The William C. Morris YA Debut Award

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The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.  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.

Individuals who wish to buy small quantities of seals can find them in the ALA Online Store. Publishers wishing to buy bulk seals or license seal images can find more information by consulting ALA's Seals Sales & Permissions page or reading YALSA's seal policy.

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.


2014 Winner

Charm & Strange written by Stephanie Kuehn

Charm & Strange written by Stephanie Kuehn, published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan.  

Drew, also known as “Win,” has been isolated in a New Hampshire boarding school since he was 12. Though he excels at both academics and athletics, he is concealing a horrific secret that has driven him to the brink of madness. With the help of his friends, can Win confront the beast within him before it’s too late?

2014 Finalists

Sex & Violence  Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets  Belle Epoque  In the Shadow of Blackbirds

Sex & Violence written by Carrie Mesrobian, published by Carolrhoda LAB, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group.  

Evan Carter bounces from school to school—he has no friends and views girls as nothing more than a means to sexual release. When a brutal attack leaves him physically and mentally broken, Evan must evaluate what matters in his life and learn how to "accept responsibility, but not blame.”

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets written by Evan Roskos, published by Houghton Mifflin, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.  

James has a lot on his plate: strained relationships, a fractured family, and an all-consuming anxiety. He deals with depression by hugging trees, "yawp"-ing at the world like his idol Walt Whitman, and conversing with his imaginary therapist—a pigeon named Dr. Bird.

Belle Epoque written by Elizabeth Ross, published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.  

When Maude Pichon moved to Paris, she never dreamed she would end up working for the Durandeau Agency as a “repoussoir”—a foil for society’s elite who believe a plain face alongside them makes them look more beautiful. A countess hires Maude as a companion for her daughter, Isabelle, but as the girls’ friendship grows, Maude finds herself torn between her integrity and her livelihood.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds written by Cat Winters, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.

At the height of the Spanish flu pandemic, WWI, and the Spiritualism movement, outspoken Mary Shelley Black is adrift in a fear-ravaged San Diego. While her childhood friend Stephen challenges her heart, his antagonistic spirit-photographer brother, Julius, represents everything her scientific mind abhors. When the unthinkable happens, how will Mary Shelley endure the unbearable losses, not to mention the evolution of her supernatural abilities?                       

2014 Committee

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.

Awards Ceremony

The awards were presented to winner Stephanie Kuehn and finalists Carrie Mesrobian, Evan Roskos, Elizabeth Ross and Cat Winters at a reception in Philadelphia on Jan. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 114-Lecture Hall.

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.