For immediate release | January 23, 2012

'Where Things Come Back' wins 2012 William C. Morris Award

DALLAS –“Where Things Come Back,” written byJohn Corey Whaley and published by Antheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, has been named the 2012 winner of the William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.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.20 – 24 in Dallas.

Set in the claustrophobic small town of Lily, Ark., this existential thriller follows cynical teen Cullen as he searches for his beloved younger brother Gabriel while the rest of the town is captivated by a reported sighting of a woodpecker long thought to be extinct.

“With plot twists and surprising connections, this is one of those rare books that does not come along often,” said Morris Award Chair Teri Lesesne.

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 Dallas on Jan. 23, 10:30 a.m. noon,at the Omni Hotel in the Dallas E room.

The 2012 Morris Award finalists, announced in December, include: “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; and “Between Shades of Grey,” written by Ruta Sepetys, published by Philoeml Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group USA.

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, Reviewer, Michigan Reading Journal, Allegan, Mich.; Betsy Levine, San Francisco Public Library, Administrative Assistant; and Gillian Engberg, BooklistMagazine, consultant, Chicago.

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