YoungMinds announces shortlist for book award 14.09.2010

YoungMinds announces shortlist for book award

Throughout the summer young people from book groups, and schools have been reviewing books to whittle down a shortlist for the YoungMinds Book Award 2010.

The award, sponsored by national reading charity Booktrust, is a £2000 prize which helps young people (12+) to deal with the pressure and the stresses of growing up.

Following young people’s feedback, YoungMinds is delighted to announce this year’s shortlist:

· Dear Dylan, by Siobhan Curham (AuthorHouse)

Consigned to six long weeks of feeling like an outsider in her own home and banned from venturing out, fourteen year old Georgie Harris starts e-mailing the only person she thinks might understand. But in the faceless world of e-mail all is not as it seems….

“This is the best book I have read in a long time so I highly recommend it to other people.” Nicola, aged 12

· Ember Fury, by Cathy Brett (Headline Publishing Group)

As the neglected child of celebrity parents, Ember knows that the smallest spark of anger can ignite a whole heap of trouble.

“This book is really amazing and I read it straight through in one day.” Bhavini, aged 14

· Inside, J.A. Jarman (Andersen Press)

Lee is in prison for a crime he did commit. Struggling to decide whose rules to follow, Lee’s real struggle is within himself. Is he destined to be a ‘career con’ or can he choose to change his life?

“This exciting book was very well written, and has an amazing storyline.” Oliver, aged 12

· The Truth about Leo, by David Yelland (Puffin)

Since his mum died, Leo’s dad has changed and he’s drinking a lot. Lost, not knowing where to turn or what to do, Leo can no longer pretend its ok. Leo needs his old dad back because dad is all Leo has left.

“…keeps you hooked, making the book irresistible…” Matt, aged 14

· Them and US, by Bali Rai (Barrington Stoke)

After spending life with his mum, running from an abusive father, David thinks he can deal with anything. Now he is the only white boy at his new school and some people have a problem with that. Can David beat the bullies and avoid his dad?

“I found this book extremely interesting…. it definitely opened my eyes to see how racism really is” Holly, aged 13

· Zelah Green, Queen of Clean, by Vanessa Curtis (Egmont UK)

When Zelah’s stepmother packs her off to a hospital in the middle of nowhere, “There’s Alice who’s anorexic. Caro who cuts herself. Silent Sol who has the cutest smile. And then there’s me…. My name is Zelah Green and I’m a cleanaholic.”

“…. when I began to read it, I could not put it down. It is very well written and describes the ups and downs of a young girls life.” Caroline, aged 12

Sarah Brennan, YoungMinds Chief Executive, said: “Books can play a vital role in promoting good emotional health and well being in young people. They can help to break the isolation felt by individuals and show that their experience and problems are not unique.”

Viv Bird, Booktrust Chief Executive, said: ‘This shortlist not only tackles a range of situations and emotions that young people may experience, but also showcases the excellence and vibrancy in writing for this age group currently being published. Booktrust is delighted to be sponsoring the 2010 YoungMinds Book Awards which highlight the important role that books can play in helping young people to understand and deal with some of the issues that they face.’

The shortlist will now go to a panel of judges of three young people and three children’s authors who will pick the winner, presented at The Unicorn Theatre on the evening of 16th


1. YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional well being and mental health of children and young people and empowering their parents and carers.

2. For further information please contact Hannah Smith on 0207 336 1451 or 07896532529 or email

3. Booktrust is an independent charity dedicated to encouraging people of all ages and cultures to engage with books. The written word underpins all our activity and enables us to fulfil our vision of inspiring a lifelong love of books for all. Booktrust is responsible for a number of successful national reading promotions, sponsored book prizes and creative reading projects aimed at encouraging readers to discover and enjoy books. Booktrust prizes and awards include the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Children’s Laureate, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize.

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