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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Finalists for young adult literature award

By Valerie Strauss

Here are the five books selected by the Young Adult Library Services Association as finalists for the 2011 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.

The association is a division of the American Library Association. The winner will be named on Jan. 10 at the library association’s midwinter meeting in San Diego.

The 2011 finalists are:

• “Hush” by Eishes Chayil, published by Walker Publishing Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.

Growing up in her insular Chassidic Jewish community has always made Gittel feel secure and given her a sense of belonging. But when her best friend, Devory, hangs herself after being sexually abused, her faith in the group is challenged and only gradually does she find ways to express her desire for the community to deal with the issue.

• “Guardian of the Dead” by Karen Healey, published by Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just trying to make it through her last year of high school, but a chance interaction with the school's weirdo, Mark Nolan, puts her on a very different path filled with Maori legends come to life.

• “Hold Me Closer, Necromancer” by Lish McBride, published by Henry Holt

Sam thinks his life working in a fast food restaurant is awful. But when he's confronted by a powerful necromancer, he learns that everything he thought was true about his life — isn't.

• “Crossing the Tracks” by Barbara Stuber, published by Margaret McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

In the 1920s, Iris' emotionally distant father sends her to rural Missouri to act as a companion to an elderly woman while he heads to Kansas City with his fiance. Iris' mother died when she was five, and it takes her some time to learn to care for Mrs. Nesbitt and see her own future with optimism.

• “The Freak Observer” by Blythe Woolston, published by Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group

Loa, a strong, intelligent, hardworking sixteen-year-old experiences a year of loss: the death of her sister who was born with a genetic disorder, her lifelong friend who was killed in an accident, her best friend who has gone to Europe, and even her dog. While trying to take care of her family and make it through school she ponders the laws of physics and tries to understand what can never make sense.

More information on the finalists and the award can be found at .

The award is named for William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults.

Members of the 2011 William C. Morris Award committee are: Chair Summer Hayes, King County Library System, Tukwila, Wash.; Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Carol Edwards, Denver Public Library; Alison M. Hendon, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Diana Tixier Herald, Mesa County Valley School District #51, Grand Junction, Colo.; RoseMary Honnold, Voice of Youth Advocates, Coshocton, Ohio; Kathleen Taylor Isaacs, Pasadena, Md.; Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos County (N.M.) Library System; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, St. Paul, Minn.; and Amy Anderson, administrative assistant, Bellevue (Wash.) Regional Library.


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By Valerie Strauss  | December 10, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Literature, Reading  | Tags:  YAL, adolescent lit, adolescent literature, american library association, books for teens, literature, reading, teen novels, young adult lit, young adult literature  
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Appears to be quite depressing reading material.

Posted by: shadwell1 | December 10, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree shadwell...does look a bit morbid and depressing...interesting too they are all written for mid-late teens...

Posted by: educ8er | December 10, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Check out Kate Milford's The Boneshaker. It was one that was missed on my short list.

Posted by: DHume1 | December 10, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

cool..i like it..keep it up..goodluck

Posted by: sleepingaieyou | December 11, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Nothing there that my 15 year old son would be interested in. We need more good literature for boys.

Posted by: joseph50 | December 11, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

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