The Morris Award is one of YALSA's (the teen division of the American Library Association) youth literature awards, and it honors the best YA novels by debut authors. We covered some of our favorite Morris winners and finalists here, and last year's winner here.
But today, the finalists for 2014 were announced! Here they are!
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn. Win's at an isolated boarding school, where he holds everyone at a distance, so they don't see the beast inside him. Before he went to school though, something happened. Something big. Something bad. And now Win may lose his mind, giving over entirely to the darkness inside.
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian. Even moves a lot and doesn't have many friends-- just girls he hooks up with. Girls are a means to an end, until one night he's the victim of a terrible assault. To recover, he and his father go to their cabin in the woods-- it's a place to escape the world, but also a place where Evan can't escape himself.
Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos. James Whitman's a poet, and his parents have kicked his older sister out of the house and won't talk about it. They won't pay for the therapy he needs for depression and anxiety, so he consults Dr. Bird, an imaginary pigeon.
Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. Inspired by a short story by Zola, Maude moves to Paris and is hired to be a plain face-- someone to make the aristocracy look even prettier by comparison. Isabelle has no idea that Maude isn't a real friend, only a hired one. As the two form and actual friendship, Maude is torn between doing what is right for her friend, or doing what she must to keep her job.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. Mary believes in science, not ghosts, but it's 1918, WWI is raging in Europe and the Spanish flu is raging at home. People are turning to spiritualism to connect with the dead and it drives Mary crazy-- until she starts seeing ghosts.
What are you hoping will win? What books were you hoping would be on the short list?
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