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TEENS

Truman Readers Award

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The Truman Readers Award encourages students in the early teen years to express their unique voice through exploring new literary genres, communicating with their peers about young adult literature, and honoring authors writing for young teens. Missouri school children in middle school/junior high vote for their favorite book from a list of nominated titles. The Truman Readers Award is awarded to the author of this book by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

2021 Winner

Not if I Save You First
Not if I Save You First
by Ally Carter

Six years ago Maddie lived in Washington D.C. with her father, a Secret Service agent assigned to the President's family, and her best friend was Logan, the President's son; but after her father was wounded in an attempted kidnapping the two of them moved to a remote cabin in Alaska and Logan never replied to her letters-- but now he has suddenly turned up on her doorstep, and, while she has no intention of forgiving him for his silence, she soon realizes that first she has to save him from the winter wilderness and the men who are pursuing him.

Truman Award Nominees 2021-2022

Free Lunch
Free Lunch
by  Rex Ogle

A distinctive new voice: Rex Ogle's story of starting middle school on the free lunch program is timely, heartbreaking, and true. Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle's first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school's free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex's is a compelling story of a more profound hunger -- that of a child for his parents' love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a 6th-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.

Genesis Begins Again
Genesis Begins Again
by  Alicia Williams

Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family's troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.

Other Words for Home
Other Words for Home
by  Jasmine Warga

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative's home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.

Right as Rain
Right as Rain
by  Lindsey Stoddard

It's been almost a year since Rain's brother Guthrie died, and her parents still don't know it was all Rain's fault. In fact, no one does--Rain buried her secret deep, no matter how heavy it weighs on her heart. So when her mom suggests moving the family from Vermont to New York City, Rain agrees. But life in the big city is different. She's never seen so many people in one place--or felt more like an outsider. With her parents fighting more than ever and the anniversary of Guthrie's death approaching, Rain is determined to keep her big secret close to her heart. But even she knows that when you bury things deep, they grow up twice as tall.

The Bone Houses
The Bone Houses
by  Emily Lloyd-Jones

When risen corpses called 'bone houses' threaten Ryn's village because of a decades-old curse, she teams up with a mapmaker named Ellis to solve the mystery of the curse and destroy the bone houses forever.

The Crossover
The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander Illustrated by  Dawud Anyabwile

Thirteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

The Line Tender
The Line Tender
by  Kate Allen

Following a tragedy that further alters the course of her life, twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart decides to continue the shark research her marine biologist mother left unfinished when she died years earlier.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
by Dan Gemeinhart

Twelve-year-old Coyote and her father rush to Poplin Springs, Washington, in their old school bus to save a memory box buried in a park that will soon be demolished.

The Unteachables
The Unteachables
by Gordon Korman

"Told in alternating voices, the teacher and students in room 117 find their lives changed over the course of a school year."

Verify
Verify
by Joelle Charbonneau

When Meri Beckley looks at the peaceful Chicago streets, she feels pride in the era of unprecedented hope and prosperity over which the governor presides. But when her mother is killed, Meri suddenly has questions that no one else seems to be asking. And when she tries to uncover her mother's state of mind in her last weeks, she finds herself drawn into a secret world with a history she didn't know existed. Faced with a choice between accepting the 'truth' or embracing a world the government doesn't want anyone to see, the wrong words can get Meri killed.