Sunshine State Young Readers Award Books 2019-2020 List for Grades 6-8

  • 24 Hours in Nowhere

    by Dusti Bowling Year Published: 2018

    Gus hopes in just a short twenty-four hours, he can explore and escape the abandoned mine in his home of Nowhere, Arizona. He just has to find the rumored gold, win back a dirt bike from a thirteen-year-old bully, and try not to die from dehydration, cave-ins, and wild animal attacks. But man can’t survive on Twinkies alone. A life-threatening adventure such as this requires the companionship of the dirt bike-riding new girl in town and Gus’s two former friends. Throughout the day and night, the group of outsiders learn that they have more things in common than they realized, and it’s their newly formed bond that will be the key to their survival. Bikes might get damaged and bones might get broken, but their newly formed friendships will thrive in this desert town.

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  • The Adventurers Guild

    by Zack Loran Clark Year Published: 2017

    Zed Kagari and Brock Dunderfel are preparing for the Guildcullen. The day where children find what path they will take for the rest of their life. Before they can be chosen, they find themselves drafted into the Adventurer’s Guild. The guild that travels outside the walls of Freestone, into the wild lands between cities filled with monsters and “Dangers”. When the boys uncover that the city might have a traitor, looking to destroy all the city had worked for, they have to work with new allies to save their town and prove their worth.

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  • All’s Faire in Middle School

    by Victoria Jamieson Year Published: 2017

    As a squire-in-training, eleven-year-old Impy must demonstrate her bravery to move up in the ranks at the Renaissance Faire where her family works. Though she can wield a sword and handle the threats of dragons, will she survive the challenge that is MIDDLE SCHOOL? Impy will learn how to transition from home-schooled child to a public school student. How will she navigate the school hallways? How will she deal with hard teachers? Will she make friends who accept her for who she is? Impy is about to find out just how brave she can be and which dragons she needs to slay to conquer middle school.

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  • Boy X

    by Dan Smith Year Published: 2017

    Twelve-year-old Ash wakes up in an unfamiliar room with an IV in his arm, a head full of jumbled memories, and a host of superhuman abilities. He has no idea what he is capable of, but if he is going to save the world, he needs to evolve. With the lead scientists locked in quarantine including his mother, it is up to Ash to track a group of criminals intent on releasing a deadly virus into the world. Unfortunately, a dense jungle full of terrifying creatures is between the biosphere where he is being kept and the getaway boat.

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  • Breakout

    by Kate Messner Year Published: 2018

    Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek--two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. When two inmates break out of the town's maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors that were never locked are locked, helicopters fly over, and the police are on patrol. The worse part is everyone is on edge. The fear has brought out the worst in people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.

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  • Captain Superlative

    by J.S. Puller Year Published: 2018

    Janey Silverman doesn’t know what to make to the girl in the red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, high top sneakers and a cape. She’s determined to find out more about the girl who runs through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School championing good deeds and standing up to bullies. When she tries out her secret identity, she gets more than she bargains for as Captain Superlative’s new sidekick. Janey also finds out some secrets about herself and what makes a good hero, and a good friend.

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  • Elephant Secret

    by Eric Walters Year Published: 2018

    Samantha Gray is known as the “elephant girl” since she lives in an animal sanctuary with eleven elephants and her dad. She finds her elephant family much easier to get along with than most people, including her dad’s lawyer girlfriend, Joyce. When a beloved elephant dies giving birth to a newborn, Sam’s world is upended. She knew raising a newborn would be a challenge, but something is very different about this baby. Secrets begin to threaten not only the herd’s peaceful existence at the sanctuary, but even Sam and her dad’s place among the elephants.

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  • Ethan Marcus Stands Up

    by Michele Weber Hurwitz Year Published: 2017

    Ethan Marcus isn’t usually a rule breaker but one day at school he decides he is fed up with sitting all day. His refusal to sit does not go over well with his teachers and leads to detention. While in detention it is suggested that Ethan participate in the school’s upcoming Invention Day. Ethan’s sister and her goody two shoe friends participate every year but Ethan has never had the desire or and invention idea, until now. Will an idea be enough to motivate Ethan to participate at Invention Day?

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  • Greetings from Witness Protection

    by Jake Burt Year Published: 2017

    Nicki’s father is in jail and her grandmother is dead so she’s in the foster care system. One day two US Marshalls show up and offer her “the adventure of a lifetime.” They need her to help hide a family in witness protection from a very dangerous criminal. Since the criminals are looking for a family of 3, adding a daughter to the family will make it easier to keep them hidden. Adding a street-smart, savvy, kleptomaniac like Nicki may help to keep them alive - unless her past puts them all in danger!

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  • Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World

    by Ashley Herring Blake Year Published: 2018

    Ivy is trying to pick up the pieces of her life--both literally and figuratively. After a tornado destroys her family’s home, life throws her another blow when her notebook containing several drawings of girls holding hands goes missing at the shelter. Ivy feels ignored by her family as they struggle with rebuilding their home and their lives, so she has no one to turn to about all the feelings about her identify. One day, the drawings from her notebook start appearing in her locker along with anonymous notes that encourage Ivy to be herself. Ivy has hopes that the keeper of the notebook might be her crush, but does Ivy have the courage to share her true self with the world? Ivy soon learns that sometimes you have to have your world turned upside down to find out who you really are.

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  • Knockout

    by K.A Holt Year Published: 2018

    When Levi discovers his love for boxing, he finds himself in the ring with those who love him most. He knows he’s strong enough to fight for his life. But can he convince everyone else to believe in him too? This funny and emotional novel in verse looks at what it means to be a typical kid- and all the many definitions of strength.

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  • Nightbooks

    by J.A. White Year Published: 2018

    Everyone loves a good scare, right? Alex is a kid who loves scary stories so much that he writes his own spooky tales. One night he finds himself knocking on a stranger’s door after hearing the sounds of one of his favorite movies, The Night of the Living Dead. This stranger invites him inside, but she has no intention of letting Alex leave. Natacha is a witch who only finds joy from Alex’s spooky storytelling from his nightbooks. With the help from the other prisoners at Natacha’s place, Alex makes up new stories to please the witch. But then his writer’s block puts an end to his stories and--now--possibly his life. Can Alex write his way out of danger and out of this prison?

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  • Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein

    by Jennifer Roy Year Published: 2018

    At the start of 1991, eleven-year-old Ali Fadhil was consumed by his love for soccer, video games, and American television shows. Then, on January 17, Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein went to war with thirty-four nations led by the United States.

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  • Slider

    by Pete Hautman Year Published: 2017

    David is an average kid with an unusual talent - eating large amounts of food in a small amount of time. It’s just something his two best friends, Cyn and Heyman, time him at for fun. That is until he accidentally charges $2000 on his mom’s credit card - then he has to figure out how to use his talent to earn some cash before his mom finds out what he’s done! Will David find enough time to train while still keeping an eye on his little brother? Will he be able to handle competing with professional competitive eaters, or will he have to confess to his mother?

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  • Small Spaces

    by Katherine Arden Year Published: 2018

    “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” Seems like sound advice for Ollie to heed as she now finds herself on a stalled bus during the trip to the farm. Armed with a broken wristwatch displaying alarming warnings to her, Ollie and two classmates make the decision to leave their classmates on the bus and venture into the misty fields with only scarecrows around. But scarecrows only scare crows, right?

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