For immediate release | January 10, 2011

“The Freak Observer” wins 2011 William C. Morris Award

SAN DIEGO – “The Freak Observer” written by Blythe Woolston and published by Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, has been named the 2011 winner of the William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. The award was presented by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held Jan.7 – 11 in San Diego.

Loa, a strong, intelligent, hardworking sixteen-year-old girl experiences a year of loss. While trying to take care of her family and make it through school she ponders the laws of physics as she tries to understand what can never make sense.
“With insightful humor and an impressive economy of language, Woolston brings a fresh voice to teen fiction that will challenge and delight readers,” said Morris Award Chair Summer Hayes.
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. The Morris Award is awarded annually at ALA’s Midwinter Youth Media Awards and will be presented at a reception in San Diego on Jan. 10.
The 2011 Morris Award finalists, announced in December, include: “Hush,” written by Eishes Chayil, published by Walker Publishing Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc; “Guardian of the Dead,” written by Karen Healey, published by Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group; “Hold Me Closer, Necromancer,” written by Lish McBride, published by Henry Holt; and “Crossing the Tracks,” written by Barbara Stuber, published by Margaret McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Members of the 2011 William C. Morris Award are: Chair Summer Hayes, King County Library System, Tukwila, Wash.; Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Carol Edwards, Denver Public Library; Alison M. Hendon, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Diana Tixier Herald, Mesa County Valley School District #51, Grand Junction, Colo.; RoseMary Honnold, Voice of Youth Advocates, Coshocton, Ohio; Kathleen Taylor Isaacs, Pasadena, Md.; Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos County (N.M.) Library System; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, St. Paul, Minn.; and Amy Anderson, administrative assistant, Bellevue (Wash.) Regional Library.
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
For more information on the William C. Morris Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please


Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager

American Library Association