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YALSA’s 2014 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Begins!

2013 December 9
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yalsa morris nonfiction sealsIt’s official: there are now seven weeks until ALA’s Youth Media Awards, where the winners of the William C. Morris Award, the Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, and all of YALSA’s other book awards will be announced– so it’s time to start our Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge! We’re hoping the challenge will encourage 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 Youth Media Awards on January 27.

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 2014 Hub Reading Challenge. The Hub 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 9 and ends at 7:45AM Eastern Time on January 27.
  • Participants may count the reading they have done since the finalists for each award was announced last week (December 4th for the Morris and December 5th for the Nonfiction Award, to be exact). 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. That means non-ALA/YALSA members are eligible. Teens are eligible! Non-US residents/citizens are eligible! (More eligibility questions? Leave a comment or email us.)

How to participate

  • Ready to start reading? Great! 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.
  • Still undecided? It’s okay to take your time. You may register for the challenge 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. We are eager to hear your thoughts.
  • 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.

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. Happy reading!

-Allison Tran, currently reading The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb

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98 Responses
  1. Jenn H. permalink
    December 9, 2013

    Planning to give it a shot. Starting today with Sex and Violence.

  2. December 9, 2013

    Read all the titles from both lists last year for the challenge, so planning on doing the same again! I’m excited because this year I haven’t read any of them yet so no re-reads! I’m starting with “In the Shadow of Blackbirds” and “Courage Has No Color”. I’ll be keeping track on my blog and with this goodreads shelf .

  3. Sara Ray permalink
    December 9, 2013

    YAY! So excited! I think I’m going to do the non-fiction challenge again (even though I’m not too thrilled about the graphic design book since I haven’t received my copy yet). I loved the Morris titles but with a couple of other reading requirements underway, non-fiction may be easier and I can save the Morris books for the next challenge.

    Happy reading everyone!

  4. December 9, 2013

    I’m in. Last year I only read the nonfiction list. This year I am challenging myself to read both lists. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

    I’ll be tracking my progress on my blog:

  5. December 9, 2013

    Woot! Nonfiction, here I come! Just started the Nazi Hunters.

  6. December 9, 2013

    Count me in! I’ll post updates on my blog: Writing ‘Bout Reading

    I’ve also created a 2014 Morris/Nonfiction Challenge book list on LibraryThing: AngelaCinVA’s books

  7. Ann Pechacek permalink
    December 9, 2013

    Count me in. I am going to challenge myself to do both the Morris and the Non-Fiction. I can’t wait, I already have most of the copies on reserve.

  8. Jody permalink
    December 9, 2013

    Hey!!! I’ve been waiting for this to start!

    Here’s a link to my Goodreads shelf

    Yeah, it’s empty but it’s the first day!!

  9. December 9, 2013

    I’m in! Just started “In the Shadow of Blackbirds” the other day.

  10. Kefira Philippe permalink
    December 9, 2013

    I’m looking forward to participating. The link to my Goodreads shelf is:

  11. December 9, 2013

    So excited to participate! I am going to try to review every book on my blog:

  12. Charles permalink
    December 9, 2013

    Intent announced! Will be good to get a leg up on the Hub challenge this year. Goodreads shelf pending. Happy reading everyone!

  13. Angela Dubinger permalink
    December 9, 2013

    Count me in for the Morris Finalists, but if time, I will do the nonfiction as well.

  14. December 9, 2013

    Maybe this year with the extra bump from these I can finish the Hub Reading Challenge! Can’t wait to get started

    • December 9, 2013

      Will be using my Twitter to track @teenlibrarian1

  15. December 9, 2013

    Challenge accepted! I am going to try to read both the Morris nominees and the Non-fiction award nominees! Bring it on!
    I will be tracking through my Goodreads account, so see the link here:

  16. Becky permalink
    December 9, 2013

    Intention to participate announced! Here is my empty bookshelf:

  17. MindyE permalink
    December 9, 2013

    I’m excited to start reading! Here my Goodreads shelf

  18. Stephanie DeVincentis permalink
    December 9, 2013

    I’m so excited to read theMorris Nominees! I’ll probably catch a few of the NFAs too.

  19. December 10, 2013

    I’m going to do both reading lists again this year. I didn’t quite finish the non-fiction books in time last year so I hope to do so this time! I’m keeping track on this goodreads shelf

  20. December 10, 2013

    Yay! I watched the challenge from afar last year. So pleased to participate this time around! I’ll track my reading at this goodreads shelf:

    I’ll also post periodic reviews on our library’s teen page,

  21. Sheila Reid permalink
    December 10, 2013

    Count me in!

  22. Lisa permalink
    December 10, 2013

    Definitely in!
    My Goodreads Shelf –

    I’ll also be posting some reviews on my library’s teen blog page –

    And I’ll probably update on my Tumblr as well –


  23. December 10, 2013

    I’m all in!!!

  24. LeeAnn permalink
    December 10, 2013

    I’m in, too!

  25. December 10, 2013

    This is my first YALSA challenge, I’m excited to give it a shot!!

  26. Jenna permalink
    December 10, 2013

    Starting today and can’t wait!

  27. Anna permalink
    December 10, 2013

    Sign me up. :) I’ll keep track at this shelf on my goodreads:

  28. Rebecca King permalink
    December 10, 2013

    I’m in, want to get a jump start on the Hub Challenge this year! FYI, your link above goes to the 2012 lists for the Morris and Nonfiction awards.

  29. Liesl permalink
    December 10, 2013

    So I’m confused. Your links take you to two different set of lists. I clicked on the ones in the challenge guidelines but I have a feeling those are last year’s finalists. I finally saw two other links in the challenge objective that were different lists. I’ve never done this challenge before so want to make sure I’m reading the right books.

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      December 16, 2013

      Well, that’s embarrassing! Thanks for catching it- the links have been fixed. Happy reading!

  30. December 10, 2013

    I’ve been looking forward to this (and the larger challenge in the coming months) for ages! All my library reserves have already started to roll in!

  31. Elizabeth permalink
    December 10, 2013

    I’m in for both! Starting with Belle Epoque and Courage Has No Color!

  32. December 10, 2013

    I’m in! I am going to try for at least the Morris Award list.
    I’ll be tracking it on Goodreads:

  33. Grace DKL permalink
    December 10, 2013

    I’ve decided to give both a go! Right now I’m starting Belle Epoque, and I’m excited for The Nazi Hunters.

  34. Victoria Whipple permalink
    December 11, 2013

    Starting with The President Has Been Shot. I’ll track my reading on Goodreads and Twitter @readfeed3_8

  35. Margaret permalink
    December 11, 2013

    I’m in for the Nonfiction, and started with GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. 20 pages in, it’s hard for me to imagine that any other nominee can top this one!

    Tracking the list at on Goodreads at

  36. Donna permalink
    December 11, 2013

    I’m in, I’ll almost definitely finish the Morris Challenge, I’ve got all of the titles on hold – had to go through four library systems to find them all – but at least I have the luxury of being able to use four systems. I will do the non-fiction challenge if I can squeeze it in. I loved doing the Hub Challenge last year and am extremely excited that I will have an edge up on it this year!

  37. Sarah Mae Harper permalink
    December 11, 2013

    I’m in! First I need to re-read In the Shadow of Blackbirds and Imprisoned.

  38. Mary permalink
    December 11, 2013

    Here is the link to my goodreads shelf:

  39. Meaghan permalink
    December 11, 2013

    Count me in for both!!

    Will be keeping track on Goodreads:

  40. December 11, 2013

    Long time fan, first time participant. Here we go!

  41. Karen Steinberger permalink
    December 11, 2013

    The Morris is my favorite award and I am excited to read them all! I will keep track on Goodreads:

  42. Ileana Pulu permalink
    December 11, 2013

    Looking forward to it! I’ll be tracking on GR.

  43. December 12, 2013

    I will be tracking my books on my teacher’s page on Red Lake Middle School at

  44. December 12, 2013

    I need a reading challenge to motivate me through the cold winter days! Looking for good non-fiction to incorporate for common core! (!!)

  45. Allison permalink
    December 12, 2013

    I’m in for the Morris finalists! Will be tracking on GoodReads here:

  46. December 12, 2013

    Starting this week! Got the books reserved at the public library, since my library only has two of the titles. :)

  47. Julie Trapp permalink
    December 13, 2013

    Had a bonus on the first 2 days – no school due to weather – so got a good start.

  48. Heather Murfee permalink
    December 13, 2013

    I’m excited to take this challenge for the first time! Courage Has No Color is the first on my list!

  49. Lois Stanton permalink
    December 13, 2013

    I’m in! Starting with Courage Has No Color, too!

    I’m keeping track here:

  50. Jennifer Annis permalink
    December 13, 2013

    I plan to give it a shot!

  51. Anna Taloma permalink
    December 14, 2013

    I’m going to try for the William C. Morris Award. :)

  52. December 14, 2013

    I’m in!! The plan is to complete all books for both lists. I’m starting with Sex & Violence.

  53. Melissa permalink
    December 15, 2013

    I’m in. You can check what I have read at

  54. Marcela permalink
    December 15, 2013

    I’m participating! Tracking at Goodreads:

  55. Amy permalink
    December 15, 2013

    I’ll be doing the Morris finalists, for sure! I’m already almost done with In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which is a re-read for me, but totally worth it because I LOVE this book. I’ll be keeping track on my library’s blog, which is here: Either search for my name or for the phrase “hub challenge”.

  56. Brenda Schwarz permalink
    December 16, 2013

    I am in and am excited to read new books I haven’t read before

  57. Laura Lehner permalink
    December 16, 2013

    Starting late, but I’m in!

  58. BEC permalink
    December 16, 2013

    Count me in! This is my first reading online challenge. Please see my blog post in about 3 years.

  59. Gabby permalink
    December 16, 2013

    Oh what the heck…..let’s give this a shot!

    Here will be the link to my bookshelf

  60. Kate permalink
    December 16, 2013

    I’m in for the Morris finalists and I’ll be tracking on my Goodreads:

  61. Heather permalink
    December 17, 2013

    I’m in. I’m trying to do both of them, but we’ll see how it goes. Here’s my Goodreads shelf:

  62. Sharon Amastae permalink
    December 17, 2013

    I was able to locate almost all the books at my public library, so I’m in!

  63. Micah permalink
    December 18, 2013

    Going to see what I can do. Off from school for a little bit so we shall see.

  64. December 20, 2013

    Just finished BELLE EPOQUE, a Morris Award Finalist, and while I delighted in the setting and first half, the characters broke out of their historical mold and became too modern I lost some interest. Even so, I still rooted for them and some teens may enjoy it. Goodreads review here:

  65. Jessica O'Brien permalink
    December 20, 2013

    Going for the Morris Award nominees. We’ll see if I have as much time to read over the holidays and I think I might!

  66. Lindsey permalink
    December 21, 2013

    I know it’s getting late, but I’m going to try the Morris books. I’m about halfway through Sex and Violence and find it to be a very interesting read so far. Here’s the link to my Goodreads shelf:

  67. Kim Farnsworth permalink
    December 22, 2013

    I’m going to try my hand at the Morris nominees. Here’s my GoodReads list:

  68. Erica Christianson permalink
    December 23, 2013

    Participated in the Morris Challenge last year and enjoyed stretching my reading list. So, I’m in again for this year. I’m also going to push myself further and go all in by also participating in the Nonfiction Challenge!

    My Morris List:
    My NF List:

  69. Jen J. permalink
    December 23, 2013

    I’m going to start by attempting the Morris list. If I finish that, I may try the Non-Fiction. I’ll be tracking using my Goodreads Account:

  70. Susan Martinez permalink
    December 27, 2013

    I’m starting the Morris list with Charm & Strange. Let’s see if I can read all 5 in a month…

  71. Sarah permalink
    December 28, 2013

    I’ll give it a shot, though I don’t expect to actually finish either, since I’ve already read one of the Morris finalists (and re-reads are very rare for me) and my library doesn’t own one of the others. And, my library does not own one of the Nonfiction titles either. But we’ll see how it goes.

  72. Lisa KB permalink
    December 29, 2013

    Let’s do this thing!!

    I track all my reading on my LibraryThing account:

  73. Lisa Hardey permalink
    December 29, 2013

    I want to give the William C. Morris nominations a shot!

  74. Chelsey Masterson permalink
    December 29, 2013

    I’m glad to get a head start on the 2014 challenge! Here’s my Goodreads shelf:

  75. Martha Boksenbaum permalink
    December 30, 2013

    I meant to post earlier, I’ve been reading the award nominees though. My goodreads page is

  76. Carli Spina permalink
    January 2, 2014

    I’m going to give it a go! I plan to start with the fiction books and see if I have time for both lists.

  77. Julie permalink
    January 2, 2014

    Back to school. Had almost 2 weeks to read. Thank goodness for intercounty library loans – needed that for 4 of the books.
    Finished: Sex & Violence (4/5)
    Dr.Bird’s Advice (3.5/5) – 2nd time reading this one
    In the Shadow of Blackbirds (3.5/5) not my comfort zone
    Courage has no Color (3/5)
    Have started the other 2 fiction books.

  78. January 2, 2014

    I’m starting late but I’m jumping in. I can’t wait for The Hub challenge as well.

  79. Leesa permalink
    January 3, 2014

    I’ve made progress on both lists so far. I’m writing comments on my Goodreads page here .

    Read from Morris: In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Belle Epoque, Charm & Strange.
    Reading from Morris: Sex & Violence
    Read from non-fiction: The President Has Been Shot.
    Reading from non-fiction: The Nazi Hunters, Courage Has No Color.

    Fell short last year, hope to succeed this year! Thanks for providing this challenge. It brings books to my reading shelf that I would not otherwise find.

  80. Emily permalink
    January 3, 2014

    Finally signing up, and also starting late! My Goodreads bookshelf will reflect what I manage to get through:

    Starting with the Morris nominees because they intrigue me the most!

  81. Bonnie Davies permalink
    January 6, 2014

    I’m excited to participate in the challenge! Finished: Charm & Strange; Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets; Belle Epoque. Almost done with Sex & Violence. These books are great!

  82. Gayle Keresey permalink
    January 9, 2014

    I’m joining the Nonfiction challenge. My reading is tracked at

  83. Nichole Gardner permalink
    January 11, 2014

    I am participating this year. I did the HUB challenge last year but not this Morris/NonFiction challenge. I will be keeping track of my reviews on Goodreads:

  84. Jenn permalink
    January 12, 2014

    I’m going to try and participate in the Morris challenge this year. I’m late starting because I had a tough time getting a hold of the books (none were available through my local library). I will be updating my status on Goodreads:

  85. Julie permalink
    January 13, 2014

    Charm & Strange – 4.5/5 – not until page 106 did I get it. Great!
    The Nazi Hunters – 4/5 – I usually don’t like history, this was very interesting
    The Pres Has Been Shot – 3/5 – lived thru it, don’t need to read any more

    Thank goodness for interlibrary loans. Have 3 books of challenge left to read. I’ll make it. This will be my forum as I do not do Goodreads or any social media where my name is public. Sorry!

  86. Aini Akmalia Abdul Karim permalink
    January 13, 2014

    I’m in!

    This is link to my Goodreads shelf >>

  87. January 14, 2014

    Although I’ve been participating in the Challenge since it began on December 9th, I’m just now getting around to officially signing up!!

    I’m posting reviews on my Goodreads page.

  88. Samantha Tai permalink
    January 16, 2014

    I am participating in the Non-Fiction/Morris Challenge. I am reviewing my books on Goodreads

  89. January 20, 2014

    Officially signing up so late! But I’ve finished all 5 of the Morris titles as of today, so I will likewise check-in on the latest post.

    Link above is my shelf on Goodreads. Reviews are forthcoming!

  90. Julie permalink
    January 21, 2014

    One book to go – I will make both lists.
    This weekend finished the last fiction book. “Belle Epoque” was the best of them all. Quite a different subject matter, but it was a great book.
    ALso finished “Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During WW II”. It was okay. Did learn things I didn’t already know.
    Now if I can just find “Go”, I will be done.

  91. Julie permalink
    January 27, 2014

    I made it – had to go to a book store on both weekend days and read “Go” since library didn’t get it to me on time. A quick read, but as an adult I learned a lot. Graphic design is presented so anyone can understand it. Will look at visual images differently now. Good projects at the end. Looking forward to Hub Challenge next month.

Comments are closed.