For immediate release | December 9, 2011

YALSA names 2012 William C. Morris Award finalists

CHICAGO –The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) selected five books as finalists for the 2012 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2012 award winner at the Youth Media Awards at 7:45 a.m. on Jan. 23 as part of the Youth Media Awards during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

The 2012 finalists are:

  • "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" written by Rae Carson, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
  • "Paper Covers Rock" written by Jenny Hubbard, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
  • "Under the Mesquite" written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, published by Lee and Low Books.
  • "Between Shades of Gray" written by Ruta Sepetys, published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group USA.
  • "Where Things Come Back" by John Corey Whaley, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.

“What an incredible wealth of debut books the 2012 Morris Committee had the honor of reading this year,” said Teri Lesesne, chair of the Morris Award committee. “Our shortlist includes realistic fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. These authors have pushed the envelope of their respective genres and we welcome their new voices and look forward with great anticipation to many more books to come.”

More information on the finalists and the award can be found at YALSA sells finalist seals to librarians and publishers to place on books at YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalists and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Nonfiction Award finalists and winner, at a free reception from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 23, in Omni Hotel in the Dallas E room.

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.

Members of the 2012 William C. Morris Award are: Chair Teri Lesesne, Department of Library Science, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; ; Adrienne Butler, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City; Sarah English, Omaha (Neb.) Public Library; Krista Hutley, Englewood (Colo.) Public Library; Angela Leeper, University of Richmond (Va.) Curriculum Materials Center; Rachel McDonald, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Amanda L. S. Murphy, Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, Warren, Ohio; Sarah Okner,Three Rivers Public Library District, Channahon, Ill.; Ed Spicer, Michigan Reading Journal, Allegan, Mich.; Betsy Levine,administrative assistant, San Francisco Public Library; and Gillian Engberg, Booklist magazine, Chicago.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to

For more information on the Morris Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit For artwork, please contact Stephanie Kuenn at