Five books made the Morris Award shortlist for 2017: Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin; The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock; The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner; Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel; and Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard.
In Tell Me Something Real, three sisters struggle with the bonds that hold their family together as they face their mother’s illness. But they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home.
In Alaska, 1970, Ruth has a secret, Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, Alyce wants to become a dancer, and Hank and his brothers decide to run away from home in The Smell of Other People’s Houses.
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life in The Serpent King—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies.
Almost seventeen in Rani Patel in Full Effect, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she’s a nerdy nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka’i.
All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been in Girl Mans Up. Why does everyone have a problem with it? They think she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not.
The William C. Morris Award honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. The winner will be announced at the American Library Association’s midwinter institute in Atlanta at the end of January.
All five books are available now.
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