Photo: Thron Ullberg Photo: Thron Ullberg

Martin Widmark

Martin Widmark (b. 1961) is an acclaimed Swedish children’s book author known for popular series such as The JerryMaya Detective AgencyNelly RappHalvdan the Viking, and many more. His books have received countless awards, sold more than 20 million copies, and been translated into 39 languages. Many of the books have been adapted into feature films and TV series, or made into board games, theater, and video games.

Martin is strongly engaged in promoting reading comprehension among children and young people and is considered one of the most prominent writers of children’s fiction today. He has received multiple prestigious awards. In 2014, he was awarded the Swedish Government’s medal Illis quorum for his work to encourage young people’s reading.

Before becoming a full-time author, Martin Widmark worked as a middle school instructor and a Swedish language teacher. In the year 2000, he made his debut with the book To Catch a Tiger (Att fånga en tiger). Since then, he has written over a hundred books for children and young people and is today one of Sweden’s most popular children’s book writers.

Martin Widmark & Helena Willis


Swedish writer Martin Widmark (b. 1961) and illustrator Helena Willis (b. 1964) have together created the bestselling children’s book series The JerryMaya Detective Agency
 for ages 6-9.

The popular books with the young detectives Jerry and Maya are constantly on the bestseller lists, on the libraries’ most popular lists, and have been awarded the children’s own book award 12 times.

Awards

Shortlisted for the Storytel Award Iceland – Galoppmysteriet The Racecourse Mystery 2024
Shortlisted for the Storytel Award Sweden – Dinosauriemysteriet The Dinosaur Mystery 2024
Shortlisted for the Adlibris Award (Children’s Book of the Year, Ages 6-12) Sweden – Dinosauriemysteriet The Dinosaur Mystery 2023
Fenix Awards (Best Role-Play Book of the Year) Sweden – Nelly Rapps rollspelsbok för monsteragenter Nelly Rapp’s Role-Play Book for Monster Agents 2023
USBBY Outstanding International Books United States – Den långa vandringen Dreams of Near and Far 2023
Shortlisted for the Storytel Awards (Best Children's) Sweden – Berättelser från Valleby: Det mystiska brevet Stories from Valleby: The Mysterious Letter 2023
Shortlisted for the Storytel Awards (Best Children's) Sweden – Maskeradmysteriet The Masquerade Mystery 2023
The Adlibris Award (Best Children’s 6-12) Sweden – Maskeradmysteriet The Masquerade Mystery 2022
The Emil Prize (by the Småland Academy, in honor of Astrid Lindgren) Sweden 2021
USBBY Outstanding International Books United States – Huset som vaknade The House of Lost and Found 2019
The Crimetime Award (Best Children’s Book) – LasseMajas deckarhandbok JerryMaya’s Handbook for Detectives 2019
Astrid Lindgren’s World Scholarship Sweden 2015
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Fängelsemysteriet The Prison Mystery 2015
The Illis quorum medal Sweden 2014
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Brandkårsmysteriet The Fire Brigade Mystery 2014
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Cykelmysteriet The Bicycle Mystery 2013
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Födelsedagsmysteriet The Birthday Mystery 2012
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Simborgarmysteriet The Swimming Pool Mystery 2011
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Campingmysteriet The Campsite Mystery 2010
The Blood Hound (Best Children's and Youth Detective story) Sweden – Nåjdens sång The Song of the Wise One 2008
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Biblioteksmysteriet The Library Mystery 2007
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Guldmysteriet The Gold Mystery 2006
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Tidningsmysteriet The Newspaper Mystery 2005
The Blood Hound Sweden – Tidningsmysteriet The Newspaper Mystery 2005
The Book Jury Prize Sweden – Nelly Rapp och varulvarna Nelly Rapp and the Werewolves 2004
Close award list

Bibliography

The JerryMaya Detective Agency

Stories from Valleby

Activity books

Nelly Rapp, illustrated by Christina Alvner

Nelly Rapp, illustrated by Emil Maxén

The Jansson Family

David & Larissa

Picture books

Halvdan Viking

Related news

‘The JerryMaya Detective Agency’ reaches 10 million copies sold in Sweden

Martin Widmark and Helena Willis’ The JerryMaya Detective Agency series has just reached a whopping 10 million copies sold in Sweden alone. Last year, the series was the third most sold in Sweden among all genres and age groups.

For over 20 years, the books about Jerry, Maya, and the other inhabitants of the town of Valleby have been immensely popular among Swedish children, as well as abroad. Each new installment goes straight to the top of the bestseller list, and with over 50 books in the universe, Valleby is a place for children to revisit again and again.

‘Stories from Valleby: The Secret Key’ published in Sweden

The clever Bacon brothers are a bit younger than Jerry and Maya, and they are The JerryMaya Detective Agency’s biggest fans! The Bacon brothers solve slightly nicer crimes, but in The Secret Key they are given a tricky challenge. The brothers find a mysterious key and no one knows where it leads. It can lead almost anywhere!

Everyone in Valleby seem to have issues with their keys. Muhammed Karat has been locked out of his store, Frida at the animal store cannot get to the animal food, and Fransy Vik has lost the key to her locker by the swimming pool. The Bacon brothers have to use their best detective knowledge to be able to help the town.

The Secret Key is the third installment in the Stories from Valleby series, perfect for the beginner reader!

The Swedish Storytel Awards 2024

The shortlists for the Swedish Storytel Awards of 2024 are now available and open for the public’s vote.

Among those competing for the title of best Suspense title are Hjorth & Rosenfeldt with The Guilt You Carry, and Jo Nesbø with Killing Moon. In the Feelgood category Simona Ahrnstedt vies for the top spot with An Unthinkable Fate. Lastly, the Children’s category sees Martin Widmark and The Dinosaur Mystery face up against among else David Sundin‘s The Audiobook That Did Not Want To End – Part 4, from the same universe as The Book That Did Not Want To Be Read.

The Icelandic Storytel Awards 2024 Shortlist Announced

The nominees for this year’s Icelandic Storytel Awards have been announced. 

The Storytel Awards are an annual event that highlights the best audio books of the year. The awards are granted within five categories: Suspense, Fiction, Non-fiction, YA & Children’s books, and Feelgood.

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s Forget Me Not is nominated in the Suspense category, whilst Jørn Lier Horst’s The Cabin is featured in the Fiction books award. 

Martin Widmark’s The Racecourse Mystery is in the running for the Children’s books award, and Just a Bit More by Simona Ahrnstedt is nominated within the Feelgood category.

Readers will be able to vote for their favorite titles, after which a jury will pick a winner among the five candidates with the most votes in each category.

‘The JerryMaya Detective Agency – The Mascot Who Disappeared’ to start filming

SF Studios has announced that a new feature film about The JerryMaya Detective Agency will premiere in movie theaters this fall. The movie is based on Martin Widmark and Helena Willis’ exceptionally popular book series of the same name, now featuring a new, adventurous mystery.

Tina Mackic is once again set to direct, and Maria Nohra can be found among the cast members, playing a significant role.

Filming for The JerryMaya Detective Agency – The Mascot Who Disappeared will begin in March, and the premiere date has been set to October 2024.

The Adlibris Awards 2023

The nominees for the 2023 Adlibris Awards have been announced. Adlibris is the leading book retailer in the Nordics and the award was founded in 2019 to celebrate the site’s biggest titles. The nominated works have been selected by a jury of Adlibris employees, but the winners will be voted forth by the public. The winning titles will be announced on January 25, 2024.

In the category “Fiction of the Year,” Niklas Natt och Dag competes with Hope and Destiny.

In “Children’s Book of the Year, Ages 0-6,” Sarah Sheppard and David Sundin have both received a nomination. Sheppard for her Animals of the City, and Sundin for his You Must Be QUIET Now!.

Lastly, in the category “Children’s Book of the Year, Ages 6-12,” Martin Widmark vies for the winning title with The Dinosaur Mystery.

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