William C. Morris Award 2021 | Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library 

William C. Morris Award 2021

William C. Morris Award 2021

Book awards season is upon us! One of the major awards presented by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is the William C. Morris award, which is given to a debut author in teen literature. These are brand new authors, previously unknown talents who are now ready for discovery. Below are the award winners for 2021. 

Honor Titles (think of these as the “runner up” in the category): 

“Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard” by Echo Brown 

Echo believes her mother is a wizard who has fallen into a bad addiction. Echo begins attending a new school, which opens portals in her world. Echo explores the portals and attempts to learn the (magical?) source of her family’s pain. This is an intense read for mature teens.  

It Sounded Better in my Head” by Nina Kenwood 

This romantic comedy finds Natalie with relationship drama. Her parents are getting divorced and her two best friends have decided to start dating. Natalie finds distraction in her best friend’s older brother, and a budding relationship of her own.  

“The Black Kids” by Christina Hammonds Reed 

Ashley Bennett is a Black teen whose main concern is her tan in the summer of 1992, in Los Angeles. Then a verdict is returned in the case of the officers who attacked Rodney King and Ashley's life is thrown into new perspective. As one of the few African American students at her private school, Ashley must decide if she is one of the “Black Kids” and what that means to her. 

“Woven in Moonlight” by Isabel Ibañez 

Llacsan King Atoc overtook the Illustrian kingdom using ancient magic. Ximena is a trained assassin who is sent in the former queen’s place to Atoc’s kingdom with the goal of faking a treaty. While in Atoc’s palace, Ximena discovers powerful magic and must decide if a real treaty would be better for both kingdoms.  

 

And the winner is... 

“If These Wings Could Fly” by Kyrie McCauley 

Thousands of crows have invaded Leighton’s hometown. Whenever Leighton’s father loses his temper and damages a part of their house, it somehow repairs itself. Leighton encounters these mysteries as she faces the decision of whether to leave everything behind for college or stay to protect her siblings from her dangerous faither.  

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