'The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen' wins 2023 William C. Morris Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/30/2023


ALA Media Relations

Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association


NEW ORLEANS — “The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen,” written by Isaac Blum, has been named the 2023 winner of the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, which honors a book published by a first-time author. The book is published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House. The award was announced today by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience held Jan. 27-30, in New Orleans.

When Yehuda "Hoodie" Rosen’s Orthodox Jewish community moves to a quiet, mostly gentile town, they don’t receive the warmest welcome - particularly from the Mayor. So, many aren’t happy when Hoodie befriends the mayor's daughter. As a series of anti-Semitic crimes escalate in town, Hoodie has to decide where he stands and figure out where he belongs.

“We were impressed by Hoodie's authentic voice and exploration of identity, faith, family, prejudice and community - beautifully packed in a book less than 225 pages long,” said Morris Award Chair Candice Mack.

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 2023 Morris Award finalists, announced in December, include:

“The Summer of Bitter and Sweet” written by Jen Ferguson (Métis/white) and published by Heartdrum, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books. 978-0063086166.

“Wake the Bones” written by Elizabeth Kilcoyne and published by Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Publishing Group at Macmillan. 978-1250790828.

“The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School” written by Sonora Reyes and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. 978-0063060234.

“Hell Followed With Us” written by Andrew Joseph White and published by Peachtree Teen, an imprint of Peachtree Publishing Company. 978-1682633243.

Members of the 2023 William C. Morris Award Committee are: Chair Candice Wing-yee Mack, Los Angeles Public Library; Sabrina Carnesi, University of Washington Information School, Seattle; Sara Beth Coffman, Chattanooga Public Library, Tennessee; Robin Fogle Kurz, Ph.D., Orangeburg County Library, South Carolina; Stephanie Maldonado, Diamond Bar High School, California; Evan Mather, Evanston Public Library, Illinois; Elizabeth Paldino, New York Public Library; Becky Reiser, REACH Prep, Stamford, Connecticut; and Lorraine Roussin, Gregory Luna Middle School Library, San Antonio, Texas.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is networking, advocacy, and professional development. The Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse, and inclusive teen services. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources drive to www.ala.org/yalsa

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


American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice for libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.