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Kids Reading Across Rhode Island


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.

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.

Please share the flyers and graphics below with students, patrons, families, and your networks.


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.

Public libraries are invited to participate in the May 4 Kids Reading Across RI kickoff event at the State House. It's a great opportunity to promote your library and summer reading program to families from all over the state. In the past libraries have had tables with activities related to the summer reading theme or the KRARI book. Your activity may be a simple hand’s on activity such as a coloring page or craft. Libraries may also use this as an opportunity to show off any new items they’d like to promote (circulating kits, STEM tools, etc.).  The event typically draws up to 200 people. Interested libraries can contact submit this form or contact Danielle Margarida.

About the event:

Kick off the 2024 Kids Reading Across RI program and meet award-winning authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass. Each family will receive a free copy of The Lost Library that they can have signed by the authors. Enjoy hands-on activities with RI public libraries and organizations.

Saturday, May 4, 2024
Doors open 2:00 - 4:00 PM
RI State House
Free parking in the State of RI lots

Participating libraries and organizations:

  • Barrington Public Library
  • CollegeBound Saver
  • Community Libraries of Providence
  • East Providence Public Library
  • George Hail Library
  • North Providence Union Free Library
  • Rhode Island PBS
  • RI Children's Book Award
  • RI Festival of Children's Books and Authors
  • RI Latino Books Award
  • RI PBS
  • RI Summer Meals
  • Rocky Hill Country Day School
  • Rogers Free Library

Making the Most of Your Book Discussion

  • Read Aloud
  • Lunch Bunch
  • Classroom Read
  • Book Club in a Bag
  • Repeating Discussion Group (using the Discussion Guide)
  • Thematic Activities (using the Discussion Guide)
  • Intergenerational Opportunities
  • Engage with the Author
  • Incentives

Additional program ideas:

Apple Extravaganza
Take a page from AL’s cookbook and make some apple treats. Share apple history and highlight a variety of apple recipes.

Book Swap Event
Help kids discover new books and authors by organizing a book swap event where participants bring in gently used books to exchange with others. Invite participants to briefly book talk the book they’ve bought before beginning the exchange. If kids are unable to bring books to swap consider soliciting donations from the community.

Escape Room
Design an escape room challenge that immerses participants in the world of The Lost Library, where they must solve mysteries and unravel secrets hidden within the library. Incorporate puzzles and clues related to the book's plot, encouraging participants to use their problem-solving skills and teamwork to escape. Escape room resources:

Highlight Library History
Invite kids to investigate your library’s history together. Help them share their findings in a presentation, display, newsletter, video, or recording.

How to Write a Mystery
Evan uses the book How to Write a Mystery Novel to help solve his town’s mysteries. Inspire budding sleuths and authors by facilitating a mystery writing workshop.


Invite kids to be your AL for the day. Show them what it is like to be a librarian by providing hands-on experience with creating a book display, planning a program, providing readers advisory, and maybe helping them check out a book or two to patrons. Give a tour of the library's inner workings, introduce them to staff and patrons, and make sure they have an ID showing their AL status.

Lost Library Scavenger Hunt
Organize a library scavenger hunt where participants must search for clues leading to various books related to adventure and mystery. Include trivia questions or challenges based on the The Lost Library to make it more interactive.

2024 Resource Guide by Danielle Margarida

Committee members include public youth services librarians, school librarians, retired librarians, and retired educators. The committee is responsible for:

  • selecting the book
  • creating an accompanying resource guide
  • planning the kickoff event

Librarians and educators who have experience working with kids in grades 4-6 are invited to join the committee any time of year.The committee meets in person approximately five times between September and May. Meeting attendance is not required, but committee members that cannot attend meetings are asked to participate in discussions via email.
Committee members are also expected to:

  • Read 6-10 children's books between August and December
  • Contribute to the resource guide
  • Attend and help manage the May kickoff event

Interested? Contact Danielle Margarida at

2024 Information Session

Honorary Chair

The Kids Reading Across RI committee is pleased to announce this year's Honorary Chair is Meg Hamlin-Black, State Librarian of Rhode Island.

“The one book, one community model is not only impactful in encouraging reading and bolstering literacy, but also in building bridges through shared experiences,” said Megan Hamlin-Black, Rhode Island State Librarian. “The RI Center for the Book's Kids Read Across Rhode Island initiative beautifully facilitates, through literature and associated programming, a shared experience among young Rhode Island readers from all walks of life – reminding us that we are more alike than different.” - Megan Hamlin-Black, State Librarian of Rhode Island and 2024 Honorary Kids Reading Across Rhode Island Chair

About the Book

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).


About the Authors

 "We are both thrilled and honored that kids across Rhode Island are reading The Lost Library together. This story was written to celebrate the mystery and magic of books, and we can’t wait to share the day with all of you in May. Till then, happy reading!" - Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass

Rebecca Stead

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

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.