Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
 

The Sunshine State Young Readers Awards (SSYRA)

Books for Middle School

2016 SSYRA Award Book List

All Fall Down

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:1. She is not crazy.2. Her mother was murdered.3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Bot wars, line zero

Twelve-year-old Trout St. Kroix has been searching for his missing father for the last two years, after his dad disappeared while fighting in the Bot Wars. The Bot Wars began after robots became so advanced that they revolted and demanded more workers' rights, causing the government to declare all robots terrorists and ban them from the Districts. Trout never questioned anything the government told him—even when his own nanny bot was banished—until a vid he posts about his missing dad goes viral and new information pops up. At first Trout is wrenched his dad might be alive, but when his brother disappears, Trout learns nothing is what it seems . . . not even his own father.Percy Jackson meets Transformers in this heart-stopping, futuristic adventure that will make you question everything you know—and look at robots in a whole new light.

The Crossover

New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book∙ Kirkus Best Book "A beautifully measured novel of life and line."--The New York Times Book Review "With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Echo

2016 Newbery Honor Book New York Times Bestseller An impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force from a treasured storyteller! Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, Echo pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation to create a wholly original novel that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

The Honest Truth

The debut of a phenomenal new middle-grade talent.In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day.But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from.So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier--even if it's the last thing he ever does.The Honest Truth is a rare and extraordinary novel about big questions, small moments, and the incredible journey of the human spirit.

Insignia

"Insignia expertly combines humor with a disarming and highly realistic view of the future. The characters are real, funny, and memorable. You won't be able to put this book down."--Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent and Insurgent The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S. J. Kincaid's fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy perfect for fans of Ender's Game. The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning. The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn't seem like a hero. He's a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones. As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom's life completely changes. Suddenly, he's someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there's a price to pay. . . .

The Luck Uglies

The first in a series with the makings of a modern classic, The Luck Uglies is an irresistible cross between Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series and Kelly Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank the Moon, overflowing with adventure, secrets, friendship, and magic. Rye O'Chanter has seen a lot of strange things happen in Village Drowning: Children are chased through the streets. Families are fined for breaking laws that don't even exist. Girls aren't allowed to read anymore, and certain books--books that hold secrets about Drowning's past--have been outlawed altogether. Now a terrifying encounter has eleven-year-old Rye convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned. Before the monsters disappeared, there was only one way to defeat them--the Luck Uglies. But the Luck Uglies have long since been exiled, and there's nobody left who can protect the village. As Rye dives into Drowning's maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she begins to question everything she's been told about the village's legend of outlaws and beasts . . . and what she'll discover is that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters. This critically acclaimed debut middle grade novel was named an ALA Notable Book and a New York Public Library Title for Reading and Sharing and won the Cybil Award for Middle Grade Speculative Fiction and a Sunshine State Young Readers Award.

The Neptune Project

Nere has never understood why she feels so much more comfortable and confident in water than on land, but everything falls into place when Nere learns that she is one of a group of kids who-unbeknownst to them-have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of "The Neptune Project" will be able to build a better future under the sea, safe from the barren country's famine, wars, and harsh laws. But there are some very big problems: no one asked Nere if she wanted to be a science experiment, the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim through hundreds of miles of dangerous waters, relying only on their wits, dolphins, and each other to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids...dead or alive. Fierce battles and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friends race to safety in this action-packed aquatic adventure.

Nickel bay nick

Perfect for fans of Jerry Spinelli and Gary D. Schmidt, this heartfelt coming-of-age story will make you believe in the power of second chances. Eleven-year-old Sam Brattle is already having the worst Christmas ever – his dad's bakery is going bankrupt and his mom is spending the holidays with her new family. To make things worse, Nickel Bay Nick, the anonymous Good Samaritan who leaves hundred-dollar bills around Nickel Bay at Christmastime, is a no-show, so this year the rest of the town is as miserable as Sam. When he stumbles upon the secret identity of this mysterious do-gooder, Sam is stunned to learn that he might now be his town's only hope. But before he can rescue Nickel Bay, Sam has to learn the skills of a spy and unravel some even darker secrets that will change his life forever.

The sinister sweetness of splendid academy

Spooky twists and soaring prose make this foodie update on Hansel and Gretel an unforgettable must-read Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy—Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister? It's up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones—and might even pick them clean! Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you've got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.

The summer i saved the world . . . in 65 days

It's summertime, and thirteen-year-old Nina Ross is feeling kind of lost. Her beloved grandma died last year; her parents work all the time; her brother's busy; and her best friend is into clothes, makeup, and boys. While Nina doesn't know what "her thing" is yet, it's definitely not shopping and makeup. And it's not boys, either. Though . . . has Eli, the boy next door, always been so cute? This summer, Nina decides to change things. She hatches a plan. There are sixty-five days of summer. Every day, she'll anonymously do one small but remarkable good thing for someone in her neighborhood, and find out: does doing good actually make a difference? Along the way, she discovers that her neighborhood, and her family, are full of surprises and secrets. In this bighearted, sweetly romantic novel, things may not turn out exactly as Nina expects. They might be better.From the Hardcover edition.

The tapper twins go to war (with each other)

This brand-new series by a popular screenwriter is pitch-perfect, contemporary comedy featuring twelve-year-old fraternal twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn't be more different...except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war! But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that's fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price. Told as a colorful "oral history" by the twins and their friends, and including photos, screenshots, chat logs, online gaming digital art, and text messages between their clueless parents, The Tapper Twins is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it's like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world.

Turn Left at the Cow

Thirteen-year-old Trav has always wondered about his dead-before-he-was-born dad. But when he heads from California to his grandmother's house in rural Minnesota, hoping to learn about his past, he gets more than he bargained for.    It turns out his dad was involved in a bank robbery right before he mysteriously disappeared, and the loot from the take is still missing. Along with Kenny and Iz, the kids next door, Trav embarks on a search for the cash. But the trio's adventure quickly turns dangerous when it becomes clear that someone else is looking for the money--someone who won't give up without a fight!

The Worst Class Trip Ever

In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip to Washington, DC. Wyatt, his best friend, Matt, and a few kids from Culver Middle School find themselves in a heap of trouble-not just with their teachers, who have long lost patience with them-but from several mysterious men they first meet on their flight to the nation's capital. In a fast-paced adventure with the monuments as a backdrop, the kids try to stay out of danger and out of the doghouse while trying to save the president from attack-or maybe not.