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AWARD WINNERS: Morris Award Winners and Finalists

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award is a list created by YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association), a division of the American Library Association.

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After the snow Teen Book After the snow

Crockett, S. D. (Sophie D.)
TEEN CROCKET

In a future where winter lasts nearly all year, Willo returns from hunting to discover his family has been kidnapped. Skilled at surviving in the wild, he sets off from their remote farm, determined to locate them. But when his journey brings him to a corrupt city, full of strange and unfamiliar perils, Willo is swept up by events he doesn’t fully understand.

2013 Finalist




Wonder show Teen Book Wonder show

Barnaby, Hannah Rodgers.
TEEN BARNABY

Stories come easily to motherless Portia, and a good thing, too. They sustain her when her father leaves her and when her aunt abandons her to the ghastly McGreavey Home for Wayward Girls. When she escapes, they win her a place with Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show, where she hopes to find her father again somehow, where “freak,” “normal” and “family” mean something altogether different—and where Portia begins to take charge of her own story.

2013 Finalist




The miseducation of Cameron Post Teen Book The miseducation of Cameron Post

Danforth, Emily M.
TEEN DANFORT

On the same day that 12-year-old Cameron kisses her best friend, Irene, her parents are killed in a car accident. Nearly crushed with guilt, Cameron spends the next several years in self-imposed gay-movie therapy with her VCR or drinking and smoking pot with her track- and swim-team friends, gradually coming to terms with her sexuality. It’s not easy being gay in rural 1990s Montana, and it’s harder still when your aunt drags you to an evangelical church every weekend—where you meet the girl of your dreams.

2013 Finalist




Where things come back : a novel Teen Book Where things come back : a novel

Whaley, John Corey.
TEEN WHALEY

Lily, Arkansas, seems like a sleepy town where it would be unlikely for anything of note to the outside world to happen. But Cullen’s seventeenth summer is marked by the overdose death of a relative, his brother’s disappearance, and the discovery of a woodpecker thought to be extinct. These seemingly disconnected events collide in this novel which demonstrates that nothing is random. Whaley’s story will absorb readers as they follow Cullen on his journey through an unforgettable summer.

2012 Winner




Under the mesquite Teen Book Under the mesquite

McCall, Guadalupe Garcia.
TEEN MCCALL

This novel in verse tells the story of Lupita, the oldest of eight children. When Lupita’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, it is up to Lupita to step into a role she never considered taking in her drama class: surrogate parent. McCall’s chapters are exquisite poems with language that sings and stings. Finding hope amidst despair, finding the chance to laugh, and finding the incredible power of family make this a memorable reading experience.

2012 Finalist.




Between shades of gray Teen Book Between shades of gray

Sepetys, Ruta.
TEEN SEPETYS

In lyrical prose, Sepetys introduces readers to 15 year old Lina and her family as they are evicted from their home in Lithuania and transported to Siberia as prisoners during Stalin’s reign of terror in the 1940s. The journey is perilous; not all will survive. Lina is determined to document it all in her art and her journal. Sepetys shines a light on a corner of history not often seen in YA literature. The juxtaposition of lyricism in the midst of the horror underscores Lina’s indomitable spirit.

2012 Finalist




Paper covers rock Teen Book Paper covers rock

Hubbard, Jenny.
TEEN HUBBARD

Alex, a junior at an exclusive boarding school, uses his journal (neatly hidden inside a copy of Moby Dick) to relate the disturbing events that led to the drowning of a classmate. Hubbard’s literary references, her creation of Alex’s poems and journal entries, and her storytelling skills combine in a story about the code of silence that often compromises the code of honor.

2012 Finalist




The girl of fire and thorns Teen Book The girl of fire and thorns

Carson, Rae.
TEEN CARSON

Elisa bears the Godstone. She is a chosen one. What she is chosen to do is unclear, but perhaps her journey to marry the king of a neighboring country in the midst of war will provide some of the answers. Carson weaves together religion, politics, prophecy, and more in this fast-paced fantasy that brings Elisa to a destiny no one could have anticipated.

2012 Finalist




The Freak Observer Teen Book The Freak Observer

Woolston, Blythe.
TEEN WOOLSTO

Loa, a strong, intelligent, hardworking sixteen-year-old girl experiences a year of loss. While trying to take care of her family and make it through school, she ponders the laws of physics as she tries to understand what can never make sense.

2011 Winner




Hush Teen Book Hush

Chayil, Eishes.
TEEN CHAYIL

Growing up in her insular Chassidic Jewish community has always made Gittel feel secure and given her a sense of belonging. But when her best friend, Devory, hangs herself after being sexually abused, her faith in the group is challenged and only gradually does she find ways to express her desire for the community to deal with the issue.

2011 Finalist




Crossing the tracks Teen Book Crossing the tracks

Stuber, Barbara, 1951-
TEEN STUBER

In the 1920s, Iris' emotionally distant father sends her to rural Missouri to act as a companion to an elderly woman while he heads to Kansas City with his fiance. Iris' mother died when she was five, and it takes her some time to learn to care for Mrs. Nesbitt and see her own future with optimism.

2011 Finalist




Guardian of the dead Teen Book Guardian of the dead

Healey, Karen.
TEEN HEALEY

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just trying to make it through her last year of high school, but a chance interaction with the school's weirdo, Mark Nolan, puts her on a very different path filled with Maori legends come to life.

2011 Finalist




Hold me closer, necromancer Teen Book Hold me closer, necromancer

McBride, Lish.
TEEN MCBRIDE

Sam thinks his life working in a fast food restaurant is awful. But when he's confronted by a powerful necromancer, he learns that everything he thought was true about his life — isn't.

2011 Finalist




Flash burnout : a novel Teen Book Flash burnout : a novel

Madigan, L. K.
TEEN MADIGAN

Blake’s life is way too complicated. He’s a sophomore in high school with a girlfriend and a friend who is a girl. One of them loves him. One of them needs him. Can he please them both?

2010 Winner




Ash Teen Book Ash

Lo, Malinda.
TEEN LO

Consumed with grief after the death of her father, Ash's only escape from her harsh life and cruel stepmother comes from re-reading the fairy tales that her mother once told her and hoping against hope that the fairies will appear to her. When the fairy Sidhean appears, Ash hopes that he will steal her away to his enchanted world; but when she meets the King's Huntress, Kaisa, she realizes that staying in her own realm can also lead to beauty, romance, and perhaps even love.

2010 Finalist




Beautiful creatures Teen Book Beautiful creatures

Garcia, Kami.
TEEN GARCIA

Sixteen-year-old Ethan has lived all his life in Gaitlin, South Carolina, a town that hasn’t changed much since the Civil War. While coping with the loss of his mother, a father who spends all of his time in his study, and high school, his world turns upside down with the arrival of Lena, a new girl with whom he seems to share a psychic connection. As they grow closer, Ethan discovers that Lena and her family share a dark secret and that she is headed for doom on her sixteenth birthday.

2010 Finalist




The everafter Teen Book The everafter

Huntley, Amy.
TEEN HUNTLEY

Maddy is a ghost, surrounded by things she lost when she was alive. By touching these objects, she relives the episodes in her life where she lost them. Even though Maddy’s dead, she explores the lessons these objects hold — and why are they still important.

2010 Finalist




Hold still Teen Book Hold still

LaCour, Nina.
TEEN LACOUR

After Caitlin's best friend Ingrid commits suicide, Caitlin has a hard time making sense of the loss. She finds Ingrid's journal and slowly allows herself to read it and learn about why Ingrid felt the need to end her life. Caitlin also grapples with allowing herself to find another friend, to let in a boyfriend, and to understand why her favorite teacher is ignoring her. It is the haunting story of dealing with loss, moving on, and finding peace and hope.

2010 Finalist




A curse dark as gold Teen Book A curse dark as gold

Bunce, Elizabeth C.
TEEN BUNCE

This supernatural novel retells the story of Rumpelstiltskin, setting it at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and centering it around the life of Charlotte Miller. When the bank wants to repossess her mortgaged mill, Charlotte strikes a bargain with the mysterious Jack Spinner, (a creature who knows the art of turning straw into gold), but then discovers she must free her loved ones from a generations-old curse.

2009 Winner




Graceling Teen Book Graceling

Cashore, Kristin.
TEEN CASHORE

In the Seven Kingdoms, those born with eyes of two different colors are Gracelings who develop intense and powerful skills. Katsa’s Grace is killing, and she serves as King Randa’s enforcer until she and Prince Po join forces to solve the riddle of his grandfather’s kidnapping. The closer they get to the answer and to each other, the more dangerous their quest becomes.

2009 Finalist




Me, the missing, and the dead Teen Book Me, the missing, and the dead

Valentine, Jenny.
TEEN VALENTI

Sixteen-year-old Londoner Lucas Swain, on a whim, decides to take a cab home and happens upon an urn with the ashes of Violet Park in the taxi office. He feels the spirit of Violet leading him through a maze of layered clues, as he bit by bit solves the puzzle of his father’s disappearance more than five years ago.

2009 Finalist




Madapple Teen Book Madapple

Meldrum, Christina.
TEEN MELDRUM

Fifteen-year-old Aslaug was raised in isolation by a mother who was both strange and ill. Her mother’s death brings an onslaught of new experiences as Aslaug must learn to cope with the unwanted attention of the police, relatives she never knew she had, and multiple charges of murder.

2009 Finalist




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