The Ballad of a Broken Nose

The Ballad of a Broken Nose

Translated by: Kari Dickson
For Ages: 10 - 99
  • 4
From award-winning Norwegian author Arne Svingen comes “an uplifting coming-of-age story” (The Wall Street Journal) about a relentlessly positive teenager who uses his love of opera to cope with his less-than-perfect home life.

Bart is an eternal optimist. At thirteen years old, he’s had a hard life. But Bart knows that things won’t get any better if you have a negative attitude. His mother has pushed him into boxing lessons so that Bart can protect himself, but Bart already has defense mechanisms: he is relentlessly positive…and he loves opera.

Listening to—and singing—opera is Bart’s greatest escape, but he’s too shy to share this with anyone. Then popular Ada befriends him and encourages him to perform at the school talent show. Ada can’t keep a secret to save her life, but Bart bonds with her anyway, and her openness helps him realize that his troubles are not burdens that he must bear alone.

The Ballad of a Broken Nose is a sweet story about bravery, fear, bullying, sports, and music. But most of all it is about the important days of your life, days when everything seems to happen at once and nothing will ever be the same again.
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481415439 | 
  • June 2017 | 
  • Grades 5 and up | 
  • Lexile ® 560L
List Price $7.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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About the Author

Arne Svingen

Arne Svingen is one of Norway’s most prominent writers for children and young adults. He has also written several novels for adults, radio plays for NRK, and graphic novels. The Ballad of a Broken Nose has been translated into eight other languages, and was awarded the Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s Best Young Adult Fiction Award.

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