Morris Award 2017

YALSA's Morris Award

2017 Winner

The Serpent King

The Serpent King written by Jeff Zentner, published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a Penguin Random House Company.

In a small southern town, senior year finds three misfit friends facing the prospect of their separate futures with both hope and dread. Dill fears he will never escape his snake-handling father’s poisonous legacy. However, Lydia, a fashion blogger, and Travis, a fantasy warrior, foresee hopeful futures.

2017 Finalists

Book cover, Girl Mans Up

Girl Mans Up written by M-E Girard, published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Gender expansive Pen wants to be seen for who she is, not defined by her appearance. Her Portuguese parents want a traditional girl; her friend Colby treats her like one of the gamer guys. But it’s Blake who helps Pen learn to respect herself and “man up.”

Book cover, Rani Patel In Full Effect

Rani Patel In Full Effect written by Sonia Patel, published by Cinco Puntos Press.

After a devastating family blowup, Rani, aka MC Sutra, shaves her head, stops hiding her love of writing dope rhymes, and attracts attention with her new look and rapping skills. Despite finding a community where she can express herself through poetry and rap, the years of abuse take their toll.

Book cover ,The Smell of Other People's Houses

The Smell of Other People’s Houses written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a Penguin Random House Company.

Life in 1970s Alaska proves difficult for teens, native and non-native alike. In four distinct voices, Ruth, Alyce, Dora, and Hank express the heartbreak and tragedy altering their lives forever—poverty, unwanted pregnancy, death, and abuse. However, when their lives intertwine like invisible threads, each may receive a chance for redemption.

Book cover, Tell Me Something Real

Tell Me Something Real written by Calla Devlin, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, and imprint of Simon & Schuster.

The Babcock sisters—brash Adrienne, faithful Marie, and shy Vanessa—spend their summer waiting while their mother slowly wastes away from leukemia. When shocking and devastating information about their mother’s illness surfaces, the girls turn to each other for the love and support they don’t find at home.

2017 Committee

Members of the 2017 William C. Morris Award Committee are: Chair Meghan Cirrito, formerly Brooklyn (NY) Public Library; Julia Casas, Santa Monica Public Library, Santa Monica, CA.; Kate Denier, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, OH; Abby Harrison, Greenhill School Montgomery Library, Addison, TX; Courtney Lewis, St. Catherine's School, Richmond, VA; Carol Maples, Central High School Library, Pollok, TX; Abby Moore, UNC Charlotte Atkins Library, Charlotte, NC; Cathy Rettberg, Menlo School Library, Atherton, CA; Leigh Hurwitz, Brooklyn (NY) Public Library; and Sarah Hunter, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.

Previous Winners

View a complete list of previous Morris Award winners and finalists.

2016 Morris Award

2015 Morris Award

2014 Morris Award

2013 Morris Award

2012 Morris Award

2011 Morris Award

2010 Morris Award

2009 Morris Award