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YALSA’s 2013 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge begins!

There are now seven weeks until the winners of the William C. Morris Award, the Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, and all of YALSA’s other book awards are announced at the Youth Media Awards, so it’s time to start our Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge! We’re hoping the challenge will push you to read as many of these outstanding titles as possible.

Challenge objective
Read all of the finalists for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA authors, all of the finalists for YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, or both between now and the YMAs on January 28.

Challenge rewards
Beyond experiencing the best of the best that new YA authors and YA nonfiction have to offer, everyone who finishes the challenge may use what they read toward our 2013 Best of the Best Reading Challenge. The Best of the Best Reading Challenge includes prizes, so by participating in the Morris/Nonfiction challenge, you’re getting a head start on reading some of the best books published this year and you’re giving yourself an advantage in trying to win those prizes.

Challenge guidelines

  • The challenge begins at 8:00AM Eastern Time on December 10 and ends at 7:45AM Pacific Time on January 28.
  • Participants may count the reading they have done since the finalists for each award was announced last week (December 4th for the Nonfiction Award; December 6th for the Morris Award). If you read one of the finalists before the announcement of the shortlist for that award, you must re-read it for it to count.
  • Participants may read either all of the finalists for the Morris Award, all of the finalists for the Nonfiction Award, or both. The challenge cannot be completed simply by picking five titles between the two lists; participants must read the entire list of finalists for one or both awards.
  • Just about everyone who doesn’t work for ALA is eligible to participate. Yes, non-ALA/YALSA members are eligible. Yes, teens are eligible. Yes, non-US residents/citizens are eligible. (More eligibility questions? Leave a comment or email us.)

How to participate

  • Comment here announcing your intention to participate. If you’re going to be tracking what you read on your blog, Goodreads, LibraryThing, YouTube or some other site, include a link to your blog/shelf/channel/profile in your comment. If you’re not tracking your reading online, keep a list some other way.
  • You may “register” by leaving a comment here and starting your reading any time during the challenge period.
  • Every Sunday, we’ll publish a check-in post. Leave a comment letting us know what you’ve read since the last check-in post. If you’ve reviewed those titles somewhere online, include links to those reviews! Otherwise, let us know what you thought of the books in the comments.
  • If you’ve finished the challenge since the last check-in post, fill out the embedded form with your name and contact information. Please fill out the form only once.

Sound good? If you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email. And if you want to talk about the challenge on Twitter, use the hashtag #hubchallenge. And now, time to get reading!


  1. Count me in! I’ve got all of the nonfiction titles in hand or on request already. I’m not sure if I’ll manage the Morris Award as well. So far my library only owns 2 of the titles. I may have to buy the other 3 and donate them after I read them.

    I’ll post my progress on my blog and on Librarything. I’ll post the link to the Librarything shelf once there is something on it.

  2. Sara Ray Sara Ray

    I’m looking forward to another challenge! I have chosen to do the Non-fiction award because the books are more readily available and there are shorter pages. If I finish the non-fiction, can I start on the Morris Award finalists and have them count for the Best of the Best Challenge or is it better to wait for that challenge to start (a couple of the books sound amazing!)? ~Have fun everyone!

    • Go ahead and read what you can during this challenge and see how far you get! There won’t be too much time in between the end of the Morris/Nonfiction challenge and the Best of the Best challenge, either, so you won’t have to wait long to dive into any good titles you don’t get to. :)

  3. I’ll opt out of NF just to keep things jake (I just finished reading THE DIVINERS!).

    The Morris list is going to be fun to read!

  4. I’m totally in! I’m going to try to tackle the nonfiction list, too, so that I have a fighting chance!

  5. Erin Daly Erin Daly

    I’m in for the Morris and if I end up starting the Steve Jobs book, I’ll try for the nonfiction, too.

  6. Lois Lois

    I’m in for the nonfiction challenge.

    • Lois Lois

      Oh, might as well do both. I’m in for the Morris challenge, too.

  7. Penny Johnson Penny Johnson

    Definitely count me in! I loved the Best of the Best Challenge last spring. I really appreciate the chance to get a head start for 2013!

    I would love to say I’m going to do both lists….. I’m starting with Nonfiction and we’ll see what happens. I started Titanic this morning.

    We got our first snowfall here in Wisconsin yesterday, so the thought of snuggling up with a stack of good books sounds delightful.

  8. Library.Lil Library.Lil

    I’m excited about this! And I appreciate the leg up on the Best of the Best challenge! I have not decided which I am going to attempt, though I’m leaning toward Morris. If I get time I’ll do both, but that seems unlikely as I don’t think I can start until January, due to other reading I need to finish first.

  9. amy amy

    I’m in! Loved doing Best of the Best last spring and found a lot of things I might not have otherwise read.

    So, I stopped at the library on the way home yesterday to pick up Wonder Show. And I just ordered all of the non-fiction books for my school. My only problemt is I’ve also been itching to start Ask the Passengers. So, I’ll clear AS King off my list and then dive in.

  10. Emily Calkins Emily Calkins

    I’m in for the Morris (especially since it means I get to re-read one of my favorites of the year, Cameron Post). I may try to do the non-fiction too, but I’m also trying to read all the titles on the Pyrite Printz shortlist, so we’ll see…

    I’ll be keeping track on Goodreads.

  11. Sean Ehrlich Sean Ehrlich

    I cant wait for the Morris . I’m reading Seraphina already, and can’t wait to see what is in store for the other books. I may also do the non-fiction, but other books await my reading…
    I guess it is up to the other books. Can’t wait.

  12. Beth Beth

    I’m a little late to the party, but I’m in!

  13. Adrienne Gillespie Adrienne Gillespie

    I’m in for the NF. I wish I had time to do both.

  14. Ellen Ellen

    I’m going to work on the Morris Awards!

  15. Dana Beach Dana Beach

    I’m going to attempt to do both, Morris for enjoyment and Non-fiction because I need to get more acquainted with non-fiction titles for teens. I figure if I read a non-fiction book I can reward myself with a fiction title. I started the Steve Jobs book Monday night!

    I’ll be keeping track on this goodreads shelf.

  16. Erica Christianson Erica Christianson

    Joining the Morris Award Challenge and keeping track on Goodreads.

  17. I’m excited to read these books! Count me in!

  18. Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    I’m in for the nonfiction, and will try the fiction, though we are missing one title from our collection. I’ll be keeping track on Goodreads:




  19. I’m going to give it a shot.

  20. I’ll do the non-fiction challenge. I just put all the books on hold!

  21. Allison Madsen Allison Madsen

    I am going to attempt to read for both and keep shelves in my Goodreads account. Wish me luck.

  22. Maria Ingraham Maria Ingraham

    This will be my first challenge, and as I’m on break now from working on my MLIS, I have some time. I like the titles on the Morris Award list, so that is what I will be reading this time around. I put them all on hold – I hope I get them in time to complete the challenge.

  23. I’m in! It means a reread of a book I didn’t enjoy, but why not? I’m going to try for both lists and see what happens!

  24. Pam Pam

    I’m going to give the Morris list a shot. Why not?!

    I’ll keep track on my blog

  25. I’m going to try to get through all the Morris and nonfiction nominees! I won’t be tracking my reading anywhere online (unless I decide to post about it on my library’s teen website), just on paper.

  26. I LOVED doing the Best of the Best challenge last year, so I am totally in for this challenge. I will start with the non-fiction…and we will see about the fiction. I will track on goodreads as well as Now I’m off to read!

  27. I am going to read both lists and will tweet about them is my Twitter handle. I attended the Morris award session last year when Mid-Winter was in Dallas. It was such fun to be in the room when the awards were announced.

  28. lgcole is my Twitter handle, it didn’t show in the previous comment

  29. Nicole Dolat Nicole Dolat

    I’m totally in! I’m going to focus on tackling the nonfiction titles…I never seem to carve out enough time for nonfiction!

  30. Jill Jill

    I’m in!!

  31. I will take a stab at this. I will try to do both, but specifically the Morris. I record books in my trusty notebook, but I will post about my progress on my blog

  32. I’m going for Morris! I’ll track it on goodreads.

  33. Sam Sam

    I’m going to try to read all 10 books. Can’t wait!

  34. Amy Schumann Amy Schumann

    I’m in for both!

  35. Angie Wager Angie Wager

    I will be tracking via good reads!

  36. Laura Lehner-Ennis Laura Lehner-Ennis

    I’m in!

  37. Shanna Shanna

    I.m going to try to tackle both lists, but I’m getting started a little late! They’re not all available in my public libraries either. We’ll see how it goes.

    • Shanna Shanna

      And oh yes, I’ll probably tweet about them @srhlib

  38. Marcia Stiller Marcia Stiller

    Despite the late start.
    I”m trying the Morris Challenge.

  39. Gayle Keresey Gayle Keresey

    I am participating in the Nonfiction Challenge.

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