TWO SHORT AND ONE LONG by Nina Ring Aamundsen


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The author is also the translator of this book about three 12-year-old boys whose differing backgrounds affect their friendship: Jonas, whose dad had learned to suppress his regional dialect in order to fit in here in Oslo; Einar, whose mysterious past turns out to hinge on ""the authorities'"" appalling decision to take him from the loving grandparents with whom he was living after his parents' death; and an Afhgan boy whose family is contending with virulent prejudice against ""Pakis."" In the story's most dramatic moment, Jonas's clad takes the Afghans' side: he, too, has been judged an outsider. There's much of value here, especially the authentic, pungently portrayed details of Norwegian life and attitudes. But the story itself is episodic, the characters never really developed. Despite the author's attempts at humor (like the burping ritual referred to in the title), the reader is distanced from these essentially likable boys.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin