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Mark Twain Readers Award facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

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.

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.

Nomination guidelines

  • 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

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.

The award has recognized a single book by a single writer without exception from 1972.

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