What do you do if your best friend lives in another city and the adults can't keep their promises about when you'll see her? You have to sort it out for yourself!
Dani's father is away and Dani is staying with her grandparents. When she is invited to Ella's party, she thinks of the world's best gift for the world's best friend: she, Dani, will be the present! Her grandmother agrees—if she's brave enough to take the train alone. So Dani sets out on a journey all by herself.
"In the sixth installment of this Swedish chapter book series, Dani takes a train trip by herself. It doesn't go as planned.
Dani is spending winter break at her grandparents' house because her father, Gianni, has become sad again and has decided to go to Rome (where he is from) without her to 'think about his life.' A gloomy Dani is trying to decide what to do on break when she comes up with a brilliant idea—her best friend Ella's birthday is near, and she, Dani, will surprise visit her! But Ella lives in Northbrook, and Dani does not. Not a problem for positive-thinking Dani. She simply instructs her grandmother to drive her. But her grandmother says she is having her bridge friends' dinner, and besides, the car is being serviced. Seeing Dani's disappointment, she asks if Dani is brave enough to take the train on her own. Dani is hesitant but decides that for Ella, she will do it—and she does, but things go awry. Writing with exceptional insight and humor, author Lagercrantz develops Dani's emotional maturity in this story, giving her a growing awareness of both life's complexity and adult fallibility, all the while maintaining Dani's bone-deep optimism. Illustrator Eriksson's lively black-and-white drawings add lovely empathy and show everyone's skin as the white of the paper.
Nearly the best one yet, and that's saying something."—starred, Kirkus Reviews—Journal
"Sad for an unknown reason, Dani's father visits his family in Italy, leaving his daughter with Grandma and Grandpa. They allow her to take her first independent railway ride, which ends in distress when no one meets her train. Unsure where to turn, she calls Dad's girlfriend for help and discovers an unhappy secret. In the sixth beginning chapter book from the Dani series, originally published in Sweden, Lagercrantz beautifully portrays the characters' shifting emotions. Eriksson's lively ink drawings illustrate the story with empathy. While there's no real cliff-hanger at the book's end, readers will be eager to find out what happens next in Dani's world."—Booklist—Website
"This, the sixth volume in a series of early chapter books featuring Dani and her friend Ella (My Happy Life, rev. 7/13, and sequels), confidently assumes an audience of loyal readers with a chatty opening phrase, 'Here is some more about Dani . . .' This confidence is well placed. Once you've met these sturdy Swedish girls, you want to check in with them regularly. A bit of tidy backstory reminds readers that Dani's mother died when Dani was of daycare age and that she occasionally goes to live with her grandparents when her father (who periodically 'got sad') isn't up to caring for her. During one such interval, Dani and her grandma cook up a plan for Dani to travel by train, all by herself, to visit Ella in a neighboring town. Disaster strikes when, despite careful planning, there's nobody to meet Dani at journey's end, and, stranded in the railway waiting room, she encounters bullies who steal her cellphone. Intertwining with the main plot is a subplot involving her father's ex-girlfriend, Sadie. All of this adds up to far more than the sum of its parts, with gentle humor and deep strains of resilience and kindness. Both writer and illustrator treat Dani with total respect throughout her distress and confusion. Adults are realistically flawed, and things don't necessarily work out (although, after several honest conversations Dani has had with both Dad and Said, there is some hope that they might), but all characters are portrayed with compassion and understanding. This series just gets better and better."—starred, The Horn Book Magazine —Journal
Rose Lagercrantz is a popular Swedish author of books for children as well as for adults. She has received many literary awards, including the August Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Prize.
Eva Eriksson is one of the world's great illustrators. Her awards include the Astrid Lindgren Prize and the August Award and she is consistently nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.