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The Farm Beneath the Water and Use Your Imagination shortlisted for Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards

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This morning we were absolutely delighted to learn that both The Farm Beneath the Water by Helen Peters, and Use Your Imagination by Nicola O’Byrne, have been shortlisted for Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards.

Independent Bookshop Week, now in its ninth year, is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland, and the important part that ‘indies’ play in their communities, and the excellent, personal service they provide for customers. Hundreds of events and promotions will be taking place at independent bookshops around the country, and the winners of the awards will be announced on 20 June 2015 – the first day of Independent Bookshop Week.

The sequel to the highly-acclaimed The Secret Hen House Theatre, The Farm Beneath the Water has been shortlisted in the Children’s Fiction category – if you’ve not yet discovered this incredible book, you can read the opening chapters below:


Buy the book online from your local independent book shop.

Hannah’s farm is facing a new threat – a water company wants to flood the land to make a reservoir. How can she stand by and watch as the land her family has farmed for generations, and the wildlife, all disappear under a deluge of water? Hannah won’t go down without a fight, and the school play might just be the answer… When the going gets tough, the tough take to the stage!

The book has all the same hallmarks as its predecessor: great writing and an emotionally engaging, entertaining narrative. It’s PERFECT for 9-12 year olds who love a brilliantly-told story.

If you’d like to read about the inspiration behind this book, and The Secret Hen House Theatre, here’s a wonderful essay by Helen on growing up on a farm, and turning life into fiction.

The follow-up to the brilliant, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning Open Very Carefully, Use Your Imagination has been shortlisted in the Picture Book category – here’s a look inside:


Buy the book online from your local independent book shop.

This is another wonderfully clever, inventive picture book all about storytelling and the power of imagination – the story of an imaginative rabbit, who outwits a wolf and becomes the hero of his own adventure. And like Open Very Carefully, this is also a brilliant celebration of the physical book in all its glory, with a STUNNING fold-out final spread.

You can read the full list of shortlists, and more about the Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards, here.

Congratulations, Helen and Nicola – and good luck!

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