Around the World in 60 Days: Summer Reading Challenge for Kids

***The Book Giveaway below is over (click here to see who won), but the reading adventure is just beginning!  Feel free to enter your name in the comments to receive the read along newsletter.

We have also added a section at the beginning where we will link to all the Summer Reading Challenge posts.  Hopefully it will make them easier to find!***

Looking for a fun and educational way to spice up the summer for your family?  Here’s an idea: how about our summer reading challenge?  We actually have two summer reading tracks–one we’ll announce soon for teens and adults (stay tuned for that), pharm and the one we’re announcing today–a family-based challenge!



Who, What, and When?


Who: The primary audience is kids who can read chapter books through middle grade level books.  But we’ll include book suggestions, movies, crafts, etc. to involve the entire family.

When: June 3-July 31, 2013

What: A summer reading challenge!  Over the course of eight weeks, we’ll cover the globe through novels of intrigue and adventure.  We’ll include discussion questions from a Christian worldview, as well as insights to help your kids get the most from the books.  In addition, each week we’ll invite food and craft bloggers, authors, missionaries, etc. to help us on our journey.  It will be an exciting journey to help you and your kids see that “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains!” (Psalm 24)


The Book Schedule


We know you’re busy.  And some of you will have already read a few of our picks.  So, we’re keeping things simple but flexible: your kids only need to read 5 of the 7 novels to complete our challenge.  Plus, we’ll unveil our 100 Great Adventure Books list on June 3 filled with alternates.   Some of these stories may be found online as audiobooks which would make them accessible to younger kids as well.  But we hope most of you will find this an enticing list…and join us!

June 3-7: Around the World by Matt Phelan (Graphic novel, 240 pgs.)

June 10-14: The Middle of Somewhere by (our own) J.B. Cheaney(U.S. travel novel, 224 pgs.)

June 17-21: Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (U.S. & Antarctic, animal/humor classic, 160 pgs.)

June 24-28: Nate Saint: Operation Auca (Torch Bearers) by Nancy Drummund (South America, missionary story, 170 pgs.)

July 1-5: off

July 8- 12: The Light Princess (Sunburst Book) by George MacDonald, illustrated by Maurice Sendak (British fantasy classic, 120 pgs.)  Be forewarned that this version has “naked babies” that many librarians and parents have taken a marker to over the years.  I’m not above doing the same for my kids, but another version will work fine if your bothered by the idea.

July 15-19: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan (Roman gods, 400 pgs.)  *Note: This is also available in graphic novel form.

July 22-26: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (China, contemporary award-winner, 304 pgs.)


Get the Books at a Discount!


We put together a discounted package of the books with an independent Christian bookstore here in Nashville, Logos Bookstore.  (Their website is  Except for one book, they were able to beat Amazon’s prices and offer the entire summer reading package for $54.97.  To order, call them directly at 1-800-925-6467.  This price is for a limited time, so don’t wait too long!


Contests, Prizes and More


You know we have to have prizes, right?!  First, we’re giving away the entire package of books next week!  To sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge newsletter, leave a note in the comments below by midnight Tuesday, May 28th, and you’ll be automatically entered to win the books!

After that, we’ll be running two writing contests: a storytelling contest for your little ones and a more challenging writing contest for the older kids.  Look for details about that the first two weeks of June.

And what will your kids get if they complete the challenge?  Besides the feeling of accomplishment, a love of reading, and a whetted appetite for lands unknown….well, each kid who completes the reading challenge will be entered in our final drawing for a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  Not a bad way to cap off the summer!  You can check out this site, biblionasium, to help your kids keep track of their reading if you’re interested.


Special Guest



Most weeks we’ll host a special guest to help us keep our energy up.  To kick us off, we’ve invited my new favorite comedian, John Branyan, who also happens to have created one of the funniest (and yet totally educational!) picture books I’ve seen: a retelling of The Three Little Pigs as if by Shakespeare.  Check him out here!   He’ll tell us how he came to be such a literary comedian, and give some tips on how your kids can write hilarious stories, too.

While you’re leaving a comment below to sign up for the Summer Reading, we’d love to know what you’d like to see on our 100 Great Adventure Books list?  Any adventure books your kids wouldn’t want to do without?  Click over to our Summer Reading Challenge tab to see the books we’ve already covered in our journey.

Stay Up to Date!

Get the information you need to make wise choices about books for your children and teens.

Our weekly newsletter includes our latest reviews, related links from around the web, a featured book list, book trivia, and more. We never sell your information. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Support our writers and help keep Redeemed Reader ad-free by joining the Redeemed Reader Fellowship.

Stay Up to Date!

Get the information you need to make wise choices about books for your children and teens.

Our weekly newsletter includes our latest reviews, related links from around the web, a featured book list, book trivia, and more. We never sell your information. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

FREE Bible Guide!

Get a guide to the Best Bibles for Children and Teens. Perfect for an Easter gift.


We'd love to hear from you!

Our comments are now limited to our members (both Silver and Golden Key). Members, you just need to log in with your normal log-in credentials!

Not a member yet? You can join the Silver Key ($2.99/month) for a free 2-week trial. Cancel at any time. Find out more about membership here.


  1. Kim on May 23, 2013 at 10:18 am

    We would like to give the challenge a try!

  2. Jessalyn on May 23, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Wow! What a cool idea! Sounds like fun!

  3. Candace on May 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Yay! We have only read Mr Popper’s Penguins from this list. Sounds like fun!

  4. Kim on May 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Looks like our library doesn’t have most of these, so maybe we won’t be able to join in afterall. 🙁

    Unless of course I win the books! 🙂

    • emily on May 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Sorry you’re having trouble finding the books! You might try asking your library to stock them. Our library is pretty good about responding to patrons. You can also check amazon for used copies, which can often be had for two or three dollars. You can get free audio versions of The Light Princess various places across the web. And if you can’t do anything else, why not get your kids involved and try a lemonade stand?! $55 bucks to support a Christian bookstore, our website, and your kids’ education all at once would be money well invested!

  5. Kim on May 23, 2013 at 11:38 am

    We’re going to try it!

  6. Stephanie on May 23, 2013 at 11:38 am

    So fun! Thanks for doing this!

  7. Jen on May 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

    We are in! I will pass on the info. to my students and their families, also!

  8. Stephanie on May 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I am always looking for great books for us to read, we have read 2 out of the seven so we will give the others a try and look forward to seeing the list of 100. The Hobbit would have to be my children’s favorite adventure book to date.

  9. Sunny on May 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Wahoo! This should be fun! DD9 has read most of them (and will love to re-read them!) and I will have to see how to get DS7 involved. 🙂

  10. Tonya Roth on May 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    The summer reading challenge sounds like just what we need to kick-start the summer. Thanks for all you do!

  11. Amy on May 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Yeah! Sounds fun! We will give it a try!

  12. Bridgette Boudreaux on May 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Whew! This means we need to finish “James and the Giant Peach” by next week. Sounds exciting though!

  13. Sarah Mathes on May 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Our family would love to join in! Mr. Poppers Penguins is a favorite of ours!

  14. johanna on May 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Always looking for great suggestions to fill our summer reading hours!

  15. amy on May 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Very excited. Thanks for doing this reading program.

  16. Sarah from Canada on May 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Sounds like fun! My kids devour books like candy, so I’m always looking for more reading material! 😀

  17. Jessica B. on May 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I used to love summer reading challenges growing up.
    Now that my oldest is an avid reader I know he would love it also!

  18. Anna S. on May 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    This sounds great!

  19. Bookmarks 5/23/13 (and a Book Club Update) on May 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    […] Summer Reading Adventure!: Redeemed Reader invites families join them in a reading adventure that will travel around the world. This would be a really great way to keep your kid’s minds engaged and working throughout the summer! […]

  20. Kelly on May 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I love this! We’ve done the public library summer reading program for years and we excited to do something different. I think my boys will love your selections!

  21. Carol on May 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Just a children’s librarian here with old kids, but I can’t wait to see your 100 adventure book recommendations — Personally I’d like to see Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes on it. But mostly I want ideas to buy for the school year next year.

  22. Megan B on May 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    What a fantastic idea! Can’t wait to be a part of it.

  23. Stacy on May 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    We’re in! My kids have already started asking about summer reading contests! I surveyed my kids for their favorite adventure books and here’s what they said (not sure they all qualify as adventure, but it’s what they like right now!): Homecoming, A Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter series, Mandie series (by L. Leppard)

  24. Pat on May 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    What an awesome way to start the summer. We are all looking forward to it!

  25. Amy on May 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Sounds great. We’re in!

  26. Eileen on May 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Excited to undertake the challenge!

  27. Karen on May 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    We would love to win a stack of books!! The best adventure series according my sons would be anything in the Redwall stories.

  28. Catherine on May 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    This sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your top 100 adventure novels. We just finished listening to the classic of all adventure stories, Treasure Island.

  29. Joanna on May 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Would love to win for our school library.

  30. Holly Schoeppler on May 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Needless to say, we’ll be in!

  31. Laura on May 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I’m excited to take this summer reading adventure with my oldest son–thanks for doing this!

  32. Amie on May 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks for choosing books that appeal to a wide group of ages and both genders! We love the Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright. I consider these adventures because of the hilarious things four children find to do in New York City and in their own home. Great Read alouds!

  33. Julie Plocher on May 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Our kids are up for the challenge. To get them to read this summer is going to be 1 up and I as a mom think this is wonderful
    thanks for the opportunity

  34. Leslie on May 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    We love to travel around the world through books! We are ready for the trip!!

  35. Angela on May 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Looking forward to participating in this summer’s reading challenge with my kids!

  36. Elizabeth on May 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    We’re always up for reading! Your list looks interesting. Our fabulous library has all of these books on the shelf, but it would be great to own them all.

  37. Michelle L on May 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    We’re stuck in a TLF in Hawaii for the duration of the adventure, but if we can find the books in the local library, we’re in!

  38. Amy k on May 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Very excited to join in!

  39. Angie on May 24, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Excited to do this with my kids!

  40. Joan on May 24, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Looking forward to this with my granddaughter.

  41. Joey E on May 24, 2013 at 7:11 am

    My kids are excited to do this!

  42. Kim on May 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Emily, we live in a rural area so the lemonade stand wouldn’t work (and also why our library is pretty lame), but I will see if any friends of mine might have them I can borrow. 🙂

  43. Debra on May 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Oh, this looks fun! We’re in. We recently read Mr. Popper’s Penguins, but I’m guessing I have kids who would go for it again.

    What a great idea…

    Adventure books — hmmm. The Hobbit would top the list. We’re currently working on the LOTR trilogy as a read-aloud here.

  44. Nancy C on May 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

    This sounds great. We look forward to joining in.

  45. Marya on May 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Looking forward to this!

  46. […]  I’m thinking that this summer reading challenge at Redeemed Reader might be just the thing for my girls this summer.  This, coupled with various […]

  47. Danielle on May 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    We are excited to join in with these books! Thanks!

  48. Shana on May 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Now this is right up our alley! Thank you for a great opportunity and great reading list to kick off our summer.

  49. Shawna on May 24, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    This sounds great! I think Jace will really enjoy reading these books this Summer! This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing! 🙂 We would love to win the books package! 🙂

  50. Christina on May 25, 2013 at 11:08 am


  51. Lorna on May 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    We are so excited to learn about other places! Can’t wait to see the list of 100 recommendations! Thank you for the opportunity for a chance to win the books ~ that would be a blessing to this financially challenged family. God Bless!

  52. Wanda on May 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    We are ready for the adventure to begin !!!

  53. Catriona on May 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    What a great idea! We will have a go 🙂

  54. Kelly N on May 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    What an adventure reading is and adventures are so much more fun when shared with others!

  55. Marlo on May 27, 2013 at 6:03 am

    My boys are in! Sounds great!

  56. Amy on May 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Would love to get these books!

  57. Kelly on May 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    We’re excited! Thanks for putting this together.

  58. May 2013 Nightstand | Hope Is the Word on May 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    […] Elisabeth Elliott for the Reading to Know Bookclub.  I’m also hoping to participate in the Around the World in 60 Days:  Summer Reading Challenge for Kids at Redeemed Reader with my girls.  Beyond that–who knows? What’s on Your […]

  59. Tony B on May 28, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Sounds great! My son loves to read, so he’ll be happy to take on this challenge.

  60. Michael Wehrle on May 28, 2013 at 8:10 am


  61. Heather on May 28, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Looking forward to the challenge!

  62. Michael on May 28, 2013 at 10:18 am

    My children will participate.

  63. Julie Plocher on May 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the challenge for my kids…

  64. Michelle Freeeland on May 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Sounds great. We are in.

  65. Marijo on May 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    We’ll participate, if we can get our hands on all the books!

  66. Sunny on May 29, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Yay! More books! We are in!!!

  67. Paula on May 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I’d like to join!

  68. Kristen on May 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Is it too late to join?

    • emily on May 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Too late to win books, yes, but not too late for the reading challenge, Kristen. Welcome aboard!

  69. Tamara on May 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Your blog has been really helpful for finding books for my voracious reader. We’ll definitely participate, as long as we can get all the books.

  70. Lori on May 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

    My kiddos are in!

  71. Jennifer on May 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    We got the books. My daughter has already finished reading two of them. I had to tell her it’s reading for the summer. (-:

  72. Joanna on May 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Missed getting in on the give away, but we’d love to join the reading challenge. My kids love to read!

  73. Deanna on June 2, 2013 at 12:48 am

    We are in!

  74. Tina on June 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Missed giveaway, however interested in receiving the newsletter. Thank you, going to get Around the world today!

  75. Stephanie on June 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Great idea! Sign us up!

  76. Zefferine on June 6, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Please sign us up.

  77. Sarah on June 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    sign us up too!!

  78. Gina on June 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Please include us in the newsletter! We recently enjoyed 21 Balloons as an adventure story.

  79. Margaret on June 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    We would like to get the summer readiing challenge newsletters.

  80. Andrea on June 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I just found this. I would love to get the newsletters!

  81. Sheri on June 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Is it too late for getting in on the newsletter?

    • emily on June 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Not at all, Sheri! We’ll get you added for the next one in two weeks.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.