2017: Finding Winnie, the True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Sophie Blackall
A woman tells her young son the true story of how his great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn, rescued and learned to love a bear cub in 1914 as he was on his way to take care of soldiers' horses during World War I, and the bear became the inspiration for A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh.
2016: True Grit by Charles Portis
"True Grit", set in the late 19th century, is the tale of Mattie Ross, who at age 14 leaves home during a harsh winter in search of her father's murderer. She seeks out a man with a quality she calls "true grit," and finds him in an unlikely federal marshal, Rooster Cogburn. Also tracking the murderer is LaBoeuf, a Texas Ranger who has an uneasy partnership with the pair.
2015 (OneRead): The Giver by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry is one of America's most popular and versatile children's and young adult book authors. In the dystopian society of The Giver, Jonas is assigned to be the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community — the Giver — and soon discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
2014: The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Jack London, 1876-1916, was an American author and journalist whose writing was inspired by his own experiences with childhood poverty and his adventures as an oyster pirate, seal hunter, hobo and Alaskan gold prospector. The Call of the Wild is among his best-known works.
Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849, was the master of the horror tale. From his best-known works including The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe's work is guaranteed to deliver shivers.
2012: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Maltese Falcon is considered one of the best detective novels of all time. Brilliantly written, it's a thriller, a love story and a dark, dry comedy. The 1930 classic was Dashiell Hammett's third novel.
If you like noir fiction, check out the "If You Like The Maltese Falcon..." booklist.
2011: Voices of Conflict: the American Civil War
Voices of Conflict: The American Civil War, focused on multiple titles by local and national authors in honor of the Civil War's 150th Anniversary.
KSMU presents readings of letters and journals written during the Civil War.
Read more about the impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks at Community & Conflict.
2010: A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice, -- two city slickers from Chicago -- make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town? The story is set during the Great Depression and captures the self-reliance and independence of a feisty grandmother.
Interview with Richard Peck -- Listen now...
2009: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel explores in a profound and riveting way the two broad themes of tolerance and justice. Narrated through the voice of a young girl nicknamed Scout, the novel treats the first through the children's fear of their mysterious neighbor and the second with her attorney father Atticus's courage in defending a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in the Jim Crow south of the 1920s. "To Kill a Mockingbird" was published in July 1960 to highly favorable reviews and quickly climbed the bestseller lists, where it remained for 88 weeks. In 1961, the novel won the Pulitzer Prize. The film, starring Gregory Peck, premiered in 1962, and won Oscars for best actor, screenwriter and set design. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech and in 1964 won the Nobel Prize. Forty-nine years after the publication of the book, America elected its first African-American president.
2008: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
Introducing the Souls — Noah, Nadia, Ethan and Julian, and their teacher Mrs. Olinski. From rescuing struggling baby sea turtles on the beaches of Florida to discovering kindness within others, these former "underdogs" and their teacher embark on a journey that not only brings them together, but helps them to realize their own full potential, not to mention win the state Academic Bowl. You don't have to be the most popular, a genius or a super athleteâ€”you just have to give yourself and others a chance to shine.
2007: The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood
Meet eighth-grader Delrita Jensen and her uncle Punky, a 35-year-old man with Down syndrome. After moving with her parents to Tangle Nook, Missouri, Delrita, in constant fear that someone will discover the secret she's hiding, struggles with her own feelings about what it means to be different. As Delrita faces one of the most traumatic experiences of her life, she learns the hard way that it's okay to open oneself up to others and that happiness and love are feelings worth working for. Along the way, readers will meet a delightful cast of characters, including Avanelle and Tree Shackleford, siblings from a family that just moved to town and who have their own secret to hide, and Aunt Queenie and Uncle Bert, a childless couple who open Delrita's heart to unconditional love and understanding. You'll feel right at home in this story which takes place in the heart of the Ozarks, as they accompany Punky to McDonalds and step back in time at everybody's favorite theme park, Silver Dollar City.
2006: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Wilbur, the pig, is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him. This award-winning novel, first published in 1952, explores the themes of true friendship and the value of being trustworthy through the relationship of a likable pig and his loyal spider friend.