Morris 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.


2015 Finalists


The Carnival at Bray written by Jessie Ann Foley, published by Elephant Rock Books.

In 1993, the grunge movement is at its height and Maggie Lynch is living comfortably in Chicago, near Nanny Ei and Uncle Kevin, her musical guru. After her impulsive mother marries and moves the family to a tiny Irish village, Maggie struggles to adjust to the changing world around her.  

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.

Owen is training to be a dragon slayer, a crucial job in a world where dragons bring death and destruction. With help from their friends and family, Owen and his bard Siobhan seek the source of a growing dragon threat.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces written by Isabel Quintero, published by Cinco Puntos Press.

Aspiring poet Gabi Hernandez is having a complicated senior year: One of her best friends is pregnant, and the other just came out. Even as her mother worries that she will become a "bad” girl, Gabi adds romance and the quest for college to her already full plate. 

The Scar Boys written by Len Vlahos, published by Egmont Publishing.  

In a college admission essay, Harry Jones reveals the physical and psychological scars of his childhood and the solace and self-confidence he found in friendship and punk music.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender written by Leslye Walton, published by Candlewick Press.

Born with a pair of wings, sixteen-year-old Ava Lavender inherits a rich family history and a legacy of heartbreak. After a young man becomes convinced she is an angel, can Ava survive his obsession intact? 

2015 Committee

Members of the 2015 William C. Morris Award Committee are:  Chair Robin F. Kurz, School of Library and Information Management, Emporia (Kan.) State University; Stephanie Barta, Westerly (R.I.) Public Library; Julie Benolken, Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; Molly M. Collins, Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library; Colette Drouillard, Department of Library and Information Studies, Valdosta (Ga.) State University; Matt Layne, The Emmet O’Neal Library, Mountain Brook, Ala.; Candace Reeder, Northport-East Northport (N.Y.) Public Library; Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, Oakland, Calif.; Amanda Sprott-Goldson (administrative assistant), Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library; and Ilene Cooper (Booklist consultant), Chicago.

Awards Ceremony

The awards will be presented in Chicago on Feb. 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room W375a.

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.