Morris Award - new voices in YA

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Morris Award - new voices in YA

jul. 22, 2020, 5:51pm

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first given in 2009, honors a book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature. The winner is announced annually at the ALA Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December. The award's namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

jul. 22, 2020, 5:54pm

2020 Morris Award Winner - The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Moving to a new town and attending a new school sucks. At least that's what Norris Kaplan, a Black French Canadian teenager, believes when he moves to Austin, Texas. All of his knowledge about U.S. high school life comes from movies and television. He assumes that the students he meets in real life are just as one-dimensional. Norris, who can be a bit snarky, decides to write about his interactions with the jocks, cheerleaders, loners, and Manic Pixie Dream Girls in a pocket journal for amusement. However, as he gets to know the people behind the labels better, Norris begins to realize that he shouldn't judge a book by its cover - or its characters, for that matter.

Come for the hilarity and snark, stay for the epiphany that teenagers are more than one-dimensional stereotypes.

My name is Norris. I will be your guide today on a humorous and witty trip consisting of bad first impressions, extreme sweating, lots of key lime pie, and ice hockey. Oh yeah, some new friendships too.

jul. 22, 2020, 7:43pm

2020 Morris Award Finalists

The Candle and the Flame written by Nafiza Azad

Orphaned in an ongoing war between djinn and humans, Fatima undergoes a magical transformation that can save her family and beloved city of Noor. A devout Muslim, she lives harmoniously in this southeast Asian community amongst others from various cultures and religions, learning the importance of languages, names, and stories. When the needs of the djinn and the lives of humans collide, Fatima must decide how much of her identity she is willing to sacrifice.
A tempestuous royal family, opposing clans of powerful djinn, a bustling city at the heart of the Silk Road and the orphaned delivery girl whose magical inheritance might be enough to save them all.

My family was slaughtered by the djinn, yet I survived. No one knows how, though maybe it's because I'm not quite human. My blood burns their essence; perhaps the only weapon that may save us. I will protect those I love.

Genesis Begins Again written by Alicia D. Williams

Genesis has a list of reasons to hate about herself, started by girls in a Detroit school she attends, and she keeps adding to it. Born dark-skinned in a family that values light-skin black people, Genesis craves to feel loved by her alcoholic, gambling-addicted father. Amidst verbal abuse and poverty, thirteen-year old Genesis struggles to find her voice and story of her family with the help of her music teacher, friends, and mother.
I have a long list of reasons for people to hate me. I'm too dark. My friends dump me because I'm poor. I'm waiting for the moment when I can begin again; when someone hears the song within me and sees past everything else. Especially Dad.

What do you do when society's perception of beauty doesn't fit who you are? What if your family buys into it, too? Deciding that if you are darker than a brown paper bag you have less worth? Meet Genesis, who wrestles with this, colorism, while attempting to mend her broken family.

Frankly in Love written by David Yoon, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House. 9781984812209

Frank Li is a Korean-American high school student torn between two lives. At school, he's part of a diverse group of smart friends. At home, he tries to be a model son - working in his parents' store, socializing with other Koreans, and following his immigrant parents' expectations. When Frank begins a relationship with a white girl, he and Korean-American Joy Song begin fake dating as a cover for their parents. Frank is soon forced to reconsider everything he thought he knew about relationships, identity, and race.

How far would you go to keep your parents happy? Even when you know they're wrong.

There Will Come a Darkness written by Katy Rose Pool

The Age of Darkness is upon us, so says a secret prophecy foretold generations ago by the Seven Prophets. In a land where there’s a rising movement to persecute those who are Graced and have enhanced abilities, five lives intersect:

Hassan, an exiled prince who wants to take back his kingdom from the Hierophant, the leader of the anti-Grace movement;
Ephyra, a serial killer known as the Pale Hand because she uses her healing Grace in reverse;
Beru, Ephyra’s terminally ill sister who is ready to die;
Anton, a gambler who is on the run from his past; and
Jude, the paladin leader who is torn between upholding his duties to find the Last Prophet who can save the world (or destroy it) and his feelings for his best friend Hector, another paladin
Will these five prevent the prophecy from happening or become the catalysts for its beginning?

The Age of Darkness is upon us. Are you ready?

An exiled prince. A serial killer. A terminally ill girl. A paranoid gambler. A torn paladin. These five lives intersect as the Age of Darkness, a secret prophecy foretold generations ago, begins to unfold.