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 2019
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it?
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted--from debut author Lilliam Rivera.
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsmanin this dark and mystical East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress.
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age.
Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That's how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it's how she'll get into Stanford. But she's never had a boyfriend. . .
Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza
Kat and Meg couldn't be more different. Kat's anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to people. Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: They're both obsessed with the same online gaming star and his hilarious videos.
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo; Sara Kipin (Illustrator)
Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Faith Sunderly knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
This novel takes place in sixty potent seconds--the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he's going to murder the guy who killed his brother.
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class [and] creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
What if the most terrifying person you know is your ten-year-old sister? Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he's also certain that she's a psychopath--clinically, threateningly, dangerously.
This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston
No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won't say who fired the shot that killed their friend, Grant; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.
Warcross by Marie Lu
When a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths. For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn't just a game--it's a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
You go through life thinking there's so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother. Marin hasn't spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
A hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.
Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo
She will become one of the world's greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton
Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren't there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who's unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can't.
Teen Fiction Suggestions
Cadaver and Queen by Alisa Kwitney
Frankenstein meets Marissa Meyer's Cinder in this tightly paced historical thriller packed with secrets, betrayal and steamy romance.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans.
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 lines.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, Davis.
Rikers High or any book by Paul Volponi
Martin was sitting on the front stoop of his apartment building minding his own business when he was arrested for something he didn't even mean to do. Five months later, he's still locked up on Rikers Island, in a New York City jail. Just when it seems things couldn't get much worse, Martin is caught between two warring prisoners, and his face is slashed. Now he'll be forever marked with a prison scar. One good thing comes from the attack: Martin is transferred to a different part of Rikers where inmates are required to attend high school.
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident.
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun. 10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve. 10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class. 10:03 The auditorium doors won't open. 10:05 Someone starts shooting. Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes.
Batman by Marie Lu
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy. The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list. The city's elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Publication Date: \
They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise. Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie's Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice's grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get.
Fast Break or any book by Mike Lupica
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. Besides, his real home has always been the beat-up basketball court behind the projects in the North Carolina hills, and his family has always been his friends and teammates.
Teen Fiction Series Suggestions
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The Red Queen series is a four-book, YA fantasy series by Victoria Aveyard first published in 2015. The YA fantasy is set in a world divided by blood color — red for ordinary people, silver for elites with supernatural abilities.
Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles is a series of young adult fantasy novels written by American author Marissa Meyer. Each book entails a new take on an old fairy tale, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The series centers on a group of people set for unwinding (harvested body parts) during a time in the future when children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can be "unwound" by their parents. In this future, it is widely believed that, since the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, life for the unwinds do not technically end.
The Program by Suzanne Young
In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a sweeping and gorgeously written modern fantasy series about a forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope for a world remade.
Insignia by S. J. Kincaid
The novels describe a dystopian future where the Earth is in the middle of World War III, when teenage gamer Tom Raines is recruited to train with other young cadets as a pivotal member of the elite combat corps, the Intrasolar Forces.
Teen Graphic Novel Suggestions
Lighter Than My Shadow (2019 RITBA Nominee) by Katie Green (Artist); Andrea Colvin (Editor)
A graphic memoir of eating disorders, abuse and recovery. One day you can find yourself being told you have two weeks to live. Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness...
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age: Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride--or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia--the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
RWBY by Shirow Miwa; Monty Oum
In adventures based on Rooster Teeth's hit animation series, Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang are students at Beacon Academy, learning to protect the world from the fearsome Grimm. When the people of Remnant aren't fighting monsters, they still find conflict among themselves.
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless--an outcast--because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her.
Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new,action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold.
Teen Graphic Novels Series Suggestions
Bleach by Tite Kubo
Bleach follows the adventures of the hotheaded teenager Ichigo Kurosaki who inherits his parents destiny, after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
This series follows the daily lives of an extremely powerful octopus-like teacher and his students dedicated to the task of assassinating him to prevent Earth from being destroyed.
Ultraman by Tomohiro Shimoguchi; Eiichi Shimizu
When the Earth is threatened by alien invaders and giant monsters, the world relies on the Science Patrol, a special anti-monster defense agency armed with high-tech weaponry and vehicles to combat these threats from the unknown.
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
The story follows a group of girls named Mal, Ripley, Molly, April, and Jo spending summer at a scout camp, and the strange creatures and supernatural phenomena they encounter there.
The Backstagers by George Perez
When Jory transfers to the private, all-boys school St. Genesius, he figures joining the stage crew would involve a lot of just fetching props and getting splinters. To his pleasant surprise, he discovers there's a door backstage that leads to different worlds, and all of the stagehands know about it!
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan
Paper Girls follows the story of four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls who while out delivering newspapers find what appears to be a time machine. The town is struck by an invasion from a mysterious force from the future.
Teen Non-Fiction Suggestions
The 57 Bus (2019 RITBA Nominee) by Dashka Slater
One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both of their lives forever. If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment.
Undefeated (2019 RITBA Nominee) by Steve Sheinkin
When superstar athlete Jim Thorpe and football legend Pop Warner met in 1904 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history. Called "the team that invented football," they took on the best opponents of their day, defeating much more privileged schools such as Harvard and the Army.
Because I Was a Girl by Melissa De la Cruz
Because I Was a Girl is an inspiring collection of true stories by women and girls about the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities they've faced...because of their gender.
Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman
The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers' lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend--Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions.
The Caped Crusade by Glen Weldon
A witty, intelligent cultural history explaining Batman's rises and falls throughout the ages--and what his story tells us about ourselves. Since his creation, Batman has been many things: a two-fisted detective; a planet-hopping gadabout; a campy Pop-art sensation; a pointy-eared master spy; and a grim and gritty ninja of the urban night.
Americanized by Sara Saedi
At thirteen, bright-eyed, straight-A student Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: she was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn't learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to apply for an after-school job, but couldn't because she didn't have a Social Security number.