PHILADELPHIA — “Charm & Strange” written by Stephanie Kuehn, published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan, has been named the 2014 winner of the William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. The award was presented by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 24 – 28 in Philadelphia.
Drew, aka “Win,” has been isolated at boarding school since age 12. While he outwardly excels, a horrific secret pushes him toward madness. With the help of friends, can he conquer the beast within? Win’s rawness and vulnerability illuminate the teen experience in ways both unflinchingly honest and frighteningly familiar.
“Kuehn’s use of physics and emotion, drama and misdirection creates a dark and moody journey. This story resonates with every read,” said Morris Award Chair Dorcas Wong.
The award is named for William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. William “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. The Morris Award is awarded annually during the ALA Midwinter Meeting’s Youth Media Awards and will be presented at a reception in Philadelphia on Jan. 27, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 114-Lecture Hall.
The 2014 Morris Award finalists, announced in December, included: “Sex & Violence,” written by Carrie Mesrobian, published by Carolrhoda LAB, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group; “Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets,” written by Evan Roskos, published by Houghton Mifflin, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; “Belle Epoque,” written by Elizabeth Ross, published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books; and “In the Shadow of Blackbirds,” written by Cat Winters, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.
Members of the 2014 William C. Morris Award Committee are: Dorcas Wong, San Francisco Public Library-West Portal & Parkside Branches, San Francisco; Jerene D. Battisti, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, AB; Hannah Gomez, Castilleja School, Palo Alto, Calif.; Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Alissa Lauzon, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, Mass.; Rachael Myers Ricker, Horace Mann School, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jenna Nemec-Loise, Chicago Public Library-Theodore Roosevelt Branch; Mary A. Wepking, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ileana Pulu, San Francisco Public Library-Bayview Branch, San Francisco; and Daniel Kraus, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.
YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/booklistsawards/bookawards.
For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the William C. Morris Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.