Truman Readers Award Finalists (PDF)
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 2019, this is a great list of summer reads for students in grades sixth through eighth.
“The Forgetting” by Sharon Cameron
Canaan is a quiet city on an idyllic world, but every 12 years the town breaks out in a chaos of bloody violence, after which all the people undergo the Forgetting, in which they are left without any trace of memory of themselves, their families or their lives. Somehow 17-year-old Nadia has never forgotten, and she is determined to find out what causes it and how to put a stop to the Forgetting forever.
“Hour of the Bees” by Lindsay Eagar
At first, 12-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 and fascinated by his amazing stories.
“The Impostor Queen” by Sarah Fine
Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found. Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
“Zero Day” by Jan Gangsei
Eight years after being kidnapped, Addie Webster, now 16, resurfaces under mysterious circumstances. Her childhood best friend, Darrow Fergusson, is asked by a national security advisor to spy on her to uncover whether she is a threat to her father’s presidency or the nation.
“Lily & Dunkin” by Donna Gephart
Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Norbert Dorfman, nicknamed Dunkin Dorfman, is bipolar and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past 13 years. One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives change forever.
“Projekt 1065” by Alan Gratz
It is 1943, and 13-year-old Michael O’Shaunessey, son of the Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany in Berlin, is also a spy for the British Secret Service. He joins the Hitler Youth, pretending that he agrees with their violence and book-burning. When he is asked to find out more about “Projekt 1065,” both his and his parents’ lives get a lot more dangerous.
“Mayday” by Karen Harrington
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 speak up as he navigates relationships with his father, grandfather and new friend.
“The Girl I Used to Be” by April Henry
Olivia’s parents were killed 14 years ago. New evidence reopens the case and she finds herself involved.
“Falling Over Sideways” by Jordan Sonnenblick
Claire’s life is a joke, but she’s not laughing. The mean girls at school are living up to their mean name, and there’s a boy, Ryder, who’s just as bad, if not worse. At home, nobody’s really listening to her. Then her dad has a medical emergency, and suddenly the joke has become very serious. The only way Claire, her family and her friends are going to get through it is if they can find a way to make it funny again.
“Ruined” by Amy Tintera
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina was ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined (completely lacking any magic) she is determined to get revenge by infiltrating the enemy’s kingdom by posing as the crown prince’s betrothed.
“Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry” by Susan Vaught
A family mystery leads Dani Beans to investigate the secrets of Ole Miss and the dark history of race relations in Oxford, Mississippi.
“Wolf Hollow” by Lauren Wolk
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 a homeless World War I veteran.