Mark Twain Readers Award

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The Mark Twain Readers Award, or simply Mark Twain Award, is a children's book award which annually recognizes one book selected by vote of Missouri schoolchildren from a list prepared by librarians and volunteer readers. It is now one of four Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL) Readers Awards and is associated with school grades 4 to 6; the other MASL Readers Awards were inaugurated from 1995 to 2009 and are associated with grades K–3, 6–8, and 9–12.[1] The 1970 Newbery Medal winning book Sounder, by William H. Armstrong, was the inaugural winner of the Mark Twain Award in 1972.[2]

Peg Kehret has won the Mark Twain Award four times, once in 1999 for Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, a memoir of her childhood, and three times in six years from 2007 to 2012 for novels.[3]

Nomination guidelines[edit]

  • Books should interest children in grades four through six.
  • Books should be an original work written by an author living in the United States.
  • Books should be of literary value which may enrich children's personal lives.
  • Books should be published two years prior to nomination on a master list of twelve nominees.

Voting process[edit]

Though the list of nominated books is designated for grades four through six, any student can vote for the winner so long as they satisfy the following criteria:

  • Book must have been read by voter.
  • Voter must have read at least four books from the list of nominees.
  • Voter can only vote once.

Schools design their own ballots. Individual votes for each school (or qualified group) are tallied on a single sheet and submitted to the MASL.


Books published in 2011 were eligible for 2013/14 nomination, and thus for the 2014 award. Early in August 2014, MASL was soliciting nominations of 2013 publications for the 2016 award.[4]

The award has recognized a single book by a single writer without exception from 1972.[2][3][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The MASL Readers Awards" (homepage). Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL). Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  2. ^ a b c "Mark Twain Award Previous Winners" [1972 to 2010]. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  3. ^ a b c "Mark Twain Award" Archived 2014-08-11 at the Wayback Machine. Missouri River Regional Library ( Retrieved 2014-08-06. With list of winners 1990 to 2013; lists of nominees with blurbs 2010/11 to 2014/15.
  4. ^ "Mark Twain Readers Award". MASL. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  5. ^ a b "2013–2014 MASL Readers Awards Winners". MASL. Retrieved 2014-05-05. With tabulated results of four elections.

External links[edit]