Congratulations, 2022 Morris Award Finalists!

Congratulations to Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Angeline Boulley, Amber McBride, and Cory Anderson on these outstanding debut novels! Find the full list of YALSA Morris Award Finalists here.

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Ages 14-18
On Sale Now!

Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.

All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do. —Aces

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

With heart-pounding suspense and relevant social commentary comes a high-octane thriller from debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

Praise for Ace of Spades:

A 2022 Willam C. Morris Award Finalist
A Junior Library Guild Selection
An Amazon Best Book of 2021

A School Library Journal Best Young Adult Book, 2021
A BuzzFeed Best YA Book Covers Of 2021
Boston Globe Best Book of 2021
An Autostraddle Best Queer Book of 2021
The Young Folks Best Book Debut of 2021

★ “Àbíké-Íyímídé excels in portraying the conflict of characters who exist in two worlds…Devon and Chiamaka are dynamic and multifaceted, deeply human in the face of Aces’ treatment.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Readers will love this thriller-mystery… A revelatory, buzzworthy debut.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Told in alternating chapters that capture each character’s unique voice and personality, Àbíké-Íyímídé’s adeptly crafted debut brings to life an unforgettable thriller that fuses intricate world building with compelling character development.” —Booklist

Ace of Spades is a clever thriller that, just as you think you’ve got it figured out, pulls the rug out from under you. What makes the twist all the more chilling is its plausibility. Debut author Faridah Ábíké-Íyímídé is a revelation, her protagonists — Chiamaka and Devon — are wonderfully captivating and nuanced. And her epilogue is the best I’ve ever read. This is one magnificent debut!” —Angeline Boulley, New York Times-bestselling author of Firekeeper’s Daughter


Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Ages 14-18
On Sale Now!

An instant New York Times bestseller, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Praise for Firekeeper’s Daughter!

A 2022 Willam C. Morris Award Finalist
A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB YA PICK
An Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
Soon to be adapted at Netflix for TV with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground.

“One of this year’s most buzzed about young adult novels.” —Good Morning America

A TIME Magazine Best YA Book of All Time Selection
Amazon’s Best YA Book of 2021 So Far (June 2021)
A 2021 Kids’ Indie Next List Selection
An Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated Books of 2021 Selection
PopSugar Best March 2021 YA Book Selection

This novel will long stand in the hearts of both Native and non-Native audiences.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Though it both shocks and thrills, in the end, what leaves you breathless is Firekeeper’s Daughter’s blazing heart.” —BookPage, starred review

★ “Boulley, herself an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, writes from a place of love for her community and shares some key teachings from her culture, even mixing languages within the context of the story.” —Booklist, starred review

★ “This suspenseful upper-YA novel will keep readers wondering who Daunis can trust.” —Horn Book, starred review

Listen to a clip from the Firekeeper’s Daughter audiobook,
read by Isabella Star LaBlanc:


Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
Ages 14-18
On Sale Now!

A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path.

Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.

Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.

Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.

Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.

Praise for Me (Moth):

2021 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Finalist
A 2022 Willam C. Morris Award Finalist
A BookPage Best Book of 2021
A Best Book of 2021, Shelf Awareness
An NPR Best Book of the Year, 2021
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2021
A Time Magazine Best Children’s Book of 2021
People magazine’s Best Children’s Books of 2021

★ “This searing debut novel-in-verse is told from the perspective of Moth, a Black teen whose life changed forever the day a car crash killed her family. … Each free verse poem is tightly composed, leading into the next for a poignant and richly layered narrative. The story builds softly and subtly to a perfect, bittersweet ending. Fans of Jacqueline Woodson won’t be able to put this one down.”—School Library Journal,starred review

★ “McBride artfully weaves Black Southern Hoodoo traditions with those of the Navajo/Diné people, creating a beautiful and cross-cultural reverence for the earth, its inhabitants, and our ancestors. … Written in verse, this novel is hauntingly romantic, refusing to be rushed or put down without deep contemplation of what it means to accept the tragedies of our lives and to reckon with the ways we metamorphosize as a result of them.” —Booklist, starred review

★ “If you think you know where this story is going, think again. Me (Moth) will surprise you.” —BookPage,starred review


What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
Ages 14-18
On Sale Now!

What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson’s stunning YA novel about brutality and beauty, and about broken people trying to survive—”Intense, brutal, and searingly honest,” What Beauty There Is is perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Laura Ruby, and Meg Rosoff.

To understand the truth, you have to start at the beginning.

Winter in Idaho. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Living in harsh poverty, Jack Dahl is holding his breath. He and his younger brother have nothing—except each other. With his father incarcerated and his mother addicted to opiods, Jack faces a stark choice: lose his brother to foster care or find the drug money that sent his father to prison.

He chooses the money.

Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years Ava’s father, an abusive and merciless man, has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up on Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or speak, and help the brothers survive.

Choices. They come at a price.

Praise for What Beauty There Is:

A 2022 Willam C. Morris Award Finalist
A 2022 Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

“Beautifully written and superbly constructed, Anderson pulls you onto a chilling footpath of love and loss—and keeps you there until you’ve read every last word.” —Ruta Sepetys, #1 New York Times bestselling author and Carnegie Medal winner of Salt to the Sea

★ “A ­gorgeous, intense, and shocking look at chaos, survival, fate, and betrayal… A first purchase and a must-read. Prepare to be haunted and chilled to the bone by this exceptional story.” —School Library Journal starred review

★ “Intense, brutal, and searingly honest, Anderson’s debut features intricate plotting and action that hold up against the best thriller novels, yet it is all the more remarkable for its tender, multidimensional characterization and sharp, crystalline prose. Riveting and unforgettable.” —Kirkus starred review

★ “Debut author [Cory] Anderson captures the setting and souls of her characters through her sparse yet lyrical text, creating a suspenseful, throbbing tale of love and survival, choices and consequences. Told in alternating voices, this powerful story will mesmerize.” —Booklist starred review

“Readers who like their novels pitch dark and bone chilling will revel in the horrifying villain and the trio of kids locked into a dilemma they cannot possibly resolve.” —The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

“Anderson’s starkly atmospheric thriller illuminates ways in which cycles of poverty and incarceration can disenfranchise children.” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] taut psychological thriller. Anderson’s spare, lyrical writing yields great insight into her characters, and the unforgiving Idaho winter landscape is almost a character in its own right.” Horn Book