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Rhode Island Children's Book Award Selection And Submission Criteria

About the Annual List of Nominees

The Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Committee, composed of Rhode Island teachers, school librarians, and public librarians, works annually to create a diverse list of nominated books using specific criteria. The committee is intentional in seeking books that affirm marginalized groups and champions stories and characters that reflect the lived experiences of Rhode Island youth as well as the larger world. The committee aims to provide an annual list of nominees that maintains diversity in race, gender, sexuality, family makeup, socioeconomic status, and ability. Nominee lists are thoughtfully curated with an anti-racist lens, to allow all youth to be seen and their voices actively heard. The Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Committee believes representation matters and strives to create mirrors, windows and prisms for all children.

A growing list of resources for addressing book challenges can be found on the RICBA LibGuide at


Selection Criteria

  • Titles nominated should be appropriate for grades 3-5.
  • Fiction and non-fiction titles published during the last two years are eligible.
  • Nominated titles must be currently in print.
  • A title listed once may not be nominated again.
  • Only one title per author may be nominated each year.
  • Books by co-authors may be considered.
  • The winning author will be excluded from nomination the following year.
  • All nominated books must have literary value and child appeal.
  • Editors of collected works by other authors will not be considered.
  • New adaptations of books previously published will not be considered (e.g., new graphic novel version of a book.)
  • Series books, sequels, and prequels will be considered as long as they can be enjoyed as standalone books by child readers and do not depend on other books in the series to understand the plot, characters, or setting.
  • The final list should be diverse, so a variety of books should be sought for consideration.
  • Books that have been selected for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island Latino Book Award, or Rhode Island Middle School Book Award will not be considered.
  • The committee reserves the right to remove from consideration, or from the list of final nominees, books by authors with a well-documented history of harassment or assault.

Selection Procedure

  • The committee evaluates books September through February to select 20 nominees for student voting the following February.
  • All committee members and the Advisor nominate books to be considered. Suggestions of book titles are welcome from individuals who have experience working with children in grades 3-5. Suggestions may be sent to the Advisor, Danielle Margarida, at
  • Following book evaluation, the committee convenes in March to finalize the list of nominees.
  • The final list of 20 nominees is released in March for student voting the following February.


The Rhode Island Children's Book Award committee welcomes submissions of review copies that meet the selection criteria from authors and publishers. The committee reviews books September-February. Submissions sent after February will be distributed to the committee when it reconvenes in September. Once review copies have been read by the committee, they are distributed to teachers, librarians, and kids through giveaways at events or through the RICBA Facebook page. The committee ensures that, following the evaluation process, all review books find a child audience by being added to a library or classroom collection, or by being directly given to a child. Review books can be sent to the committee Advisor:

Danielle Margarida, Youth Services Coordinator

Office of Library & Information Services

Rhode Island Department of Administration

One Capitol Hill

Providence, RI  02908-5803