What to Do After Your Debut? Keep Writing, Of Course!

The 2021 Morris Award Finalists (shown above) were announced in December, and the winner will be revealed at the ALA Youth Media Awards on January 25. First granted in 2009, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award recognizes the most impressive debut published in Young Adult Literature each year.

With more than a decade of winners to look back on, let’s see which of our former debuts are still impressing readers today.

2010’s Morris Award went to L. K. Madigan’s Flash Burnout. Tragically, the author passed away just a year after receiving the award. The rest of the finalists from that year, however, have continued to contribute to YA in significant ways, perhaps none more notably that Nina LaCour, who went on to win the 2018 Printz Award for We Are Okay. LaCour’s latest novel, Watch Over Me, has been nominated for the 2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults Selected List.

In fact, several names on the 2021 BFYA nominations list were originally finalists for the Morris Award, including 2015’s Jessie Ann Foley, 2016’s Anna-Marie McLemore, 2018’s Nic Stone, and David Yoon in 2020.

Last year’s winner, Ben Phillippe, has been nominated. Both the winner of the 2019 Morris Award and one of its finalists have companion books that were nominated — Adib Khorram with Darius the Great Deserves Better and Tomi Adeyemi with Children of Virtue and Vengeance. And Becky Albertalli, the winner in 2016, is enjoying praise this year for Yes No Maybe So, cowritten with Aisha Saeed.

What about books out in 2021? Morris Award recipients have those, too!

Just released is Concrete Rose, 2018 Morris Award winner Angie Thomas’s follow up to The Hate U Give.

And out in August is In the Wild Light from 2017 Morris Award winner Jeff Zentner.

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

The moral of the story is this: no matter which finalist is chosen in 2021, we will look forward to reading them for years to come.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, March 20 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Publication date: February 4, 2020
ISBN: 978-0062937049

When painfully shy Jamie and change-averse Maya are forced by their mothers to team up to canvas for a local progressive political candidate, it’s not the ideal summer either of them planned. Cultural misunderstandings fly as Jamie helps plan his little sister’s bat mitzvah and Maya fasts for Ramadan, and they never know when the face on the other side of the door they’re knocking on will be an unfriendly one. Still, as election day gets closer, so do Jamie and Maya. And while falling in love might be easy, separating the personal from the political is harder than it seems.

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, March 20 Edition

#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, September 11 Edition

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee
Abrams / Abrams Image
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
ISBN:  9781419729256 

Mackenzi Lee romps through the stories of 52 intriguing women who deserve far more attention than they’ve heretofore received. Readers may recognize names such as Hatshepsut (Pharaoh of Egypt) and Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts), but they’ll also meet Khutulun, the best wrestler in the Mongolian Empire, and Annie Jump Cannon, a scientist who devised the star classification system still used today.

Continue reading #QP2019 Nominees Round Up, September 11 Edition

#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 17 Edition

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
ISBN: 978-0399544682 

Amal is a bright girl with a thirst for knowledge. Living in her Pakistani village with her family, she dreams of becoming a teacher someday, but must stop her education when her mother needs extra assistance at home after the birth of another sister. Things take a dire turn when Amal mistakenly insults a member of the powerful Khan family, and as punishment is forced into indentured servitude at the Khan estate. Surviving in a hopeless situation using her intelligence and determination, Amal begins to uncovers the corruption at the hands of the Khans and must choose to what to do about it.

Continue reading #BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 17 Edition