Popular Swedish children’s book author Gunnel Linde has died, she was 89. Linde was born in Stockholm in 1924, and was awarded the Nils Holgersson plaque in 1965 for her book “Den vita stenen,” which became a much-loved television series in the 1970s.
In 1978 Linde was the recipient of the Astrid Lindgren award, and in 1971 she founded the organization Bris, Barnens rätt i samhället (Children’s Rights in Society), together with Berit Hedeby.
In a statement from Bris, Kattis Ahlström says Bris was started after a girl had been beaten to death by her stepfather. Linde then got thousands of Swedes engaged against child abuse. In 1977 she was appointed as an expert in the Justice Department’s investigation into children’s rights, and was much involved in what two years later became a law prohibiting corporal punishment of children.
“Gunnel Linde always took children seriously. She looked us in the eyes and described what it was like to be small,” says Erika Hallhagen, a critic at daily Svenska Dagbladet’s cultural section.