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Mark Twain Readers Award

Each year, Missouri schoolchildren in grades 4-6 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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Mark Twain Award Nominees 2023-2024

A Place to Hang the Moon
A Place to Hang the Moon by  Kate Albus
In World War II England, orphaned siblings William, Edmund, and Anna are evacuated from London to live in the countryside, where they bounce from home to home in search of someone willing to adopt them permanently.
Linked by Gordon Korman
Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it's woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika. Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing? Because Michael was the first person to see it, he's the first suspect. Because Link is one of the most popular guys in school, everyone's looking to him to figure it out. And because Dana's the only Jewish girl in the whole town, everyone's treating her more like an outsider than ever. The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face-not just the crimes of the present, but the crimes of the past.
Nightingale by  Deva Fagan
Twelve-year-old Lark is determined to escape her squalid life at Miss Starvenger's boarding house, but she needs to find the coin to do it. Her grand scheme? To steal her fortune from the Royal Museum. When her plans go awry, Lark will need the help of her boarding house roommates to defeat the villainous forces that threaten to dismantle everything she holds dear.
Once Upon a Camel
Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt
In 1910, Zada the camel treks across the West Texas desert to save two baby kestrels from an approaching haboob, a mountain-sized storm. She shares stories of adventures from her youth in Turkey to keep them calm.
One Kid's Trash
One Kid's Trash by  Jamie Sumner
When his father moves them halfway across Colorado, eleven-year-old Hugo O'Donnell is surprised that his remarkable talent for garbology makes him popular for the first time in his life.
Pony by R. J Palacio
Twelve-year-old Silas is awoken in the dead of night by three menacing horsemen who take his father away. Silas is left shaken, scared, and alone, except for the presence of his companion, Mittenwool, who happens to be a ghost. When a pony shows up at his door, Silas decides to leave his home and embark on a perilous journey to find his father. Along the way, he will face his fears and explore the unfathomable mysteries of the world around him. R. J. Palacio spins a harrowing yet distinctly beautiful coming-of-age story about the power of love and the ties that bind us across distance and time. With the poignant depth of War Horse and the singular voice of True Grit, this is one of those rare books poised to become an instant classic for readers of all ages.
Six Feet Below Zero
Six Feet Below Zero by Ena Jones
Rosie and Baker need to keep up the illusion that their Great Grammy is alive before the Grim Hesper takes away the only home they have ever known.
Tangled Up in Luck
Tangled Up in Luck by  Merrill Wyatt
If you told Sloane Osburn and Amelia Miller-Poe that they'd be hiding in their town cemetery from an evil mastermind, they would have been hard-pressed to believe you. If you also told them that person was intent on beating them to a cache of long-lost jewels using nothing more than a slingshot and wicked aim, they'd have been sure you got your facts wrong. Finally, if you told them they'd be doing all of this as friends, they would have been convinced you needed medical attention.
The Hidden Knife
The Hidden Knife by Melissa Marr
After a tragedy, Vicky bands together with new friends to seek justice in the dangerous Glass City, where the magical gargoyles are always watching.
The Lion of Mars
The Lion of Mars by  Jennifer L Holm
Bell has spent his whole life (all eleven years of it) on Mars. But he's still just a regular kid-he loves cats, cake and is curious about the secrets the adults in the US colony are keeping, like why don't we have contact with anyone on the other Mars colonies? Why are they so isolated? When a virus breaks out and the grown-ups all fall ill, Bell and the other children are the only ones who can help. It's up to Bell, a regular kid in a very different world, to uncover the truth, save his family and possibly unite an entire planet.
The Night Ride
The Night Ride by  J Anderson Coats
Sonnia wants to protect the horses she's grown to care for, but she's only a kid from the poor side of town--considered expendable, just like the horses. If she keeps her head down, soon she can buy her dream horse from the royal stables, Ricochet, and get him out of there--and keep supporting her family. But would she be able to live with herself?
Worst-Case Collin
Worst-Case Collin by  Rebecca Caprara
In the two years since his mother was killed in an automobile crash, Colin has been anticipating further disasters, writing down what to do in the event of an avalanche or mentally practicing the Heimlich maneuver just in case. The real trouble is that his mathematician father is obsessed with a classic math problem and has a hoarding problem spiraling out of control, leaving Colin desperate to hide this chaos from his friends and everyone else, even as he struggles with his grief.