Honor Book – CYAPodcast

Category: Honor Book

Youth Media Awards 2014

Adrienne here,

Every January the American Library Association honors the previous year’s books and media created for children and teens. There are nineteen awards given at this event with other selected lists released in the days after.

The ceremony will be held during ALA Midwinter, 8 a.m. ET, January 27, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. There will be a award archive of awards.

The award that has become a favorite of Emily and mine is the William C. Morris Award. This award honors authors whose first publication was written for young adults. Having served on this committee it is exhilarating to discover new and emerging talents. Each year the five finalist titles get better, more interesting and diverse in subject matter.

This year’s finalists are the following:

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Sex & Violence  by Carrie Mesrobian

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

You can view a video of the Morris Finalists here, http://youtu.be/CgcHkQ_Ls1w.

The winner will be announced during the Youth Media Awards. Immediately following the winner and finalists of both the Morris Award and the Nonfiction Award will speak at a reception. Tickets are $19 and well worth it.

Find out more about the award on the YALSA Morris Award website, http://www.ala.org/yalsa/morris-award. You can sign up to volunteer to participate here, http://www.ala.org/yalsa/getinvolved/getinvolved#sign%20up.

Love & Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo


“Love and Other Perishable Items” by Laura Buzo

Life after college can stretch before a person like a long, seemingly endless road. Marriage, family, retirement can seem so far away that it can render many soon-to-be college graduates inert. This is what paralyzes Chris as he ponders life, feminism and film while working at the local grocery store he has dubbed “The Land of Dreams.” Chris finds a companionable soul in Amelia.

Ahh, but, here’s the rub, Chris is 21, Amelia is 15. Amelia falls for Chris and is happy to keep her feelings to herself, but we the readers get both points of view. Amelia’s is delivered in a voice filled with honest and straightforwardness while Chris’ is from his journal entries that range from rage to depression to finding the perfect woman to deep insight into his life and what he wants to do with it.

Amelia meets Chris as her trainer on her first day at work. She sees a connection between the two of them by way of their mutual love of literature. He sees her as a youngster, a nickname that she comes to dislike. Chris is slowly, painfully and sometimes regressively getting over his ex-girlfriend who uses his feelings and failure to move on to her advantage.

Buzo adequately captures the voice and feelings of a 15 year old girl who is practical, realistic and smart and lives a structured life. Buzo also captures that time of life when the future can be overwhelming and uncertain. Readers will be able to relate to both characters and the feelings that they express throughout the book. The book’s mood is quiet and thoughtful. Each character struggles with their feelings for each other with the reader really rooting for the both of them. But…hello?? She’s 15. You’ll have to read Love and Other Perishable Items to find out if they get together or not.

What I liked about this book was the relationship between Chris and Amelia. I really wanted to root for them as a couple despite the difference in age. They seemed to fit each other and “get” each other. I liked that Chris acts on his varying and quickly changing moods and emotions becoming a physical whirlwind while Amelia is calm, practical and steady as she goes. There were good and bad decisions made by both characters throughout the book and I found that reassuring. This book captures the turmoil at 15 and 21 which are rife with decisions made with too little information or too little experience. Recommended for High School and up.

2013 Morris Award Winner & Finalists

“Seraphina” by Rachel Hartman
“Love and Other Perishable Items” by Laura Buzo
“The Miseducation of Cameron Post” by Emily M. Danforth
“After the Snow” by S. D. Crockett
“Wonder Show” by Hannah Barnaby