Search Options



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.

Find these books and more online at

Mark Twain Award Nominees 2024-2025

A Rover's Story
A Rover's Story by  Jasmine Warga
Built to explore Mars, Resilience begins to develop human-like feelings as he learns from the NASA scientists who assembled him, and as he blasts off and explores Mars, Resilience must overcome different obstacles as he explores the red planet.
Egypt's Fire
Egypt's Fire by  Tom Phillips
After twelve-year-old John Boarhog's mom dies, the last thing he wants is to be schlepped off to the Jersey Home for Boys, where kids are forced to make skinny jeans for hipsters and are fed nothing but kale. Instead, he makes himself a snug home in the ceiling of the New York Museum of Natural History, where he reads anything he get his hands on and explores the artifacts afterhours. But when a rare Egyptian ruby--the highlight of the museum's new exhibit--goes missing, John is accused of the crime. That is until the unpredictable Inspector Toadius McGee sweeps in to wrestle control of the case, certain that the true culprit is a notorious criminal he's been tracking for years. John quickly becomes the Watson to Toadius's Holmes as they race from Broadway to back alleys to a speak-easy that only serves root beer. And along the way, John uncovers secrets about his own past, including that he's a lot more involved in this web of endearing ne'er-do-wells than he ever could have imagined.
Field Guide to the Supernatural Universe
Field Guide to the Supernatural Universe by  Alyson Noël
When 12-year-old Max is sent to live with his eccentric grandfather for the summer, he finds himself on an unlikely quest to uncover an enchanted book that contains the key to defeating an unearthly nemesis.
Freestyle by  Gale Galligan
If you have a graphic novel fan in your life, Freestyle would make a perfect gift! From one of the illustrators of the popular Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel Series, this full-color graphic novel about friendship, dance, and middle school is sure to engage graphic novel fans. You may even want to include a yo-yo with this one! While preparing for the last major dance competition before they graduate from eighth grade and go to separate high schools in NYC, Cory must balance the expectations of his parents, school, crew and his new friend as pressure mounts from all sides
Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd
A heartwarming story infused with a dash of magic, Natalie Lloyd's tale of a girl searching for her best friend and a place to belong is sure to resonate with readers. When twelve-year-old homeschooler Olive, who suffers from brittle bone disease, finally attends in-person school, she soon discovers fitting in is not that easy. If she can find the magical wish-granting hummingbird that supposedly lives nearby and prove herself worthy, maybe it will grant her deepest wish.
Maizy Chen's Last Chance
Maizy Chen's Last Chance by Lisa Yee
Eleven-year-old Maizy Chen visits her estranged grandparents, who own and run a Chinese restaurant in Last Chance, Minnesota; as her visit lengthens, she makes unexpected discoveries about her family's history and herself.
Serwa Boateng's Guide to Vampire Hunting
Serwa Boateng's Guide to Vampire Hunting by  Roseanne A Brown
After her home is attacked by shapeshifting vampires, twelve-year-old Serwa Boateng is sent to live with her aunt and cousin in Maryland, but the aspiring vampire hunter discovers that middle school is harder than it appears on television, especially when she has to avoid detention and turn her classmates into warriors before they become vampire food.
The Daredevils
The Daredevils by Rob Buyea
Loretta and her twin brother, Waylon, are headed to middle school. Loretta has always been quick with her fists and her wits. Since Waylon is on the small side, Loretta doesn't let anyone mess with him. But now she worries he won't survive without her by his side. Her secret plan: bulk him up with muscle over the summer. Little does she know that Waylon has a plan of his own. He'll show his sister he can take care of himself. As each puts their strategy in motion, Loretta and Waylon spend the summer going into the woods behind their house, even sneaking there in the dead of night. That's where they first encounter Louie, who is about their age but noticeably bigger. Louie is homeschooled, he explains when Loretta gives him the third degree. Loretta, Waylon, and Louie soon fall into a comfortable friendship and continue their nightly forest adventures. When they unearth a mysterious box, the past collides with the present, propelling the trio on a quest that will forever change their lives.
The Girl in the Lake
The Girl in the Lake by  India Hill Brown
Celeste knows she should be excited to spend two weeks at her grandparents' lake house with her brother, Owen, and their cousins Capri and Daisy, but she's not. Bugs, bad cell reception, and the dark waters of the lake... no thanks. On top of that, she just failed her swim test and hates being in the water- it's terrifying. But her grandparents are strong believers in their family knowing how to swim, especially having grown up during a time of segregation at public pools. And soon strange things start happening-the sound of footsteps overhead late at night. A flickering light in the attic window. And Celete's cousins start accusing her of pranking them when she's been nowhere near them!
The Midnight Children
The Midnight Children by Dan Gemeinhart
When lonely Ravani Foster discovers his new friend Virginia and her six mysterious runaway companions are in danger, he must fight to keep them safe, or lose the only person who has ever understood him.
Thirst by  Varsha Bajaj
A heroic girl in Mumbai fights for her belief that water should be for everyone--|cProvided by publisher.
Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor
Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor by  Amanda Panitch
Of her two granddaughters, Grandma Yvette clearly prefers Ruby Taylor's perfect--and perfectly Jewish--cousin, Sarah. They do everything together, including bake cookies and have secret sleep overs that Ruby isn't invited to. Twelve-year-old Ruby suspects Grandma Yvette doesn't think she's Jewish enough. The Jewish religion is matrilineal, which means it's passed down from mother to child, and unlike Sarah, Ruby's mother isn't Jewish. But when Sarah starts acting out--trading in her skirts and cardigans for ripped jeans and stained t-shirts, getting in trouble at school--Ruby can't help but be somewhat pleased. Then Sarah suddenly takes things too far, and Ruby is convinced Sarah is possessed by a dybbuk, an evil spirit... that Ruby may or may not have accidentally released from Grandma Yvette's basement. Ruby is determined to save her cousin, but a dybbuk can only be expelled by a "pious Jew." If Ruby isn't Jewish enough for her own grandmother, how can she possibly be Jewish enough to fight a dybbuk?