My Friend, the Pirate

My Friend, the Pirate

In collaboration with Ronny Haugland (ill.)

Ole Kristian Løyning

Original title: Min venn, piraten
Publisher: Vigmostad & Bjørke, 2020
Genre: 9-12 years
Pages: 176 pages

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André loses his parents in a car accident in which he himself is seriously injured. His only relative is Ben, his father’s uncle, nicknamed “the Pirate”. André moves in with the slightly drunken sailor and they manage to make a life together – despite the fact that the Pirate struggles to behave for the education system and the authorities. One day, the Pirate falls ill. He’s told he has only a short time left. André and the Pirate decide to take a boat to Trinidad to meet the Pirate’s old friend, the Boatman.

With sparkling language, full of playful metaphor and humorous jibes at life, Løyning depicts the relationship between André and the Pirate and their adventure across the sea. Humour and imagination are used as coping mechanisms for adapting to a new existence.

My Friend, the Pirate is about coping with grief while moving forward in a story that is liberatingly unobtrusive in both form and content – and full of joy.

With illustrations by Ronny Haugland.

Foreign rights

Danish: ABC Forlag
Faroese: Bókadeildin
Russian: Samokat

Film rights: Einar Film, Norway


Winner of the Norwegian Critics Prize for Children & YA Literature, 2020
Nominated for the 2021 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize

My Friend, the Pirate is a novel about a young boy’s coming of age offering insights for readers in all age groups.

Jury Kritikerprisen 2020

Six out of six stars …a gem which deserves many readers! The unfortunate life situation and dark humour of the main character bring to mind the children’s book classic Rubber Tarzan. And don’t be fooled. The friend is a real pirate and you will truly come to adore him.


With Ole Kristian Løyning’s sharply chiselled depiction of the equitable relationship between a crusty, old sea dog and his twelve-year-old, recently orphaned nephew, Norwegian children’s literature has been further enriched by an extremely talented new voice with a sure touch. At ABC Forlag we are thrilled over having been chosen to publish the novel in Denmark.

Flemming Møldrup, publisher at ABC Forlag, Denmark

Ole Kristian Løyning

Portrett ole kristian løyning foto frode verpe
Photo: Frode Verpe

Ole Kristian Løyning (born in 1982) works as a teacher and has previously published two children’s books. My Friend, the Pirate has received glowing reviews and was awarded the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature in 2021.

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