By: Eva Apelqvist
A young readers series for young travelers…
Calista Swanson has begun her study abroad semester in Stockholm, Sweden, and she couldn’t be happier! There’s finally some distance between her and the constant piano-playing of her annoying sister Suzanne. Calista and Suzanne are twins, but the only thing they have in common is their birth date. Suzanne is a focused and gifted pianist, but a social dud. Calista isn’t at all focused, but she always has her friends, and a boyfriend, by her side. And that goes for her time in Sweden, as well. Jonas, who’d been an exchange student at her high school in Wisconsin, lives in . He’s the main reason Calista is studying in , and she knows he’ll be in tow as she explores everything Sweden has to offer, from visiting Swedish castles to learning more about the Viking era, to sampling treats from a smörgĺsbord, to strolling the cobblestone streets of Stockholm’s Gamla Stan. Calista loves Sweden from the moment she arrives, but . . . why hasn’t Jonas called?
Swede Dreams is a part of the Penguin’s S.A.S.S. (Students Across the Seven Seas) series for young adults. This particular installment is centered around Calista Swanson, who visits Stockholm, Sweden. At first, the only reason she wishes to go is because of her Swedish boyfriend, Jonas, whom she met when he was an exchange student at her Wisconsin high school. It’s also an opportunity for Calista to get away from her twin sister, Suzanne—who couldn’t be more different than herself. Suzanne’s main focus is focussing on her music (the piano) in hopes of gaining acceptance to Juilliard, while Calista just wants to hang out with her best friends and have a good time. In Sweden, Calista stays with her host family and pals around with a girl she met on the plane. Unable to reach Jonas right away, Calista is forced to settle into her surroundings and sightsee with her new family. Adorable Swedish boy Hakan and moody goth girl Moa add more drama and distraction as she becomes accustomed to the culture and learns to speak the language. She quickly discovers that she has never been sure of what she wants in life, and she sets out to find it in a place far out of her comfort zone. Aside from touching on themes of family relationships and self-discovery, Eva Apelqvist introduces readers to a country about which they may know very little. This story is great for tween girls that love chick-lit type books about romance or travel. It is full of great historical information and sights in Sweden.
Visit Penguin Groups site to learn about the S.A.S.S series: