2017 Morris Award


The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.  The award’s namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

2017 Winner

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
In a small southern town, senior year finds three misfit friends facing the prospect of their separate futures with both hope and dread. Dill fears he will never escape his snake-handling father’s poisonous legacy. However, Lydia, a fashion blogger, and Travis, a fantasy warrior, foresee hopeful futures.

2017 Finalists

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
Gender expansive Pen wants to be seen for who she is, not defined by her appearance. Her Portuguese parents want a traditional girl; her friend Colby treats her like one of the gamer guys. But it’s Blake who helps Pen learn to respect herself and “man up.”

Rani Patel In Full Effect by Sonia Patel
After a devastating family blowup, Rani, aka MC Sutra, shaves her head, stops hiding her love of writing dope rhymes, and attracts attention with her new look and rapping skills. Despite finding a community where she can express herself through poetry and rap, the years of abuse take their toll.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Life in 1970s Alaska proves difficult for teens, native and non-native alike. In four distinct voices, Ruth, Alyce, Dora, and Hank express the heartbreak and tragedy altering their lives forever—poverty, unwanted pregnancy, death, and abuse. However, when their lives intertwine like invisible threads, each may receive a chance for redemption.

Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin
The Babcock sisters—brash Adrienne, faithful Marie, and shy Vanessa—spend their summer waiting while their mother slowly wastes away from leukemia. When shocking and devastating information about their mother’s illness surfaces, the girls turn to each other for the love and support they don’t find at home.


Around Town

Check out these events around town…

May 17 – Teen Gaming @ Davenport Public Library (Fairmount)

May 17 – Magic TGC and More! @ Bettendorf Public Library

May 18 – Young Adult After School Hangout @ Bettendorf Public Library

May 19 – Young Adult After School Hangout @ Bettendorf Public Library

May 19 – Teen Game Night @ River Valley District Library

May 20 – Movie: The Space Between Us @ East Moline Public Library

May 20 – Movie @ Silvis Public Library

May 22 – Young Adult After School Hangout @ Bettendorf Public Library

May 22 – Gamers Club @ Robert R. Jones Public Library

May 23 – Young Adult After School Hangout @ Bettendorf Public Library



Would you like your teen-friendly events listed here? Let me know in the comments.

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.


Speak of Me as I Am by Sonia Belasco
Melanie has lost her mother to cancer. Damon has lost his best friend to suicide. They each seek to find peace and answers through art. When they meet during their school’s production of Othello, they begin to discover who they truly are, both together and on their own. And maybe, how to to live their lives without completely letting go of their sadness.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer, Book One)
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around. Lazlo, who’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep since he was five years old, fears his dream chose poorly. When he’s presented with an opportunity to accompany a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, Lazlo can’t turn it down. What happened in Weep? Who is this Godslayer? The answers lie in Lazlo’s dreams.

Overturned by Lamar Giles
For five years, Nikki’s father has maintained his innocence despite being on death row. All Nikki cares about is getting out of Las Vegas and away from her past. To do so, she plays in illegal card games. When her dad is released without warning, he’s a changed man, intent on finding out who framed him—and why. Suddenly Nikki finds herself caught up in his deadly hunt for the truth, playing for the biggest gamble ever—her life.

Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows
Quinn was a mean girl, a queen bee with a nasty streak who destroys anyone who gets in her way, including new stepsister Emma. Emma, a quiet geek girl, only wants to stay off the radar and get this girl out of her life. But when Quinn dies suddenly, Emma realizes there was more to her stepsister than anyone ever realized.

Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott
As the daughter of professional assassins, Kaia knows true danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. When her parents vanish during a job, surviving means trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager. When she’s jumped by a hit man in front of her boyfriend Oliver, she flees their small town, taking Oliver with her. Can she protect him and uncover the mysteries of her past?

Next Week

Wednesday, May 17 @ 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Students in grades 6 through 12 can play a variety of video games, board games, and computer games in the Teen Corner on Game Days. Drop in any time.

Students in grades 4-12 are needed to volunteer for the Illinois Veterans History Project. Interviews with veterans will take place on Saturday, May 20 the Moline Public Library from 9:00 to 12:00. Anyone who wishes to take part must call the library to be scheduled. This event is part of the Project Next Generation grant and bus passes are available upon request. For more information, contact the Moline Public Library at 309-524-2470 or visit us at 3210 41st Street, Moline, IL or online at www.molinelibrary.com.

A Librarian Reads…

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Garner 

When Julia decides to cover up a derogatory comment about her best friend, she wants it to mean something. The mural she creates is amazing. Rather than thank her, Jordyn snitches and Julia finds herself expelled from the Kingston School for the Deaf and “mainstreamed” into a suburban school. Now she finds herself the target of Kyle Stoker’s wrath for no apparent reason, watching Jordyn continue to betray her as she goes after the guy Julia likes at work, and watched constantly by her two moms and her new interpreter. The only peace she finds is stealing away to put up a few tags. And even that is taken away when someone starts adding over to her work. And worse, the changes make them look better.

Julia is juggling a lot. She’s a Deaf, Indian, girl tagger with two moms. But she only lets one of those things define her, and it’s her art. Recommended for readers in grades 7 and up who like street art, strong female characters, and books that value diversity.


Would you like to see your book review featured here? Fill out the Review Form for your chance to have your review published and to win a prize.

Featured Series

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

When wealthy, seemingly perfect Brittany and Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, develop a relationship after Alex discovers that Brittany is not exactly who she seems to be, they must face the disapproval of their schoolmates–and others.

1) Perfect Chemistry

2) Rules of Attraction

3) Chain Reaction

Around Town

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

Speed of Life by Carol Weston
Kate is the only person Sofia can confide in after losing her mom. Even though Kate is only an advice columnist from Fifteen magazine, she’s grateful to have someone to confide in about everything—someone who is completely, wonderfully anonymous. Until Sofia’s dad introduces her to his new girlfriend, Katherine Baird, a.k.a., Dear Kate…

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (Blood Rose Rebellion, Book One)
Anna is a member of the Luminate, powerful users of magic. But she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. When she accidentally breaks her sister’s debutante spell, she finds herself banished to Hungary. There she finds that nothing is quite as it seems. Rebellion is growing against the Luminate, and Anna’s unique ability to break spells could decide the fate of the entire world. She only has to decide which side she’s on.

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer
Quinn is sixteen, the daughter of a politician, and pregnant. She’s also, to the best of her knowledge, still a virgin. When word gets out, her father’s career, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her reputation are all threatened. Everyone wants answers—Quinn most of all.

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik
Chloe has decided that her older sister, Ivy, who’s on the autism spectrum, could use a boyfriend. Ethan is a sweet, movie-obsessed boy from Ivy’s special needs class. They’re perfect for each other, but not comfortable going out on their own. Chloe does her best to ignore Ethan’s brother, David, as they tag along. But soon Chloe realizes she doesn’t know everything, especially about her own heart.

Ten Miles One Way by Patrick Downes
Nest and Q walk through the city. Nest speaks and Q listens. Mile by mile, Nest tells Q about her life, her family, her past . . . and her Chimaera, the beast that preys on her mind and causes her to lose herself. Q knows only that his love for Nest runs deeper than the demon that plagues her thoughts, that he loves her in spite of—or perhaps because of—the personal battle she fights every day.

Next Week

Monday, May 8 at 6:00 p.m.
Students in grades 4-8 can make Emoji Pillows. Use hand-stitching and sewing machines to make your own pillow based on your favorite emoji. This event is part of the Project Next Generation grant and bus passes are available upon request.

Tuesday, May 9 @ 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Anime Club is open to teens and tweens in grades 6 through 12 who love anime, manga, and all things Japanese. Drop by to watch anime, enjoy snacks, and make new friends.

A Librarian Reads…

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

As the rest of her dorm empties for winter break, Marin remains behind. She will be completely alone for a month, but first she has to get through three days with her best friend. It won’t be easy. Four months ago Marin left her hometown with no warning, fleeing from California to New York with nothing but the clothes on her back. Now Mabel is coming, even though Marin hasn’t responded to a single one of her texts or emails or voice mails. Mabel is coming, and Marin is going to have to face the horrible truth she has tried to leave behind.

Marin’s heartbreaking story is revealed in alternating stories of now and then. Recommended for high school and up.


Would you like to see your book review featured here? Fill out the Review Form for your chance to have your review published and to win a prize.