Every year the American Library Association (ALA) presents the Morris Award to an outstanding Young Adult book written by a first-time writer. Because of its defining criterion, I like to think of the Morris Award as the ALA’s version of a Rookie of the Year Award. Don’t, however, let these authors’ newness to the scene deceive you: each of their books is a tour de force in its own right. This year’s list of finalists highlights the increasing popularity of YA books that feature diverse characters confronting real life issues.
The winner will be announced on February 12 at the Youth Media Awards. You can find a synopsis of each title on the official Morris Award website.