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Maud Squad

Winning Homeroom Team 2019

Ms. Jaeger's homeroom 2019 Maud Squad winners
Ms. Jaeger's homeroom 2019 Maud Squad winners
Ms. Jaeger's homeroom 2019 Maud Squad winners

2023 Nominees

96 Miles by J.L. Esplin "During a massive blackout in rural Nevada, two brothers struggle to survive without their self-reliance-obsessed dad and without enough water cross the desert for help." Genre: Action and Adventure

All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey "Red’s inexplicable power over the wind comes from her mother. Whenever Ruby “Red” Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep her skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn to control it, but can’t figure out how. -A novel about a young girl navigating the foster care system in search of where she belongs." Genre: Fantasy

Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander "Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing." Genre: Sports, Biography

Fighting Words* by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Please be advised that an asterisk indicates titles for mature readers. Suicide and sexual abuse themes are addressed in an age-appropriate way in Fighting Words.) "Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom's boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della's own wolf--her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della's world turns so far upside down, it feels like it's shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she's been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it's time to be loud." Genre: Realistic 

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly by Rebecca K.S. Ansari "Charlie O'Reilly and his friend Ana run into magic when they investigate why everyone except Charlie has forgotten about his brother Liam." Genre: Fantasy, Mystery

White Bird: a Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio "This graphic novel tells the story of Julian's grandma's childhood as she, a Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II and how the boy she once shunned became her savior and best friend." Genre: Historical Fiction

Brave Like That by Lindsey Stoddard "Eleven-year-old Cyrus knows he is not cut out to be a football hero or fireman like his adopted father, but it takes a skittish stray dog to teach him that he, too, can be brave." Genre: Realistic Fiction, Animals

City Spies by James Ponti "Sara Martinez is facing years in the juvenile detention system for hacking into the foster care computer system to prove that her foster parents are crooks. But then she gets a second chance when a mysterious man offers her a chance to join a group of MI6 affiliated spies." Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure

Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj "Told from two viewpoints, sixth-graders Karina and Chris use social media to stand up to racism in Houston, Texas, after an attack puts Karina's Indian American grandfather in the hospital." Genre: Realistic Fiction

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly "Twelve-year-old Iris and her grandmother, both deaf, drive from Texas to Alaska armed with Iris's plan to help Blue-55, a whale unable to communicate with other whales." Genre: Realistic Fiction, Animals


Rules and Directions

*Earn hearts/points: Once students finish reading a nominated book, they need to fill out the yellow response slip and give it to Ms. Ninteman in the library.  Then they will receive a heart to put on the wall by the corresponding book’s cover.

*Vote: Students who read three or more of the nominated books by March TBD can vote for their favorite one.  The book that receives the most votes from 6th-8th grade students across Minnesota will be awarded the M.Y.R.A. 

*Maud’s Birthday Bash: Read three or more books by May TBD and get invited to the Birthday Bash!  We’ll eat cake and play a Kahoot about all ten books.  The more you read, the more likely you’ll be to win prizes!

*GRIT & Honesty: Students need to read the WHOLE book in order to earn a heart/point.  That means practicing GRIT and reading EVERY PAGE.  If you take a book and it’s just too challenging right now, simply return it and try something else

Panther Time (Homeroom) Prize

The homeroom that reads the most books (earns the most hearts/points) by May 20 will win a fancy breakfast at the Lovelace Literature Café and be served by Principal Kusch, Mr. Herem, and library staff!  There will be tablecloths, flowers, music, candles (electric), and delicious food!

***Each homeroom teacher can read one Maud Squad book out loud to the class and have it count toward the contest.  Students still need to fill out response slips.

View Book Titles and Summaries in the Slideshow (coming soon!)

About the author, Maud Hart Lovelace

Maud Squad is our name for the Minnesota Youth Reading Awards, which was created in honor of author Maud Hart Lovelace, who was born April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. When Maud was 10, a booklet of her poems was printed; and by age eighteen, she had sold her first short story.

The Hart family left Mankato shortly after Maud’s high school graduation in 1910 and settled in Minneapolis, where Maud attended the University of Minnesota. In 1917, she married Delos W. Lovelace, a newspaper reporter who later became a popular writer of short stories and wrote the novelization King Kong in 1932.

Visit Maud's home in Mankato, Minnesota, and learn more about her life and books with the Betsy-Tacy Society.

Black and white portrait of maud hart lovelace