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Now Is Everything by Amy iles

Winner of the 2018 Buxtehude Bulle Young Adult Literary Award. Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2017. Georgia Peach Book Award Nominee.


"Powerful and haunting" - Amber Smith, New York Times best selling author of  The Way I Used to Be.

Be the smartest. Be the best. And be invisible when necessary.  

Hadley McCauley knows that’s how you survive in her household. So she’s the perfect student, perfect athlete, and perfect daughter, all to keep her father happy and off her little sister Lila’s case.  

The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this flawless family is hiding a dark secret.

Hadley will do anything to keep Lila safe from their father’s abuse. But when Hadley starts secretly dating Charlie Simmons, the boy she’s had a crush on for years, her world shifts. As their relationship deepens, the tension, violence, and stakes at home escalate, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.

When Hadley arrives at the hospital after the accident and attempts to take her own life, everyone—from her friends to her doctors, to the investigator on the case and her family—wants to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking. 

Now Is Everything is a powerful story told in alternating THEN and NOW chapters from a talented new voice in young adult literature, about what one girl is willing to do to protect her past, present, and future. 

Kirkus Review

“…[P]alpable despair and desperation, conveyed in well-paced first-person chapters, increase the tension as the truth of the accident slowly emerges. A tragic exploration of why people sometimes protect their abusers.” 

The Buxtehude Bull is one of the most renowned and tradition-steeped German literature awards. In 1971, it was initiated by the Buxtehude book dealer, Winfried Ziemann. The award is endowed with €5000 and the Buxtehude Bull's aim is to inspire youths to read as well as to encourage the spread of good youth literature. Through the jury's traditional combination of equal numbers of eleven youths and eleven adults, this award comprises the interface between literary quality, literary preference with themes that collectively move youths and literary experts for almost 50 years. Through its aims and its processes, this award is unique within the German-speaking world.

Winners are immortalized within the Buxtehude town-scape by way of brass plates. To date, the BULL-evard – the winners' “Walk of Fame” - has over 40 plates laid throughout the town's walkways. Among them are the authors: Christine Fehér, Lauren Oliver, Jostein Gaarder, Stephenie Meyer and David Safier.

The American author, Amy Giles, was awarded with the €5000 endowed youth literature award, the Buxtehude Bull, last Friday evening, 8th November, for her first work, “Now is Everything” (translated from English by Isabel Abedi; cbj-Verlag publishers). Giles was handed the approx. twelve-kilogram Bull (steel plastic figure) by Buxtehude’s mayor, Katja Oldenburg-Schmidt.

Amy Giles with the mayor of Buxtehude, Katja Oldenburg-Schmidt, at the plaque unveiling on the Buxtehude Bulle "Walk of Fame."

Award-winning text makes domestic violence a topic of discussion

Laudatory speaker, Renate Winkel, from the “Biss-counselling centre against domestic violence”, AWO Stade, especially referred to the terror behind the book’s story, within her speech: “Amy Giles has written an emotional book that makes the dynamic of the such violence-plagued families, palpable. World-wide, every third woman has experienced physical violence. Also, within the Stade district, domestic violence occurs: 414 known cases were registered in 2018. Amy Giles has hit a nerve. It is always worth looking behind the facade.”

The novel’s central character is Hadley. Perfect pupil, perfect sportswoman, perfect daughter. However, behind the seemingly faultless McCauley family, lies an ugly secret.

It is this secret – domestic violence - that the certified pedagogue, Thomas Rupf and Department of Youth Affairs Vice Head, Frauke Schulte, dedicated a short, however intensive, discussion to. Rupf emphasized: “We are all responsible, we cannot expect those effected children to be able to act.”


Amy Giles with Isabel Abedi, Now Is Everything Translator.

Text from the official Buxtehuder Bulle page.

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