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Katarina Eriksson Barajas

Katarina Eriksson Barajas is a professor of education at Linköping University with a special focus on didactics. She has a strong interest in the ways that children and young people experience stories and has engaged in various research projects looking at the use of fiction as a didactic tool in teaching. She has investigated the function of book reading in medical, police and teacher education and also taught children’s and YA literature to teachers in training.

Photo: Susanne Kronholm

Born: 1966

Lives: Linköping

Member of the jury since: 2021

Why is it important that young people have the chance to discover literature?
"Because it is so fun to read! It comes with useful things too. Reading fiction offers opportunities to experience things from other people's perspectives, to place oneself in a larger context and to expand one's linguistic competence, which in turn may make it easier to express one's own thoughts and feelings."

What makes a good children's book?
"It should be attractive and at the same time offer something to reflect on. What I think characterizes a good children's book is when a complicated action or a heavy subject has a seemingly simple expression, or vice versa, when everyday life is portrayed in a stylistically more advanced way."

Wanted to be like a child: many different things, including working in a store, interior designer, extra at the theater