Readers Awards

  ShowMeReadAward   MarkTwainAwardTrumanLogo


2019-2020 Readers Awards Winners Announcement

2019-2020 Readers Awards Winners List

Final Nominees

2020-2021 Readers Awards Final Nominees
(to be voted on in March 2021)

Book Trailers – 2019-2020 Winning Book Trailers

About the Readers Awards

Mission Statement

The librarians of Missouri believe that exposing students to quality literature impacts their future reading habits.  These awards encourage students in grades one through twelve to explore new literary genres, to recognize excellence in writing and illustrating, and to experience the joy of literature.

MASL’s four Readers Awards represent the best current youth literature available to students of different grade levels.

Show Me Readers Award (Grades 1-3)

Mark Twain Readers Award (Grades 4-6)

Truman Readers Award (Grades 6-8)

Gateway Readers Award (Grades 9-12)

Students, teachers, librarians, and parents can recommend a book for Readers Award consideration.

Nominated Titles & Reading Lists

Every year, MASL’s Readers Award Committees work to create a preliminary list of titles that are read and voted upon by groups of Reader/Selectors to create the final list of nominees.  Titles on the final list are then read and voted upon by students across Missouri to determine the recipients of the MASL Readers Awards.

Summer Reading Lists

Over the summer months, our Readers Awards Committees are busy reading recommended and self-selected titles fitting their committee’s criteria.  Members and students are welcome to join in the fun.

Readers Awards Preliminary Nominees

In early August, each of the Readers Awards Committees narrows their reading lists to 20-25 titles to create the Preliminary Nominees list for the upcoming year.  During the following months, librarian and student Reader/Selectors read and rate these titles, further narrowing the lists.

2020-2021 Readers Awards Preliminary Nominees

Readers Awards Final Nominees

The narrowed lists of titles, known as Final Nominees or Master List, are announced each January. The books will be promoted by school librarians and read by Missouri students during the upcoming school year.

This year’s list:  2020-2021 Readers Awards Final Nominees – announced January 2020 and will be voted on in March 2021.

Visit the MASL Online Store to purchase bookmarks, posters, and additional reading incentive items to aid in promoting these final nominees.


Who can cast a vote?

Any Missouri student is entitled to cast a vote for a Readers Award according to the procedures described on the official tally sheets.

Students must read a minimum of the following to be able to vote for a Readers Award:

Readers Award Voting Criteria
Show Me Must read at least 6 of the titles on the current Master List.
Mark Twain Must read at least 4 of the titles on the current Master List.
Truman Must read at least 4 of the titles on the current Master List.
Gateway Must read at least 3 of the titles on the current Master List.

The voting period is March 1st through 11:59 pm on March 10th each year (subject to change based on day of the week).

Downloadable ballots and tally sheets are made available prior to the voting period to aid in collecting student votes.  ALL votes must then be submitted online via the Online Readers Award Voting form, which is only active during the voting period.


Tally Sheets

Additional Readers Awards voting information.


The title that receives the most student votes for each of the awards is named that Readers Award Winner for the year.  The winners are announced at the Readers Awards Banquet at the MASL Spring Conference.

This year’s list of winners: 2019-2020 Readers Awards Winners

Recent Past Winners and Nominees


2018-2019 Winners

2017-2018 Winners

2016-2017 Winners

2015-2016 Winners

2014-2015 Winners


2019-2020 Final Nominees

2018-2019 Final Nominees

2017-2018 Final Nominees

2016-2017 Final Nominees

2015-2016 Final Nominees

Readers Awards Committees Involvement

Interested in getting involved with the Readers Award Committees as a Reader/Selector or one-year Committee member?

One-Year Members serve on the committees; reading more than 100 books over the course of the school year and narrow the titles down to a preliminary nominee list of 20-25 titles, as well as other duties.

View the Readers-Awards-Committee-Handbook for more information.

Reader/Selectors read the preliminary nominee list of 20-25 books between August and January and rate the books to determine which ones will be on the final list of nominees for the following school year.

Committee member and adult Reader/Selector interest forms, as well as additional information, for each of the committees is linked below.

Show Me

Mark Twain



Student Reader/Selectors (nominated by a librarian/teacher) read the preliminary nominee list of 20-25 books between August and January and rate the books to determine which ones will be on the final list of nominees for the following school year.  To nominate a student reader/selector, please complete this form.

Book Grants

Each year, each of the Readers Awards Committees provide at least one set of nominated titles to a school library in need.  These applications are usually due in mid-March, with the titles awarded at Spring Conference, if possible.  Grant applications for each award can be found linked below.

Show Me

Mark Twain



Non-MASL Awards and Reading Incentive Programs

Great Kids Can Read

The Great Kids Can Read Program is a program run by the Greater Kansas City Association of School Librarians (GKCASL). It promotes reading by providing an annual Nominee List of quality books for students within the 2.8 – 4.8 reading range. Books on the KC3 Nominee list are intended to introduce quality contemporary literature to students.

Students who read or have had read to them, at least four (4) titles from the master list will vote for his/her favorite. Ballots will be prepared for school librarians to distribute and collect from participating classrooms in March.  The author of the winning title will receive special recognition.

Click here to visit GKCASL’s website to learn more about this award, including nominated titles, how you and your students can get involved, how to submit votes and more!

Missouri Library Association Readers Award

The Missouri Library Association also issues an annual award to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted most popular by preschool children in Missouri’s public libraries.

2019 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Winner:

Can I Be Your Dog by Troy Cummings– 4,598 votes

To learn more about the Missouri Building Block Picture Award please visit the MLA’s website.

Missouri State Teachers Association Reading Circle Program

Annually the Missouri State Teachers Association issues a reading list of recommended books for Missouri students.  In addition to providing this list the MSTA sponsors the Reading Circle Program, in which students who read a specified number of books receive a certificate of membership into the Reading Circle.  To learn more about the Reading Circle Program please visit MSTA’s website.