The Ballad of a Broken Nose

Translated by Kari Dickson
LIST PRICE £8.49

About The Book

From award-winning Norwegian author Arne Svingen comes “an uplifting coming-of-age story” (The Wall Street Journal) about a relentlessly positive teenager who uses his love of opera to cope with his less-than-perfect home life.

Bart is an eternal optimist. At thirteen years old, he’s had a hard life. But Bart knows that things won’t get any better if you have a negative attitude. His mother has pushed him into boxing lessons so that Bart can protect himself, but Bart already has defense mechanisms: he is relentlessly positive…and he loves opera.

Listening to—and singing—opera is Bart’s greatest escape, but he’s too shy to share this with anyone. Then popular Ada befriends him and encourages him to perform at the school talent show. Ada can’t keep a secret to save her life, but Bart bonds with her anyway, and her openness helps him realize that his troubles are not burdens that he must bear alone.

The Ballad of a Broken Nose is a sweet story about bravery, fear, bullying, sports, and music. But most of all it is about the important days of your life, days when everything seems to happen at once and nothing will ever be the same again.

About The Author

Arne Svingen is one of Norway’s most prominent writers for children and young adults. He has also written several novels for adults, radio plays for NRK, and graphic novels. The Ballad of a Broken Nose has been translated into eight other languages, and was awarded the Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s Best Young Adult Fiction Award.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (June 2016)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481415446
  • Grades: 5 and up
  • Ages: 10 - 99
  • Lexile ® 560L

Raves and Reviews

"With deftness and subtlety, Svingen shows a boy hanging onto optimism in the face of adversity and asserting his identity when he’s long relied on obscuring himself fin the background."

– Publishers Weekly

"Bart's depth and the beauty he finds in his world are winning and moving. Lovely and profound. "

– Kirkus

"An absorbing, well-paced story with a heartening conclusion."

– Booklist

* "The novel is like a many-layered slice of cake: in every bite there's a mix of flavors, textures and mystery ingredients, adding up to a delicious read."

– Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW

Awards and Honors

  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • USBBY Outstanding International Book
  • ALA Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book