Katarina Eriksson Barajas

Porträttbild av en kvinna med axellångt hår och skjorta
Photo: Susanne Kronholm


Born: 1966
Lives: Linköping
Member of the jury since: 2021

Katarina Eriksson Barajas is a professor of education, specializing in didactics, at Linköping University. As a researcher, she is interested in children’s and young people’s experiences of narratives, and she has examined the didactic use of fiction in education in a number of research projects. She has also investigated the function of book reading in medical, and teacher education and has taught children’s and young people’s literature to teachers in training.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

"Lots of things. A shop worker, an interior designer, a theatre extra."

Why is it important for children and young people to get the chance to discover fiction and literature?

"Because reading is so much fun! The fact that it’s educational doesn’t hurt either. Reading fiction is a chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes, to figure out your place within a larger context, and to expand your language skills, which in turn may make it easier to express your own thoughts and feelings."

What makes a good children’s book?

"It should be appealing, but at the same time, it should offer a bit of challenge. I think a good children’s book often portrays complex events or a difficult subject in a way that feels simple. Or it could do the opposite: portray everyday life in a way that is stylistically more advanced."