Mark Twain Award
April 19, 2012
On a recent visit to see my grandkids, I learned that my oldest granddaughter was reading The Hunger Games series. She explained that the school librarian had given her the 3-book boxed set. After a little prompting from her mom, I learned that the set was an award for being the only student in her school building to have read all of the Mark Twain Award nominee books. Of course, this former teacher—turned—librarian grandmother was thrilled to hear that news. She was excited to have been able to vote for her favorite.
Although I have looked at the Mark Twain nominees and have a read a couple, I decided to investigate how books are chosen and which books she read. Each year, Missouri schoolchildren in grades 4-8 vote for their favorite books from a list of nominated titles. To be nominated, books must be of interest to children in grades 4 through 6. They should be an original work written by an author living in the United States, be of literary value which may enrich children's personal lives, and be published two years prior to nomination on a Master List of 12 nominees. Each year, The Missouri Association of School Librarians gives the Mark Twain Award to the author of the book receiving the most votes.
After looking over the books that she read, I realized that some of them looked interesting to me too. My goal for the summer is to read the Mark Twain books for 2011-2012. The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin looks like a great place to start. Faith, Hope and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has also caught my eye. And, of course, I will have to ask which book received her vote and read it. Even though I can’t vote, I will know what she has been reading, which will be a great place for us to begin our usual book discussion.
Jean Ann G.
Lone Jack Branch