by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson
translated by Julia Marshall
Gecko Press, 2019. First published in Sweden in 2018. 181 pages.
Review written July 4, 2019, from a library book
For a book from a series called My Happy Life, I wasn’t prepared for how many sad things happen. This is the seventh book about Dani, a Swedish girl in year two at school. I was able to enjoy it without having read the earlier books, though it did make me want to read them.
Dani is indeed a happy little girl, but many sad things have happened to her. Her mother is dead and at the start of this book, her father is sad and decides to take a trip to Rome to see his mother. Dani will stay with her grandparents, as she did after her mother died.
Dani gets a wonderful idea. She will go see Ella, her best friend in the whole world, the friend who moved away.
But Grandma can’t drive her because her bridge friends are coming over. And Grandpa can’t drive her because his car is in the shop. So they arrange for Dani to ride the train to Northbrook all by herself. Ella’s mother will meet her at the station.
But things do not go according to plan.
And I know this is a series, and I hope this situation will be made all better in the next book – but I thought book as a whole shows a lot of disappointments for a book named Where Dani Goes, Happy Follows.
However, it’s still true that I loved Dani and loved the matter-of-fact approach to her adventures, which is just perfect for a beginning chapter book. This book has twenty-five short chapters with lots of drawings to accompany the words, and it’s perfect for kids beginning to read chapter books.
I did love looking at life through the eyes of a young Swedish girl. I plan to go back and read the whole series. And I guess I have to concede that despite some disappointments, the title is true – at least for me.
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