Sarah Crossan wins the YA Book Prize 2016

The annual Hay Festival in Wales is a big deal for most book lovers anyway, but even more so this year as on the 2nd June, the Festival also played host to the YA Book Prize Ceremony, where the second winner of the Prize since it was launched last year was announced.

So who is the winner of the Prize in 2016?

A successful start for Sarah

Sarah Crossan has had a really successful start to the year with her free-verse novel One, which features two conjoined twins named Tippi and Grace. As well as winning this year’s YA Book Prize, Sarah also won the Ireland Children’s Book Of The Year Award for the same title, as well as having One featured on this year’s Carnegie shortlist.

The book beat nine others to be awarded the Prize by Malorie Blackman this year, including Lisa Williamson’s The Art Of Being Normal, this year’s Waterstone’s Children’s Fiction Prize Older Category winner, and The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, recently announced as being a title optioned for a TV adaptation. The shortlist also featured Holly Bourne, Louise O’Neill, Patrick Ness, Catherine Johnson, Frances Hardinge (who won the last Costa Book Of The Year award), William Sutcliffe and Jenny Downham.

The Bookseller, who run the award, reported on Crossan’s win and spoke to the judges afterwards, who were ‘unanimous’ that One should receive the £2,000 award.

Judge and writer Bim Adewunmi told The Bookseller, “Tippi and Grace are a great addition to the pantheon of great literary sisters, and the way Crossan explores their rare (physical) bond only makes them more so.”

“I cried on the train at the end and I will not soon forget either of these girls.”

An additional winner

The ceremony also saw The Bookseller give a special award to Melvin Burgess, whose novel Junk was published 20 years ago by Andersen Press, and was the first YA novel by a UK author.

Congratulations, Sarah! Make sure you read One (ironically it was released in paperback with a brand new cover on the same day as the award!), and all of the other shortlisted titles.

Have you read One? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!