My first, own, serious book! Serious in that it was long, and the book I got for my first day at school. Despite its length – it’s a collection of three individual books – I got through it within the first week of school.
I re-read it often after that. The stories are so vivid and real and relevant – Astrid Lindgren was an author who never talked down to kids, and I loved her to pieces. I read all of her books, in time. But this one, with the epic fights and discoveries and sneaking, and undiluted childhood has a very special place for me.
Apparently he’s known as Bill Bergson in English.
Kalle Blomquist alway stood out to me for being real in a way that other detective books did not and could not reach. The three ???, or TKKG, or similar books could not compete because they were too excited, too dramatised. The best I can recommend are basically all the other books by Astrid Lindgred, who is consistently good or great.
If it doesn’t have to be a detective book, The Thief Lord also features responsible-but-real wonderful kids on a mission.