Independent publishers Bloomsbury Children’s and David Fickling Books are leading the shortlist for this year’s Bookseller’s YA Book Prize, run in association with book printer Clays.
The shortlist for the prize, which is for YA authors based in the UK and Ireland, includes Bloomsbury’s Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe, a satire of contemporary urban life, and One by Sarah Crossan, a story about conjoined twins written in blank verse.
The two books published by David Fickling Books on the shortlist are Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming, a novel about three generations of women in one family, and Lisa Williamson’s The Art of Being Normal, which is about transgender teenagers.
The winner of the Costa Book of the Year award, The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books) is also listed, as is Asking for It by Louise O’Neill (Quercus), who won the 2015 YA Book Prize for her debut novel Only Ever Yours.
The four remaining books on the 10-strong shortlist are: The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson (Penguin Random House Children’s), a historical novel based on the true story of Mary Wilcox; The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Walker Books), which asks what happens to the kids that aren’t the “chosen ones” during a supernatural event; Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne (Usborne), a contemporary, feminist teen story; and The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, a fantasy novel (Scholastic).
Kate McFarlan, strategic director of Clays, said: “We have seen some fantastic successes in YA publishing going through our presses in the last five years, and we are delighted to be sponsoring the Bookseller’s YA Book Prize, rewarding the best writing and publishing in this area. Getting the readers in at the YA stage builds the readers for life.”
The partners for this year’s prize are World Book Day and Hay Festival and the winner of the 2016 YA Book Prize will be announced at Hay on 2nd June.
Hay’s director, Peter Florence, will help judge the shortlist along with two teenagers from Hay, journalist Bim Adewunmi, author Katherine Woodfine, librarian Jonas Herriot, World Book Day director Kirsten Grant, and YA book buyers Kate McHale (Waterstones) and David O’Callaghan (Easons).
Full details on the shortlist can be found on the YA Book Prize website.