First Annual

Rhode Island 

Teen Book Award


A collaborative project of the Rhode Island Educational Media Association (RIEMA), the Rhode Island Library Association and the Rhode Island State Council of the International Reading Association

The 20 books listed below, published between 1998-2000,  have been nominated by the RITBA committee based on literary quality and their appeal to teens.

Rhode Island students are encouraged to read at least 3 books on this list before casting their vote.  Voting will take place in January 2002.
Click here for ballot

Recommended for Middle School Students

  King of Shadows
 by Susan Cooper

American Nat Field joins a troupe of young actors in London where they will perform one of Shakespeare’s masterpieces. Due to a mysterious illness, Nat is transported to 1599 London where he meets and works for the Bard himself.
Nory Ryan’s Song

by Patricia Reilly Giff

Nory Ryan’s family has lived in Ireland for generations, barely getting by.When a terrible plague attacks the potato crops, Nory and her neighbors must summon the courage to find food, hope and a way to help their families survive.

Our Only May Amelia

by Jennifer Holm

Growing up in a rural isolated community in Washington state in 1901, May Amelia is the youngest in the family and the only girl.She wants to do everything her brothers do, much to her father’s dismay.

Silent to the Bone

by E.L.Konigsburg

Nikki is in a coma.The English au pair says that the baby’s half-brother Branwell dropped her.Branwell isn’t saying anything. He hasn’t spoken since he picked up the phone and dialed 911.

Recommended for All Students

Kit’s Wilderness

by David Almond.

He knows that John Askew is trouble, but Kit Watson is still drawn to him and his game called Death. 

Night Hoops

by Carl Deuker

When Nick becomes a major player on the high school basketball team, his father expects him to be the star of the team.When his friend Trent ends up in trouble, Nick is able to put his basketball career in perspective.

Stick Figure: A Diary of my Former Self

by Lori Gottlieb

The author shares her sometimes humorous and always truthful diaries chronicling the experiences that led her to anorexia.Trying to control her life, she strives to become “the thinnest eleven-year-old on the planet.”

Gathering Blue

by Lois Lowry

At a young age, Kira is left orphaned and handicapped.When the Council of Guardians summons her to judgment, Kira prepares to fight for her life.Instead, Kira finds herself honored for her almost magical artistic gifts.


by Walter Dean Myers 

Steve Harmon is accused of being an accessory to a robbery/murder.Known as “Monster,” he chronicles his incarceration and trial in a unique, gripping screenplay format.

A Long Way from Chicago

by Richard Peck

During the Depression,  Joey and his sister spend a week in the country with their grandmother. Grandma Dowdell seems different every summer, garnering her feisty reputation while demanding justice and wishing to be left in peace.

Stop Pretending: What Happened when my Big Sister Went Crazy

by Sonya Sones

Cookie’s older sister is unexpectedly hospitalized with mental illness, and her family is torn apart. Will Cookie’s world ever be the same?Based on the author’s own childhood experiences, this story is told entirely in verse.

Give a Boy a Gun

by Todd Strasser

Two students barricade their classmates and teachers in the gym and hold them at gunpoint. What events drove them to this desperate act?


Memories of Summer

by Ruth White

Lyric, Summer and their father move from rural Virginia to Flint, Michigan in the 1950’s.As Lyric blossoms in her new life, Summer retreats into the frightening world of schizophrenia.Lyric relates how one family dealt with mental illness in a time when there weren’t many options.

If you Come Softly

by Jacqueline Woodson

Jeremiah, an African-American basketball player from Brooklyn, and Ellie, a white Jewish student from Manhattan,  meet at the same private school.When they fall in love, they struggle with the reactions of the white community.

Recommended for High School Students


by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda is an outcast who is shunned by her friends because she placed a call to the police at a rowdy party last summer.Now she faces her freshman year alone and withdrawn while trying to avoid memories that leave her barely able to speak.


by Sarah Dessen

Caitlin’s perfect older sister has run away.Trying to fill Cass’s shoes leaves Caitlin feeling drained until she meets Rogerson, a mysterious boy who lets her be herself. …sometimes.
The Beet Fields:Memories of a Sixteenth Summer

by Gary Paulsen

The hugely popular author writes of his troubled youth in this brutal, unsentimental memoir.He lives and works with Mexican migrant laborers, is beaten, suffers theft, and discovers the mysteries of sex.
The Body of Christopher Creed

by Carol Plum-Ucci

The “suicide” note left on a school library computer is not enough evidence to stop the suspicions of Tory Adams that there is more the to disappearance of Christopher Creed than meets the eye.

Breaking Rank

by Kristen Randle

Baby is a member of a gang,  and Casey is a popular honor student.When Casey is assigned to tutor Baby, they are able to see past all the stereotypes, and a relationship begins to develop that  their friends refuse to understand.

Hard Love

by Ellen Wittlinger

John feels alienated from his divorced parents, but he finds understanding in ‘zine writer, Marisol, who encourages him to write about his lonely life. When he begins to fall for her, she cannot return his love.

RITBA COMMITTEE:  Nancy Appleton, Nancy Christy, Diane deThomas, Anne Ejnes, Kathy Gendron, Donna Good, Gretchen Hanley, Frank Iacono, Joe Light, Sharon Lux, Connie Malinowski, Amy Skolnik

RITBA Logo Created by  Hillary J. Matoian, 10th grade, LaSalle Academy

RITBA Web Site Created by Amy E. Skolnik