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Kids Reading Across RI Program

Announcing KRARI 2024

KRARI 2024 Authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass
KRARI 2024 Authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass

2024 Kickoff Event

On May 4th, the Rhode Island State House was abuzz with excitement as families, authors, and community organizations gathered to kick off the 15th year of Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, the state's beloved community read program for kids. With authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass headlining the event and a plethora of engaging activities hosted by local libraries and organizations, the kickoff celebration was a resounding success.

The highlight of the event was undoubtedly the presence of acclaimed authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass, whose latest collaboration, The Lost Library, serves as the 2024 selection for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island. Their book, filled with mystery, friendship, and the transformative power of storytelling, promises to captivate young readers across the state.

As attendees explored the State House, they were greeted by activity tables hosted by various organizations, offering crafts and information about summer opportunities. From the North Providence Union Free Library to the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

The kickoff event also saw a special welcome from Governor McKee and Mrs. McKee, who greeted attendees in the State Library. State Librarian and Honorary Chair Meg Hamlin-Black set the tone for the day with a heartfelt speech, highlighting the importance of reading and the shared experience of delving into a good book.

Moreover, the event served as a reminder of Rhode Island's rich history, coinciding with Rhode Island Independence Day. Attendees were greeted by the newly-refurbished Independent Man statue, symbolizing the state's spirit of independence and resilience.

A heartfelt thank you was extended to the KRARI committee for their dedication and hard work in organizing the event, ensuring its success. Their efforts, alongside the support of various community partners, contributed to making the kickoff celebration a memorable experience for all.

As the festivities came to a close, attendees left with not only excitement for the adventures awaiting them within the pages of The Lost Library but also a renewed appreciation for the power of reading to bring communities together. With the promise of engaging discussions and activities throughout the spring and summer, Kids Reading Across Rhode Island continues to inspire young minds and foster a love of reading across the state.

The Kids Reading Across RI Committee

Andrea Hutnak
Brandi Fong
Babs Wells
Diane Walsh
John Hanks
Lisa Lesinski
Lynda LaCava
Patrick Tierney
Olivia McCullough
Honorary member Anne McLaughlin

Participating Libraries and Organizations

Barrington Public Library
CollegeBound Saver
East Providence Public Library
North Providence Union Free Library
Rhode Island PBS
RI Children's Book Award
RI Department of Environmental Management
RI Festival of Children's Books and Authors
RI Latino Books Award
Rocky Hill Country Day School
Rogers Free Library
We Are All Readers

2024 Sponsors

Institute of Museum and Library Services
Office of Library & Information Services
Rhode Island Center for the Book
The Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust
Ocean State Charities Trust
TD Charitable Foundation

American Association of University Women
The Pell Center at Salve Regina University
Rhode Island Library Association
Rhode Island PBS
School Librarians of Rhode Island

Barrington Books
Books on the Square
Charter Books
Curiosity & Co.
Ink Fish Books

The Lost Library book cover
The Lost Library (Book Cover)

The Lost Library

When a mysterious little free library (guarded by a large orange cat) appears overnight in the small town of Martinville, eleven-year-old Evan plucks two weathered books from its shelves, never suspecting that his life is about to change.

Evan and his best friend Rafe quickly discover a link between one of the old books and a long-ago event that none of the grown-ups want to talk about. The two boys start asking questions whose answers will transform not only their own futures, but the town itself.

Told in turn by a ghost librarian named Al, an aging (but beautiful) cat named Mortimer, and Evan himself, The Lost Library is a timeless story from award-winning authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass. It’s about owning your truth, choosing the life you want, and the power of a good book (and, of course, the librarian who gave it to you).

Author Rebecca Stead
Rebecca Stead
Author Wendy Mass
Wendy Mass


Meet the Authors

Rebecca Stead is the New York Times bestselling author of When You Reach Me, Liar & Spy, First Light, Goodbye Stranger, Bob, and, most recently, The List of Things That Will Not Change. Her books have been awarded the Newbery Medal, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Rebecca lives in New York City, where she is always on the lookout for her next story idea.

Wendy Mass is the New York Times bestselling author of The Candymakers series, Bob, and many other novels for young readers, including the Schneider Family Book Award-winner A Mango-Shaped Space, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (which was made into a feature film), Every Soul a Star, Pi in the Sky, the Twice Upon a Time series, and the Willow Falls series that began with 11 Birthdays. She and her family live in New Jersey.


2024 KRARI Kickoff Event

Join us at the RI State House on May 4th for a kickoff celebration featuring authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass and activities from local libraries and community organizations.

KRARI Kickoff 
May 4, 2024 
2:00pm - 4:00pm 
RI State House, 82 Smith Street, Providence, RI 
Free entry and free parking
Each family will receive a free copy of The Lost Library to have signed by the authors. 


2024 KRARI Info Session and Program Guide

The Lost Library Information Session
Tuesday, March 5

The Center for the Book and the RI Office of Library and Information Services is kicking off its 2024 Kids Reading Across RI season with The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass. Join us for this virtual information session to learn more about the title and themes, and what the KRARI committee has planned for this year's program.This session will be recorded and will be made available for those who cannot attend live.

The session will include:

  • Overview of the Kids Reading Across Rhode Island program
  • Introduction to the 2024 selection and LibGuide
  • Requesting a book set
  • In-person kickoff event
  • Ways to get involved in KRARI in the future

Program Guide
Find all KRARI resources on the online KRARI guide at Included on the guide:

  • virtual event recordings
  • discussion guide
  • book lists
  • hands-on activities
  • related web sites

Request Book Sets

Sets of the 2024 KRARI selection The Lost Library are available to schools and public libraries planning to lead a KRARI book discussion this spring and summer. Please use the appropriate form below to request a book set. Requests must be made using the appropriate form by March 11, 2024. Book sets will be delivered early April.

Questions about book distribution may be addressed to:

Danielle Margarida

Youth Services Coordinator, RI Office of Library and Information Services

For requests after the March 11 deadline, contact Kate Lentz at Requests made after the March 11 deadline will be fulfilled based on current availability of books.

2023 Kickoff Event

Kickoff Event Passport

The kickoff event for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2023 held at the State House on May 13th was a great success, attracting a crowd of more than 125 enthusiastic attendees. The event revolved around award winning-author, Dan Santat, and his graphic novel, The Aquanaut.

The festivities were a true collaboration, with 19 public libraries and organizations hosting activity tables that brimmed with excitement and learning opportunities. Adding to the magical ambiance, the Jr. Tones from the East End Theatre & Performing Arts group performed their original song, "Have You Read This Book?"

Dan Santat himself graced the event, delighting attendees with his insights into the inspiration and creative process behind The Aquanaut. Families had the chance to meet the author and have their books signed, while he was presented with a formal recognition from Lt. Governor Sabina Matos for his invaluable contribution to the Kids Reading Across Rhode Island program.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the participants who made this event a resounding success. Special thanks to the Barrington Public Library, the Community Libraries of Providence, the East Providence Public Library, the Middletown Public Library, the North Providence Union Free Library, the Rogers Free Library, the Warwick Public Library, the RI Children's Book Award committee, the RI Latino Books Award committee, and the RI Middle School Book Award committee. We are also grateful for the support of our partners at Rhode Island PBS, Big Nazo, ScubaTrainors, East End Theatre & Performing Arts, and CollegeBound Saver.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to the hardworking KRARI committee members, including Andrea Hutnak, Babs Wells, Brandi Fong, Diane Walsh, Lisa Lesinski, Lynda LaCava, Mel Fricchione, Patrick Tierney, and honorary committee member Anne McLaughlin, for their exceptional coordination in bringing back this in-person event.

If you are interested in joining the KRARI committee to select the 2024 book and plan related activities, please reach out to Danielle Margarida at Your involvement can help shape the future of this remarkable program that celebrates the joy of reading among children across Rhode Island.


Major Support for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2023


Dan Santat

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island's One Book, One State community read program for kids, is kicking off its 15th year! This program, offered by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services in partnership with the Rhode Island Center for the Book, encourages students across the state in grades 4 through 6 to read the same book, and engage in community discussions and programs. The 2024 selection is The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass.

Learn about the 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 programs on the KRARI LibGuide.