After 10 months of reading, we are ready to announce the 5 finalists for the 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009. This award honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me written by Leah Thomas, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Ollie is allergic to electricity and lives in isolation with his mother. Moritz was born with no eyes, has a pacemaker, and is bullied at school. They become pen pals and unlikely friends as they learn more about one another.
Conviction written by Kelly Loy Gilbert, published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group
Braden is firm in his convictions; he trusts his father, believes deeply in God, and is dedicated to a future playing baseball. His faith, truth, and justice are tested when his father is accused of murder.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli, published by Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
On the brink of coming out, Simon’s plans are derailed by a scheming classmate who learns about Simon’s email exchanges with a mysterious boy that Simon may just be falling in love with.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly written by Stephanie Oakes, published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers
After spending most of her life in the Kevinian Cult, Minnow loses her family, her freedom, and her hands. Now Minnow is behind bars, recounting her life in the cult and facing what really happened the night the camp burned down, leaving the Prophet dead.
The Weight of Feathers written by Anna-Marie McLemore, published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press
Lace and Cluck are from rival performing families. The troupes only cross paths once a year, but tensions mount and fights break out. When tragedy strikes during a performance, fate thrusts them together and the star-crossed pair are forced to deal with their families’ feuding past.