Dawn O'Porter, the wife of actor Chris O'Dowd (who called X-Factor fans racist this week), has been nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2014 for her debut teen novel Paper Aeroplanes. Best known for her documentaries on body image, O'Porter's book was inspired by her experienced growing up in Guernsey.
Dawn O'Porter at a Waterstones Photocall for 'Paper Aeroplanes'
Other nominees include Call the Midwife actress Emerald Fennell and performance poet Laura Dockrill for their books Shiverton Hall and Darcy Burdock. The 'age 5-12' category - which also includes Piers Torday, Sandra Greaves and Katherine Rundell - is led by the director and screenwriter Soman Cainani who will surely be considered the favourite for The School For Good and Evil, a New York Times bestseller that has already been picked up by Universal Pictures.
The prize, which rewards the winner with £5,000 (all nominees receive £2,000), will be announced on April 3.
"Our children's departments have always been the heart of our bookshops, for there, of course, book lovers are made," said James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones.
Chris O'Dowd [L] and his wife Dawn O'Porter
"In the prize we capture the passion and engagement of our booksellers as they champion emerging children's authors and illustrators."
Daunt added: "Given the success of former winners, we can be sure they have once again identified the stars of the future."
The full list of nominees is below. Head over to Waterstones' blog for more information on those selected.
Best Picture Book
Open Very Carefully by Nick Bromley and Nicola O'Byrne
Harold Finds a Voice by Courtney Dicmas
Weasels by Elys Dolan
Penguin in Peril by Helen Hancocks
Time for Bed, Fred! by Yasmeen Ismail
The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Merino
Best Fiction for 5-12's
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill
Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell
The Skull in the Wood by Sandra Greaves
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
The Last Wild by Piers Torday
Best Book For Teens
The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale
Butter by Erin Lange
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Geek Girl by Holly Smale