middle of the forest. Most of the time he enjoys his life in the wild, together with the squirrel, Mimi, and the rest of his animal friends. He climbs trees, gathers food and collects what he needs to get by from the rubbish dump on the outskirts of town. Johan keeps his distance from the grown-ups, because he’s afraid they’ll put him back in the orphanage. The only thing that is really missing in his life is learning how to read all those books he’d found and brought home. One day, while rummaging around at the rubbish dump, Johan meets three older boys who chase him away: he ends up hiding in a ramshackle old house that belongs to a strange, tall man called Molvidsson.
Molvidsson knows absolutely nothing about children but everything about books, and loves to read. So he decides to help Johan fulfill his biggest dream − to be able to attend school − by pretending to be his father. Unexpectedly, Johan’s life takes a new, and not wholly uncomplicated, turn.