The Truman Readers Award honors a book that is selected by Missouri junior high students. To be eligible to vote, students must read at least four of the finalists. Voting will occur at participating schools early next spring. While the winner won’t be announced until April 2018, this is a great list of summer reads for students in grades sixth through eighth.
“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard
In a world divided by blood—those with common, red blood serve the silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king betroths her to one of his sons as a lost Silver princess. But Mare uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard.
“The Fixer” by Jennifer Barnes
When her grandfather develops dementia, sixteen-year-old Tess, is whisked away by a sister she barely knows to Washington, D.C. and thrown into a world of power, wealth, love triangles and family secrets.
“All Fall Down” by Ally Carter
There are many powerful people along Embassy Row who want Grace to block out all her unpretty thoughts. Grace will not stop until she finds out who killed her mother and makes the killer pay.
“Forget Tomorrow” by Pintip Dunn
On Callie’s seventeenth birthday, she receives her vision of the future. Callie’s vision shows her murdering her younger sister, and she is sent to a prison for those destined to break the law. Callie escapes hoping to change her fate and protect her sister.
“The Leveller” by Julia Durango
Nixy Bauer, a video game bounty hunter, gets in over her head when she attempts to rescue a game developer’s son from a virtual trap.
“The Honest Truth” by Dan Gemeinhart
Mark, tired of being sick with cancer, runs away from home to climb Mount Rainier. But with over two hundred miles between him and his goal, and only anger to drive him on, nothing will be easy.
“Code of Honor” by Alan Gratz
When Iranian-American Kamran Smith learns that his big brother, Darius, has been labelled a terrorist, he sets out to piece together the clues that will save his brother’s life and his country from a deadly terrorist attack.
“A Night Divided” by Jennifer A. Nielsen
When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz are trapped on the eastern side of the wall, while her father and her other brother Dominic are in the West. Four years later Gerta sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side and realizes he wants her to risk her life trying to tunnel to freedom.
“I am Princess X” by Cherie Priest and Kali Ciesemier
Years after writing stories about a superheroine character she created with a best friend who died in a tragic car accident, sixteen-year-old May is shocked to see images of the superheroine appearing around Seattle.
“Orbiting Jupiter” by Gary Schmidt
Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.
“What Waits in the Woods” by Kieran Scott
A hiking trip in the woods in upstate New York is out of the comfort zone for city girl Callie Velasquez, but she wants to bond with her new friends and her new boyfriend, Jeremy. However, nothing could have prepared her for the true human darkness that waits for her in the wood.
“Rebel Mechanics“ by Shanna Swendson
In 1888 New York City, sixteen-year-old governess Verity Newton agrees to become a spy, whatever the risk, after learning that the man for whom she has feelings sympathizes with rebels who are developing non-magical sources of power, via steam engines, in hopes of gaining freedom from British rule.