Sunshine State Young Readers Association (SSYRA)

The Sunshine State Young Reader's Award Program is a statewide reading motivation program for students in grades 3-8. The program, cosponsored by the School Library Media Services Office of the Department of Education and the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME), began in 1983. The purpose of the SSYRA Program is to encourage students to read independently for personal satisfaction, based on interest rather than reading level.

Sunshine State books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation. Students are encouraged to read books that are above, on, and below their tested reading level in order to improve their reading fluency.



SSYRA Nominees

2013 - 2014

Elementary (Grades 3-5)

fakemustache Angleberger, Tom. Fake mustache, or, How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind. (AR 4.6) Lenny Flem Jr. is the only one standing between his evil-genius best friend Casper and world domination as Casper uses a spectacularly convincing fake mustache and the ability to hypnotize to rob banks, amass a vast fortune, and run for president.
IVANAN Applegate, Katherine. One and Only Ivan. (AR 3.6) When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
MOUSENE Breitrose, Prudence. Mousenet. (AR 6.0) Sent to live with her chef father and his wife in Oregon after having stayed with her inventor uncle and scientist mother in Cincinnati, ten-year-old misfit Megan is lonely until she starts working with some computer-savvy mice to try to save Mouse Nation–and the planet.
FLOOR Carman, Patrick. Floors. ( AR 5.7) The Whippet Hotel’s truly unique, with features like the Cake Room, where delicious sweets are stocked daily, and the Flying Farm Room, which is populated by flying animal holograms. But since owner-architect Merganzer Whippet vanished 100 days earlier, the hotel’s caretakers, 10-year-old Leo and his father, are completely in charge of looking after the guests. Then Leo discovers a mysterious box with a note that warns Leo of the hotel’s future and includes enigmatic instructions for tasks that, when completed, might help protect it. With only days to succeed, Leo jumps into an adventure-filled, suspenseful quest through secret rooms on hidden floors to locate other boxes. Aided by a young friend, a feisty duck, and a chatty robot, Leo must use his wits and courage to save the hotel before the letter’s deadline. Mixing mystery; colorfully drawn, offbeat characters; and some Willy Wonka–evoking flourishes, this series starter offers an absorbing, entertaining read with an appealing and sympathetic protagonist. Fantastical inventions and humorous scenarios abound, but the story also sensitively explores themes of loss, healing, and family.
YEARBOO Cheng, Andrea. The Year of the Book. (AR3.6) Follows a young Chinese American girl, as she navigates relationships with family, friends, and her fourth-grade classroom, and finds a true best friend.
THOMADRAG Crum, Shutta. Thomas and the Dragon Queen. (AR 5.3) When the princess is kidnapped by a dragon queen, thirteen-year-old Thomas, a new–and very small–squire-in-training boldly sets out on a quest to rescue her.
DOUBLEDO Graff, Lisa. Double Dog Dare. (AR 4.4) When Kansas Bloom moves to California and joins the Media Club at school, he soon finds himself trying to outdo one of the other fourth-grade students in a “dare war” while vying for the job of on-air video homeroom announcer.
MELL Kelly, Katie. Melonhead. (AR 4.0) In the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Capitol Hill, Lucy Rose’s friend Adam “Melonhead” Melon, a budding inventor with a knack for getting into trouble, enters a science contest that challenges students to recycle an older invention into a new invention.
TOUCH Lord, Cynthia. Touch Blue. (AR 4.4) When the state of Maine threatens to shut down their island’s one-room schoolhouse because of dwindling enrollment, eleven-year-old Tess, a strong believer in luck, and her family take in a trumpet-playing foster child, to increase the school’s population.
WAITINGMAGI MacLachlan, Patricia. Waiting for the Magic. (AR 3.0) In absence of their father, a brother and sister adopt four dogs and a cat in an attempt to save their family.
CANDY Mass, Wendy. The Candymakers. (AR 5.0) Four gifted twelve-year-olds, including Logan, the candymaker’s son, are set to be contestants in the Confectionary Association’s national competition to determine the nation’s tastiest sweet, but nobody anticipates that a friendship will form between them.
ZOOK Rocklin, Joanne. The Five Lives of our Cat Zook. (AR 4.5) In this warmhearted middle-grade novel, Oona and her brother, Fred, love their cat Zook (short for Zucchini), but Zook is sick. As they conspire to break him out of the vet’s office, convinced he can only get better at home with them, Oona tells Fred the story of Zook’s previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life. Each of Zook’s lives has echoes in Oona’s own family life, which is going through a transition she’s not yet ready to face. Her father died two years ago, and her mother has started a relationship with a man named Dylan—whom Oona secretly calls “the villain.” The truth about Dylan, and about Zook’s medical condition, drives the drama in this loving family story.
GLORY Scattergood, Augusta. Glory Be. (AR 4.3) Gloriana faces her twelfth birthday in 1964 and struggles with the changes she sees happening around her, but while she struggles to understand the shift in her relationships with her sister–who is about to enter high school–and her best friend, Frankie, Gloriana witnesses tempers rise in a debate over a segregated public pool.
WISHSTEAL Trivas, Tracey. Wish Stealers, The. (AR 4.4) Years ago pennies were stolen from a wishing fountain, and it falls to Griffin to set things right, but he will undoubtedly face grave dangers on his quest.
JANITO Whitesides, Taylor. Janitors. (AR 5.1) The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it’s draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve year-old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. First in a new series

 

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