Gateway Readers Award
“Because reading is the gateway to knowledge and lifelong learning because the teen years are the gateway to adulthood, and because Missouri was the Gateway to the West, the Gateway Readers Award is for authors of books chosen by high school students in Missouri.”
Each year, Missouri students in grades 9 – 12 are encouraged to read the Gateway nominees and vote for their favorite ones in March of the following year. To be eligible for voting, teens must read two of the nominee books. Voting occurs each year from March 1st to March 10th at 11:59 pm (subject to change based on the day of the week that this window falls).
The Gateway Readers Award is awarded to the author of this book by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.
When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she's ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she's been prescribed can help her get there. The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good. With a new circle of friends--fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill--Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue. But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increased, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.
Gateway Award Nominees 2022 - 2023
When Ashley goes hiking in the Smokies with her friends for a night of partying, the falling dark and creaking trees are second nature to her. Catching her boyfriends with another girl, drunken rage sends Ashley running into the night, stopped only by a nasty fall into a ravine. Morning brings the realization that she is alone-and far off trail. Lost in undisturbed forest, with nothing but the clothes on her back, Ashley must figure out how to survive despite the red streak of infection creeping up her leg.
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people. In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance-and Papi's secrets-the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their live are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It's been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father's rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn't who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they're going to stay alive.
A fast-paced thriller about a girl who discovers that her mother might not be who she says she is...and now someone is hunting them both.
Katelyn wants the best for her widowed mom. Surprising her with an online dating profile seems like a good idea. It isn't. Katelyn's mom hasn't just been acting overprotective all these years--she's been hiding something. And now that anyone can find them online, Katelyn is in a desperate race against time to uncover the secrets of the past--not only her mom's, but also her own. As Katelyn's world unravels, she begins to trust the guy who brought this nightmare to her door and to doubt the one person she never thought she would. Because her mom has been hiding for a reason: she's been waiting.
by Carl Deuker
Lazarus "Laz" Weathers has always been shy, and his issue with stuttering when he speaks hasn't helped. Stuck in a Seattle trailer park, Laz finds baseball helps him escape from the world of poverty and drugs. When he gets an opportunity to pitch for the rich kids across town, he has a chance to get drafted by the major leagues. But playing for the other team means leaving behind his family, including Antonio, Laz's younger brother, who more and more, seems to be drawn to the dark world of the Jet City's drug ring. Now Laz will have to choose between being the star pitcher he always dreamed of becoming and the team player his family needs.
When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields? Before there was a dead body, Enchanted's dreams had turned into a nightmare. Because behind Korey's charme and star power was a controlling dark side. Now he's dead, the police are at the door, and all signs point to Enchanted.
by Arvin Ahmadi
Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy--he just didn't' think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right? Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature..until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.
Ten of thousands of crows invading Auburn, Pennsylvania, is a problem for everyone in town except seventeen-year-old Leighton Barnes. For Leighton, it's no stranger than her house, which inexplicably repairs itself every time her father loses his temper and breaks things. Leighton doesn't have time for the crows--it's her senior year, and acceptance to her dream college is finally withing reach. But grabbing that lifeline means abandoning her sisters, a choice she's not ready to face. With her father's rage worsening and the town in chaos over the crows, Leighton allows herself a chance at happiness with Liam, her charming classmate, even though falling in love feels like a revolutionary act. Balancing school, dating, and survival under the shadow of sixty thousand feathered wings start to feel almost comfortable, but Leighton knows that this fragile equilibrium can only last so long before it shatters.
Locked in a room with a bed, refrigerator, and adjoining bathroom, I was instructed to eat, bathe, and behave. I received meals, laundered clothes, and toiletries though a cat door, never knowing if it was day or night. The last time I saw the face of my abductor was when he dragged me fighting from the trunk of his car. My only solace was Mason--one of the other kidnapped teens--and our pact to one day escape together. But when that day finally came, I had to leave him behind. Now that I'm home, my parents and friends want everything to be like it was before I left. But they don't understand that dining out and shopping trips can't heals what's broken inside me. I barely leave my bedroom. Therapists are clueless and condescending. So I start my own from of therapy--but writing about my experience awakens uncomfortable memories, ones that should've stayed buried. When I as the detective assigned to my case about Mason, I get an answer I don't believe--that there were no traces of any other kidnapped kids. But I distinctly remember the screams, holding hands with Mason through a hold in my wall, and sharing a chocolate bar. I don't believe he wasn't really there and I'm determined to find him. How far will I have to to uncover the truth of what happened--and will it break me forever?
Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. but even in a diverse art school, because of a biased system he's seen as a disruptive and unmotivated. Then, one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. "Boys just being boys" turns out to be true only when those boys are white. Suddenly, at just sixteen-year-old, Amal is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?
Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why--or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch--and his love of puzzle, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he's determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather's last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.
by Kim Johnson
Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time--her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy's older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a "thug" on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of skeletons of their Texas town's racist history that still haunt the present?
In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he's forced to become pen pals with Charlie Levy of Paris, France--a girl! he thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex's reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic--and along with them, the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature. From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.
by Emma Lord
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming--mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger's massive Twitter account.
Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper's side. When he isn't trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin's shadow, he's busy working in his family deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma's iconic grilled cheese recipe, he'll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
All's fair in love and cheese--that is, until Pepper and Jacks spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they're publicly duke it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they're also falling for each other in real life--on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate--people on the internet are shipping them??--their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can't ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she's learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light. Carry only what fits in a suitcase. Toothbrush? Yes. Socks? Yes. Emotional attachment to friends? foster families? a boyfriend? Nope! There's no room for additional baggage. Muir has just one year left before she ages out of the system. One year before she's free. One year to avoid anything--or anyone--that could get in her way. Then she meets Francine. And Kira. And Sean. And everything changes.