Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is now in their 12th year. This program is run by the Rhode Island Center for the Book in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services. This program provides resources and engagement for the year's book selection for students across the state in grades 4 through 6. Learners read the same book, and engage in community discussions and programs. The 2021 selection is Becoming Muhammad Ali by authors James Patterson and Kwame Alexander.
The RI Center for the Books provides a summary of this year's selection: "Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius’ family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali."
This year's selected book is co-authored by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander. RI Center for the Book provides biographies for both authors:
"James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author. The creator of Max Einstein and Middle School, he founded JIMMY Patterson to publish books that young readers will love. He lives in Florida with his family."
"Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his Newbery Medal-winning novel The Crossover and The Undefeated, winner of the Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor. He is the founding editor of Versify, which aims to change the world one word at a time."
There are many resources for readers to engage with this year's selected book:
Visit the Kids Reading Across RI page here.
Watch the virtual author event here.
Find discussion guides and curriculum connections here.