Kids Reading Across Rhode Island (KRARI), the ‘one book, one state’ initiative to transition the joys of reading from the classroom to summer vacation for students in grades 3-6, kicks off its 8th year with the 2017 award-winning book, Save me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan. Internationally acclaimed storyteller Len Cabral chairs the 2017 KRARI program featuring a May 13th kickoff event with a presentation and book signing by authors Weeks and Varadarajan at the State House, whose marble halls bustle with activities and games presented by Rhode Island libraries and community organizations. Every family participating receives one free autographed copy of the book (while supplies last). Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is a partnership of the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services to inspire young readers to keep their school supported reading momentum going through their summer vacation.
About This Year’s Book Save Me a Seat
Veteran writer Sarah Weeks and first-time author Gita Varadarajan address common middle school fears of two young characters struggling to find their way. Joe and Ravi are from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Librarians across the country recommend the book as a read-aloud forcing the listener to walk in someone else’s shoes. Save me a Seat, full of empathy and humor, explores issues of diversity, culture, assumptions and parenting styles.
About the Authors
Award-winning writer Sarah Weeks (Pie; So B. It) and India-born debut author Gita Varadarajan present a poignant, comical cultural exchange in the alternating voices of two fifth-grade boys. Sarah Weeks’ first YA novel, So B. It, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the 2004 Parent’s Choice Gold Award and her Regular Guy series has resulted in a development deal with Disney for a feature length live-action film. She has two grown sons and lives in New York City.
Gita Varadarajan was born and raised in India. She has worked with children all over the world, and now teaches second grade in Princeton, N.J. Save Me a Seat, written with Sarah Weeks, is her first novel.
About Kids About Reading Across Rhode Island
KRARI, the summer reading initiative for students in grades 3-6, encourages students across the state to read the same book and engage in community discussions and programs that integrate school and summer reading. Now in its 8th year, KRARI begins in classrooms, school libraries, and public libraries with discussion groups centered on the selected book. Students, teachers, parents, and librarians rally at the annual May Kick-Off Event at the State House where they may meet the authors in-person, receive a free, signed copy of the book, participate in activities related to the themes of the book, and learn more about summer reading programs with local libraries and community partners. Programming continues in public libraries throughout the summer, expanding into summer reading programs that introduce new books and encourage continued reading beyond the assigned school curriculum. The 2017 statewide children’s summer reading theme is Build a Better World! Kids Reading Across Rhode Island receives major funding from TD Bank and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Sets of books are available to classroom teachers and library discussion groups by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Further reading lists, book discussion guides, the author’s website, audio interviews and other supplementary material may be found on the websites of Rhode Island Center for the Book and the Office of Library and Information Services.
About Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is a statewide organization devoted to promoting personal and community enrichment by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books. The Center was founded in 2003 as the state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and is hosted by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. The Humanities Council’s mission is to seed, support, and strengthen public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. As part of this ambitious mission, Rhode Island Center for the Book promotes a love for books among people of all ages and backgrounds across Rhode Island. www.ri.book.org
About The Office of Library and Information Services
The Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) is the state library agency for Rhode Island. OLIS supports and strengthens library and information services in the state to ensure that all residents will benefit from free and convenient access to library and information resources and services. OLIS supports children’s library services statewide by facilitating reading promotion and educational activities, through advocacy for children’s library services, and through collaboration with other state agencies and non-profit organizations, including school/public library cooperation. www.olis.ri.gov