2018 Morris Award finalists announced

For Immediate Release
Tue, 12/05/2017


Nichole O’Connor

Program Officier

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for the 2018 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.

YALSA will name the 2018 award winner at the Youth Media Awards at 8 a.m. on Feb. 12 in Denver during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The 2018 finalists are:

  • Dear Martin” written by Nic Stone, published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House, a Penguin Random House Company;
  • “Devils Within” written by S.F. Henson, published by Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing;
  • “The Hate U Give” written by Angie Thomas, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;
  • “Saints and Misfitswritten by S.K. Ali, published by Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing;
  • “Starfish” written by Akemi Dawn Bowman, published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

“The 2018 Morris Committee was honored to be able to read so many amazing debut novels this year. The breadth and depth of the work made it truly difficult to select just five for the shortlist,” explained Sarah Julsonnet, chair of the 2018 William C. Morris Award committee. “The selected titles tackle heavy topics such as mental health, racism, violence, and privilege as well as relationships with friends and family and how they shape a person. These are stories that will make you laugh, make you cry, and most definitely make you think. We were impressed with the skill with which the authors wove together relatable characters, gripping plots, and important themes and look forward to reading more from these talented authors.”

The Morris Award is named after 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.

More information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Morris Award page. Publishers and library staff can purchase finalist seals to place on the finalist titles at www.ala.org/awardsgrants/seals. For more information on the Morris Award or YALSA’s other young adult literature awards, please visit www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists.

YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalists and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Nonfiction Award finalists and winner, at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Feb. 12 at the Colorado Convention Center, room 203/205/207. See a full list of YALSA’s events and programs at the Midwinter Meeting on YALSA’s Midwinter wiki page.

Members of the 2018 William C. Morris Award Committee are:  Chair Sarah Julsonnet, Trinity Episcopal School, Austin, TX; Ariel Birdoff, New York Public Library, New York, NY; Theodosia (Thea) Hashagen, San Francisco, CA; Beth Kirchenberg, River Forest Public Library, River Forest, IL; Jessica Lundin, South Regional Library, Durham, NC; Cate Merlin, Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA; Sarah Schmitt, formerly with Hancock County Public Library, Greenfield, IN; Talya Sokoll, Noble and Greenough School, Dedham, MA; Emily Townsend, Teachingbooks.net, Madison, WI; and Daniel Kraus, Booklist Consultant, Chicago, IL.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. 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.