Sunday, December 06, 2009

Morris Awards Shortlist

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award "honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature." The Morris Award Committee announces the shortlist in December; which means we know the five finalists, so have plenty of time to read them all prior to the announcement of the winner on January 18 at the Youth Media Awards press conference.

This is the second year for the Morris Award; last year's winner was A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce.

From the Morris Award webpage: "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.

At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, Charlotte Miller strikes a bargain with the malevolent Jack Spinner, who can transform straw into gold, to save her family’s mill. With masterly writing and vivid characterization and setting, Bunce weaves a powerfully seductive tale of triumph over evil.

“Bunce has crafted a story that superbly embodies the criteria for this award. Her work is compelling and has broad teen appeal,” said Chair Bonnie Kunzel. “Thoughtful reflection and spirited discussion characterized this outstanding committee’s work as its members selected a shortlist that honors the influence of William C. Morris on the field of young adult publishing.”"

The five finalists for the Morris Award are:

Ash by Malinda Lo.

From my review:

"This retelling unfolds slowly, deliciously. It's an internal story; a story about Ash grieving the loss of her parents, shutting down from it, and eventually choosing life and love. This is a tale about recovering from grief and unbearable loss. . . . Take note, librarians and teachers looking for a great book with both literary merit and one that encourages deep discussion; you'll want this one."

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

From my review:

"a lushly written Southern Gothic tale, with family and town secrets, and teens discovering that the world is not what they thought it was. It's not just finding out that the supernatural is real; it's learning that trusted adults have kept secrets. And then trying to figure out what to do about it; and trying to take charge of your future when everyone is telling you that future is set in stone."

The Everafter by Amy Huntley.

From the Morris Awards announcement:

"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."

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan.

From the Morris Awards announcement:

"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?"

Hold Still by Nina LaCour.

From the Morris Awards announcement:

"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."

As you can see, I've only read two of the five titles. Rest assured, I will soon be reading the other three! I have two of them and am pursuing a copy of the third.

A big "wow" and "great books!" with a side of "congratulations" to the Morris Award Committee:
Chair Judy Nelson, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.;
Jeana Actkinson, Bridgeport (Texas) High School;
Dr. Joni Richards Bodart, School of Library and Information Science-San Jose (Calif.) State University;
Susan Fichtelberg, Public Library of Woodbridge, N.J.;
Angela Frederick, Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library;
Clio Hathaway, Martin Memorial Library, York, Pa.; Melanie Koss, Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Ill.;
Anne Leon, Alvin Sherman Library-Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.;
Gail Zachariah, Keene (N.H.) Public Library;
David Durante, administrative assistant, Pierce County Library System, Graham, Wash.;
and Booklist Consultant, Ilene Cooper, Chicago.

Images of the covers with the Morris Finalist Sticker are from YALSA.

YALSA also has handy PDF of Morris finalist bookmarks for you to use.

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Michelle said...

I'm excited to see Beautiful Creatures receive more praise. I just finished it up last week and adored it. A fabulous read.

Tarie Sabido said...

Woot! Thank you so much for posting this. =D

Kami Garcia said...

Thank you!!!