Mark Twain Award Books

Mark twain award nominees 2019-2020

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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

by Dusti Bowling

Born without arms, white “problem-solving ninja” Aven Green can do almost anything with her feet instead—even solve a mystery. “Now that I'm thirteen years old, I don't need much help with anything. True story.” Aven's adoptive parents have always encouraged her independence.

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One for Sorrow

One for Sorrow

by Mary Downing Hahn

Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie's friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

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Real Friends

Real Friends

by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

Shannon thought she was going to hate school, but when she got to kindergarten she became best friends with Adrienne. She loved school so much just because of Adrienne. Until…. Adrienne became friends with Jenn, too. Shannon wants Adrienne back really bad, she would do anything for that. But then Jenn’s group starts bullying Shannon. Shannon tries to change but that just makes things worse. Now Shannon doesn’t know if Adrienne even wants to be friends with her anymore.

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Halfway Normal

Halfway Normal

by Barbara Dee

Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. She knows it’ll be tricky–but like the Greek mythological characters she read about while she was sick, Norah’s up for any challenge.
But seventh grade turns out to be trickier than she thought. Norah’s classmates don’t know what to make of her. Her best friend, Harper, tries to be there for her, but she doesn’t get it, really—and is hanging out with a new group of girls. Norah’s other good friend, Silas, is avoiding her. What’s going on, anyway?

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Joplin, Wishing

Joplin, Wishing

by Diane Stanley

Sofie is cursed, forced to grant any wishes made by the platter's owner. With the help of a new friend, fellow lunchtime-hider-in-the-library Barrett, a boy who, like Joplin, has “just the right amount of geekiness,” Joplin attempts to free Sofie.

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Restart

Restart

by Gordon Korman

Will a bully always be a bully?

That’s the question eighth-grade football captain Chase Ambrose has to answer for himself after a fall from his roof leaves him with no memory of who and what he was. When he returns to Hiawassee Middle School, everything and everyone is new.

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Mustaches for Maddie

Mustaches for Maddie

by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for the fake mustaches she carries in her pocket. She likes to make people laugh and slapping on a mustache, especially a fuzzy pink or neon green one, always gets a smile.

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Saving Marty

Saving Marty

by Paul Griffin

Eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura knows heroes are rare—like his father, who died in the war, or his friend Paloma Lee, who fearlessly pursues her dream of being a famous musician. And there’s Marty--the perfect dog—he's loyal, smart, learns tricks, and everyone seems to love him. Unfortunately, Marty happens to be a 350-pound pig.

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The Losers Club

The Losers Club

by Andrew Clements

Sixth grader Alec Spencer spends most of his time reading—in real life he’s harassed by his neighbor and former friend Kent, and books are a welcome escape. But Alec’s constant reading is putting him in the academic danger zone (summer school is a distinct possibility). At the after-school program Alec is participating in, the options are to do homework, join a club, or create one; just sitting and reading isn’t allowed.

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The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

by Lindsay Currie

Who, or more likely what, has targeted Tessa, and why? The terrified seventh-grader enlists her new friends—skeptic Andrew and graveyard expert Nina, both evidently white—to follow a trail of clues in order to find out what happened in the house on Shady Street all those years ago.

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Walking with Miss Millie

Walking with Miss Millie

by Tamara Bundy

Alice is angry at having to move to Rainbow, Georgia—a too small, too hot, dried-up place she's sure will never feel like home. Then she gets put in charge of walking her elderly neighbor's dog.


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Wishtree

Wishtree

by Katherine Applegate

The narrator introduces itself as Red, a 200-year-old oak tree who acts as the neighborhood wishtree: every May first, people write down their wishes and hang them in Red’s branches. Trees and animals must not talk to humans for their own safety, so Red takes its responsibility as a bearer of hopes seriously.
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