YALSA announced its 2018 Morris Award Finalists this week. The Morris award goes to a debut work in YA literature.

The finalists are:

Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali

Bookish 15-year-old Janna Yusufis an Arab American hijabi teen struggling with friendships, crushes, and reconciling her place in and loyalty to her Muslim community. After she is sexually assaulted by “the Monster,” the seemingly devout cousin of her best friend, she must find the strength to stand up for herself.

 

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Kiko Himura knows the key to escaping her narcissistic mother is getting into her dream art school. When her rejection letter and abusive uncle both arrive at her home at nearly the same time, Kiko flees with her childhood crush to California, where she meets a famous artist and at last begins to find her own voice.

 

Devils Within by S.F. Henson

After Nate Fuller kills his father in self-defense, he must find a way to redefine what’s right and wrong and learn to trust again. But when two followers of The Fort, his father’s white supremacist group, arrive in Nate’s new town, he knows blood is going to spill—he’s just not sure whose.

 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is captain of the Braselton Prep debate team and an honor roll student. But after being profiled by the police and ending up in handcuffs, Justyce turns to the legacy of Dr. King, hoping King’s teachings can help him navigate today’s world. But when Justyce and his best friend are caught in the cross-hairs of a violent misunderstanding, Justyce is forced to deal with the media fallout that threatens to destroy his future.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter has learned to live in two worlds, managing her life as a prep-school student by day while returning each night to the low-income neighborhood she calls home. After witnessing the murder of her unarmed friend Khalil by a police officer, these two worlds collide, and Starr must decide what risks she is willing to take to pursue justice. (Review)

Have you read any of the finalists? Which is your favorite?

*Annotations from YALSA