'The Hate U Give' wins 2018 William C. Morris Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 02/12/2018


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



DENVER — “The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has been named the 2018 winner of the William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.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 Feb. 9–13, in Denver, Colorado.

Starr Carter has learned to live in two worlds, managing her life as a prep-school student by day while returning each night to the low-income neighborhood she calls home. After witnessing the murder of her unarmed friend Khalil by a police officer, these two worlds collide, and Starr must decide what risks she is willing to take to pursue justice.  

 “While this decision was incredibly difficult, ‘The Hate U Give stands out for compelling story telling, breaking down complex issues and making them accessible, and the ability to instill empathy,” said Morris Award Chair Sarah Julsonnet.

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 Denver on Monday, Feb.12, from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center.

The 2018 Morris Award finalists, announced in December, included: 

  • “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;
  • “Saints and Misfits,” written 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.

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

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians 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 email, yalsa@ala.org.

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