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 is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.
“Gabi, a Girl in Pieces,” written by Isabel Quintero, is the 2015 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Cinco Puntos Press.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
-“The Carnival at Bray” written by Jessie Ann Foley and published by Elephant Rock Books.
-“The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim” written by E.K. Johnston and published by Carolrhoda Lab™, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.
-“The Scar Boys” written by Len Vlahos and published by Egmont Publishing.
-“The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” written by Leslye Walton and published by Candlewick Press.
About the book
My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn't want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it's important to wait until you're married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, "Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas." Eyes open, legs closed. That's as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don't mind it. I don't necessarily agree with that whole wait until you're married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can't tell my mom that because she will think I'm bad. Or worse: trying to be White.
Isabel Quintero Accepts the Morris Award