RI Center for the Book

Kids Reading Across RI

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s One Book, One State community read program for kids, is kicking off its 12th year! This program, offered by the Rhode Island Center for the Book in partnership with Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, encourages students across the state in grades 4 through 6 to 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.

Frank Carpano, NBC 10

2021 Virtual Author Event

Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 1pm

Kick off Kids Reading Across RI 2021 with a live, virtual discussion with Becoming Muhammad Ali authors James Patterson and Kwame Alexander. Schools, public libraries, learning pods, homeschoolers, and children’s literature lovers are invited to celebrate this year’s selection and the dynamic authors who have brought Muhammad Ali’s story to a new generation. Contact Danielle Margarida or Kate Lentz for more information.

Request 2021 Book Sets

Sets of the 2021 KRARI selection Becoming Muhammad Ali 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 form by March 31, 2021. Book sets will be delivered mid-April.

Becoming Muhammad Ali

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.

James Patterson

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

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..



2020: Changeling by William Ritter

2019: Sanity and Tallulah by Molly Brooks

2018: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

2017: Save me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

2016: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

2015: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

2014: Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

2013: Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

2011: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

2010: Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise

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