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The Impossible Story of Hannah Kemp


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About the Author

Leonie Agnew is an award-winning children's author, a former advertising copywriter, and currently moonlighting as a primary school teacher. Witnesses claim her defining characteristic is a tendency to make things up. This is called lying, unless you write it down. Then it is pleasantly referred to as being an author.

In 2022, Leonie won the junior fiction prize at the New Zealand Book Awards for the second time. She also won the Storylines 2022 Tessa Duder Award for her manuscript The Impossible Story of Hannah Kemp. Leonie has previously won the British David Fickling Master of the Inkpot prize, multiple Esther Glen awards, a national children's choice award and more. All this must be true because somebody else wrote it on her Wikipedia page, not Leonie.


This is a powerful novel dealing with belonging, the opportunity to become your own person, the importance of family and also friendships. It contains a party scene where drugs are being used, which makes it best suited to those in middle to upper secondary.
*Lamont Books*

This magical realist story from New Zealand is about a young woman recovering from a life-changing accident that she caused and now must make reparations. Shunned by the rest of her small community, she hides inside books until she finds a mobile library that is bigger on the inside than the outside and in which all the stories seem to be true. When she finds her own story in the library, it sets off a chain of events that change everything for the better.

Hannah Kemp is exactly the type of teen I love to meet in a YA novel. Raging, smart, with a no-holds-barred attitude and a strong self-aware inner voice, her thoughts and feelings bouncing off each page at you.
*Magpies Magazine*

It’s beautiful, it’s sad (I was reaching for the tissues), its real and fantastical… As always, Leonie’s writing is flawless, engaging, often funny and in this YA novel – incredibly sassy. Hannah is so real and angry, I wanted to hug her half the time and shake her for the rest.
*What Book Next*

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