Nominated by school and public librarians throughout Rhode Island, the annual RICBA nominations are some of the best books recently published in children’s literature. Best of all, they are all available at your local library. Click on the titles below to check availability or to place a reserve with your library card.
The PS Brothers by Maribeth Boelts
Sixth-graders Russell and Shawn, poor and picked on, work together “pooper scooping” up dog droppings to earn money for a rottweiler puppy who will protect them from bullies. When they learn that the puppies’ owner is running an illegal dog-fighting ring, they are torn on how to respond.
Author website: http://www.maribethboelts.com/
Because of Mr. Terupt
Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by “rookie teacher” Mr. Terupt.
Author website: http://www.robbuyea.com/
Floors by Patrick Carman
Ten-year-old Leo’s future and the fate of the extraordinary Whippet Hotel, where his father is the maintenance man, are at stake when a series of cryptic boxes lead Leo to floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances.
Author website: http://www.patrickcarman.com/
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes
While spending a summer in New Mexico with her grandmother, twelve-year-old Izzy makes new friends, learns to cook, and for the first time hears stories about her father, who died before she was born.
Jake by Audrey Coloumbis
What is a family? It has always been just Jake and his mom until she is hospitalized suddenly and he finds himself alone. Jake needs help and finds it in unexpected places.
Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt A. De la Pena
When an African American boxer has a 1938 bout with Adolph Hitler’s “Master Race” German heavyweight, it becomes more than just a boxing match: the honor of the entire racially divided United States is at stake!
Author website: http://www.mattdelapena.com/
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy
A community of mice and a cheese-loving cat form an unlikely alliance at London’s Cheshire Cheese, an inn where Charles Dickens finds inspiration and Queen Victoria makes an unexpected visit.
Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Abandoned by his mother in an Acadia National Park campground, Jack tries to make his way back to Boston before anyone figures out what is going on, with only a small toy elephant for company.
Author website: http://jenniferjacobson.com/small-as-an-elephant/
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Based on the author’s own life, a ten-year-old girl experiences the culture shock of moving to America from Viet Nam; this story expresses both the humor and the heartbreak of this time in her life.
Marty Mcguire by Kate Messner
When tomboy Marty is cast as a princess in a school play, she doesn’t want anything to do with it until her parents force her to take part. It’s only then that she discovers that she can adapt and still be herself.
Author website: http://www.katemessner.com/marty-mcguire/
Fractions = Trouble by Claudia Mills
When Wilson Williams is struggling with fractions and his parents hire a math tutor for him, he is mortified. He is determined to make sure that no one finds out, not even his best friend, Josh.
Author website: http://www.claudiamillsauthor.com/
Sidekicks by Dan Santat
In this graphic novel, Captain Amazing feels he is getting too old to be a reliable superhero, so he tries to hire a new sidekick, but his super power pets have different ideas. When the arch villain Dr. Havoc returns to town Captain Amazing finds himself in trouble. Can his pet save the day?
Author website: http://www.dantat.com/DANTAT.COM/DAN_SANTAT_author___illustrator.html
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
The lives of Rose and Ben, two deaf children growing up 50 years apart, intersect at the American Museum of Natural History. Why is Rose running away? Who is Ben’s father? Are their lives connected? Explore the words and the pictures to discover the truth.
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Eleven-year-old aspiring basketball star and interior designer Lucy Wu is excited about finally having her own bedroom, until she learns that her great-aunt is coming to visit from China and Lucy will have to share her bedroom with her for several months. Will this and her parents forcing her to attend Chinese school bring an end to her plans for a perfect sixth-grade year?
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet
As a boy, Tony Sarg invented a method for feeding his family’s chickens while still in bed. As an adult, he created awe inspiring, floating, balloons to star in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
Author website: http://melissasweet.net/
My Life as a Stuntboy by Janet Tashjian
Derek Fallon has the opportunity of a lifetime when he gets to perform skateboarding stunts and other disciplines of parkour in a movie opposite teen idol, Tanya Billings. But when he learns that he must wear a wig, and his friends post the embarrassing videos of him on the Internet, he wonders if life can get any worse.
Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw
A skeptical shelter cat finally finds a home with the perfect boy. Typical in senryu (a form of haiku) with expressive illustrations; this whole literary package is heartwarming and unforgettable.
Author website: http://www.leewardlaw.com/
Pie by Sarah Weeks
Alice’s Aunt Polly is the best pie maker in the country. When she dies suddenly, the whole town tries to discover how to make pies like Aunt Polly. Alice, however, is trying to find out who the mysterious stranger is that is lurking around town looking for the answer…
Author website: http://www.sarahweeks.com/sweeks-pie.htm
The Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the True Story of an American Feud by Suzanne Jurmain
These two best friends worked together to help form a new nation, but can they fix their broken friendship?
When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica Perl
Zelly Fried wants a dog more than anything, so at the urging of her grandfather, during the summer before sixth grade, she takes care of a “practice dog” made out of an orange juice jug to show her parents that she really is ready for the responsibility, even though she is sometimes not entirely sure about the idea.
Author website: http://www.ericaperl.com/when-life-gives-you-oj/