We have some really great news: The Secret Hen House Theatre – Helen Peters’ debut novel – has been shortlisted for the 2013 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Helen’s beautifully-written novel (which arrived at Nosy Crow as an unsolicited submission) has been nominated in the 5-12 category of the prize.
Perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and The Swish of the Curtain, The Secret Hen House Theatre tells the story of Hannah, an instantly likeable heroine stuck in a world of chaos: her mother has died, her dad is lost in grief and struggling to look after everyone, her siblings are unruly, and the whole family faces the threat of losing their home – a dilapidated, rundown farm. Looking for some way of connecting to her creative, theatre-loving mum, Hannah decides to write and perform a play in the overgrown hen house that she’s found – will this be what saves the farm from demolition…?
Here’s what Helen has to say about the nomination:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for this prize. Waterstones have been incredibly supportive of the book and it is such an honour to be selected for a shortlist which is chosen by booksellers.”
And Kirsty, the book’s editor, says:
“The Secret Hen House Theatre shone out of the “slush pile” as a book that just had to be published, and it’s great to see it on the Waterstone’s prize shortlist, a prize that celebrates writers at the start of their careers. We’re sure Helen’s is going to be long and illustrious, and we couldn’t be more delighted to be her publisher.”
If you’ve not read the book, you can read the first chapter for free below.
You can also order the book online from Waterstones here.
The full shortlist for the prize in the 5-12 category is as follows:
The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable (Chicken House)
Atticus Claw Breaks the Law by Jennifer Gray (Faber and Faber)
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Random House Children’s Books)
The Secret Hen House Theatre by Helen Peters (Nosy Crow)
The Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey (Puffin)
Barry Loser: I Am Not A Loser by Jim Smith (Egmont)
You can read more on Waterstones’ website – the winner will be announced later this year. Good luck, Helen!