Mark Twain Award Nominees 2020-2021
24 Hours in Nowhere
Welcome to Nowhere, Arizona, Americas least livable town. For Gus, a bright 13-year-old with dreams of escaping, life there is made even worse by bully Bo Taylor. When Bo tries to force Gus to eat a spiny cactus, Rossi Scott, one of the best racers in Nowhere, rescues him by relinquishing her prized dirt bike. Gus agrees to do anything to get it backeven if it means going into a deadly mine to hunt for gold. A gripping story about friendship, hope, and finding the power within ourselves.
Twelve-year-old Amal's dream of becoming a teacher one day is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village's ruling family. As punishment for her behavior, she is forced to leave her heartbroken family behind and go work at their estate. Amal is distraught but has faced setbacks before. So she summons her courage and begins navigating the complex rules of life as a servant, with all its attendant jealousies and pecking-order woes.
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.
Janey, a quiet outsider, is inspired by the eccentric and enigmatic Captain Superlative, a masked superhero who runs through the halls of their middle school, performing radical acts of kindness.
Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason. Includes Author's note with bibliographical references.
Flint Minett has keratoconus, an eye disease, but desperately wants to win a comic book art contest so that he and his new friend McKell Panganiban will be better accepted at middle school.
The Ambrose Deception
Three Chicago students, Melissa, Wilf, and Bondi, are unlikely participants in a competition for a ten thousand-dollar scholarship, unaware that there is much more at stake.
The Doughnut Fix
When his family moves to tiny Petersville, eleven-year-old Tris stops focusing on his perfect sister, Jeanine, by using his cooking expertise to revive a town tradition of chocolate cream doughnuts.
The Night Diary
Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.
The Science of Breakable Things
Middle schooler Natalie's year-long assignment to answer a question using the scientific method leads to truths about her mother's depression and her own cultural identity.
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
As he grieves his best friend Benny's death, Mason and his friend Calvin, who are targeted by the neighborhood bullies, create an underground haven for themselves, but when Calvin goes missing Mason finds himself in trouble.
The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair
As ten-year-old Gwyn searches for a missing neighbor in her new town in Iowa, she learns much about her mother, who grew up there but has suffered from memory loss since Gwyn was four.