6 Best Astrid Lindgren Books to Add to Your Library

Re-live your childhood by reading these six best Astrid Lindgren books listed in our guide. Each zany or heart-warming tale shows the creativity of this famous Swedish author.

The name Astrid Lindgren is well-known because of her prolific writing history. She is among the best children’s book authors, having written over 30 books. To date, those books have been published in so many languages that she is among the top 20 most-translated authors worldwide and the top translated Swedish author of all time.

In addition, her works have sold approximately 170 million copies to date. Lindgren was born in Vimmerby, Kalamar, Sweden in 1907. In her lifetime, she was given over 100 awards for her work. Her most famous character, Pippi Longstocking, has been the subject of television shows, movies, and plays. Lindgren died in 2002 at the age of 94 in Stockholm.

1. Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking is the English translation of the Swedish children’s book Pippi Langstrump. This book opens the series of books about the zany red-headed girl, along with her neighbors, Tommy and Annika. Known as the girl with no parents to tell her what to do and a horse living on her porch, Pippi is always up for an adventure. 

This book is a classic piece of children’s literature, perhaps her best-known. Some of the many sequels include Pippi Goes to the Circus, Pippi Goes to School, Pippi’s Extraordinary Ordinary Day, Pippi in the South Seas, and Pippi Goes on Board. The first three books are combined in The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.

“You understand Teacher, don’t you, that when you have a mother who’s an angel and a father who is a cannibal king, and when you have sailed on the ocean all your whole life, then you don’t know just how to behave in school with all the apples and ibexes.”

Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking
  • PIPPI LONGSTOCKING
  • ASTRID LINDGREN
  • CHILDREN'S BOOKS
  • 1977 EDITION
  • Lindgren, Astrid (Author)

2. The Children of Noisy Village

The Children of Noisy Village is the first book in the Burnen I Bullerbyn series, translated by Florence Lamborn. This is the first in a trilogy of books about the year in the life of six Swedish children living on three farms in the countryside. This book is distinctive in its gentle humor and how Lindgren weaves Swedish customs into the story. The other books in the series are Happy Times in Noisy Village and the picture book Christmas in Noisy Village. The English translation of the book was published in 1988.

“Mommy says she can’t understand why it takes more than twice as long to walk home as it does to walk to school. I don’t understand it either. But it just can’t be helped.”

Astrid Lindgren
The Children of Noisy Village
  • Lindgren, Astrid (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 128 Pages - 02/02/1988 (Publication Date) - Puffin Books (Publisher)

3. Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter

Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter, tells the tale of a little girl born to Matt, a famous robber. She grows up in the forest among adults, without a child to play with until she meets Birk, who happens to be the son of Matt’s enemy. The two vagabond children create a friendship, creating a battle between rival robber bands. This children’s version of Romeo and Juliet has a happy ending. Ronja Rovardotter published the book in 1981. Unfortunately, this was the last book she wrote.

“Summer would not last forever; he knew it and Ronia knew it. But now they began to live as if it would, and as far as possible they pushed away all painful thoughts of winter.”

Astrid Lindgren
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 02/05/1985 (Publication Date) - Puffin Books (Publisher)

4. Mio, My Son

Karl Anders Nilsson takes a trip to Farawayland, a place beyond the stars. He learns his actual name is Mio, and he is the king’s son. The young prince gets the attention he never received from his foster family in Stockholm and learns he is also part of a prophecy. This fantasy book includes a horse as a best friend and a journey to battle a cruel dictator. Lindgren published Mio, My Son in 1954.

“We were close to him as never before, and this night was the night of our battle. I wondered if they knew, all those who had waited for thousands and thousands of years. I wondered if they knew that this was the night of the battle, and if they thought about me.”

Astrid Lindgren
Mio, My Son (New York Review Children's Collection)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lindgren, Astrid (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 184 Pages - 05/26/2015 (Publication Date) - NYR Children's Collection (Publisher)

5. The Brothers Lionheart

Originally titled Broderna Lejonhjarta, The Brothers Lionheart is another fantasy novel by Astrid Lindgren, originally written in 1973. It tells of Jonatan and Karl, two brothers who grow up in Nangijala, a land full of adventure. This book is unique among children’s books because it is relatively dark in its themes of disease, tyranny, death, and betrayal. Still, it has 46 translations, so it remains a classic.

“But I can’t kill anyone,” said Jonathan. “You know that, Orvar.”
“Not even if it’s a question of your own life?” said Orvar.
“No, not even then,” said Jonathan.
Orvar couldn’t understand that, and neither could Mathias.
“If everyone were like you,” said Orvar, “then evil would reign forever.”
But then I said that if everyone were like Jonathan, there wouldn’t be any evil.”

Astrid Lindgren
Brothers Lionheart
  • Astrid Lindgren (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 11/28/2022 (Publication Date) - Oxford Childrens (Publisher)

6. A Calf for Christmas

A Calf for Christmas is a picture book set in Lindgren’s Sweden. In the story, Johan heads to school the day before Christmas, but he is sad because his family’s only cow died. When a wealthy farmer loses a calf and Johan finds it, he thinks he has found a calf for Christmas. This book was first published in 1951. The most recent English translation was in 2010, and it is a beloved Christmas tale.

“The snow fell and fell. When Johan came out on the front steps in the morning, he stood there a moment and just looked at it… It was so quiet – almost as if the whole world lay dead under a blanket of snow – the whole farm, the whole country, the whole of Sweden, the whole world! Not truly dead, however. Somewhere far away, a sound was heard.”

Astrid Lindgren
A Calf for Christmas
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lindgren, Astrid (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 36 Pages - 09/15/2010 (Publication Date) - Floris Books (Publisher)

FAQs About The Best Astrid Lindgren Books

When did Astrid Lindgren write her first book?

In 1944, Lindgren wrote Britt-Marie latter sitt hjarta, or The Confidences of Britt-Marie. This was her first novel, and it won second prize in the Raben & Sjogren writing competition.

What is the name of Astrid Lindgren’s most famous character?

Astrid Lindgren’s most famous character is Pippi Longstocking. The little girl and her pranks came to be when she told her daughter stories to pass the time during an illness. When Lindgren sprained her foot and was forced to stay in bed in 1945, she wrote down some of the tales; the rest is history.

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best fantasy authors!

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