Tuula Kallioniemi: Rottaklaani [The rat clan]

24 February 2009 | Mini reviews

RottaklaaniRottaklaani
[The rat clan]
Helsinki: Otava, 2008. 192 p.
ISBN 978-951-1-23159-2
€ 16, hardback

Tuula Kallioniemi (born 1951) manages to deal with difficult issues without resorting to conventional solutions. Ykä, who is nearly 12, suffers from the normal anguish of early adolescence until the CP [cerebral palsy]-disabled Sami pushes his wheelchair into Ykä’s life. The boys decide to get the better of Antikainen who is bullying Sami, but in order to carry out their plan they need the help of quadraplegic Pete and Susanna, who has MBD [minimal brain dysfunction]. Kallioniemi’s literary prescription for the prevention of illness in young people is a simple one: we must all be friends with one other, be allowed to express wonder out loud, and remember that laughter is the best therapy. Kallioniemi’s merits are her verbal skills and her natural cultivation of situation comedy.

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