My Happy Life

From the Series My Happy Life

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

A New York Times Notable book and first in the acclaimed series for beginning readers.

Dani is probably the happiest person she knows. She’s happy because she’s going to start school. Dani has been waiting to go to school her whole life. Then things get even better—she meets Ella Frida by the swings. After that, Dani and Ella Frida do everything together and become best friends. But then something happens that Dani isn’t prepared for…

A perfect first chapter book for children aged five and up, full of social-emotional learning and sweet and funny illustrations, from one of the world’s greatest illustrators, Eva Eriksson.

Young independent readers who like Kate DiCamillo or the Ivy & Bean series will be hooked on the 7-book series once they start.

“If only all early chapter books were this beautifully conceived.”—The New York Times

Rose Lagercrantz is a popular Swedish author of books for children as well as for adults. She has received many of the top Swedish literary awards, including the August Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Prize.

Praise for My Happy Life

“Working beautifully with the text and usually given more space on the page, these sensitive ink drawings feature clean lines that express emotions through every character’s stance, gesture, and expression. A quietly compelling book for young readers.”—Booklist, Starred

“Sweet and salty – umami for the emerging reader.”—The Horn Book

Read all the My Happy Life series:
My Heart is Laughing
When I Am Happiest
Life According to Dani
See You When I See You
Where Dani Goes, Happy Follows
All’s Happy That Ends Happy

Format Your Price Add
Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% off list price on hardcovers and ebooks when you buy direct! Digital purchases will be accessed on Lerner Digital Bookshelf. An account will be created for you after purchase.
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 1
Category SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: D Relationship Skills, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2013
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Gecko Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 136
Publication Date 2013-01-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV039060, JUV045000, JUV039050
Dewey [Fic]
Graphics 1-color illustrations
Dimensions 5.75 x 8.25
Lexile 590
ATOS Reading Level 3.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 164955
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, and eSource

Author: Rose Lagercrantz

Rose Lagercrantz is a popular Swedish author of books for children as well as for adults. She has received many literary awards, including the August Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Prize.

Illustrator: Eva Eriksson

Eva Eriksson is one of the world's great illustrators. Her awards include the Astrid Lindgren Prize and the August Award and she is consistently nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

My Happy Life

This acclaimed series of illustrated chapter books follows Dani as she starts school and meets Ella, who becomes her best friend in the world. At school and at home, Dani overcomes life’s ups and downs with optimism and understanding. Full of fun and happiness, these warm-hearted… View available downloads →


  • USBBY Outstanding International Books List, Winner, 2015
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2014
  • ALA Notable Children's Books, Winner, 2013
  • New York Times Notable Children's Books, Winner, 2013



“This simply written chapter book tenderly portrays the happiness of a child whose life is in balance, as well as the colossal, unremitting, inconsolable sorrow of one who is suffering loss. . . . The clarity and simplicity of the writing are balanced by the verve and finesse of Eriksson’s captivating illustrations. . . . A quietly compelling book for young readers.”—starred, Booklist

The New York Times Book Review

“For young middle grade readers, a new chapter book, ‘My Happy Life,’ takes up the subject of resilience in such a natural and powerful way, children won’t remotely feel like they’re reading a manual….If only all early chapter books were this beautifully conceived.” —The New York Times Book Review

School Library Journal

“The illustrations complement the narrative well, and will enable younger readers to feel a sense of accomplishment for tackling a lengthy chapter book….The difficult subjects are handled gracefully, allowing children to realize that happiness comes and goes, and that everyone has hardships to face.” —School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“A sweet read for both children and their parents, who may be grateful at the reminder of emotional complexity lurking behind their children’s smiles.” —Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

“To understand the true meaning and value of resilience, look no further than the 20 brief chapters of this early reader…beautifully translated into spare, lyrical prose….As Eriksson’s emotionally astute and often endearingly funny pencil drawings show, Dani does indeed have much to be happy about.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review