Trio of teenagers write English book about Skellefteå

Wanting to make Skellefteå newcomers feel more welcome inspired three local teenagers to write a book in English about their home town. ”Because Skellefteå is growing so much we really wanted to include the young people.”

 Oscar Karinkanta, Nora Nyberg and Sara Wikström at the café where much of the book was written.

Oscar Karinkanta, Nora Nyberg and Sara Wikström at the café where much of the book was written.

Foto: Donna Richmond

Skellefteå2024-03-08 08:00

Oscar Karinkanta, Nora Nyberg and Sara Wikström are in the second year of upper secondary school in Skellefteå. They are all studying different programmes but met as they had all chosen to do a course in entrepreneurship. One sentiment that stuck out to them, who have grown up in a rapidly-changing town, was that everyone should feel welcome.

– This inspired me personally as I lived in the US last year and I wanted to send them a book to show where I live but there is no book in English about Skellefteå. So we thought, why not do this for a school project?, says Sara Wikström.

What is your goal with this book?

Well, we want to achieve a more united Skellefteå in order to get everyone together and to get to know more people and for them to get to know us. We also want them to really like Skellefteå and know what to do here. Because that can be hard when you first get here. I feel like our book is an introduction for them, places you can go with friends or places you can meet people, Sara says.

So why do you think you guys are perfectly suited to do this?

– Because we’re teenagers who live here. We know the city and special places to go as well as traditions, Nora Nyberg says.

– Because I've tried living somewhere else, I know the things you'd want to know. And then also, my mum is from Poland and came to Sweden when she was 12. So she's talked to me a lot about what  it was like moving to Sweden, Sara continues.

What do you think of the influx of newcomers? Are you young enough that it's been part of your life for a while or does it feel new? 

– Yeah, I think I feel like it's kind of new. I really noticed the difference after having been away last year, and coming back. Now when I walk on the streets, people speak English and all kinds of languages. And I just think it's so much fun. You can really tell that Skellefteå is growing, Sara says.

Oscar reflects on how when he was younger the city used to feel grey and quite dead but that it has all changed in recent years. Seeing it from the perspective of a newcomer can be inspiring. 

– My old English teacher moved here a few years ago. It's been so fun to hear her perspective on things. Because when you're born here, it's like, ok, it's the northern lights. It's two meters of snow, all I think of is I got to shovel the driveway. But when you hear her perspective, she's mind blown. And it's just so interesting to see. Like, the things that I take for granted. She thinks of them as a miracle. It's pretty amazing. And it makes me appreciate those things, Oscar says.

What is the target market for the book?

– We would like to reach out to the young people who recently moved to Skellefteå, but also parents, because we know that a lot of parents are worried about their teenagers when they move because it's a hard thing to do and we want to give them an introduction. We want people to feel welcome and included, Sara says.

The book is called ”How to be a Skelleftebo” and it can either be pre-ordered or purchased from the trio at UF-mässan at Sara Kulturhus 13 March. They will also be at Chefsdagen i Norr, 20 March in Skellefteå.

Junior Achievement Sweden

Junior Achievement Sweden, in Swedish called Ung Företagsamhet (UF), is a programme for entrepreneurship where school pupils get the opportunity to start a company.