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Are You There, Buddha?

2022 - Shortlisted

Shortlisted

Judges' Comments 

When we first meet twelve-year-old Bridget ‘Bee’ Ballentine in Pip Harry’s Are You There, Buddha? her home life is complicated, and she wants nothing more than for her body not to change. Despite her pleas to her bedroom Buddha, her period arrives, forcing Bee to wrestle with growing up, and what that means for her relationships with her peers and stepmother. 

This verse novel is accessible to readers of all stages. There is precision in its simplicity, and it rewards repeat readings. Characters are well-drawn and relationships develop in interesting and satisfying ways. Are You There, Buddha? balances the light and dark of taking bold first steps into teendom.