2015 Morris finalists announced

For Immediate Release
Wed, 12/03/2014


Nichole O’Connor

Program Officer

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) , a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2015 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2015 award winner at the Youth Media Awards at 8 a.m. on Feb. 2, in Chicago during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The 2015 finalists are:

  • “The Carnival at Braywritten by Jessie Ann Foley, published by Elephant Rock Books.
  • The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim written by E.K. Johnston, published by Carolrhoda Lab™, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.
  • “Gabi, a Girl in Pieces” written by Isabel Quintero, published by Cinco Puntos Press.
  • The Scar Boys” written by Len Vlahos, published by Egmont Publishing.
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” written by Leslye Walton, published by Candlewick Press.

 “This year’s Morris Committee had the distinguished task of finding the strongest voices from a quantitatively and qualitatively exceptional field of debut writers,” said Robin F. Kurz, chair of YALSA’s Morris Award committee. “The 2015 finalists cover a wide range of experiences, time periods, and locations but all ultimately illuminate the struggles many teens face on their journeys toward self-discovery.  The committee congratulates these remarkable authors and looks forward to their future works.”

More information on the finalists and the award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/morris-award. YALSA sells finalist seals to librarians and publishers to place on books at www.ala.org/awardsgrants/seals. YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalists and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Nonfiction Award finalists and winner, from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Feb. 2 at McCormick Place Convention Center, room W181.

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.

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.

For more information on the Morris Award or YALSA’s other young adult literature awards, please visit www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists.

Members of the 2015 William C. Morris Award Committee are:  Chair Robin F. Kurz, School of Library and Information Management, Emporia (Kansas) State University; Stephanie Barta, Westerly (Rhode Island) Public Library; Julie Benolken, Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota; Molly M. Collins, Charlotte Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Library; Colette Drouillard, Department of Library and Information Studies, Valdosta (Georgia) State University; Matt Layne, The Emmet O’Neal Library, Mountain Brook, Alabama; Candace Reeder, Northport-East Northport (New York) Public Library; Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, Oakland, California; Amanda Sprott-Goldson (administrative assistant), Charlotte Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Library; and Ilene Cooper (Booklist consultant), Chicago.

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 e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.