Any past RITBA nominee would make a good choice for summer reading. To access a list of previous nominees and winners click here. You will find the links under the "Main Menu" on the right. Current nominees are listed in the box below.
Rhode Island Teen Book Award (RITBA) Nominees 2018
Battlesaurus by Brian Falkner
In this alternate history, Napoleon wins at Waterloo by unleashing a secret battlefield weapon--a legion of giant, carnivorous dinosaurs.
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Matt takes a job at a funeral home in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood and, while attending and assisting with funerals, begins to accept her death and his responsibilities as a man.
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam.
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Caden pretends to join his school's track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head; he is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston
At cheerleading camp, Hermione is drugged and raped, but she is not sure whether it was one of her teammates or a boy on another team.
Front Lines by Michael Grant
1942, World War II. The most terrible war in human history. A court decision makes females subject to the draft and eligible for service.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
In this prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Cath would rather open a bakery and marry for love than accept a proposal from the King of Hearts.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Agoraphobic sixteen-year-old Solomon has not left his house in three years, but Lisa is determined to change that-- and to write a scholarship-winning essay based on the results.
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
After her mother dies, Lina travels to Italy where she discovers her mother's journal and sets off on an adventure to unearth her mother's secrets.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war's final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe--a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't.
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
The son of a Pentecostal preacher faces his personal demons as he and his two outcast friends try to make it through their senior year of high school in rural Forrestville, Tennessee
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Growing up in Alaska in the 1970s isn't like growing up anywhere else: Don't think life is going to be easy. Know your place. And never talk about yourself. Four vivid voices tell intertwining stories of hardship, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel has always been a good son and good student. But when he sees Natasha he forgets all that and believes there is something extraordinary in store for both of them.
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
A gender-fluid teenager who struggles with identity creates a blog on the topic that goes viral, and faces ridicule at the hands of fellow students.
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers.
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
The first book in a duology about an alternate version of 1956 where the Axis powers won WWII, and hold an annual motorcycle race.
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, Naila’s parents travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots.
X by Ilyasah Shabazz; Kekla Magoon
Co-written by Malcolm X's daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world
Teen Graphic Novels
Honor Girl (2018 RITBA Nominee) by Maggie Thrash
Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She's from Atlanta, she's never kissed a guy, she's into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment.
March by John Lewis; Andrew Aydin; Nate Powell
Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; Cassandra Jean (Artist)
When Jacob Portman was a boy, his grandfather regaled him with stories of his fantastic life at Miss Peregrine's home during the Second World War, even sharing photos of the remarkable children with whom he resided. As Jacob grew up, though, he decided that these photos were obvious fakes, simple forgeries designed to stir up his youthful imagination. Or were they...?
Snow White by Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow.
SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
The Super Mutant Magic Academy is a prep school for mutants and witches, but their paranormal abilities take a backseat to everyday teen concerns.
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki; Jillian Tamaki (Illustrator)
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different... One of the local teens - just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy - is caught up in something bad... Something life threatening.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (Illustrator)
Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong.
Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos
In this book, acclaimed author Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between.
Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner; Gareth Hinds (Illustrator)
When Yoshitsune was just a baby, his father went to war with a rival samurai family--and lost. His father was killed, his mother captured, and his surviving half-brother banished. Yoshitsune was sent away to live in a monastery. Skinny, small, and unskilled in the warrior arts, he nevertheless escaped and learned the ways of the samurai.
Most Dangerous (2018 RITBA Nominee) by Steve Sheinkin
A tense, narrative nonfiction account of what the Times deemed "the greatest story of the century": how whistle blower Daniel Ellsberg transformed from obscure government analyst into "the most dangerous man in America," and risked everything to expose years of government lies during the Nixon / Cold War era.
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
When I was twenty-five years old, it came to my attention that I had never had a girlfriend. At the time, I was actually under the impression that I was in a relationship, so this bit of news came as something of a shock. Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down each of the girls he had tried to date since middle school and asked them straight up: What went wrong?
Vietnam by Russell Freedman
In an enthralling book, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman provides a succinct account of perhaps the most puzzling and contentious of America's wars. Describing how a superpower caught up in Cold War politics became increasingly enmeshed in a conflict over 8,000 miles away.
Every Bone Tells a Story by Jill Rubalcaba; Peter Robertshaw
Learn how specialized the field of archaeology has become and how new technology can change both scientists' theories and the way we view the past.
Symphony for the City of the Dead by M. T. Anderson
An account of the Siege of Leningrad reveals the role played by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his Leningrad Symphony in rallying and commemorating their fellow citizens.
The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin
Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.
Books For Sports Fans
Courage to Soar by Simone Biles
Simone Biles' entrance into the world of gymnastics may have started on a daycare field trip in her hometown of Spring, Texas, but her God-given talent, passion, and perseverance have made her one of the top gymnasts in the world, as well as a four-time winner of Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro. But there is more to Simone than the nineteen medals--fourteen of them gold--and the Olympic successes.
Curveball by Jordan Sonnenblick
Sometimes life's greatest accomplishments take place off the field. There's nothing All Star pitcher Peter Friedman loves more than baseball. It's his life. He breathes baseball, dreams about it, and works his tail off to be great. Most kids are nervous about starting high school, but Pete's amazing arm is going to make his life pretty easy. But Pete's freshman year doesn't turn out as planned. A pitching accident over the summer ruins his arm. If he isn't the star pitcher, then who is he?
Fast Break or any book by Mike Lupica
From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team, and Million-Dollar Throw, comes a feel-good basketball tale reminiscent of The Blind Side. Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. He manages to get away with his deception until the day he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers.
The Final Four or any book by Paul Volponi
The championship is so close they can taste it. And for four key players, it's about more than just winning. They're fighting for pride, love, recognition, and stardom. But who will come out on top?
Kick by Walter Dean Myers; Ross Workman
Thirteen-year-old soccer star Kevin and police sergeant Brown, who knew his father, try to keep Kevin out of juvenile hall after he is arrested on very serious charges.
Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian
Performing community service for pulling a stupid prank against a rival high school, soccer star Tom tutors a Somali refugee with soccer dreams of his own.
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a way to help rekindle her dream of running again.
Swagger or any book by Carl Deuker
High school senior point guard Jonas Dolan is on the fast track to a basketball career until an unthinkable choice puts his future on the line
Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team is an astonishing underdog sports story and more. It's an unflinching look at the U.S. government's violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures.
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She's alone. And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve.
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect the four episodes of The Ghosts of Heaven. Each of the characters in these mysterious linked stories embarks on a journey of discovery and survival; carried forward through the spiral of time, none will return to the same place.
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she's always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she's trying to be a boy; that she should quit trying to be something she's not.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she's determined not to get too close to anyone. But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can't help but start to let him into her life.
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
"This is East Texas, and there's lines. Lines you cross, lines you don't cross. That clear?" New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.
Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she's a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms of Indian culture where "husband is God."
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
Life has just become very complicated for seventeen-year-old Katie; her father walked out a year ago, her mother is stressed out, her brother is a "special needs" teenager, and she is caring for the maternal grandmother she has never met, who is suffering from Alzheimer's--and Katie has a secret of her own that she cannot reveal.