2013-2014 Volunteer State Book Award Nominees Middle SchoolDivision Grades 6-8
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson • Curzon is stationed with the army at Valley Forge where he worries that someone will learn he is a runaway slave. He is also trying to understand his troubled relationship with fellow runaway Isabel.
Jefferson's SonsbyKimberly Brubaker Bradley • A fictionalized look at the last twenty years of Thomas Jefferson's life at Monticello through the eyes of three of his slaves, including two who were his sons by his slave, Sally Hemings.
How They Croakedby Georgia Bragg • This non-fiction title shares the sometimes gruesome details of the deaths of nineteen famous historical figures, including King Tut, Pocahontas, George Washington, Edgar Allan Poe, and Marie Curie.
The Mighty Miss Maloneby Christopher Paul Curtis • Deza Malone, the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, accompanies her mother and older brother on a trip to find her father who left to find work after the Great Depression hit
My Name Is Not Easyby Debby Dahl Edwardson • Alaskans Luke, Chickie, Sonny, Donna, and Amiq relate their experiences in the early 1960s when they are forced to attend a Catholic boarding school where, despite different tribal affiliations, they come to find family and home.
Dead End in Norveltby Jack Gantos • Twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.
Wheels of Changeby Sue Macy • This non-fiction title combines text with vintage photographs, advertisements, cartoons, and songs to examine how women have used bicycles throughout history to improve their lives.
Under the Mesquiteby Guadelupe Garcia McCall • Lupita, an aspiring actress and poet in a close-knit Mexican American family, comes of age as she struggles with her responsibilities during her mother's battle with cancer.
Ghetto Cowboyby Greg Neri • Cole's behavior causes his mother to drive him from Detroit to Philadelphia to live with a father he has never known, but who soon has Cole involved with a group of African-American "cowboys" who rescue horses and use them to steer youths away from drugs and gangs.
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins • Two Burmese boys, one a Karenni refugee and the other the son of an imprisoned Burmese doctor, meet in the jungle and must learn to trust each other to survive.
Heart of a Samuraiby Margi Preus • Japanese fisherman Manjiro dreams of becoming a samurai but must learn new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.
Bluefishby Pat Schmatz • Travis longs for his old life in the country and struggles to hide the fact that he cannot read. A persistent teacher and a special girl soon open his eyes to a new world.
Okay for Nowby Gary Schmidt • Doug faces many challenges, including an abusive father, a brother traumatized by Vietnam, suspicious teachers and police officers, and isolation, but when he meets Lil, he develops a close relationship with her and finds a safe place at the local library
Wonderstruckby Brian Selznick • Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing heading in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.
Between Shades of Grayby RutaSepetys • In 1941, fifteen-year-old artist Lina, her mother, and her brother are taken from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards, first to a work camp in Siberia and then to exile within the Arctic Circle.
The Silver Bowlby Diane Stanley • From the age of seven when she became scullery maid in a castle, Molly has seen visions of the future which, years later, lead her and her friend Tobias on an adventure to keep the heir to the throne safe from an evil curse.
TheEmerald Atlasby John Stephens • Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the ten years since their parents disappeared to protect them, but now they learn that they have special powers--and a fearsome enemy--and embark on a prophesied quest to find a magical book.
The Scorpio Racesby Maggie Stiefvater • Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races while trying to survive alongside the deadly water horses.
The Running Dreamby Wendelin Van Drannen • When Jessica loses her leg in a bus accident, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and doubts her personal identity. Her track team then finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.
Written in Boneby Sally Walker • Sally Walker works alongside scientists investigating colonial-era graves near Jamestown, Virginia: a teenage boy, a ship's captain, an indentured servant, a colonial official and his family, and an enslaved African girl.