Morris and Nonfiction


You discussed the Morris finalists–the other major award for which YALSA announces the finalists ahead of time is the Excellence in Nonfiction Award. And the finalists are:

  • The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb
  • Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd
  • Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II by Martin W. Sandler
  • Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone
  • The President Has Been Shot by James L. Swanson

So, between the Morris and the Nonfiction Awards, I’ve read . . . one book. That, as you know, is Courage Has No Color which I was unimpressed with. I do have a copy of Kidd’s book at home, and while I’m not sure I’m going to read it in its entirety, I will say 1) it is gorgeously designed, which you might think goes without saying for a book on graphic design, but you’d be wrong, and 2) the bits that I’ve dipped into are very well written and fascinating. So, though I can’t say I’ve read it, I’m thoroughly behind Go as a Nonfiction finalist. The Nazi Hunters and Imprisoned are books that I’m vaguely interested in, and I may read at some point if I catch up on other reading. As for Swanson’s book, someone is going to have to work very very hard to convince me to read anything more about the Kennedy Assassination. Unlike so many others, I find the subject endlessly boring.

Back to the Morris–I have heard some things about Belle Epoque, along with the other three you mentioned. But Sex and Violence (what, no ampersand, Mesrobian?) remains a mystery to me. The others are books that I’ve heard good things about but all sound pretty mid-range to me. On the other hand, keeping up with the Morris has never been one of my strengths. Of the 30 finalists and winners the Morris has honored, I’ve read all of 9, and only have good things to say about 3 of those–two in the first year, Graceling and A Curse Dark as Gold; and last year’s winner, Seraphina. Oh, I suppose I like Girl of Fire and Thorns fine, but the others I’ve read–Paper Covers Rock, Where Things Come Back, Between Shades of Grey, The Freak Observer, Wonder Show–plus After the Snow which I abandoned, read like a list of “books Mark finds hopelessly pretentious.”

So, go read Go. Other than that, I’m not of much use on these two lists.

– Mark


1 Comment

Filed under Awards, Books, Teens

One response to “Morris and Nonfiction

  1. Although I am not someone who usually picks up nonfiction by choice, other than the occasional book on language or font from the adult side of things, I do want to read Go!
    By and large, the nonfiction this year was all very low profile compared to last year’s pile.

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