Kim Hood grew up in British Columbia, Canada. After earning degrees in psychology, history and education, she wandered through a few countries before making the west coast of Ireland home. Her eclectic work experience in education, therapy and community services has presented endless opportunity to observe a world of interesting characters, and usually entailed lots of writing. She has always had a passion for trying to understand life from the perspective of those on the fringes of society.
Finding a Voice is a Finalist of the first ever Bookseller’s YA Book Prize and the Winner of the Literacy Association of Ireland Best Children’s Book Biennial Award 2015. Finding a Voice has also been selected by the International Youth Library as a “White Raven 2015″ book.
FINDING A VOICE
Jo could never have guessed that the friendship she so desperately craves would come in the form of a severely disabled boy. He can’t even speak. Maybe it is because he can’t speak that she finds herself telling him how difficult life is with her eccentric, mentally fragile mother.
Jo devises a crude system for spelling out words and discovers that behind Chris’ lopsided grin and gigantic blue wheelchair is a real person — with a sense of humour, a tremendous stubborn streak and a secret he has kept from everyone.
For a while it seems life may actually get better. But as Jo finds out just how terrible life is for Chris, and as her own life spirals out of control, she becomes desperate to change things for both of them.
She hits a wall when she tries to acquire an expensive specialist computer that Chris needs to be able to communicate properly.
In a dramatic turn of events, Jo explodes in frustration and makes a decision that could end in tragedy.
This is the story of how an unusual friendship unlocks the words that neither Jo nor Chris knew they had.
“Touching and poignant… Written with deep compassion and understanding, this is excellently written and will grip the reader’s attention.” —Parentsintouch.co.uk
“Kim Hood certainly packs a punch in her story of friendship against the odds … there are plenty of messages that could be drawn from these pages. But the one that comes over most strongly is that there is no such thing as ‘normal’.” —Evening Echo
“Gives an honest, clear-eyed account of the challenges Chris and Jo have to deal with… despite the uplifting ending, it is never sentimental… a gripping story, well told, with rounded and appealing characters.” —Booksforkeeps.co.uk
Publisher: The O’Brien Press (2014). Rights held: Russian. Rights sold: German (CBJ Verlag). All other rights: email@example.com
At nearly 16, Jane has lived in the shadow of her little sister Emma’s cancer diagnosis for over three years. Not that she was ever in the limelight; it is her sister who is the talented one: a dancer. Now though, with her parents struggling to cope financially and emotionally, Jane’s life in her rural mining village seems to be a never ending monotony of skipping school, long bus rides to the hospital and hanging out with a boyfriend she doesn’t even know why she is with.
Then Jane meets Farley, an unlikely ‘hippie’ with weird ideas, who, despite Jane’s attempts to avoid him, seems to show up everywhere she is. Yet, slowly she begins to believe what he notices—that she has potential as an artist, that she is interesting.
All of that is forgotten when Emma’s doctors determine that the only hope for her recovery is to remove her leg. Jane cannot accept that this is true. If Emma does not recover, with both of her legs to dance with, their once close family will never recover. There IS another option, and Jane is determined that Emma get access to it.
Publisher: The O’Brien Press (2016). Rights held: Russian. All other rights: firstname.lastname@example.org