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.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 30 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

cover art

Raybearer by  Jordan Ifueko; Narrated by  Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
ISBN: 978-1094149189

Tarisai has grown up living a privileged life surrounded by tutors, luxury, and protection in her realm, but she has never received love and closeness from anyone around her. She especially longs for attention from her mother, called The Lady. At 11 years old, Tarisai is sent to Oluwan City to compete for inclusion on Crown Prince Ekundayo’s governing Council of Eleven. If chosen, she will bond eternally with Prince Dayo and her Council siblings via a mystical Ray, and gain the human closeness she so craves. But Tarisai learns that before she was born, The Lady commanded a djinn to impregnate her with a child who must someday grant her third wish. Tarisai is that child. And The Lady’s third wish is to kill the prince Tarisai is now sworn to protect. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 30 Edition

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 11 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.

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly Book Cover
Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly
Scholastic Press 
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
ISBN: 978-1338268492

Her whole life, Sophia was told by everyone that her soft heart made her weak. After losing her heart to the queen’s huntsman (who also narrates the story), she gets a clockwork replacement from the seven men of the woods, and begins a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she gains some unlikely alliances, who all help her see that kindness and empathy have a power of their own.

In this feminist retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, characters are often not what they first appear: a frighteningly large spider proves to be a gentle chef, a charming prince may be a heartless opportunist, and a wicked queen is a female ruler trying to hold her own in a world dominated by powerful men. Sophia grows from a browbeaten princess in need of rescuing to one who recognizes her own worth and figures out how to save not only herself but her entire kingdom.

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 11 Edition