YALSA names Morris Award finalists

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

YALSA Communications Specialist




For Immediate Release

December 8, 2008

CHICAGO —The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), today announced the five finalists for the inaugural William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written by a first-time author for young adults.

The finalists are:

  • A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
    , published by Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic;

  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    , published by Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt;

  • Absolute Brightness by James Lecesne, published by HarperTeen/Laura Geringer Books;

  • Madapple by Christina Meldrum, published by Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books; and

  • Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine, published by HarperTeen

“After much discussion, the committee has put together quite a list for this first year of the award,” said Bonnie Kunzel, committee chair. “We hope librarians and teachers all over the country will enjoy these books themselves and share them with their teen readers.”

The award is named for William C. (Bill) Morris, a longtime publishing executive beloved in the library world for his enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

“Recognizing first time authors' achievements acknowledges the growth of the field of young adult literature,” said Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president. “With so many new authors writing each year, these finalists will spotlight the most stellar. It is a very special way to remember Bill Morris and his support of young adult literature, authors, and YALSA.

The 2009 Morris Award committee is: Bonnie Kunzel, chair, Germantown, Tenn.; Molly Krichten, Hanover (Pa.) Public Library; Jeanette Larson, Pflugerville, Texas; Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library; Walter Mayes, Girls’ Middle School, Mountain View, Calif.; Susan Riley, Mount Kisco (N.Y.) Public Library; Ian Rosenior, Miami Beach (Fla.) Regional Branch Library; Gail Tobin, Schaumburg Township (Ill.) District Library, Hanover Park Branch; Diane Tuccillo, Harmony Library, Fort Collins, Colo.; and Susan Fichtelberg, administrative assistant, Public Library of Woodbridge, N.J.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: