Mark Twain Books

Mark Twain Award Nominees 2016-2017

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler

Auggie Jones lives with her grandpa gus, a trash hauler in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate's father starts the House Beautification Committee, it's homes like Auggie's that are deemed "in violation". But Auggie is determined to prove that there's more to her and her house than meets the eye. What starts out as a home renovation project quickly becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had and redefine a whole town's perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.


Rain Reign by Ann Martin

Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She is thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reigh, Rein ),which, according to Rose's rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose's obsessions, her rules, and other things that make her different - not her teachers not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose's father shouldn't have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

Pennyroyal Academy  by M.A. Larson 

A girl from the forest arrives in a bustling kingdom with no name and no idea why she is there, only to find herself at the center of a world at war. She enlists at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights are trained to battle the two great menaces of the day:witches and dragons. There, given the name "Evie" , she must endure a harsh training regimen under the steel glare of her Fairy Drill sergeant, while also navigating an entirely new worked of friends and enemies. As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes surprising things about herself and her family, about human compassion and in human cruelty. And with the witch forces moving nearer, she discovers that the war between princesses and witches is much more personal that she could ever have imagined.

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she's eleven and after a creme brulee accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She's devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she's mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world. But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth grade archenemy and sneak into New York City ---all the while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?

A Million Ways Home  by Dianna Dorisi-Winget

Poppy's life has been turned upside down after her grandma (and guardian) had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. But Poppy is working on a plan to help Grandma Beth so their life together can go back to normal. When she witnesses an armed robbery, "back to normal" slips even further out of her reach. To keep Poppy safe, the budget-strapped police devise an unusual "witness protection program," wherein Poppy will stay with Detective Branningan's mother. Soon Poppy is feeling almost at home, even making sort-of friends with a girl named Lizzie and definitely befriending Gunner, a beautiful dog with an uncertain fate. But it's still not home. So while she and Lizzie navigates rocky friendship and plot to save Gunner's life. Poppy also tries to figure out a new plan to save Grandma Beth and their home, all the while avoiding a dangerous robber who might be searching for her. But what if Grandma Beth can never come home and the robber is put behind bars? What will happen to Poppy then?


 Zane and the Hurricane  by Rodman Philbrick

Zane Dupree is a charismatic 12-year-old boy visiting a relative in New Orleans when Hurrican Katrina hits. Unexpectedly seperated from all family, Zane and his dog experience the terror of Katrina' wind, rain, and horrific flooding. Facing death, they are rescued from an attic air vent by a kind, elderly musician and a scrappy youn girl. the chaos that ensues as storm water drowns the city, shelter and food vanish and police contribute to a dangerous frightening atmosphere, creates a page-turning tale that completely engrosses their leader. Based on the facts of the worst hurricane disaster in U. S history. Here is an unforgettable novel of heroism in the face of tuly challenging circumstances

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord 

When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her---he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to enter anonymously. She want to find out if her eye for photography is really special--or only good enough. As she seeks out subjects for her photos, Lucy gets to know Nate, the boy next door. But slowly the camera reveals what Nate doesn't want to see: his grandmother's memory is slipping away, and with it much of what he cherishes about his summers on the lake. This summer, Nate will learn about the power of art to show truth. And Lucy will learn how beauty can change lives...including her own.


 Lootby Jude Watson 

When master jewel thief Alfie McQuinn dies, his stashed set of clues and cryptic last words to March, his 12-year old son and apprentice, mark the beginning of a race against time. The first clue leads March to discover his twin sister, Jules, a traveling circus acrobat. Tossed into a group home, they meet Darius, a juvenile delinquent with a soft spot for Izzy, a code-cracking hacker. The four join forces, busting out of the home and into a series of high-stakes heists to reclaim seven cursed moonstone gems once stolen by Alfie. The reward promised is a sizzling seven million bucks, enough to set them up with the home Alfie never lived to realize. The problem? There's a curse on the twins, prophesied to culminate before their thirteenth birthday in the coming week.

Space Case  by Stuart Gibbs

Here's a whodunit set on the moon. The sudden, mysterious death of Moon Base Alpha's physician threatens the entire underfunded lunar-colonization program. Worse, though the base commander and her NASA superiors insist it was an accident , an overheard conversation leads 12-year old Dashiell to suspect that it was nothing of the sort. Shrugging off hostility from the powers that be and even an anonymous threat, he enlists the aid of a pair of tech-savvy peers and - encouraged by an oddly elusive new arrival-goes digging. Ultimately, the investigation culminates in a suspenseful murder attempt out on the lunar surface, followed by a game-changing revelation

 Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel 

Lucy finds herself trapped in Dorkdom, where a diamond ring turns your finger green, where your best friend laughs as you cry, where parents seem to stop liking you, and where baby sisters are born different. Now Lucy has a choice:she can be like her former best friend Becky, who would do anything to claim herseat at the cool table in the cafeteria, or Lucy can pull up a chair among the solo eaters - also know as the dirks. Still unsure, Lucy partners with super quiet Sam Righter on a research project about wolves. Lucy connects her own school hierarchy with what she learns about animal pack life - where some wolves pin down weaker ones just because they can, and others risk everything to fight their given place in the pack. Soon Lucy finds her third option:creating a pack of her own, even if it is simply a pack of dorks.

Red Berries White Clouds Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas

It's 1942 Tomi Itano, 12, is a second generation Japanese American who lives in California with her family on their strawberry farm. Although her parents came from Japan and her grandparents still live there. Tomi considers herself an American. Shes doesn't speak Japanese and has never been to Japan. But after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, things change. No Japs Allowed signs hang in store windows and Tomi's family is ostracized. Things get much worse. Suspected as a spy, Tomi's father is taken away. The rest of the Itano family is sent to an internment camp in Colorado. Many other Japanese American families face a similar fate. Tomi becomes bitter, wondering how her country could treat her and her family like the enemy. What does she need to do to prove she is an honorable American?


 The Missing Pieces of Me  by Jean Van Leeuwen

More than anything , ten year old Weezie wants to please her momma. She babysits her spoiled half-sister, Ruth Ann, and little Jackson. She makes tea for Momma in Gramma Emmeline's beautiful teapot. She even tries to cook dinner. But nothing turns out quite right. And Momma is never pleased. Hard times and a daddy who ran off before she was born seem to have stolen all of Momma's love. If only Weezie could find her daddy, she's sure her life would be happier. Tired of making up stories about a parent she knows nothing about. Weezie teams up with her bike-riding buddy, Calvin, and new friend Louella to find her mysterious father. Does he drive a truck? Sing country and western songs? Why, her real daddy might even be better than the made-up father she's been telling lies about at school. Now all she has to do is find him.

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