The William C. Morris Award honors a book written for young adults by a first-time, previously unpublished author. The winner was named during the 2010 Youth Media Awards at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, with the finalists becoming honor books.
By L.K. Madigan, published by Houghton Mifflin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (9780547194899).
Blake’s life is way too complicated. He’s a sophomore in high school with a girlfriend and a friend who is a girl. One of them loves him. One of them needs him. Can he please them both?
See a video of Madigan after she became a finalist, as well as her thoughts on winning the award at her blog.
By Malinda Lo, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. (9780316040099).
Consumed with grief after the death of her father, Ash's only escape from her harsh life and cruel stepmother comes from re-reading the fairy tales that her mother once told her and hoping against hope that the fairies will appear to her. When the fairy Sidhean appears, Ash hopes that he will steal her away to his enchanted world; but when she meets the King's Huntress, Kaisa, she realizes that staying in her own realm can also lead to beauty, romance, and perhaps even love.
Read a short speech (PDF) from Lo on becoming a Morris finalist.
By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. (9780316042673).
Sixteen-year-old Ethan has lived all his life in Gaitlin, South Carolina, a town that hasn’t changed much since the Civil War. While coping with the loss of his mother, a father who spends all of his time in his study, and high school, his world turns upside down with the arrival of Lena, a new girl with whom he seems to share a psychic connection. As they grow closer, Ethan discovers that Lena and her family share a dark secret and that she is headed for doom on her sixteenth birthday.
Read a short speech (PDF) from Garcia and Stohl on becoming a Morris finalist.
By Amy Huntley, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (9780061776793).
Maddy is a ghost, surrounded by things she lost when she was alive. By touching these objects, she relives the episodes in her life where she lost them. Even though Maddy’s dead, she explores the lessons these objects hold — and why are they still important.
By Nina LaCour, published by Dutton Children’s Books, a Division of Penguin Young Readers Group. (9780525421559).
After Caitlin's best friend Ingrid commits suicide, Caitlin has a hard time making sense of the loss. She finds Ingrid's journal and slowly allows herself to read it and learn about why Ingrid felt the need to end her life. Caitlin also grapples with allowing herself to find another friend, to let in a boyfriend, and to understand why her favorite teacher is ignoring her. It is the haunting story of dealing with loss, moving on, and finding peace and hope.
Members of the 2010 William C. Morris Award are: Chair Judy Nelson, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Jeana Actkinson, Bridgeport (Texas) High School; Dr. Joni Richards Bodart, School of Library and Information Science-San Jose (Calif.) State University; Susan Fichtelberg, Public Library of Woodbridge, N.J.; Angela Frederick, Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library; Clio Hathaway, Martin Memorial Library, York, Pa.; Melanie Koss, Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Ill.; Anne Leon, Alvin Sherman Library-Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Gail Zachariah, Keene (N.H.) Public Library; David Durante, administrative assistant, Pierce County Library System, Graham, Wash.; and Booklist Consultant, Ilene Cooper, Chicago.