The O’Brien Press has announced that Kim Hood has been shortlisted for The Bookseller’s inaugural YA Book Prize, for her moving and compelling novel, Finding a Voice. Finding a Voice is the only shortlisted book by an independent Irish publisher.
Kim, who grew up in Canada but lives in Co. Clare, joins 9 other authors in the running for the £2,000 prize, including Irish author Louise O’Neill for Only Ever Yours, Dawn O’Porter for Goose and ‘Queen of Teen’ James Dawson for Say Her Name.
Finding a Voice, Kim’s debut novel, tells the story of friendship against the odds. Between looking after her mother, who suffers from mental heath issues, and avoiding the mean kids at school, Jo has never had much time to think about what she wants – and it wouldn’t occur to her to ask for help. She has to be the strong one, always. When she meets Christopher, a severely disabled student at her school, she wants to help make his life better and ends up going to dramatic lengths to do so.
Responding to the news of her shortlisting, Kim said, “I was calm until I read the names of the other books and amazing authors shortlisted. Since then I have been in shock and I’m not sure when that will wear off! I am thrilled to be nominated. I wish everyone the best of luck and look forward to the announcement in March.”
Ivan O’Brien, MD of The O’Brien Press said, “We are delighted that Kim’s brave and original book has been shortlisted for this fantastic new Young Adult book award, and it’s fantastic that O’Brien Press can continue fly the flag for Independent Irish publishing.”
A team of 10 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 overall winner. The winning author will be presented with a £2,000 prize at a ceremony at Foyles on 19th March.