'Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda' wins 2016 William C. Morris Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/11/2016


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



BOSTON – “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” written by Becky Albertalli, and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has been named the 2016 winner of the William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.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 & Exhibits held Jan. 8-12 in Boston.

On the brink of coming out, Simon's plans are derailed by a scheming classmate who learns about Simon's email exchanges with a mysterious boy that Simon may just be falling in love with.

“Simon’s authenticity captures the teen experience of searching for identity and love, with both humor and insight” said Morris Award Chair Nichole King.

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 Boston on Monday, January 11th 10:30am – 12:00pm at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

The 2016 Morris Award finalists, announced in December, included: 

  • “Because You’ll Never Meet Me” written by Leah Thomas, published by Bloomsbury Children's Books;
  • “Conviction” written by Kelly Loy Gilbert, published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group;
  • “The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly” written by Stephanie Oakes, published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers;
  • “The Weight of Feathers” written by Anna-Marie McLemore, published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press

Members of the 2016 William C. Morris Award Committee are: Chair, Nichole King, Santa Clara County Library District, Morgan Hill, Calif.; Faythe Arredondo, Tulare County Library, Visalia, Calif.; Valerie Diamond, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Jennifer Fairchild, King County (Wash.) Library System; Adrienne Gillespie, Stoller Middle School, Beaverton, Ore.; April Shroeder, Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library; Gregory Taylor, Hillside Junior High School, Bosie, Idaho; Carolyn Vidmar, Waunakee (Wis.) Public Library; and Sarah Wethern, Douglas County Library, Alexandria, Minn.;  and Daniel Kraus, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and library staff to engage, serve and empower teens. 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.

For more information on the William C. Morris Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.