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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Morris Award Shortlist

YALSA has announced the shortlist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award; see YALSA’s the Hub for the list of finalists and the official annotations.

The five finalists, with my comments, are:

Charm & Strange written by Stephanie Kuehn, published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan. I just got this from my local library.

Sex & Violence written by Carrie Mesrobian, published by Carolrhoda LAB, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. From my review: “I love Evan, and I love his journey. I love that he calls himself a dirtbag and then makes cupcakes for a little boy’s birthday. I love that he worries about the girl who was attacked. I love how he makes friends, and the people he makes friends with. I love that he decides to learn how to fight. I love the realistic portrayal of a victim of violence. I even grew to love his father. And I feel weird saying “love” because Evan and the others in the book are so flawed and real. And that “love” may be mistaken for “like.” I don’t like what happened to Evan; I don’t like the place he is in at the start of the book; I don’t like the journey he has to go through. I want to reach into the pages and fix it for him and make it better. No, I don’t like the violence or how Evan treats women. But I love how real and true Evan is, and the things that happen to him, and the people around him.

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets written by Evan Roskos, published by Houghton Mifflin, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. I don’t have a copy of this, and neither did my local library.

Belle Epoque written by Elizabeth Ross, published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. I have a copy. 

In the Shadow of Blackbirds written by Cat Winters, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. I just got this from my local library.

You can get more information on the Morris Award at the YALSA website.

The winner will be announced at the ALA Media Awards at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 27.

I like to read all the nominated titles; so far, I have 4 out of 5 which is better than what I’ve read so far for nonfiction!

I plan on participating in the YALSA Hub Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge, which begins next week

What titles have you read? If you’ve read all 5, do you have any favorites?

A big thank you to the hardworking committee members:  Dorcas Wong (Chair), San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, Calif.; Jerene D. Battisti, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Hannah Gomez, Castilleja School Espinosa Library, Palo Alto, Calif.; Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn Public Library-Marcy, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Alissa Ann Lauzon, Lexington, Mass.; Rachael Myers Ricker, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jenna Nemec-Loise, Chicago, Ill.; Mary A Wepking, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee SOISMilwaukee, Wisc.; Ileana Pulu (administrative assistant), Bayview Branch, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, Calif.; and Daniel Kraus (Booklistconsultant), Chicago, Ill.

About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is