Each year, Missouri schoolchildren in grades 4-8 vote for their favorite book from a list of nominated titles. The Mark Twain Award is awarded to the author of this book by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.
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For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a Princeton University admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation's brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission. This is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return and shake a woman's life to its core.
Meet Bliss Cavendar, a blue haired, indie-rock loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas. Her mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Blue Bonne Her escape? Take up Roller Derby. When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the wildest derby chick has to learn.
The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club. Chuck Palahniuk's outrageous and startling debut novel exploded American literature and spawned a movement. Every weekend, in the basements and parking lots of bars across the country, young men with white-collar jobs and failed lives take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded just as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. For Fight Club founder Tyler Durden, it's only the beginning of his plans for violent revenge on an empty consumer-culture world.
The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. But the ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker while lost at sea.
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion. When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries and other procedures so that her older sister, Kate, can fight the leukemia that she has fought since childhood. Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. As Anna is beginning to question who she truly is, she makes a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. (Film title: My Sister's Keeper)
Precious Jones has never had an easy life. She is 16 years old and pregnant by her father for the second time. She lives in poverty with her mother, who is both emotionally and physically abusive. Then Precious meets a determined and highly radical teacher who takes her on a journey of transformation and redemption. (Film title: Precious)
Twenty-four-year-old Canadian Scott Pilgrim, a slacker, hero, wannabe-rockstar, is living in Toronto and playing bass in the band "Sex Bob-Omb." His world is turned upside down when he falls in love with American delivery girl Ramona Flowers, but he must defeat her seven "evil ex-boyfriends" in order to date her.
It's 1954, and U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Shutter Island's Ashecliffe Hospital. He'd been gunning for an assignment on the island for reasons of his own -- but before long he wonders whether he hasn't been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. (Film title: Shutter Island)
Michael Oher was one of 13 children of a mother addicted to crack. He did not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or how to read or write. Then he started playing football after a rich white family plucked him from the streets, and he went on to eventually play in the NFL. Along the way, two great forces altered Oher: the family's love and the evolution of professional football itself into a game in which the quarterback must be protected at any cost. (Film title: The Blind Side)
Set in the 1930s at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary's death-row facility, "The Green Mile" is the riveting and tragic story of John Coffey, a giant, preternaturally gentle inmate condemned to death for the rape and murder of twin nine-year-old girls. It is a story narrated years later by Paul Edgecomb, the ward superintendent compelled to help every prisoner spend his last days peacefully and every man walk the green mile to execution with his humanity intact. Edgecomb has sent seventy-eight inmates to their date with "old sparky," but he's never encountered one like Coffey -- a man who wants to die, yet has the power to heal. And in this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecomb discovers the terrible truth about Coffey's gift, a truth that challenges his most cherished beliefs -- and ours.
In a not-too-distant future, the USA has collapsed and been replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally.
Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. (Film title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief)
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloging the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.
It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." When it struck in October 1991, there was virtually no warning. "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong," radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail off the coast of Nova Scotia, and soon afterward the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace. In a book taut with the fury of the elements, Sebastian Junger takes us deep into the heart of the storm, depicting with vivid detail the courage, terror, and awe that surface in such a gale.
When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before, but Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life in both the past and the future. Henry and Clare's attempts to live normal lives together are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control. (Film title: The Time Traveler's Wife)
Eight-year-old Scout tells about growing up as the daughter of Atticus Finch, a widowed lawyer, in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930's. She and her older brother, Jem, happily occupy themselves with resisting "progressive education" and stalking the local bogeyman-until their father's courageous defense of a black man falsely accused of rape introduces them to the problems of race prejudice and brings adult injustice and violence into their childhood world.
It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach--but is he really insane or has he, in fact, uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and possibly millions of innocent civilians? Following two generations of masked super-heroes from the close of World War II to the icy shadow of the Cold War comes this groundbreaking comic story--the story of The Watchmen.