A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Danish / Denmark

Hadet. En illustreret roman i 64 kriegsdigte
(Hate. An illustrated novel in 64 war poems)

Thomsen, Thorstein (text)
Sommer, Mikkel (illus.)
[København]: Carlsen, 2015. – [122] p.
ISBN 978-87-113-2065-5

Denmark / 1944-1945 – World War II – Occupation – Betrayal – Murder – Fictitious diary – Poetry 

The title “Hadet” is provocative, but it suggests only some of what this book deals with. Aside from hate, oppression, revenge, and the question of evil, it is also about love and loss. The story takes place in 1944/45 Copenhagen, when many Danes were active in the resistance against German occupiers, including the first-person narrator, her brother Frank and Henning, whom she has fallen in love with. After an acquaintance betrays them, Frank is hung by the Nazis. As a result, the narrator’s family experiences the day of liberation, May 8, 1945, with joy and relief, but also with sadness and traumatic memories. “Hadet” shows how cold-bloodedly one can act when one feels forced to, and what injuries one carries away as a result, even though they might be invisible. The topic is not light fare, but the book handles it via a suspenseful hybrid-form: it is a novel presented as an illustrated diary, whose individual entries are poems. (Age: 14+)