Wolfner :: Recommended Readings :: Bibliographies of Missouri Books :: Youth Missouri Books

Youth Missouri Books


(Updated August 3, 2018)

Clicking on a link below will take you to a listing of books on that topic.


For Grades 4-7


11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass


After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2011-2012. For grades 4-7. 2009.


Albert Bond Lambert: Aviation Pioneer by Christopher Lynch


In the early twentieth century, Albert Lambert promoted St. Louis as a center for the new aviation industry. In 1923, he opened the St. Louis Flying Field, which later developed into Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Notable Missourians series. For grades 4-7. 2015.


All Four Stars by Tara Dairman


Eleven-year-old Gladys Gatsby loves food and cooking, so when she lands an assignment to write a restaurant review for a New York City newspaper, she will do anything to make it happen, even risk the wrath of her fast-food loving parents. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2016-2017. For grades 4-7. 2014.


All the Answers by Kate Messner


Twelve-year-old Ava finds an old pencil in her family's junk drawer and discovers, during a math test, that it will answer factual questions, so she and her best friend Sophie have a great time--and Ava grows in self-confidence--until the pencil reveals a truth about her family that Ava would rather not know. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2017-2018. For grades 4-7. 2015.


Alphonso Wetmore: Soldier, Adventurer, and Writer by Mary Barile


Alphonso Wetmore wanted adventure. He lost his arm in battle in the War of 1812, but stayed in the army and joined an expedition down the Missouri River. He was a trader on the Santa Fe Trail, and visited California. He wrote stories for newspapers and published a book about Missouri. For grades 4-7. 2015.


Andrew Taylor Still: Father of Osteopathic Medicine by Jason Haxton


This book deals with the struggles and successes of Dr. A.T. Still as he lived and developed osteopathic medicine. Dr. Still was a frontier man and lived through the Civil War. He was an abolitionist but still gave slavery supporters healthcare. Dr. A. T. Still eventually opened a medical school and a hospital located in Kirksville, Missouri. For grades 4-7. 2015.


Barn Boot Blues by Catherine Friend


When her parents swap urban life in Minneapolis for rural life on a farm 100 miles away, twelve-year-old Taylor feels as if she is living on another planet. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2013-2014. For grades 4-7. 2011.


Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea


Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by "rookie teacher" Mr. Terupt. Mr. Terupt series, book 1. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2012-2013. For grades 4-7. 2011.


Bravo Zulu, Samantha by Kathleen Duble


Decidedly unenthusiastic about spending part of her summer vacation with her grandparents, twelve-year-old Samantha is particularly upset by her prickly grandfather's secretive behavior and decides to find out what he is hiding. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2009-2010. For grades 4-7. 2007.


Buck O'Neil: Baseball's Ambassador by Jeff Gall


When Buck O'Neil started his professional baseball career in 1933, he played in the Negro Leagues, the only option available to him. In 1962, he became the first African American coach in major league baseball. For grades 4-7. 2016.


Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin


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. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2018-2019. For grades 4-7. 2016.


Crossing Over by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel


Feeling more comfortable with her developing skills as a medium, eighth-grader Kat looks forward to the class trip to Montreal but once there she finds herself confronted by a cast of all new ghosts and a host of other problems. Suddenly Supernatural series, book 4. For grades 4-7. 2010.


The Doublecross: (and Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy) by Jackson Pearce




Overweight and non-athletic, twelve-year-old Hale may have been born and raised to be a spy for the Sub Rosa Society but it seems he is unlikely to become a Field Agent until his parents are captured by the evil League and Hale sets out on a solo mission to save them. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2017-2018. For grades 4-7. 2015.



Drizzle by Katherine Van Cleve


When a drought threatens her family's magical rhubarb farm, eleven-year-old Polly tries to find a way to make it rain again. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2012-2013. For Grades 4-7. 2011.


Ella Ewing: The Missouri Giantess by Jason Offutt


At eight feet, 4 inches tall, Ella Kate Ewing was the tallest woman in the world while she lived. She grew up on a Missouri farm, but because of her height became famous, traveling far and wide as a circus performer. For grades 4-7. 2016.


Emmett Kelly: The Greatest Clown on Earth by Donald McManus


During the Great Depression, Emmett Kelly decided to be a different type of clown--a sad-faced clown who reminded people of their struggles, but still made them laugh. His clown character, Weary Willie, inspired people to keep going during hard times. He became the most famous clown in the world. For grades 4-7. 2014.


Faith, Hope and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


During a student exchange program, seventh-graders Ivy June and Catherine share their lives, homes, and communities, and find that although their lifestyles are total opposites they have a lot in common. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2011-2012. For grades 4-7. 2009.


The Familiars by Adam Epstein


Three young wizards-in-training are kidnapped by an evil queen and their familiars--Aldwyn the alley cat, Skylar, a know-it-all blue jay, and Gilbert a tree frog who can see the future--set out on a dangerous journey to rescue the boys. The Familiars series, book 1. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2012-2013. For grades 4-7. 2010.


Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton


Twelve-year-old Frankie Joe Huckaby, forced to live with the father he never knew, a stepmother, and four half-brothers in Illinois, starts a delivery service to finance his escape back to his mother in Texas, not realizing he is making a better life for himself than he ever had with her. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2014-2015. For grades 4-7. 2012.


Helen Stephens: The Fulton Flash by Jason Offutt


Helen Stephens was a remarkable athlete who broke world records and won two gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. For grades 4-7. 2014.


In Front of God and Everybody: Confessions of April Grace by Kathaleen McCrite


On the summer of 1986, eleven-year-old April Grace, who lives on a rural Arkansas farm with her family, across a field from her grandmother, has her sense of Christian charity tested when a smooth couple from San Francisco moves in a dilapidated house down the road and her grandmother takes up with a loud, obnoxious, and suspicious-acting Texan. For grades 4-7. 2011.


Jean Jennings Bartik: Computer Pioneer by Kim D. Todd


At a time when many people thought women could not work in technical fields like science and mathematics, Jean Bartik became one of the world's first computer programmers. For grades 4-7. 2015.


Jeffrey Deroine: Ioway Translator, Frontier Diplomat by Greg Olson


While traveling with his master, a fur trader, slave Jeffrey Deroine met and worked with Native American groups, making many friends and learning five languages. A friend bought his freedom so he could work as a translator. He translated for the Ioway as they negotiated treaties with the government, traveled to Europe with the Ioway and met many famous people, including kings and queens. For grades 4-7. 2015.


Joseph Kinney, Steamboat Captain by Maryellen McVicker


Joseph Kinney grew up on the Ohio River watching riverboats. He always wanted to be a riverboat captain, so he worked and saved his money until he was able to buy a steamboat. For grades 4-7. 2014.


Loot by Jude Watson


When Alfie McQuinn, the notorious jewel thief, is killed on a job, his last words to his son, March, are to "find jewels" and this instruction leads the boy to Jules, the twin sister he never knew he had--and the perfect partner to carry on the family business. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2016-2017. For grades 4-7. 2014.


Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur


While living with her Gram in Vermont, eleven-year-old Aubrey writes letters as a way of dealing with losing her father and sister in a car accident, and then being abandoned by her grief-stricken mother. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2011-2012. For grades 4-6. 2009.


Marie Meyer Fower: Barnstormer by Christine Montgomery


When Marie Meyer got her pilot's license in 1921, she was one of the first women in Missouri to qualify to fly an airplane. But Marie was not just a pilot, she was a barnstormer and wing-walker. For grades 4-7. 2015.


A Million Ways Home by Dianna Dorisi-Winget


When her grandmother and guardian suffers a stroke, twelve-year-old Poppy Parker's life turns upside down--but when she witnesses a murder and has to go into witness protection with Detective Brannigan's mother it becomes hard to believe she will ever find a way home, let alone save Gunner, a beautiful German shepherd with an uncertain future. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2016-2017. For grades 4-7. 2014.


Mr. Terupt Falls Again by Rob Buyea


Several students relate their experiences helping Mr. Terupt move the old classroom to the sixth grade annex during the summer vacation. Mr. Terupt series, book 2. For grades 4-7. 2012.


Olive Boone: Frontier Woman by Greta Russell


Olive Boone lived in Missouri in the early 1800s. Her husband, Nathan, was often away on hunting and trading trips, leaving her to maintain the family farm and raise their fourteen children alone. She helped her family survive and prosper on the dangerous American frontier. For grades 4-7. 2014.


The Only Game by Mike Lupica


Sixth grade is supposed to be the year that Jack Callahan would lead his team to a record-shattering season and the Little League World Series, but after the death of his brother he loses interest in baseball and only Cassie, star of the girls' softball team, seems to understand. Home Team series, book 1. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2017-2018. For grades 4-7. 2015.


Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway


In a world where everyone possesses magical abilities, powerless twelve-year-old Abby, an Ordinary, is sent to a special school to learn how to negotiate a magical world with her un-magical "disability"--and to avoid becoming a victim of kidnappers, carnivores, and goblins ready to prey upon the Ords. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2014-2015. For grades 4-7. 2012.


Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel


Propelled from coolest to lamest after trying to kiss Tom Lemmings, Lucy tries to navigate the social hierarchy of fourth grade. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2016-2017. For grades 4-7. 2014.


Pinch Hit by Tim Green


When movie star Trevor and regular Little League player Sam discover that they are identical twins who were separated at birth, they decide to trade places for a while so that Sam can live the Hollywood life and Trevor can play baseball. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2014-2015. For grades 4-7. 2012.


The Privateer's Apprentice by Susan Verrico


From Charles Towne, Carolina Territory, in 1712, thirteen-year-old Jameson Cooper, orphaned and indigent, is abducted by privateers working for Queen Anne but proves himself worthy to be called a royal sailor through his writing and drawing skills, as well as his hard work and courage. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2013-2014. For grades 4-7. 2012.


Sam Nightingale: Slave, Storyteller, and Conjure Man by Mary Barile


Sam Nightingale was a slave who moved to Boonville, MO after the Civil War. He became a healer, using old African traditions to help people who were sick. He was also a wonderful storyteller, and known for using magic. Notable Missourians Series. For grades 4-7. 2014.


Saving Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea


The kids from Mr. Terupt's fifth- and sixth-grade classes are entering their first year of junior high school. There's a lot to be excited about, but there are new challenges, too. Everyone is missing Mr. Terupt. When a fight threatens to break up the group forever, they think their favorite teacher is the only one who can help them. But the kids soon find out that it's Mr. Terupt who needs saving. Mr. Terupt series, book 3. For grades 4-7. 2016.


Scaredy Kat by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel


Middle school medium Kat is uncertain about how or whether to use her budding gifts when she and her friend Jac decide to search an abandoned house for a missing boy. Suddenly Supernatural series, book 2. For grades 4-7. 2009.


School Spirit by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel


Like her mother, a professional medium, Kat has been able to see dead people since turning thirteen, and although they would prefer to be normal, Kat and her best friend come to terms with their own talents while helping free the spirit of a girl trapped at their middle school. Suddenly Supernatural series, book 1. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2010-2011. For grades 4-7. 2010.


The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell


Ten-year-old Christina lives a sheltered life until she discovers a secret tunnel, an evil plot to enslave orphans, and a mysterious source of energy known as zoom. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2011-2012. For grades 4-7. 2009.


The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner


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. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2018-2019. For grades 4-7. 2016.


Stan Musial: Baseball Hero by James N. Giglio


Stan Musial was one of the greatest baseball hitters of all time. The records he set may be broken, but nobody will ever forget his devotion to baseball, his friendliness and endless good spirits, and his love of people. It is with good reason that Stan Musial is still known affectionately as Stan the Man. For grades 4-7. 2015.


Storm Chaser by Chris Platt


When a fire forces her family to turn their home into a guest ranch, aspiring horse trainer Jessica finds herself working once again with her favorite horse, Storm Chaser, to tame the wild filly for snobbish, spoiled Ariel, Storm Chaser's future owner. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2011-2012. For grades 4-7. 2009.


The Story of Jonas by Maurine F. Dahlberg


In the mid-1800s, a slave boy dreams of escaping to freedom while on a journey from Missouri to the gold fields of Kansas Territory with his master's ne'er-do-well son. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2009-2010. For grades 4-7. 2007.


The Shadow Collector's Apprentice by Amy Gordon


In the summer of 1963, after his father has inexplicably disappeared leaving Cully with his three eccentric aunts on their barely profitable apple farm, Cully goes to work for a mysterious antiques dealer who has the strange hobby of collecting shadows. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2014-2015. For grades 4-7. 2012.


Unhappy Medium by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel


Kat accompanies her best friend Jac to a musicians' conference at the Whispering Pines Mountain House, where she works to free the spirit of a dead medium and helps Jac resolve a serious conflict. Suddenly  Supernatural series, book 3. For grades 4-7. 2009.


Unstoppable by Tim Green


Upon going to the doctor for a routine knee injury, foster child and aspiring NFL athlete Harrison learns that he has bone cancer. Truman Award Nominee, 2014-2015. For grades 4-7. 2012.


The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann


In a society that purges thirteen-year-olds who are creative, identical twins Aaron and Alex are separated, one to attend University while the other, supposedly Eliminated, finds himself in a wondrous place where youths hone their abilities and learn magic. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2013-2014. For grades 4-7. 2011.


The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore


Moving into an inherited mansion in Maine with their mother and stroke-afflicted father, three siblings uncover a mystery involving hidden passageways, family rivalries, and healing waters. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2015-2016. For grades 4-7. 2013.


Webster: Tale of an Outlaw by Ellen Emerson White


When Webster the dog arrives at Green Meadows Farm he has already been adopted, mistreated, and given away three times and is done with people, but the other animals of the shelter will not let him give up on the possibility of a special family. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2017-2018. For grades 4-7. 2015.


The White Gates by Bonnie Ramthun


When his mother becomes the doctor in Snow Park, Colorado, twelve-year-old Tor learns of a curse placed on the town's doctors many years before by an eccentric Ute woman, but suspects that a villain is hiding behind that curse. Truman Award Nominee, 2010-2011. For grades 4-7. 2011.


Will at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863 by Laurie Calkhoven


In 1863, twelve-year-old Will, who longs to be a drummer in the Union army, is stuck in his sleepy hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, but when the Union and Confederate armies meet right there in his town, he and his family are caught up in the fight. Includes historical notes, glossary, and a timeline of events. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2013-2014. For grades 4-7. 2011.


William Clark: Explorer and Diplomat by Jeffrey Smith


William Clark was best known as an explorer who mapped the Louisiana Territory, but he was also in charge of Indian affairs in the territory and governor of the Missouri Territory before Missouri was a state. A Notable Missourians book. For grades 4-7. 2016.