Arne Svingen
The Ballad of a Broken Nose

The Ballad of a Broken Nose is a wonderful novel that fortifies Arne Svingen’s position as one of Norway’s foremost writers for children and adolescents.

The main character’s name is Bart. He is 13 years old and lives with his mother in an apartment building that could use some restoration work. But Bart doesn’t think that adopting a negative attitude makes life any better. He attends boxing classes because his mother wants him to toughen up, and he has a secret hobby. The book also introduces us to Ada, who can’t keep a secret, Geir, whose knees are oddly bent, and a number of other persons who have or will have a place in Bart’s life.
The Ballad of a Broken Nose is about hitting – and not hitting. It’s also about singing without anyone hearing you. The book will make you laugh. It will make you feel uneasy. And it will make you laugh again. But most of all it touches upon the important days in life, days when everything seems to happen at once and nothing will ever be the same again.

[An] uplifting coming-of-age story by Norwegian writer Arne Svingen.

Wall Street Journal

Bart's depth and the beauty he finds in his world are winning and moving. Lovely and profound.

Kirkus Reviews

With deftness and subtlety, Svingen shows a boy hanging onto optimism in the face of adversity and asserting his identity when he’s long relied on obscuring himself in the background.

Publishers Weekly

Rooting for a genuinely good kid is universal, and readers will warm to Bart’s quirkiness even as they cheer his well-earned success.

Project Muse

This could be one of the best children's books of the year ... an unusually exciting and funny story about an unusually sad teenage life. The language and characters are highly realistic, and the book is packed with striking one-liners and singular events.


Svingen’s authentic and humorous writing creates a lightness which goes well with the seriousness of the plot …The Ballad of a Broken Nose is down to earth and honest … guaranteed reading pleasure.


Great story, beautifully told, top notch translation, an unique hero, funny cover, nice layout. Who could ask for more?

Titel Kulturmagazin

Arne Svingen

Arne Svingen

Arne Svingen (b. 1967) is one of our foremost writers for children and young adults. His production spans from easy reads for children, to novels for children and young adults.

He is deeply committed to encouraging children and adolescents to read, and he is a true wizard at using humor and suspense to ensnare his readers. Thematically, his books span from pure entertainment to novels on difficult topics. He has written several novels for adults, radio plays for NRK and graphic novels. A number of Arne Svingens's books have been sold abroad, and he has been translated into fourteen languages. His breakthrough as a writer of thrillers came with Silent Screams (2001). He was awarded the Brage Prize for his novel Black Ivory in 2005 and was nomiated for the Brage Prize for his novel A Sky Full of Clouds in 2018.

Rights sold to

Czech republic (Albatros Media a.s), Denmark (ABC Forlag), Egypt (Dar Kahn), France (Magnard Jeunesse), Georgia (Sulakauri), Germany (Bastei Lübbe), Hungary (Kolibri Children's Books), Italy (La Nuova Frontiera), Russia (Albus Corvus), Slovenia (Zalozba Zala), South Korea (Arumbook), Spain (incl. Catalan rights), Sweden (Bonnier Carlsen), USA (Simon & Schuster)

Other titles

In Mid-Air (2018)
The Revolver Kid 2 (2016)
Benny-Bob’s Banana Burger (2015)
Making a Run for it (2015)
Primitive Possums (2014)
The Revolver Kid (2014)
Fly Summer (2013)
The Ballad of A Broken Nose (2012)

Foreign rights

Gyldendal Agency
P.O. Box 6860 St. Olavs plass
NO-0130 Oslo
Tel: +47 957 81 640
[email protected]


Winner of the Ministry of Culture’s Awards for Children’s Literature Fiction Prize, 2012.
Awarded the French/Belgian Prix Libbylit Romans Ados 2015.

Edited April 02, 2019 by Gyldendal Agency