2020 Morris Award Finalists Announced

Five books have been selected as finalists for the 2020 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.

The 2020 finalists are:

  • “The Candle and the Flame” written by Nafiza Azad, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic;
  • “The Field Guide to the North American Teenager” written by Ben Philippe, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;
  • “Frankly in Love” written by David Yoon, published by P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House;
  • “Genesis Begins Again” written by Alicia D. Williams, published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing;
  • “There Will Come a Darkness” written by Katy Rose Pool, published by Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing






View the full list with annotations on the Morris webpage. Publishers and library staff can purchase finalist seals to place on the finalist titles at www.ala.org/awardsgrants/seals.

YALSA will name the 2020 award winner at the Youth Media Awards (YMA) at 8 a.m. E.T. on January 27 in Philadelphia, PA, during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting. Following the YMA announcements, YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalists and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Nonfiction Award finalists and winner, at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting on January 27 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Grand Ballroom E/F at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Tickets to the reception can be purchased in advance for $25. See a full list of YALSA’s events and programs at the Midwinter Meeting on YALSA’s Midwinter wiki page.

The Morris Award is named after William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. William “Bill” Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2020 William C. Morris Award Committee for selecting the finalists. They are: chair Terry Young, School Libraries Work, New Orleans (LA); Diane Fuller, Gilman School, Baltimore (MD); Diana Tixier Herald, Mesa County Libraries (CO); Carrie Kausch, Falls Church High School (VA); Kristen Kwisnek, Severn School (MD); Katrina Ortega, New York Public Library (NY); Anjelica Rufus-Barnes, Prospect Heights Public Library District (IL); Elizabeth Saxton,  and Rachel Zuffa, J.I. Case High School (WI).