YA Book Prize 2024 shortlist announced

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2024
Category: Book Awards

The YA Book Prize 2024 shortlist has been announced and includes six debut authors alongside established writers.  Now in its tenth year, the YA Book Prize was set up to celebrate books for teenagers and young adults and to encourage more young people to read books.

The award is being organised in association with Edinburgh International Book Festival, with the shortlisted authors to appear on the festival programme and the winner to be announced during a ceremony on 22nd August.

YA Book Prize 2024 Shortlist

Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher (Bloomsbury YA): a queer romance set in Arthurian England that was shortlisted for the Nero Children's Award and is also Lex Croucher's debut novel. Gwen and Art, a princess and future duke, are betrothed from an early age. Neither are impressed by the thought of their impending nuptials, but when Gwen sees Art kissing a boy, and Art realises Gwen has a crush on Bridget, a gallant female knight, the pair form a plan.

Girl, Goddess, Queen by Bea Fitzgerald (Penguin Children's): Bea Fitzgerald's debut is a feminist reimagining of the Ancient Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. Fitzgerald's goddess will do anything to escape marriage to a brash Olympian - including travelling to the Underworld and confronting Hades.

The First Move by Jenny Ireland (Penguin Children's): Jenny Ireland's debut is a romance following Juliet, a girl with arthritis, and Ronan, the new kid at school, who unknowingly meet on a chess website.

Every Exquisite Thing by Laura Steven (Electric Monkey): A dark, Sapphic novel set at the elite Dorian Drama School, which forms the backdrop for this retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Murder on a School Night by Kate Weston (Electric Monkey):  Former comedian Kate Weston's debut is a hilarious novel that follows Kerry and her best friend Annie as they try to solve a series of murders being committed with menstruation products.

This Is How You Fall in Love by Anika Hussain (Hot Key Books): A fake dating rom-com in which Zara pretends to be in a relationship with her best friend Adnan, to help conceal the identity of his secret girlfriend. 

HappyHead by Josh Silver (Rock the Boat), which imagines a radical, dystopian retreat where teens are taken to cure their unhappiness. Events quickly spiral, however, in Silver's propulsive debut.

This Book Kills by Ravena Guron (Usborne). Guron's fresh take on a YA mystery finds student Jess under suspicion when fellow pupil Hugh Henry Van Boren is murdered.

Yours From the Tower by Sally Nicholls (Andersen Press): Nicholls' epistolary novel charts the hopes and dreams of three friends - Tirzah, Sophia and Polly - through their letters and notes to each other. All three try to find happiness in different circumstances: Tirzah is stuck as her grandmother's companion, while Sophia seeks a rich husband in London and Polly begins teaching at an orphanage.

How to Die Famous by Benjamin Dean (Simon & Schuster):  This slick thriller follows undercover reporter Abel, who infiltrates the entertainment industry to find out what happened to his brother.  The story was inspired by the author's past career as a celebrity journalist.

Judges for the YA Book Prize include The Bookseller's staff writer Katie Fraser as chair, as well as Edinburgh International Book Festival's children and schools programme director Rachel Fox, Alice Oseman, creator of the Heartstopper graphic novel series, Anissa de Gomery, co-founder of FairyLoot, and Gavin Hetherington, a book content creator.