We are over the moon to announce that the fabulous Danielle Jawando has won the YA Book Prize 2023 with her “raw, powerful and thought-provoking” coming-of-age novel When Our Worlds Collided, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s.
When Our Worlds Collided follows three teenagers from different backgrounds who are brought together in the aftermath of a stabbing. Published in March 2022, it has already won the Jhalak Children’s and Young Adult Prize and been a huge success with readers. It is the second novel from Danielle, whose début, And the Stars Were Shining Brightly, was also shortlisted for several awards.
Discussing the inspiration behind the prize-winning story with The Bookseller, Danielle said: “For a long time, I’ve been wanting to write a book that examines the way that so many institutions—the justice system, the care system, the education system and the police—fail and inflict harm on young people of colour. I spent many years working in a further education college and this was something that I saw happening time and time again.”
She added: “At the same time, I also wanted to explore the deeply racist gang narrative that you often see constructed when it comes to young Black boys… I had these various themes floating around for a while, but I think it all came together when I read this heart-breaking news story about a young boy who had been stabbed and had been asking for help. No one helped him and it really made me think about the reasons why and if someone did stop, the type of person that they might be. From that, the characters and the story took off.”
Huge congratulations, Danielle – we are so proud of you and very excited to see this novel fly!