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.
Individuals who wish to buy small quantities of award 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 library staff to share with the teens in their communities.
YALSA launched a Teen Book Finder Database, a one-stop shop for finding selected lists and award winners. Search this free resource by award, list name, year, author, genre and more, and print customizable lists. This replaces the individual award and list web pages on YALSA’s site that are not searchable and that are organized only by year.
Blood Water Paint written by Joy McCullough, published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House.
In this novel, told primarily in verse, history’s Artemisia Gentileschi is developing into a brilliant artist when the teacher hired by her father sexually assaults her. Finding courage and strength in the stories of other women, Artemisia bravely accuses her attacker in court, an act unheard of in the 1600s.
Check, Please!: #Hockey written and illustrated by Ngozi Ukazu, published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
Using witty dialogue, a subtle gay romance, and lots of references to Bitty's baking, Ukazu dives deep into bro-culture and demolishes toxic masculinity in this well-crafted graphic novel, which follows Eric "Bitty" Bittle and his hockey team through their years at Samwell University. Teens will be ready to devour the next installment of this unabashedly charming story.
Children of Blood and Bone written by Tomi Adeyemi, published by Henry Holt Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
In Orïsha, diviners and maji were revered for their abilities, until tyrannical King Saran forced magic from the kingdom. When his daughter, Amari, flees the palace with an ancient relic, she meets 17-year-old diviner Zélie. Together, they undertake a quest to restore the kingdom’s magic, but Amari’s brother is determined to keep his father’s legacy intact.
Darius the Great Is Not Okay written by Adib Khorram, published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House
Marked by depression and high-school unpleasantness, Darius’ lackluster existence takes an unexpected turn when he travels to Iran to meet his grandparents for the first time. There, a meaningful friendship opens up new possibilities to Darius, whose sensitive soul-searching will resonate with many teens.
What the Night Sings written and illustrated by Vesper Stamper, published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House.
This is a haunting, first-person account of Gerta, a musically talented teenager, who learns of her Jewish heritage only after being sent to Auschwitz and, later, Bergen-Belsen. Torn from her father, she clings to his viola and discovers her own voice and strength after the liberation. Lovely, lyrical prose and ethereal illustrations make Stamper’s unusual story sing.
Members of the 2019 William C. Morris Award Committee are: Chair Charli Osborne, Southfield Public Library, Southfield, MI; Alicia Abdul, Albany High School, Albany, NY; Kim Dare, Herndon High School, Herndon, VA; Audrey Hopkins, Dallas Public Library, Oak Lawn Branch, Dallas, TX; Melanie Lyttle, Madison Public Library, Madison, OH; Joel Shoemaker, Illinois Prairie District Public Library, Metamora, IL; Sarah Sullivan, Nevins Memorial Library, Methuen, MA; Isaiah West, Alexandria Library, Alexandria, VA; Bobbie Xuereb, MiraCosta College, San Diego, CA; Vicki Morris Emery, Administrative Assistant, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Fairfax Station, VA; and Julia Smith, Booklist Consultant, Chicago, IL.
View a complete list of previous Morris Award winners and finalists.