Reading Across RI

Our 2020 book is Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, by Elizabeth Rush.

RARI 2020 Poster

RARI 2020 Resource Guide for Rising

RARI 2020 Curriculum Guide for Rising

Providence Journal Article

events & Programming

Join us on April 2nd at 6:30pm for a FREE Facebook Live conversation with Reading Across Rhode Island author Elizabeth Rush, moderated by Pell Center Executive Director, Dr. Jim Ludes! REGISTER HERE!

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and with safety in mind, URI has postponed this event (below).

REGISTER HERE for On Rising Together: Public Lecture featuring Elizabeth Rush on April 2, 2020 at 1:30pm at Edwards Auditorium, University of Rhode Island, 64 Upper College Rd, Kingston, RI 02881.


Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and with safety in mind, we are cancelling our April 2nd Author Event with Elizabeth Rush (below).

Please consider donating your $15 ticket to the Rhode Island Center for the Book. We have not been able to fulfill all the requests from schools and libraries for copies of Rising. Your donation will go towards providing copies of Rising to Rhode Island students and libraries who will not otherwise have access to this amazing book.

If you would like a refund, please email

Thank you for your understanding and be well!

REGISTER HERE for An Evening with Elizabeth Rush on April 2, 2020 from 6:30-8:00pm at Ochre Court, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI 02840.


Living Literature Performance Schedule

  • Thursday, March 26, 7pm Rogers Free Library (525 Hope St, Bristol, RI) – Cancelled
  • Monday, March 30, 7:00 pm Tiverton Library (34 Roosevelt Ave, Tiverton, RI) – Cancelled
  • Tuesday, March 31, 7:00 pm Barrington Library (281 County Rd, Barrington, RI) – Cancelled
  • Monday, April 20, 7:00 pm Weaver Library (41 Grove St., East Providence, RI)
  • Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 pm Cranston Library (140 Sockanosset Cross Rd, Cranston, RI)
  • Thursday, April 30, 1pm East Greenwich Leisure Learning (99 Peirce St, East Greenwich, RI)
  • Thursday, May 14, 6:30pm Jamestown Library (26 North Rd., Jamestown, RI)
  • Wednesday, May 20, 6:30 pm Woonsocket Library (303 Clinton St, Woonsocket, RI)
  • Saturday, June 6, 1:00 pm Brownell Library, Little Compton (44 Commons, Little Compton, RI)
  • Wednesday, June 10, 6:30 pm North Kingstown Library (100 Boone St., North Kingstown, RI)

Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s One Book, One State community read program kicks off its 18th year by encouraging everyone to read Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush with this year’s Honorary Chairs; Janet Coit, Director, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Mark Searles, NBC 10 Chief Meteorologist. Reading Across Rhode Island is a program of the Rhode Island Center for the Book, made possible through a vibrant collaboration of librarians, teachers, book group leaders and readers from across the state.

What an incredible honor it is to have RISING chosen as Rhode Island’s One Book, One State community read selection for 2020. Five years ago, my husband and I relocated to the Ocean State, and it is here that I finished writing this book. During that time, the climate crisis has heated up calling us to new conversations about what it means to be a human on planet earth today. I so look forward to sharing RISING and the conversations it will spark with you all. Elizabeth Rush

RISING by Elizabeth Rush


About This Year’s Book


Hailed as “deeply felt” (New York Times), “a revelation” (Pacific Standard), and “the book on climate change and sea levels that was missing” (Chicago Tribune), Rising is both a highly original work of lyric reportage and a haunting meditation on how to let go of the places we love.

With every passing day, and every record-breaking hurricane, it grows clearer that climate change is neither imagined nor distant—and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways. In Rising, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place.

Weaving firsthand testimonials from those facing this choice—a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago—with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of these vulnerable communities, Rising privileges the voices of those too often kept at the margins.

About the Author

Elizabeth Rush is the author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore—which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the National Outdoor Book Awardand Still Lifes from a Vanishing City: Essays and Photographs from Yangon, Myanmar. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Washington PostHarpersGuernicaGrantaOrion, and the New Republic, among others. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants including the Howard Foundation Fellowship, awarded by Brown University; the Society for Environmental Journalism Grant; the Metcalf Institute Climate Change Adaptation Fellowship; and the Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers. She lives in Rhode Island, where she teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University. 

Elizabeth Rush author website:

Elizabeth Rush on Twitter:

Reading Across Rhode Island Kicks Off on January 26th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Save the Bay in Providence, RI.


Readers are invited to join author Elizabeth Rush, Honorary Chair Janet Coit, Director, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Living Literature for an engaging introduction to the book’s themes. Register at

April 2ndth Elizabeth Rush at Salve Regina UniversityRegistration will be available on the Rhode Island Center for the Book website in February. Look for other upcoming book-related events throughout the year at

Contact Kate Lentz at for sets of books available to classroom teachers, library discussion groups and senior centers. Further reading lists, book discussion guides, the author’s website, audio interviews and other supplementary materials may be found on the Rhode Island Center for the Book website at

Rhode Island Center for the Book is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization devoted to promoting personal and community enrichment by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books. Founded in 2003, the RI Center for the Book is the state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and resides at The Pell Center at Salve Regina University.


2019 What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha

2018 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

2017 Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

2016 The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

2015 Norwegian By Night by Derek Miller

2014 Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

2013 The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb

2012 Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

2011 The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Mullaney

2010 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

2009   Five Skies by Ron Carlson

2008   Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

2007   The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty

2006   Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

2005   The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

2004   The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

2003   Wish You Well by David Baldaci

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