The Rhode Island Children's Book Award Committee nominates 20 books each year, representing some of the best
new books for young people. Students across the state who read a minimum of 3 books from the list (but hopefully more!)
can vote for their favorite in their school library around January or February of each year.
Check out the Nominees for 2021 below! The books are available in your school library as well as the public library. Some titles are also available as e-books.
In the box below are book summaries and trailers for the 2021 RICBA book nominees. Some of the tabs also have links to the authors' websites or video book trailers. The books will all be available in our school library in the fall but you can also check them out from the public library this summer.
The public library may also have ebook versions of the titles. Please ask the librarians at your local library to help you access them. Don't be shy. Answering questions and helping people is why they are there!
Also, just below here is a summary sheet of all the titles to print out and take with you!
One Third Nerd
by Gennifer Choldenko
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 5.8
Guided Reading Level: R
Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 4.4
Lexile Level 700, Guided Reading Level X
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Interest Level K-3, Reading Level 2.5
Guided Reading Level K (approximate)
Winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal
A 2020 Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.
Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.
Click the picture below tto see the book trailer!
Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team
by Susan Hood & Pathana Sornhiran
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 6.2
Lexile Level 830, Guided Reading Level S (approximate)
Map on endpapers. Shares the story of the Thai soccer team of twelve boys and their coach trapped in a flooded cave miles underground for three weeks. Including the team's time in the cave, failed plans and mistakes from the rescue team, and the mission that saved them.
A NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION AND CHILDREN'S BOOK COUNCIL BEST STEM BOOK OF 2019!
A CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF 2019!
A 2020 NOTABLE SOCIAL STUDIES TRADE BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE!
Don't miss the breathtaking true story of the international rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand!
One afternoon, eleven-year-old Titan, his friends from the Wild Boars soccer team, and their coach rode their bikes to explore local caves. They crawled through the narrow tunnels in the dark to reach the center of the cave. When they turned to go home, heavy rains had flooded the tunnel. They were trapped!
With rising waters and monsoon season upon them, time and oxygen were running out. The world watched with bated breath as rescuers from around the globe joined forces to try to free the boys. After eighteen harrowing days, in an unprecedented effort of international teamwork, they were finally saved.
Award-winning author Susan Hood and journalist Pathana Sornhiran based this picture book on Sornhiran's first-hand reporting of the event, and Dow Phumiruk's beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. The book also includes a timeline and back matter with additional resources.
Horn Book Guide starred (Spring 2019)
Click the picture below to see Ellen interview the actual team about their experience!
Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Interest Level 5-8, Reading Level 4.4
Lexile Level HL560L, Guided Reading Level X
Please click picture below to see book trailer!
Interest Level 5-8, Reading Level 6.3
Lexile Level 630, Guided Reading Level P (approximate)
Stranger Things meets The Goonies in this suspenseful yet heartwarming adventure story about kids who set out to find a crashed meteor . . . but find mystery and danger instead as their friendships begin to fracture.
Annie, Beans, Rocky, and Fynn are the Scouts -- best friends who do everything together. It's 1985, and the summer before seventh grade is just beginning. The Scouts decide to secretly climb Old Man Basinger's silo to watch a meteor shower, and when one meteor seems to crash nearby, the Scouts know they have to set out on their next adventure and find it.
But their fun overnight jaunt through the woods soon takes a turn for the worst when they discover a series of disturbing clues about the meteor -- and suddenly find themselves on the run from the wild, violent Mason clan. Bonds are tested when new kids join their adventure and the group's true feelings are revealed. Will the Scouts survive this journey together -- or will their unbreakable friendships prove vulnerable after all?
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family
by Ibtihaj Muhamma
Interest Level K-3, Reading Level 1.6
Guided Reading Level N
Please click the picture below to hear the illustrator speaking about the book!
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
Interest Level 3-6 Reading Level 5.6
Lexile Level 720, Guided Reading Level Q (approximate)
A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy's immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks! Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang!
AParents Magazine Best Kids Book of the Year!
A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year!
AnNPRBest Book of the Year!
AHorn BookBest Book of the Year!
AKirkusBest Book of the Year!
Recipient of FIVE starred reviews!
"Pie in the Sky is like enjoying a decadent cake . . . heartwarming and rib-tickling." --Terri Libenson, bestselling author ofInvisible Emmie
When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he's landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn't speak English, and he's often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.
To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down onemajorrule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she's at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they'll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.
In her hilarious, moving middle-grade debut, Remy Lai delivers a scrumptious combination of vibrant graphic art and pitch-perfect writing that will appeal to fans of Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham'sReal Friends,Kelly Yang'sFront Desk, and Jerry Craft'sNew Kid.
A Junior Library Guild selection!
Click on the picture below to see the book trailer!
Over the Moon by Natalie Lloyd
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 5
Lexile Level 600, Guided Reading Level U
New from Natalie Lloyd, bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic!
Twelve-year-old Mallie knows better than to dream. In Coal Top, you live the story you're given: boys toil in t he mines and girls work as servants. Mallie can't bear the idea of that kind of life, but her family is counting on her wages to survive. It wasn't always this way. Before the Dust came, the people of Coal Top could weave starlight into cloth. They'd wear these dreaming clothes to sleep and wake up with the courage to seek adventure . . . or the peace to heal a broken heart. But now nothing can penetrate Coal Top's blanket of sorrow.
So when Mallie is chosen for a dangerous competition in which daring (and ideally, orphaned) children train flying horses, she jumps at the chance. Maybe she'll change her story. Maybe she'll even find the magic she needs to dream again. But the situation proves even more dangerous when Mallie uncovers a sinister mystery at the heart of Coal Top's struggles - a mystery some powerful people will do anything to protect.
Click on the picture below to see a video review!
Out of My Shell by Jenny Goebel
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 6.3
Lexile Level 740, Guided Reading Q (approximate)
Awesome Dog 5000 by Justin Dean
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 6.2
Guided Reading Level : R
Nina Soni, Former Best Friend
by Kashmera Sheth
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 5
Guided Reading Level Q
Max and the Midknights By Lincoln Pierce (author of Big Nate series)
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 3.9
Lexile Level GN490L, Guided Reading Level M (approximate)
Click picture below to see trailer!
Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible Story of the Man Behind the Machines
by Sarah Aronson
Interest Level K-3, Reading Level 3.3
Lexile Level 690, Guided Reading Level P (approximate)
Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 4.6
Lexile Level 900, Guided Reading Level W
Gross as a Snot Otter: Discovering the World's Most Disgusting Animals
by Jess Keating
Interest Level: K-3, Reading Level 5-7
Guided Reading Level: P
Dear Justice League, by Michael Northup
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 4.2
Guided Reading Level Q (approximate)
Click picture to view book trailer!
A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 5.1
Guided Reading Level Y
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Rauf
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 6.4
Guided Reading Level V
Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord
Interest Level 3-6, Reading Level 4.3
Lexile Level 660, Guided Reading Level P (approximate)