Hamline News

Morris Honor to Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


The Smell of Other People's Houses, the debut novel from Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (MFAC '12), has received a 2017 William C. Morris honor.

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's namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.


About the Book

Published by Wendy Lamb Books
Release: February 2016
Fiction, 240 pages
Ages 12 and up

Available for order at Random House Kids
Author's Website: hitchcockbs.com

This deeply moving and authentic debut set in 1970s Alaska is for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Benjamin Alire Saenz. Intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America's Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare talent.

Ruth has a secret that she can't hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she's always known on her family's fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it's safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled. This unforgettable book is about people who try to save each otherand how sometimes, when they least expect it, they succeed.


Some of the Praise

A Finalist for the 2017 William C. Morris Award, honoring a debut novel written for teens in 2016. Longlisted for the 2016 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and nominated for the 2016 Carnegie Medal. 

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's Alaska is beautiful and wholly unfamiliar.... A thrilling, arresting debut.
—Gayle Forman, New York Times. Bestselling author of If I Stay and I Was Here

[A] singular debut... weaves the alternating voices of four young people into a seamless and continually surprising story of risk, love, redemption, catastrophe, and sacrifice.
The Wall Street Journal

Hitchcock’s debut resonates with the timeless quality of a classic. This is a fascinating character study—a poetic interweaving of rural isolation and coming-of-age.
John Corey Whaley, Printz Award-winning author of Where Things Come Back


About the Author

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock was born and raised in Alaska. She spent many years fishing commercially with her family and as a reporter for Alaska Public Radio. She was also the host and producer of Independent Native News, a daily newscast that focused on Alaska Natives, Native Americans, and Canada's First Nations. The Smell Of Other People's Houses is her first novel. 

Read an Interview with 2017 Morris Award Finalist, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock at The Hub.
Follow Bonnie-Sue on Twitter @hitchcockbs.