Tag Archives: William C. Morris Debut Award Committee

Celebrating a 2016 Morris Finalist

3 May

I didn’t get to meet Kelly Loy Gilbert in 2016 when my Morris Committee selected her debut novel, Conviction,  as a William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist. She was pregnant at the time and was unable to travel.I was thrilled to see she had a second novel coming out this year.

Picture Us In the Light  was published April 10th.

picture-us-reveal_orig

Publisher’s Summary: Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father’s closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there’s much more to his family’s past than he ever imagined. Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family’s blessing to pursue the career he’s always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend, Harry Wong, by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. Harry and Danny’s lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can’t stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina Chan. When Danny digs deeper into his parents’ past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed façade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him.

Her website says that Kelly “believes deeply in the power of stories to illuminate a shared humanity and give voice to complex, broken people. “ Conviction did so. I think this one does so even more so.

Just as in Conviction,  things start out slowly. But don’t give up. Also, there are some flashbacks at the beginning and it is important that you pay attention because once everything comes together, you are going to realize the clues she dropped. There are a lot of issues addressed in the book – suicide, illegal immigration, being the child of immigrants – but it doesn’t feel like an issue book because you are so involved in Danny’s story.

 

Advertisements

Happy Book Birthday

24 Aug

On Tuesday, along with other members of the Beaverton Education Association executive board members, I attended a district event for new teachers. We greeted them, provided coffee, snacks and swag, and our president told them about how the union works. While handing out swag, we veteran teachers reminisced about teachers we’d mentored and how we feel like part of their family.

It is not unlike being a member of YALSA’s William C. Morris Committee. I feel as though I have a connection to the five authors we chose as finalists, and that is why I am excited to tell you that it is the book birthday of one of those authors.

Stephanie Oakes’ second novel, The Arsonist,  was released this week!

33258604

Publisher’s Summary: Code Name Verity meets I Am the Messenger in this riveting YA novel from Morris Award finalist Stephanie Oakes, in which three points of view are woven together in a story that’s part Cold War mystery, part contemporary coming-of-age, and completely unputdownable.

This is a complex story. As each character narrates, your mind is trying to figure out how it all works. Oakes is crafty, telling us just enough from one character’s point of view in a chapter, then switching to another – a move that kept me reading.
Like her previous book, The Secret Lies of Minnow Bly,  the ending isn’t necessarily a happy one. But it is maybe the most realistic outcome we can hope for in a work of fiction.

Mid-August Morris Update

17 Aug

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been on a reading blitz to read as many Morris eligible books as I can before school starts. Although school doesn’t begin officially until September 8th, I’ve already been back a few days. This week, I have a 4 day writing workshop with the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project. Staff have to be back on August 30th for Inservice week and I will probably go in to unpack boxes and begin setting up my new classroom the week in between.

So, is my current Morris status.

I have read 50 books. Each eligible book needs two readers, so I haven’t read everything on out master list. My piles have become even more organized!

Here are the stacks of books we have yet to discuss. The tallest pile on the left are the books I have read. The other two piles are books other people have read, or have committed to reading.

IMG_2012

 

Th two out from are still in need of at least one more reader. That pile used to be bigger, but we are all hunkering down to get as much read as we can.

In addition to the books on the list, all committee members must read all books, that have been nominated. I have read a number of these but still have a few more to go.

IMG_2015

The pile on the left is actually 2 stacks: nominees I’ve read are behind, nominees I still need to read are in front. (I deliberately tried to keep the titles in this photo illegible) The pile to the right are books I’ve signed up to read but haven’t yet. That is down to six. Our next online meeting is scheduled for August 31st and I hope to have most of these six read, especially the ones for which I am the second reader. That will give us more titles to discuss.

The master list is a work in progress. New titles get added as we become aware of them, so my stacks and piles are also in a continuous state of flux. All in all it is rather exciting.

Keeping Secrets #SOL15

11 Mar

morris_seal

I’m pretty good at keeping secrets. But this one is hard.

I am on the 2016 William C. Morris Debut Award Committee, which selects ” a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature”. I am honored and thrilled to be doing it. But I can’t share much of my joy.

I can’t tell you what I’ve read, though I can tell you I’ve read 6 books so far.

I can’t tell you what I thought of those books.

I can’t tell you which book I’m reading now.

I can’t tell you the titles of books publishers have sent me.

And I have to keep not telling you until December, when the committee announces the five finalists we’ve selected.

Until January 11, 2016 when the committee’s decision is announced along with the Newbery and Caldecott Awards.

I have to keep it all top secret.

It is hard.

Jone Rush MacCulloch

Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

andrea gillespie

Inquiring My Way Forward

Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Horn Book

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The History Girls

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

The Book Smugglers

Smuggling Since 2007 | Reviewing SF & YA since 2008

Chez Lizzie

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Yarn Harlot

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

%d bloggers like this: