Ten titles are in the running for The Bookseller's inaugural YA Book Prize, with two Hot Key books featuring on the shortlist.
Hot Key publishes broadcaster Dawn O’Porter and current Queen of Teen James Dawson, who are shortlisted for novels Goose and Say Her Name respectively. Goose is a story about the friendship between two teenage girls and their experiences of boys, sex and deciding whether they should go to university, while Say Her Name is a modern interpretation of the Bloody Mary urban ghost legend.
Also shortlisted are The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick (Orion), A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond (Hodder Children’s Books) Trouble by Non Pratt (Walker), Lobsters by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen (Chicken House), Half Bad by Sally Green (Penguin), Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill (Quercus), Finding a Voice by Kim Hood (O’Brien Press) and Salvage by Keren David (Atom). The Ghosts of Heaven is a collection of four interconnected stories with the symbol of a spiral at its heart, and A Song for Ella Grey is a retelling of the myth of Orpheus; Trouble, Salvage and Lobsters are all contemporary YA stories; and Half Bad is a fantasy set in the world of White and Black witches. Meanwhile Only Ever Yours is a feminist dystopia and Finding a Voice explores different types of disability.
Fiona Noble, children’s book previewer at The Bookseller, said: “UK YA has been a fast growing trend in the past few years, so whittling down over 90 submissions to a shortlist of just 10 felt like a daunting task. However, every title on the shortlist had a passionate Bookseller champion and a really exciting and diverse list quickly emerged. It's a list that truly demonstrates the strength and unique nature of YA writing in the UK and Ireland, from contemporary to literary fiction, dystopia to horror, written by both debut authors and established names.”
A team of 10 teen and industry judges, including author Philip Reeve, World Book Day director Kirsten Grant, and RTE broadcaster Rick O’Shea will now decide which book will be the winner.
The winning author will be presented with a £2,000 prize at a ceremony at Foyles on 19th March.
The YA Book Prize is sponsored by Movellas.