YALSA selected five books as finalists for the 2013 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2013 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 28.
The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.
Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step inside Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show, a menagerie of human curiosities and misfits guaranteed to astound and amaze! But perhaps the strangest act of Mosco’s display is Portia Remini, a normal among the freaks, on the run from McGreavy’s Home for Wayward Girls, where Mister watches and waits. He said he would always find Portia, that she could never leave. Free at last, Portia begins a new life on the bally, seeking answers about her father’s disappearance. Will she find him before Mister finds her?
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Amelia meets Chris when he trains her for her brand-new job at the local supermarket. Smart and witty, they are perfect for each other. She is smitten, but he, on the rebound from his first, lost love, is preoccupied with the pursuit of booze and sex — and his college degree on the side. More importantly, she is 15, and he is 22. It just can’t happen, can it?
After the Snow by S. D. Crockett
Fifteen-year-old Willo Blake, born after the 2059 snows that ushered in a new ice age, encounters outlaws, halfmen, and an abandoned girl as he journeys in search of his family, who mysteriously disappeared from the freezing mountain that was their home
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl. But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both. Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship–one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self–even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
Past Morris Award winners include Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (2012); The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston (2011); Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan (2010); and A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (2009).