Skip to main content

Conceivably close: "The Inheritance Games" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes wins the 52nd Buxtehude Bull

Buxtehude. It was an evening of A to Z emotions. Yesterday's public award decision, with around 100 guests at the Kulturforum held the tension until the very last moment, or point. Then it was clear: The 52nd Buxtehude Bull goes to the USA. “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes emerged on top of the nominated youth books by narrow margin. The New York Times bestseller, translated into German by Ivana Marinović, and published by cbt Verlag, receives the €5000 award for young people's literature – and that by a single-point lead.

The youth jury's favorite – a gripping thriller full of secrets and riddles about a surprising inheritance – received a total of 78 points – 44 from the eleven youths, 34 points from the eleven adults. The adult jury, on the other hand, saw Deb Caletti's "A Heart in a Body in the World" – “Wie ein Herzschlag auf Asphalt” (Arctis Verlag) ahead with 43 points, while the youths awarded only 13 points.

"All of the titles are worth reading," emphasized host and book blogger Anne Sauer, who led the award decision with empathy and humor. The shortlist, containing "everything from A to Z", reconfirmed for her that "reading is simply the best hobby."

This year's shortlist also included: Sera Milano: "This Can Never Not Be Real" – “Nichts wird wie vorher sein” (Carlsen Verlag), Alice Oseman: "Loveless" (Loewe Verlag), Julya Rabinowich: "Dazwsichen: Wir" - Inbetween: Us (HANSER Verlag) and Sarah Sprinz: "In unserem Universum sind wir unendlich” - In our universe we are infinite (Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag).

The fact that the Buxtehude Bull brings generations of readers together is shown anew every year: the youngest jury member was 14 years old, the oldest over 70 years old. The performance from the integrated comprehensive school - IGS Buxtehude’s theater group, under the direction of Pia Fischer, brought the diversity of reading and readers to the Kulturforum stage just as impressively.

Even if, despite several attempts, the planned live call to the author in Oklahoma, USA was unsuccessful, the numerous congratulations on winning the Buxtehude Bull -  posted shortly after the announcement - by the jury members present, the team of editors and Bull fans would definitely have drawn attention to the US author and her Bull-win.

"Buxtehude is something like the Gaul of Reading," says Anne Sauer. Hopefully, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will soon be able to get an idea of ​​this for herself when the date for the award ceremony in autumn 2023 is agreed between the award winner and the Bull-team, led by Melanie Hainke.


The Book

Avery Grambs has a plan: survive high school, get a scholarship, and get out of here. But all that is history when multi-billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies, leaving Avery with most of his fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea who the man was. To take on her inheritance, Avery must move into gigantic Hawthorne House, where every room testifies to the old man's love of puzzles and mysteries. Unfortunately, it also accommodates his recently disinherited family. First and foremost, the four Hawthorne grandsons: fascinating, attractive, and dangerous. Trapped in this dazzling world of wealth and privilege, Avery must engage in a game of intrigue and calculation if she hopes to survive.

The Author

Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written more than 20 critically acclaimed youth novels, climbing the New York Times bestseller list. She was a Fulbright scholar and majored in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She graduated from Yale University and is now a professor of psychology and creative writing.

The Translator

Ivana Marinović, born in Esslingen, Germany in 1980, studied comparative literature and worked for several years as an editor for a children's book publisher before becoming a freelance editor and translator.