Mark Twain Nominees 2012

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The Potato Chip Puzzles Eric Berlin When puzzle addict Winston Breen and his best friends head to an all-day puzzle hunt with a $50,000 grand prize, they’re pumped. But the day is not all fun and games: not only do they have a highstrung and highly competitive teacher along for the ride, but the puzzles are hard even for Winston, the other schools’ teams are no joke, and someone in the contest is playing dirty in order to win. Trying to stop this mystery cheater before it’s too late takes an already tough challenge to a whole other level. . . . Packed with a variety of fun puzzles to solve, this fast-paced sequel will pull readers right into the action from start to finish. 
The Secret of Zoom Lynne Jonell Christina lives in a stone mansion on the edge of a forest surrounded by barbed wire, an electrified fence, and signs that read TRESPASSERS WILL BE BOILED. Deep within the forest is the laboratory where her mother was blown to bits when Christina was just a baby. Christina’s father, the head scientist at Loompski Labs, knows how dangerous the world can be. So he keeps his daughter safe at home and forbids her to talk to the very interesting orphans down the road. But when an orphan boy named Taft whispers to her of a secret tunnel, Christina forgets about safety to help him escape. Soon she and Taft discover that there is far more to the orphanage and the mystery of her mother’s supposed death than they ever suspected... 
Runaway Twin Peg Kehret Thirteen-year-old Sunny, accompanied by a stray dog, takes advantage of a windfall to travel from her Nebraska foster home to Enumclaw, Washington, to find the twin sister from whom she was separated at age three. 
Love, Aubrey Suzanne LaFleur Love, Aubrey is the story of eleven-year-old Aubrey, who finds herself living all alone. It’s okay, for a while. She buys plenty of SpaghettiO’s to eat and a pet fish to keep her company. While SpaghettiO’s and pet fish are both wonderful things, sometimes even the strongest people find they need a little more.  
Million-Dollar Throw Mike Lupica What would you do with a million dollars, if you were thirteen? Nate Brodie is nicknamed "Brady" not only for his arm, but also because he's the biggest Tom Brady fan. He's even saved up to buy an autographed football. And when he does, he wins the chance for something he's never dreamed of—to throw a pass through a target at a Patriots game for one million dollars. Nate should be excited. But things have been tough lately. His dad lost his job and his family is losing their home. It's no secret that a million dollars would go a long way. So all Nate feels is pressure, and just when he needs it most, his golden arm begins to fail him. Even worse, his best friend Abby is going blind, slowly losing her ability to do the one thing she loves most—paint. Yet Abby never complains, and she is Nate's inspiration. He knows she'll be there when he makes the throw of a lifetime. Mike Lupica's latest sports novel is also his most heartwarming. 
11 Birthdays Wendy Mass On their first birthday, they learned to walk. On their fifth, they planted seeds in handmade pots. On their tenth, they learned there are some words you can never take back. Amanda's eleventh birthday should have been a happy occasion. Instead she's dressed in an itchy costume her mother picked out for her Hollywood-themed party (Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, even though the flying monkeys have always creeped her out). Meanwhile, across town, her ex-best friend Leo is celebrating their joint birthday with a huge bash including a hypnotist, a football star, a giant iguana, and a rock band. SO not fair! Amanda can't wait for the day AFTER her birthday so she can stop thinking about the fight that led to her and Leo having separate parties for the first time in their lives. There's just one problem. The next day is her birthday all over again.  
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z Kate Messner Gianna Z has less than one week to collect, identify, and creatively display 25 leaves for her science project—or else she won’t be able to compete in the upcoming cross-country race. As the deadline for her leaf project draws near, life keeps getting in the way. Some things are within Gee’s control, like her own procrastination, but others aren’t, like Bianca Rinaldi’s attempts at sabotage and Nonna’s declining health. If it weren’t for her best friend Zig, Gee wouldn’t have a chance at finishing. His knowledge of trees and leaves in their rural Vermont town comes in very handy, as does his loyalty to Gee. But when Nonna disappears one afternoon, things like leaves and cross-country meets suddenly seem less important. 
Faith, Hope, and Ivy June Phyllis Reynolds Naylor During a student exchange program, seventh-graders Ivy June and Catherine share their lives, homes, and communities, and find that although their lifestyles are total opposites they have a lot in common. 
Heart of a Shepard Rosanne Parry Brother has never been the rancher that his father and the older boys are. Sure, he can ride a horse, rescue a wayward calf, or mend a broken fence, but his heart just doesn’t seem to be in it. Even worse, every time one of the ranch animals dies he feels it too keenly. Still, with four older brothers to carry the load, it’s never been much of a problem. Then Brother’s father is shipped off to Iraq with the rest of is reserve unit. With the older boys away at school, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He’s determined to maintain the ranch just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father’s safe return. But life rarely goes according to plan. The hardships Brother faces will not only change the ranch but also reveal his true calling. 
Captain Nobody Dean Pitchford When ten-year-old Newton dresses up as an unusual superhero for Halloween, he decides to keep wearing the costume after the holiday to help save townspeople and eventually his injured brother. 
Storm Chaser Chris Platt A wild storm breaking over her family’s Nevada ranch gives 13-year-old Jessie unforeseen opportunities. Lightning burns down their barn, which is stuffed with a year’s worth of hay. They don’t have money to rebuild, so her parents start a dude-ranch operation to raise extra income. Jessie, lonely for friends, is glad to help out, even when an obnoxious guest sets her sights on Storm Chaser, the beautiful filly Jessie has trained. Jessie’s old horse has been badly injured in the fire, and she’s let herself fall in love with Storm Chaser, but she knows her family needs the money Storm Chaser will bring. A former jockey, Platt has penned a solid, almost old-fashioned middle-grade horse story, full of the gritty minutiae horse-mad readers crave. Lovely horse details, fine characterization and a real sense of family combine to make an excellent book whose ending, while not surprising, rings true. 
Mudville Kurtis Scaletta For twenty-two years, since a fateful baseball game against their rival town, it has rained in Moundville, so when the rain finally stops, twelve-year-old Roy, his friends, and foster brother Sturgis dare to face the curse and form a team. 
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