Graphic Novels and Comics to Enjoy for Black History Month — or anytime!

Thanks to YALSA member Annierra Matthews, a Research Services Librarian at Mercer University, for compiling this collection of excellent graphic novels and comics featuring Black characters and/or produced by Black creators. Click here for the fiction collection she curated earlier this month.


Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St.-Onge, Joy San, and Genevieve FT

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St.-Onge, Joy San, and Genevieve FT: Hazel and Mari fall in love with each other at church bingo in ’63. Torn apart by others around them, they can’t be together. Years later, they meet again at bingo and find the bravery to share their love with the world.

Continue reading Graphic Novels and Comics to Enjoy for Black History Month — or anytime!

2021 Nonfiction Nominated Titles List and Booktalk

Every year in addition to the Nonfiction Award finalists and award winner, YALSA publishes a list of vetted nominations on the Nonfiction Award webpage after the Youth Media Awards.

If you’d like to learn more about the nominated titles, join us on February 24 at 7pm EST for a booktalk featuring authors that appeared on our 2021 Nonfiction Award Nominations list. Register for free.

Titles that were nominated for the 2021 Nonfiction Award are as follows:  

**Finalist on Shortlist
*Winner

  • **All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, by Christina Soontornvat. Candlewick Press. 9781536209457.
  • Almost American Girl, by Robin Ha. Balzer + Bray. 9780062685094.
  • Apple (skin to the core) by Eric Gansworth. Levine Querido. 9781646140138.
  • Banned Book Club, by Kim Hyun Sook and Ryan Estrada. Iron Circus Comics. 9781945820427.
  • Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease, by Gail Jarrow. Calkins Creek. 9781684371761.
  • **The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival, Amra Sabic-El-Rayess with Laura L. Sullivan. Bloomsbury YA. 9781547604531.
  • Dancing At the Pity Party, by Tyler Feder. Dial Books. 9780525553021.
  • Dragon Hoops, created by Gene Luen Yang and color by Lark Pien. First Second. 9781626720794.
  • **How We Got To the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure, by John Rocco.  Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. 9780525647416.
  • Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight For Reproductive Rights, by Karen Blumenthal. Roaring Brook Press. 9781626721654.
  • Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box, by Evette Dionne. Viking Books for Young Readers. 9780451481542.
  • One Real American: The Life of Ely S. Parker, Seneca Sachem and Civil War General, by Joseph Bruchac. Abrams. 9781419746574.
  • Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation, by Candy J. Cooper and Marc Aronson. Bloomsbury Children’s Books. 9781547602322.
  • Race Through the Skies: The Week the World Learned to Fly, Martin W. Sandler. Bloomsbury Children’s Books. 9781547603442
  • *The Rise & Fall of Charles Lindbergh, by Candace Fleming. Schwartz and Wade. 9780525646549.
  • Say Her Name (poems to Empower), by Zetta Elliott. Little Brown Books for Young Readers. 9781368045247.
  • Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped From the Beginning, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. Little Brown Books for Young Readers. 9780316453691.
  • Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy, by Kenneth C. Davis. Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 978-1250205643.
  • We Are Power: How Non-Violent Activism Changes the World, by Todd Hasak-Lowy. Abrams. 978-1419741111.
  • When Stars Are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. Dial Books. 9780525553908.
  • **You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Democracy and Deliver Power to the People, by Elizabeth Rusch. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. 9780358387428.

You can also view the list of vetted nominations with annotations on our webpage. Seals for Nonfiction Award Nominees and YALSA’s other book awards are available in the ALA Store and may be purchased in bulk. Visit YALSA’s Award Seals webpage for more information.

2021 YALSA Book Award Winners & Honors

Alex Award

  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, published by Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781534437678).
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, published by Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Books (ISBN 9781250217288).
  • The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice – Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O’Brady, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982133115).
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams Comicarts (ISBN 9781419734847).
  • The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony, published by Park Row Books (ISBN 9780778308744).
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones published by Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982136451).
  • Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins (ISBN 9780062942852) .
  • Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, published by Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Books (ISBN 9781250214751).  
  • Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh, published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982156947).  
  • We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry, published by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House (ISBN 9781524748098).

    In addition to the winning titles, the committee has also released the full vetted list of titles that were nominated for the Alex Award. View the list.

Edwards Award

Kekla Magoon
  • X: A Novel, co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz and published by Candlewick Press
  • How it Went Down, published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group;
  • The Rock and the River, published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Fire in the Streets, published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Morris Award

If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 9780062885029.

Nonfiction Award

The Rise & Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming and published by Schwartz and Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. 9780525646549.

In addition to the finalists and award winner, YALSA also publishes a list of vetted nominations for the Nonfiction Award. View the list. If you’d like to learn more about the list of nominations, join us for a special booktalk with the Nonfiction Committee on February 24, 7pm EST. Register for the event for free.

Odyssey Award

Winner

Kent State written in verse by Deborah Wiles, powerfully narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina Delaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries and produced by Paul R. Gange for Scholastic Audio.

Honor Audiobooks

  • Clap When You Land written by Elizabeth Acevedo, narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte, and produced by Caitlin Garing for HarperAudio, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Fighting Words is written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, narrated by Bahni Turpin and produced by Karen Dziekonski for Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio.
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You is written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, narrated by Jason Reynolds with an introduction by Ibram X. Kendi, and produced by Robert Van Kolken for Hachette Audio.
  • When Stars Are Scattered written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed and narrated by Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi and a full cast, is produced by Kelly Gildea and Julie Wilson for Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio.

Printz Award

Winner

Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri and published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido.

Honor Books

  • Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth and published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido.
  • Dragon Hoops Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien and published by First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
  • Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh and published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House.
  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pura Belpré Award: Young Adult Author Award

Winner

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez and published by Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Honor Books

  • Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera and published by Bloomsbury YA.
  • We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez and published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Congrats again to all the winners and honors and thank you to all the book award committees for all the hard work, time, and effort they put into reading all the nominees and selecting the winners! View current and past list of winners of all of YALSA’s book awards (with annotations) on YALSA’s Book and Media Awards web page. View the full list of all the winners of the Youth Media Awards here.

2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults

2021 BFYA Top Ten

The 2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults list is now available!

The full list consists of 85 titles selected from 124 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. From that list, and after receiving teen feedback during a virtual session in early January, the team created a short list of the top ten titles.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten titles:

  • Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis. Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062561626.
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Swoon Reads/Macmillan. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781250250469.
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen/HarperCollins. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062882769.
  • Deeplight by Frances Hardinge. Amulet Books/ABRAMS. 2020. $19.99. ISBN: 9781419743207.
  • Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson. Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780062840356.
  • More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780316492355.
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. Amulet Books/ABRAMS. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9781419739828.
  • This Is My America by Kim Johnson. Random House Books for Young Readers. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780593118764.
  • We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez. Philomel Books/Penguin Random House. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9781984812261.
  • What I Carry by Jennifer Longo. Random House Books for Young Readers. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780553537710.

The suggestion form for the 2022 Best Fiction for Young Adults list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

A very big thank you goes out to the members of the Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team for all the hard work, time, and effort they put into creating the list. The members are: Coordinator, Allie Stevens, Calhoun County Library, Hampton, AR; Heather Christensen, Portales High School Library, Portales, NM; Michael Fleming, Juanita High School Library, Kirkland, WA; Laura Giunta, Garden City Public Library, Garden City, NY; Stephanie Johnson, Union County Public Library, Monroe, NC; Amanda Kordeliski, Norman Public Schools, Norman, OK; Lisa Krok, Morley Library, Cleveland, OH; Jodi Kruse, R.A. Long High School Library, Longview, WA; Shelbie Marks, Del City Library (Metropolitan Library System), Oklahoma City, OK; Kali Olson, The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN; Karen Stevens, Somerville Public Library, Somerville, MA; Andrea Vernola, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo, MI; and Emily Walker, Lisle Library District, Lisle, IL.

We’d also like to give a special thank you to all the teens who participated in the teen feedback session. Thank you!

2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

2021 Great Graphic Novels Top Ten

The 2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list is now available!

The list consists of 126 titles selected from 145 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The books, recommended for those aged 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Almost American Girl by Robin Ha. Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9780062685094.
  • Blue Flag by Kaito. 
    • Vol. 1. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713011. 
    • Vol. 2. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713028. 
    • Vol. 3. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713035. 
    • Vol. 4. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713042. 
    • Vol. 5. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713059. 
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence by Joel Christian Gill. Oni Press. 2020. $19.99. ISBN: 9781549303357. 
  • Go With the Flow by Karen Schneemann, art by Lily Williams. First Second / Macmillan. 2020. $21.99. ISBN: 9781250305725.
  • Guantánamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison by Sarah Mirk, art by Gerardo Alba, Kasia Babis, Alex Beguez, Tracy Chahwan, Nomi Kane, et al. Abrams ComicsArts / Abrams Books. 2020. $24.99. ISBN: 9781419746901. 
  • The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado, art by DaNi. Hill House Comics / DC Comics. 2020. $22.99. ISBN: 9781779504524. 
  • The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen. Random House Graphic / Penguin Random House. 2020. $16.99. ISBN: 9780593125298. 
  • Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. First Second / Macmillan. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781250171115. 
  • Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang, art by Gurihiru. DC Comics. 2020. $16.99. ISBN: 9781779504210. 
  • Wonder Twins by Mark Russell, art by Stephen Byrne.
    • Vol. 1: Activate! Wonder Comics / DC Comics. 2019. $16.99. ISBN: 9781401294649. 
    • Vol. 2: The Rise and Fall of the Wonder Twins. Wonder Comics / DC Comics. 2020. $16.99. ISBN: 9781779501790. 

The suggestion form for the 2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA’s other book and media lists here.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team for all the great work they put into curating this list. The members are:

Crystal Chen, coordinator, The New York Public Library, Bronx, NY
Erin Durrett, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, Clinton Township, MI
Denise Farley, Dekalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Traci Glass, Lincoln City Libraries, Lincoln, NE
Thea Hashagen, Mill Valley Public Library, Mill Valley, CA
Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans, LA
Tina H. Lerno, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Matisse Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Mike Pawuk, Cuyahoga County Public Library, South Euclid, OH
Christine Pyles, Euclid Public Library, Euclid, OH
Celeste Rhoads, The American Library in Paris, Paris, France
Shaira Rock, Elmhurst Public Library, Elmhurst, IL
Becky Standal, Longview Public Library, Longview, WA
Isaiah West, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, Largo, MD

2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers

2021 Quick Picks Top Ten

The 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list is now available!

The list of 64 titles is drawn from 81 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read. Criteria for these titles include those with a high interest “hook”, a catchy title/cover, sufficient plot to sustain interest, humor when appropriate, and more. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis. Katherine Tegen Books. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062561626.
  • Found by Joseph Bruchac. 7th Generation. 2020. $9.95. ISBN: 9781939053237.
  • Golden Arm by Carl Deuker. HMH Books for Young Readers. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780358012429.
  • Heartstopper Vol. 1. by Alice Oseman. Graphix. 2020. $14.00. ISBN: 9781338617443.
  • Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds. Illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. 2020. $19.99. ISBN: 9781534444959.
  • The Loop by Ben Oliver. Chicken House. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9781338589306.
  • #NoEscape by Gretchen McNeil. Freeform. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781368026260.
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam. Blazer + Bray. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062996480.
  • Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. First Second Books. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781250171115. ISBN: 9781250171115.
  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. Scholastic. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781338503265.

The suggestion form for the 2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA’s other book and media lists here.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team for all the great work they put into curating this list. The members are:

Coordinator Molly Dettmann, Norman North High School, Norman, OK
Megan Baird, Main Library-Yuma County Library District, Yuma, AZ
Kathleen J. Barker, History UnErased, Plymouth, MI
Sarah Carnahan, Pulaski Academy, Little Rock, AR
Barbara Dinan, Plymouth District Library, Plymouth, MI
Elizabeth Giles, Kansas City Public Library, MO
Aimee Haslam, Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, VA
Marie LeJeune, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR
Jessica Levy, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Kat Reynolds, University of Southern California, South Pasadena, CA
Maryjean Riou, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ 
Lorraine Roussin, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, TX
Jennifer Sutton, Lake Park High School-East Campus, Roselle, IL
Jade Valenzuela, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM
Emily Williams, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City, OK
Administrative assistant Dana Hutchins, Jackson Middle School, San Antonio, TX

2021 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

2021 Amazing Audiobooks Top Ten

The 2021 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list is now available!

The list consists of 81 titles selected from 149 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The list is aimed towards young adults aged 12-18 and is drawn from the previous year of spoken-word releases. The committee listened to over 400 titles this year in their quest to choose a myriad of audiobooks that would appeal to all subsects of the teen audience. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, read by Avi Roque, Macmillan Audio, 2020. 13 hours, 47 minutes. DD, 9781250619129. 
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, read by Melania-Luisa Marte and Elizabeth Acevedo. Quill Tree Books, 2020. 5 hours, 32 minutes. DD, 9780063011816.
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Book 1 by Holly Jackson, read by Bailey Carr, Melissa Calin, Michael Crouch, Gopal Divan, Robert Fass, Kevin R. Free, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Carol Monda, Patricia Santomasso, Shezi Sardar and Amanda Thickpenny. Listening Library, 2020. 10 hours, 53 minutes. LD, 9780593155264. 
  • Kent State by Deborah Wiles, read by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina Delaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries. Scholastic Audio, 2020.1 hour, 58 minutes.  DD, 9781338636352.
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. Simon & Schuster Audio, 2020.18 hours, 54 minutes. DD, 9781797113463.
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. Blackstone Publishing, 2020. 13 hours, 48 minutes. DD, 9781094149226. 
  • The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep: Voices from the Donner Party by Allan Wolf, read by Bahni Turpin, Whitney Dykhouse, Teri Schnaubelt, Tim Gerard Reynolds, Lauren Ezzo, Eric G. Dove, Ramón de Ocampo, and Shaun Taylor-Corbett. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 2020. 9 hours, 54 minutes. CD, 9781713547969. 
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, read by Jason Reynolds and introduction by Ibram X. Kendi. Little, Brown Young Readers, 2020. 4 hours, 11 minutes. DD, 9781549184253. 
  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee, read by Scott Keiji Takeda, Dan Woren, Ryan Potter, Ali Fumiko, Sophie Oda, Andrew Kishino, Christopher Naoki Lee, Grace Rolek, Erika Aishii, Brittany Ishibashi, Kurt Sanchez Kanazawa and Terry Kitagawa. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 10 hours and 26 minutes.  DD, 9780358343561. 
  • When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, read by Full Cast. Listening Library, 2020. 3 hours, 42 minutes. LD, 9780593162590.

The suggestion form for the 2022 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA’s other book and media lists here.

A huge thanks goes out to the members of the 2021 Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team for all the wonderful work they put into curating this list. The members are: Coordinator Danielle Jones (she/her), Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon
Rachel Adams (she/her), King County Library System, Issaquah, Washington
Emily Blaeser (she/her), Meinders Community Library, Pipestone, Minnesota
Jaimie Crawford (she/her), Loudoun County Public Library, Sterling, Virginia
Candace Fox (she/her), Cleveland, Ohio
Annie Jansen (she/her), Penn State Brandywine Vairo Library, Media, Pennsylvania
Gina Kromhout (she/her), Avon Lake Public Library, Avon Lake, Ohio
Kristin Kern (she/her), St. Charles City-County Library, St. Charles, Missouri
Natalie LaRocque (she/her), Palatine Public Library District, Palatine, Illinois
Heather Murfee (she/her),  Midlothian Library, Midlothian, Virginia
Cathy Outten (she/her), California State University, Long Beach, California
Allison Suzanne Riendeau (she/her) Sharon Public Library, Sharon, Massachusetts
Beth A. Slade (she/her), Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, Ohio
Kiera O’Shea Vargas (she/her), EPIPHANY, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee
Tara Williams (she/her), Washington County Public Schools, Abingdon, Virginia

2021 Morris Award Finalists Announced

YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2021 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2021 award winner virtually at the Youth Media Awards on January 25, 2021 during the American Library Association’s virtual Midwinter Meeting. Registration is open now through January 15, 2021.

The 2021 finalists are:

  • Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard, written by Echo Brown, published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 9781250309853.
  • The Black Kids, written by Christina Hammonds Reed, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. 9781534462724. 
  • If These Wings Could Fly, written by Kyrie McCauley, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 9780062885029.
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, written by Nina Kenwood, published by Flatiron Books, Macmillan Publishers. 9781250219268.
  • Woven in Moonlight, written by Isabel Ibañez, published by Page Street Publishing. 9781624148019.

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Morris Award page. Finalist seals are available for purchase by publishers and library staff to place on the finalist titles. Individuals can watch the Youth Media Awards live on January 25th at 8am CT online. For more information on YALSA’s William C. Morris Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit the Youth Media Awards web page.

Congrats to all the finalists and thank you to the 2021 Morris Award Committee for all the hard work, effort, and time they put into reading all submitted titles and selecting the finalists.

Members of the 2021 William C. Morris Award Committee are: chair Melissa Malanuk, Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, New York; Meaghan Darling, Sparta Public Library, Sparta, New Jersey; Laura Erwin, Bossard Memorial Library, Gallipolis, Ohio; Megan Garrett, Mid-Continent Public Library, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Jamie M. Gregory, Christ Church Episcopal School, Moore, South Carolina; Lindsey Helfrich, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, California; Alicia Kalan, The Northwest School, Seattle, Washington; Carol Maples, Central High School, Pollok, Texas; and Ann Pechacek, Worthington Libraries, Worthington, Ohio.

2020 Alex Awards Virtual Celebration

The 2020 Alex Awards winners will be celebrated virtually next week on June 11 at 3:30pm EST and will run for 75 minutes. The virtual celebration will feature a Q&A session with the winning authors. Register now.

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002. The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.

Participating authors include:

  • Angie Cruz, Dominicana, published by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.
  • AJ Dungo, In Waves, published by Nobrow.
  • C. A. Fletcher, A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, published by Orbit, a division of Hachette Group.
  • Maia Kobabe, Gender Queer: A Memoir, published by Lion Forge, an imprint of Oni Press.
  • Seanan McGuire, Middlegame, published by Tor.com Publishing, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan.
  • Casey McQuiston, Red, White & Royal Blue, published by St. Martin’s Griffin, a division of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.
  • Temi Oh, Do You Dream of Terra-Two?,  published by Saga Press/Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Inc.
  • Sara Quin and Tegan Quin, High School, published by MCD, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

Participation is free, but registration is required. Register now.

Virtual celebrations for YALSA’s Printz and Odyssey Award, along with other ALA book and media awards will be celebrated on June 28. More information will be announced soon.

2020 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees Announced

The moment is finally here! Here are the 2020 Teens’ Top Ten nominees:

  1. #MurderFunding (#MurderTrending #2)* by Gretchen McNeil. Freeform/Disney Book Group. 9781368026277.
  2. Are You Listening?* by Tillie Walden. First Second/Macmillan. 9781250207562.
  3. Aurora Rising* by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books/Penguin Random House. 9781524720995.
  4. The Beast Player* by Nahoko Uehashi. Translated by Cathy Hirano. Godwin Books/Macmillan. 9781250307460.
  5. Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Illustrated by Frances Castle. Candlewick Press. 9781536209419.
  6. Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection* by Victoria Aveyard. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062423023.
  7. Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic* by Sam Quinones. Bloomsbury Press. 9781620402528.
  8. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager* by Ben Philippe. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062824110.
  9. Frankly in Love* by David Yoon. G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House. 9781984812209.
  10. The Grace Year* by Kim Liggett. Wednesday Books/Macmillan. 9781250145444.
  11. Last Bus to Everland* by Sophie Cameron. Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan. 9781250149930.
  12. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me* by Mariko Tamaki. Illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. First Second/Macmillan. 9781626722590.
  13. Lovely War* by Julie Berry. Viking Books for Young Readers/ Penguin Random House. 9780451469939.
  14. The Memory Thief* by Lauren Mansy. Blink Publishing/ HarperCollins Publishing. 9780310767657.
  15. My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant* by Laura Dockrill. Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books/Penguin Random House. 9781984849281.
  16. Opposite of Always* by Justin A. Reynolds. Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062748386.
  17. Pumpkinheads* by Rainbow Rowell. Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks. First Second/Macmillan. 9781626721623.
  18. Stolen Time (Dark Stars #1)* by Danielle Rollins. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins. 9780062679949.
  19. Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon* by Mary Fan. Page Street Kids/ Page Street Publishing. 9781624147333.
  20. These Witches Don’t Burn* by Isabel Sterling. Razorbill/Penguin Random House. 9780451480323.
  21. Warhead: The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World* by Jeff Henigson. Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House. 9780525647904.
  22. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)* by Rainbow Rowell. Wednesday Books/Macmillan. 9781250146076.
  23. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya)* by Hafsah Faizal. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 9780374311544.
  24. Wilder Girls* by Rory Power. Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books/Penguin Random House. 9780525645580.
  25. With the Fire on High* by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062662835.

* Denotes that a book is also available in e-book format.

Congrats to all the nominees! A video announcing the nominees and an annotated list is also available at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten.

Teens are encouraged to read the nominees throughout the summer to prepare for the national Teens’ Top Ten vote, which will take place August 15 – October 12. The ten nominees that receive the most votes will be named the official 2020 Teens’ Top Ten. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on in-person library experiences, this is a great opportunity to better utilize digital resources. We encourage teens to engage in digital resources, especially e-books and audiobooks offered by their libraries.

A digital image of a Teens’ Top Ten seal for nominated titles is available to publishers for licensing. Arrangements can be made through ALA’s Rights and Permissions office for publishers who need permission to reproduce the seal on a paperback edition of book jacket. Contact permissions@ala.org or Mary Jo Bolduc, (312) 280-5416 (phone) or (312) 944-8741 (fax) for information.

To learn more, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten.