Missouri Award Books


September 2018


This recommended reading list contains the current year's list of nominees for the MASL Readers Awards and the MLA Building Block Awards. 


To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through WolfPAC. Identification numbers for braille books begin with BR, large print books begin with LP, and audiobooks begin with DB or DBC. All audiobooks are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) for downloading.


Building Block Award Nominees


Barnacle is Bored by Jonathan Fenske


1 volume of Print/Braille in UEB.


40 pages.

Barnacle is bored by the monotony of the tides, and envies the fish who swim freely--until an eel comes along. For preschool-grade 2. 2016.    


Carrot and Pea: An Unlikely Friendship by Morag Hood      


1 volume of Print/Braille in UEB.


32 pages.

In this spare, funny picture book about diversity and friendship, a carrot in a crowd of peas just doesn’t fit in. For preschool-grade 2. 2017.           


Everybunny Dance! by Ellie Sandall


1 volume of Print/Braille in UEB.


32 pages.

Bunnies dance, play, sing, and learn to include everyone in their games. For preschool-grade 2. 2017.            


The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 3 minutes.


32 pages.

Rabbit arrives home one day to hear a loud voice coming from inside his burrow: "I'm the Giant Jumperee and I'm scary as can be!" shouts the stranger. Rabbit's friends Cat, Bear, and Elephant come to help, but they're no match for the mysterious, booming voice. But who is the Giant Jumperee? For preschool-grade 2. 2017.


Go Sleep in Your Own Bed by Candace Fleming


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 7 minutes.

When Pig plops into his sty at bedtime, he finds Cow sleeping there and must send her off to her stall, setting off a chain reaction of animals being awakened to move to their own beds. For preschool-grade 2. 2017.


A Good Day for a Hat by T. Nat Fuller


32 pages.

This is a picture book for very young children about having just the right hat, no matter what the occasion. For preschool-grade 2. 2017.           


I Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards


32 pages.

A little girl and her new puppy get to know one another. For preschool-grade 2. 2017.         


Plankton is Pushy by Jonathan Fenske


1 volume of Print/Braille in UEB.


40 pages.

Plankton tries hard to get Mister Mussel to return a friendly greeting, but when Mussel finally opens his mouth the results are unfortunate for Plankton. For preschool-grade 2. 2017.            


Pug Meets Pig by Sue Lowell Gallion


1 volume of Print/Braille in UEB.


32 pages.

An unlikely pair—a pug and a pig—realize that it’s better to be together in this charming picture book. Pug & Pig series, book 1. For preschool-grade 2. 2016.   


Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin


1 volume of Print/Braille in UEB.


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 8 minutes.


32 pages.

Little monkey will not get out of bed, so the doctor prescribes some exercise, and monkey learns to dance. For preschool-grade 2. 2017.    


Show Me Readers Award Nominees


A Bike Like Sergio's by Maribeth Boelts


Read by Gary Pool. Reading time: 10 minutes.

When Ruben, who longs to have a bike like his friend Sergio's but his family cannot afford, finds money in a grocery store, he has to make a tough decision about what to do with it. For grades K-3. 2016.


Diana's White House Garden by Elisa Lynn Carbone


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 20 minutes.

It's 1943, and the White House is busy with the war effort. Diana Hopkins only wants to help, but doesn't know what a ten-year-old can do - until the Roosevelts come up with the idea of Victory Gardens, and Diana suddenly has the important job of Victory Gardener for the White House. For grades K-3. 2016.


Good Night, Bat! Good Morning, Squirrel! by Paul Meisel


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 9 minutes.

A lonely bat thinks he has found a perfect home until he discovers that its already inhabited by a persnickety squirrel. They begin exchanging notes, which leads to an Opposites-attract friendship that shows how to find common ground despite outward differences. For preschool-grade 2. 2016.


Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

DB 89865

Read by Jill Frutkin. Reading time: 9 minutes.

Reluctant reader Madeline really wants to earn a star at school, so when Miss Dimple, the librarian, suggests she read to a dog named Bonnie, Madeline gives it a try.  For grades K-3. 2016.


Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan

DB 89176

Read by Christina Moore. Reading time: 10 minutes.

Following the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, a steel beam from the destroyed World Trade Center was given to the United States Navy and subsequently used to create the bow for the warship USS New York. For grades 3-6. 2017. 


Who Wants a Tortoise? by David Keane


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 14 minutes.

Expecting a dog for her birthday, a girl is upset and furious when she gets a tortoise instead, but soon learns that even a tortoise can be a good pet. For preschool-grade 2. 2016.


Mark Twain Award Nominees


Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin


Read by Theresa Sullivan. Reading time: 8 hours, 16 minutes.

Thyme Owens moves across the country with her family so her younger brother can take part in a promising cancer drug trial, and though all she wants is for him to get better, adjusting to like in Manhattan is anything but easy. For grades 4-7. 2016.  


Framed!: A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery by James Ponti


Read by Pam Masters. Reading time: 5 hours, 20 minutes.

Florian has just moved to Washington, D.C. He's learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things, a technique he invented to solve life's little mysteries. But when he teaches it to his new friend, Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn't little. Not little at all, but part of a much bigger picture! For grades 3-6. 2016.


Ghost by Jason Reynolds

BR 21669

2 volumes of braille in UEB.

DB 85921

Read by Jon Pinnow. Reading time: 3 hours, 50 minutes.

Aspiring to be the fastest sprinter on his city's elite track team, gifted runner Ghost finds his goal challenged by a tragic past with an abusive, alcoholic father. For grades 5-8. 2016.      


Maxi's Secrets (Or, What You Can Learn from a Dog) by Lynn Plourde

BR 21794

2 volumes of braille in UEB.

DB 86948

Read by Nona Pipes. Reading time: 6 hours, 38 minutes.

Timminy is reluctant to leave Portland behind and move to the country. As a consolation prize, however, he gains Maxi, a gentle giant of a dog who the family quickly discovers is deaf. Maxi changes Timminy's life forever. For grades 4-7. 2016.


Moo by Sharon Creech

DB 86221

Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 2 hours, 30 minutes.

When her parents find themselves unemployed, twelve-year-old Reena and her family move to a coastal Maine town. Unsure what to expect, Reena is surprised that her parents volunteered her to help on an elderly lady's farm filled with crazy animals, including an ornery cow named Zora. For grades 3-6. 2016.      


Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

DB 85227

Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 3 hours, 41 minutes.

Relates how the lives of four ethnically diverse children living in different parts of the country intersect and are affected by the events of September 11, 2001. For grades 4-7. 2016.


Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks

DB 84498

Read by Josh Hurley and Vikas Adam. Reading time: 4 hours, 1 minute.

Two very different boys, Ravi and Joe, discover they have something in common the first week of fifth grade: a bully. The duo plot to take back control of their lives and become friends in the process. For grades 3-6. 2016.


The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner


Read by Mary Beth Broughton. Reading time: 5 hours, 3 minutes.

Unsure of how to get her family's attention, Charlie comes across the surprise of her life one day while ice-fishing...in the form of a floppy, scaly fish offering to grant her a wish in exchange for its freedom. For grades 4-7.   2016.


Soar by Joan Bauer

BR 21759

2 volumes of braille in UEB.

DB 83449

Read by Michael Crouch. Reading time: 5 hours, 37 minutes.

When his adoptive father accepts a temporary job in Hillcrest, Ohio, twelve-year-old Jeremiah is determined to coach his middle school's baseball team. As a heart transplant recipient, he can't play, but Jeremiah doesn't let that slow him down in pursuing his coaching dreams. For grades 5-8. 2016. 


Unbound: A Novel in Verse by Ann E. Burg


Read by Bella Lyskowski. Reading time: 2 hours, 48 minutes.

The day nine-year-old Grace is called to work in the kitchen in the Big House, everyone warns her to keep her head down and her thoughts to herself; but the more she sees of the oppressive Master and his hateful wife, the more she questions things until one day her thoughts escape--and to avoid being separated she and her family flee into the Dismal Swamp, to join the other escaped slaves who live there. For grades 3-6. 2018.  


When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

DB 84701

Read by Paul Griffin. Reading time: 5 hours, 21 minutes.

Seventh-grader Ben, always an outsider, is led into a deep friendship with Halley--who is being treated for cancer--by the special dog he and his adoptive mother take in. For grades 5-8. 2016.    


Truman Readers Award Nominees


Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

DB 86201

Read by Miriam Volle. Reading time: 5 hours, 48 minutes.

Thirteen-year-old Claire feels like her life is cursed, but things get much worse when her beloved father suddenly falls over with a stroke at breakfast, and her world quickly changes. For grades 6-9. 2016.


The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

DB 85885

Read by Thérèse Plummer. Reading time: 13 hours, 8 minutes.

Every twelve years in a quiet city on an idyllic world, the residents break out in bloody chaos. In the aftermath, the population undergoes the Forgetting, in which they are left without any trace of memory of themselves, their families, or their lives. Unrated. For senior high and older readers. 2016.


The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 5 hours, 55 minutes.

Years after surviving the attack that ended her mother's life and caused her missing father to become the prime suspect, Olivia learns that her father also died on the fateful day, a discovery that compels her to search for the killer before she becomes the next victim. For junior and senior high. 2016.


Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

DB 84303

Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 7 hours, 35 minutes.

At first, twelve-year-old Carol is not happy to be spending the summer helping her parents move her grandfather to an assisted-living home, but as the summer wears on, she finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by his amazing stories. For grades 5-8. 2016.      


Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

DB 84488

Read by Ryan Gesell and Michael Crouch. Reading time: 8 hours, 50 minutes.

Lily Jo, born Timothy, knows she is a girl, but it's difficult to get people to understand that in eighth grade, especially her father. New kid Norbert is bipolar and keeps a secret. The two find acceptance with each other and forge a special friendship. For grades 6-9. 2016.


Mayday by Karen Harrington

DB 85905

Read by Andy Pyle. Reading time: 8 hours, 4 minutes.

Twelve-year-old Wayne Kovok loses his uncle to war and his voice to a plane crash in the same year. He must learn to communicate differently as he navigates relationships with his estranged father, his grandfather, and his new friend Denny Rosenblatt. For grades 5-8. 2016.    


Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz

DB 86730

Read by Dan Bittner. Reading time: 7 hours, 2 minutes.

1943. Thirteen-year-old Michael O'Shaunessey, son of the Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany in Berlin, is also a spy for the British Secret Service. After joining the Hitler Youth, Michael stumbles on Projekt 1065. Suddenly, his situation becomes a lot more dangerous. For grades 6-9. 2016.   


Ruined by Amy Tintera

DB 85795

Read by Julie-Ann Elliott. Reading time: 9 hours, 45 minutes.

Left with nothing after her parents are slain in Ruina, Emelina Flores is determined to get revenge. Her cunning plan is to infiltrate the enemy's kingdom, pose as the crown prince's betrothed, and to find her kidnapped sister. Violence. For senior high and older readers. 2016.  


Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught


Read by Shelley Swoyer. Reading time: 9 hours, 1 minute.

A family mystery leads Dani Beans to investigate the secrets of Ole Miss and the dark history of race relations in Oxford, Mississippi. For grades 5-8. 2016.


Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

BR 21845

3 volumes of braille in UEB.

DB 84429

Read by Emily Rankin. Reading time: 6 hours, 57 minutes.

Twelve-year-old Annabelle must learn to stand up for what's right in the face of a manipulative and violent new bully who targets people Annabelle cares about, including Toby, a homeless World War I veteran. For grades 5-8. 2016.     


Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

BR 21400

4 volumes of braille in UEB.

DB 84039

Read by Julie-Ann Elliott. Reading time: 11 hours, 5 minutes.

Eight years after being kidnapped from the Governor's Mansion in Virginia, Addie Webster resurfaces to take her place by her family's side in the White House. Eventually, everyone suspects she is hiding something, including her friend Darrow. Some violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2016.     


Gateway Readers Award Nominees


All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton

DB 87007

Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 6 hours, 36 minutes.

One of five living survivors from aboard the USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor surprise attack in 1941, Donald Stratton recounts his harrowing escape from the burning ship amid enemy fire, his ultimate recovery, and his determination to return to the fight. Violence. 2016.   


Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson


Read by Mary Beth Broughton. Reading time: 8 hours.

Amy and her cousin Dee were kidnapped six years ago, and when Amy finds her way home, she's desperate to protect the ones she loves at any cost. Some strong language and some violence. For senior high readers. 2016. 


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

DB 86277

Read by Rebecca Soler. Reading time: 14 hours, 36 minutes.


695 pages.

Cath would rather open a bakery and marry for love than accept a proposal from the King of Hearts, especially after meeting the handsome and mysterious court jester. For senior high and older readers. 2016.     


Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

DB 85878

Read by Jorjeana Marie and Robbie Daymond. Reading time: 9 hours, 5 minutes.


531 pages.

When Libby, who happens to be overweight, and Jack, who has trouble recognizing faces, get tangled up in a cruel high-school game, they end up in counseling and detention--and the result surprises them both. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex.  For senior high and older readers. 2016.    


The Memory Book by Lara Avery

DB 85066

Read by Casey Holloway. Reading time: 7 hours, 52 minutes.

When a rare genetic disorder steals away her memories and her health, teenager Sammie records notes in a journal to her future self, documenting moments great and small. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.   For senior high and older readers. 2016.     


My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand

DB 85390

Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 12 hours, 2 minutes.

When sixteen-year-old Edward, King of England, learns that he is dying, he plans to marry off his cousin Jane to secure their noble line. However, the groom-to-be turns into a horse by day, and the trio is drawn into a dangerous plot. For senior high and older readers. 2016.     


Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

DB 83767

Read by Michael Crouch, Will Damron, Jorjeana Marie, and Cassandra Morris. Reading time: 8 hours, 50 minutes.


499 pages.

Toward the end of World War II, thousands of refugees desperately trek toward freedom. During this time, the paths of four very different young adults converge aboard the ship Wilhelm Gustloff. Some violence and some strong language. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2016.      


Scythe by Neal Shusterman

DB 86810

Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 12 hours, 33 minutes.

In a future world where natural death has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed or gleaned by professional reapers known as scythes. Teens Citra and Rowan are chosen for a scythe apprenticeship--a position neither of them wants. Arc of a Scythe series, book 1.  For senior high and older readers. 2016.


The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

DB 83873

Read by Michael Crouch, Ari Meyers, and Ethan Sawyer. Reading time: 9 hours, 9 minutes.

In rural Tennessee, musician Dill, the son of a frequently imprisoned Pentecostal preacher, and his two outcast friends struggle to remain true to themselves as they contemplate their futures during their final year of high school. Violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2016. 


The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon     

BR 21806

3 volumes of braille in UEB.

DB 86028

Read by Dominic Hoffman, Raymond Lee, and Bahni Turpin. Reading time: 8 hours, 10 minutes.


439 pages.

Natasha, a girl of science and facts, and Daniel, a good son and student, meet by chance at the worst possible time, but they believe there is something extraordinary in store for both of them. Strong language and descriptions of sex. For senior high and older readers. 2016.     


Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

DB 84902

Read by Mare Trevathan. Reading time: 8 hours, 7 minutes.

Teen child of a congressman, Riley, who identifies as a girl on some days and a boy on others, blogs anonymously about being gender-fluid. After being exposed as the author, Riley's life becomes even more complicated. Some violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2016.      


Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum


Read by Patty Lockenvitz. Reading time: 10 hours, 33 minutes.

Sixteen-year old Jessie, still grieving over her mother's death, must move from Chicago to "The Valley," with a new stepfamily but no new friends until an anonymous fellow student emails and offers to help her navigate the school's treacherous social waters. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. For senior high and older readers.     


Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

DB 86706

Read by Patricia Kilgarriff. Reading time: 10 hours.

Triplets Mirabella, Katharine, and Arsinoe, equal heirs to the crown, possess unique magical abilities, but only one has a chance of becoming the crowned queen. Once they turn sixteen, the sisters must battle each other for the throne. Three Dark Crowns series, book 1. For senior high and older readers. 2016.  


When We Collided by Emery Lord

BR 21729

3 volumes of braille in UEB.

DB 86607

Read by Elizabeth Evans and Raviv Ullman. Reading time: 8 hours, 22 minutes.

After the death of his father, seventeen-year-old Jonah struggles to hold his family and their restaurant together. Vivi, a new summer resident in Verona Cove, tempts him with her vibrant personality, but she harbors her own secrets. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2016.