Anna Amnell's historical novels

See also a new site

Anna Amnell lives in Helsinki. She lived her childhood and school years in the rural area of Finland. She was an AFS-exchange student to the United States, was in Cyprus in 1974 and lived in Canada during the 19 80s. She has Master's degree from the University of Helsinki and has been a house-wife, and worked as a free lance journalist and teacher. She started writing fiction in her fifties. Anna Amnell is member of The Union of Finnish Writers, Writers in Helsinki and Finnish Writers for Children and Young People. She is married and has three adult children. For several years she has done meticulous research on the 16th century. "An Escape to Tallinn" is her sixth historical novel for young readers.

Anna Amnell's books are for children and young people 8-15 years,  (written in Finnish). Illustration: Matti Amnell

Lucia-books (2004, 2006, 2013)

”Anna Amnell tells us about her journey as a writer of children’s books  from Italian renaissance to Turku castle through three books. Her heroine is Lucia, short in stature, who comes to the court  of Duke John and Catherine Jagellon in Turku, in the middle  of the 16th century. The background of the plot is a vast non-fiction part which deals with genetics and disturbances in growth, among other things. Besides Turku, Tallinn is also a scene of Amnell’s books, and the various ways of social behaviour are described, too.”  Vuokko Jokinen – Summary. Tyyris Tyllerö , a  journal of children´s  culture 4/2013,  a special Turku edition, Ismo Loivamaa, editor.

Lucia 3.

Anna Amnell: Lucia and Luka.  [written in Finnish, Lucia ja Luka],  2013 Books on Demand

Lucia and Luka [Lucia ja Luka. Kyynärän mittainen tyttö ja poika]
Helsinki, Finland. Historical novel for young readers, 8-12 years old. Written in Finnish. B/W illustration by Matti Amnell.
(Lucia Olavintytär 3.)
2013 120 pages

ISBN 978-952-498-842-1
Cover: Jan van Hemessen: Die Goldwägerin
bpk/Gemäldegalerie, SMB/Jörg P. Anders
Author's picture: Turun Tietokuva
Illustration: Matti Amnell (Jr.)
Order from
Books on Demand (BoD)  
Price:  19 90 *tax included

Themes: the 16th century, 1562-1563,  Turku, Wittenberg, Prince John of Finland, Catharina Jagellonica, renaissance court in Turku, Finland,  growth hormone deficiency, Erik XIVof Sweden, Ivan the Terrible, Lucia Olavsdaughter, Luka of Dalmatia, frienship, romantic love,

Lucia 2.

Lucia II An Escape to Tallinn. [Pako Tallinnaan]
Lasten Keskus ISBN 951-627-595-8

17-year old Lucia is only 81cm tall. She comes to Helsinki to teach 13-year old Margareta to play lute. She has also a secret task to perform. Margareta is tall and beautiful. When her father dies her stepmother wants to marry her to a strange old man. The girls decide to escape to Tallinn to Margareta's uncle. It is winter, it is cold. Will the sea be frozen? Can they skate or walk over the sea to safety?

Lucia 1.

Lucia I An Ell-Sized Girl [Kyynärän mittainen tyttö]

"An Ell-Sized Girl was shortlisted for Lasten LukuVarkaus -2005, a national children's book prize, which is given each year for the best children's book ( under 12 years old ).

Anna Amnell: Lucia I Fall 2004. Lasten Keskus.
ISBN 951-627-486-2
Helsinki, Finland. Historical novel for young readers, 8-12 years old. Written in Finnish. B/W illustration by Matti Amnell.

Themes: The 16th century, growth hormone deficiency, family, friendship, the Baltic Sea, Gotland, the Fens, Ely, London. Elizabeth I, Prince John of Finland in London.

Thirteen-year-old Lucia Olavintytär [fictitious character] is 2 ft 8 inches tall ( 81 cm). She lives a sheltered life at a rural manor house in the middle of the Finnish forests. Lucia and her brothers are given a good education by their father, a former monk. Lucia is good singer and lute player, she speaks and writes Latin fluently. Her father knows Lucia's worth in the sixteenth century world and tries to protect her. People like her were sold, kidnapped and donated to the kings and queens at the European courts to be used as companions, entertainers and nurses of the royal children.

On an early spring morning in 1559 Lucia goes to her usual ride accompanied by her servant boy. In a moment Lucia's life is changed. She is kidnapped and taken by boat first to Gotland and then to the Fens, the ancient swamplands of England, to be trained and sold to be a dwarf and spy at the court of the young Queen Elizabeth. What will happen to Lucia?

Anna Amnell's Aurora-books


AURORA-books (1991, 1993, 1995, 1999): immigration, children as servants, Canadian nature, art, friendship. A Finnish school girl in Helsinki and Toronto. All Aurora-books are sold out. You can find them in libraries.

A notice in a guidebook for Finnish elementary teachers about Anna Amnell's fiction: "detailed description of history, milieu and manners. - - History brought to life." Härkönen & Karjarinta & Pakarinen (Editors): Non-fiction and fiction for elementary schools. Helsinki 1994.

New 2014 A compiled edition of the first three Aurora -books

a larger size of the cover

Anna Amnell: Vaahteralaakson Aurora; illustration: Matti Amnell; Institute of  Migration Archive
Helsinki: Books on Demand, 2014 (Norderstedt, Saksa: Books on Demand, 2014)
ISBN: 978-952-286-355-3

"Aurora Koivu", a fictitious character. [Aurora, Vaahteralaakson tyttö. Published by the name 'Pirkko Pekkarinen']. 1991, 2nd pr. 1992. Publisher: Kirjapaja.
ISBN 951-625-089-4

Themes: 1903, russification in Finland, immigration to Canada, Canadian nature, Edwardian lifestyle, children as servants, romantic love.

Aurora's journalist father is expelled from the grandduchy of Finland. Aurora follows him to Toronto in 1903 and works as servant girl in an Edwardian household. [Aurora, Vaahteralaakson tyttö. Published by the name 'Pirkko Pekkarinen' ]



"Aurora and her cousins from Saint Petersburg." 1993. [Aurora ja Pietarin serkut.]. Publisher: Kirjapaja. ISBN 951-625-158-7

Aurora studies art in Helsinki. Her cousin Olga comes to school to Finland. The girls experience the 1905 general strike in Finland

Themes: romantic love, Helsinki, 1905 general strike, school. The 1905 general strike from the point of view of schoolgirls and a non-Socialist family, history, immigrants to Toronto, Canadian nature, Edwardian life style, children as servants, romantic love.

"The time of the passenger pigeons." 1995 [Aurora ja villikyyhkysten aika.] Publisher: Kirjapaja. ISBN 951-625-350-4

Aurora returns for a summer in Toronto with her Canadian fiancé Thomas. Themes: Toronto, Canada's nature, children as servants, ghosts.

Picture of Molly: Matti Amnell

"Aurora and Molly." [Aurora ja Molly.]1999. Publisher: Kirjapaja. ISBN 951-625-580-9

Aurora's story for younger readers, 8-10 years old. Black and white illustration by Anna Amnell's son Matti Amnell. Themes: 1903: friendship, russification in Finland, immigration to Canada, Toronto, Edwardian life-style, children as servants.

The copyright for all Aurora-books: Anna Amnell and Matti Amnell