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2014 Summer Reading Challenge…For the Whole Family

RR Summer Reading 350x350

Other Summer Reading Challenge posts: Introduction,

Week One: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional

Week Two: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional

Week Three: off

Week Four: 1) Kids. 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.

Week Five: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.

Week Six: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.




Travel Through Time with Us!

Ready to have some fun this summer with your kids…and grow closer to God and one another?  Then welcome to our Summer Reading Challenge!  This year, we’re combining all ages into one big summer reading event with the same theme: Time Travel.

The read along will be divided into two reading lists: 1) For ages 9-12 or the entire family, and 2) 12 and up.  That means we hope your family–whatever their ages–will appreciate the time traveling we do together, and that the journey will help you and your kids grow closer to God and each other.


June 16-July 25, 2014

Why Time Travel?

Time was created by God, is upheld by God, and even now is being redeemed for His purposes.  Many of the stories we’ll read this summer will involve the excitement of visiting another age.  Often, heroes and heroines will be given the dramatic task of saving the innocent or redeeming wrongs of the past.  As we read, we’ll explore how all that drama relates to why God created time, and what it means for us as created beings.

Plus, while we’re exploring Jesus as Time Maker, Time Traveler and Time Redeemer, we’ll also do some time traveling ourselves!  On the first week of our read along, we will create a Time Capsule to open at the end of the summer.  No hints yet as to what we’ll put in it, but we think your kids will have a lot of fun…and learn about God in the process.

Who’s Coming With Us?


1. In addition to the regular RR crew, we’ve once again invited Gina Dalfonzo of Breakpoint Youth Reads to join us in the adult-teen part of the challenge.  She’ll be reading along with me and two young adults (to be announced later) as we discuss each book.  Gina is a wonderful critical reader and very practiced at bringing a Christian worldview to bear on literature, so we’re very happy to have her aboard!

Worldview Academy

2. We are also thrilled to announce that Jeff Baldwin of Worldview Academy will be stopping by to talk to us about time travel and how it relates to the Christian worldview.  Jeff regularly uses literature as a spring board to reach minds and hearts with the truths of Scripture, so be sure to check out his reading resources here.



Reading List #1: For Ages 9-12…Or the Whole Family

We’ve chosen this list for the 9-12 age group.  However, any age is welcome to read along.  We know many of you have younger kids who read above grade-level, or you may have older kids who just aren’t ready emotionally or otherwise for the teen choices.  Rest assured, all are welcome here!  In the case of younger readers, we just ask that you take a quick glance at the plot summaries and maybe even a few reviews on Amazon, just to make sure the level of action or themes won’t be too mature for them.  The goal of this list was to choose books that will entertain and benefit the entire family.  (And except for Rush Revere, which is admittedly kid-candy with an educational twist, I think we’ve done that!)

  • Week Three–off for July 4th

(On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells was our original choice here.  But we recently realized this book has numerous curse words, so we apologize for including it in our list.  If you have already bought the book, Janie gives an explanation and list of page numbers to black out the curse words here. Otherwise, we’d invite you just read our alternate for this week.)

NEW Reading List #2: For Ages 12 and up 

Please note: as of 6/6/14, this list has changed.  We originally chose several books that we decided were not right for summer reading.  Please CLICK HERE to read more about that.  We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you, and we encourage you to click above to read our reasons.   Although we hope this new list is much better suited for our younger teen audience, please keep in mind: this list is intended for teens and may not be suitable for younger children, and some younger teens may prefer to skip these and read the books in Reading List #1.   We would encourage you to consider your child, check out the reviews on Amazon, and even read a few pages if you feel any doubt about your teen reading them.




We’ll be running a number of contests and giveaways over the course of the reading challenge, which we will announce later.  To be entered to win, we just ask that you sign up in the comments below.  Don’t put your email in the text box, by the way, which would make it public!  Just enter your email it in the small field where it prompts you in the comments, and if you like, tell us the book your most looking forward to reading in the text box.  (We promise to keep your address safe and not to share it with anyone else.  Promise.  Not even my grandma.) Once you’ve signed up, we’ll send you weekly or biweekly emails to help you keep up with the read along and have access to all the latest read along fun.


What’s the challenge?  Simply read three books from the lists above.  At the end of the read along, you’ll have a chance to tell us how many people in your family completed the challenge.  Everyone who reads three books will be entered to win the grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card.  The winner will be chosen at random, and second and third place winners, also chosen at random, will receive $30 gift cards each.

And don’t worry, we will have some merit-based writing contests during the reading challenge, so you’ll have a shot at winning prizes those as well.  But we hope that at the least you’ll set your sights on reading three or four (or more!) of the books in our reading lists.

Last But Not Least: The Devotional

There is one other element to this read along that we think is special: our time travel devotional.  Each week as we talk about the books on our list, we’ll also provide you with time travel related Bible readings, and questions to help you think through the theological implications of the books we read.  We’ll also include one very special activity–making a family or personal time capsule, which we will open at the end of the summer!

So, that’s the plan!  We hope you’ll join us in our time travels this summer!  And we hope you’ll tell your friends about this free summer reading resource.  Read, pray, learn…as we travel through time together!

GIVEAWAY:An entire set of books!

***Please note this part is over…but many more prizes to come!***

I thought we’d start the fun by offering a free set of books to one of the families that signs up this week.  Sign up below by Monday morning, June 2, at 8 am Central Time, and you’ll be entered to win all the books from either Reading List #1 or #2!


Reading List #1: For Ages 9-12 or The Entire Family


Reading List #2: For Ages 12 and up


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  1. Lorna says

    I’ve been checking the site anxiously awaiting this list! Very exicted! Can’t wait to start!

  2. Stephanie Howard says

    So fun! I love the idea of the devotionals with the challenge! I have kids in both age groups, should be fun! I can’t wait to read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I had no idea it was a book!

  3. Jenny says

    I think I’m most excited about Wrinkle in Time. We will try to do reading list #1 this summer.

  4. Marijo Taverne says

    Sign us up! I have readers in both age groups, so we’ll be tackling both lists.

  5. Erin says

    My family is excited to start reading! I’m looking forward to The House of Arden. My kids are looking forward to the Wrinkle in Time graphic novel. I think we’ll all be satisfied.

  6. Lauren says

    We are looking forward to A Wrinkle in Time. I am looking forward to the devotionals and the opportunity to learn about time travel which is new for me.

  7. Marlo says

    I’m not sure why I’m not receiving updates by email anymore, but I’m so glad I checked in to see what’s new at Redeemed Reader. I’m excited by the summer reading list. We enjoyed it last year! My oldest will like having another dragon title to dive into.

  8. Ashley says

    I am looking forward to starting this challenge with my oldest so we can have some precious one on one time. I have not read A wrinkle in time since my childhood, so I am looking forward to that! Thank you for all your hard work in preparing this for us.

  9. Kristen says

    We are going to try list #2. Our family is most excited about reading Saving Juliet!

  10. Laura A says

    This sounds like so much fun. I needed a list of read- aloud books for summer.

  11. Sandy says

    Sign us up for list #1. It will be fun reading it with our daughter who’s 6. Looking forward to read “Rush Revere”.

  12. Jessica says

    I somehow missed reading A Wrinkle in Time as a kid. I’m excited to read it as a family, maybe we’ll find a new favorite!

  13. Janel says

    We’re reading aloud as a family and we can’t wait to start with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  14. Luann says

    We can’t wait to start! We have kids in both age groups. The younger crowd is looking forward to The House of Arden which we’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I (Mom) am looking forward to rereading Out of the Silent Planet along with the older ones.

  15. Megan says

    I have readers in both age groups. Looking forward to the E Nesbit book and Saving Juliet.

  16. Stephanie says

    The whole family I’d looking forward to a summer of reading!

  17. Jamie says

    My boys and I love our read aloud time- it’ll be fun to have a theme!

  18. Mia Crum says

    I am looking forward to reading list 2 on my own and especially Saving Juliet.

  19. Parke says

    Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. We will look forward to getting started!!

  20. Kim Rilea says

    We’re looking forward to reading list 1 – what a great idea!

  21. Liz says

    I just saw a post about your summer reading program in the well trained mind forums. What great lists! We look forward to participating.

  22. Nancy C says

    Loved last year’s challenge and this one looks great as well. I’m especially excited about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. One of the family’s favorite movies.

  23. Emily says

    Yay! We’re so excited to have so many of you joining us this year! Can’t wait to get started….

  24. Diana says

    A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favourite books as a young girl, looking forward to sharing it with my family!

  25. Steph says

    We are going to do list 1. This sounds really fun! We have an almost-seven-year-old, a two-year-old, and a baby. We will probably just do read-aloud.

  26. This looks awesome! Looking forward to list #2 with our 13 yr old daughter! Thanks for pulling this together!

  27. Tiana says

    Sign us up! We’ll be working from list #1–I think my kids will especially enjoy The House of Arden, since they have enjoyed Mrs. Nesbit’s books in the past.

  28. Jenny says

    Looking forward to the program! I’ll have readers ages 9-18, so we may be tackling both lists and I’m excited about the devotional as well. My oldest leaves for the Air Force July 22 so this will be a fun family activity before he goes. Thanks!

  29. Diane says

    Our family would love to participate. We’ll be reading through list (1). My 10 year old son just received Rush Revere and the First Patriots for his birthday. Glad it’s part of this wonderful book list! Great choices!

  30. Amy Steiner says

    What a fun challenge! I love the devotional aspect of it all too!

  31. Michelle Byrum says

    We want to participate in reading list #1!!!! My daughter is excited to read Chitty Chitty bang bang and I am looking forward to reading A Wrinkle in Time. It has been so long since I read it as a child.

  32. Laura says

    I have been looking forward to your summer reading program! Excited to start with my three boys. We will be going through list 1. I am especially interested in the Rush Revere book.

  33. Jamie says

    This sounds SO fun! We will be reading list #1. We’re looking forward to A Wrinkle in Time the most.

  34. My youngest two sons will be joining in on the fun! The 13 yo will read from the second list and our 10 yo from the first.

  35. Barb says

    Looking forward to trying this out as our first family devotional time! We will be reading List #1 as our daughter is just 5. Thanks! 🙂

  36. Barb says

    Excited for this family reading devotional! We will be reading list 1!

  37. Bridgette Boudreaux says

    I want to sign up! Now, hopefully, I can find these books at the library!

  38. Heather Coulter says

    The Coulter family is IN! We’ll do list 2…and maybe list 1 as well. Great ideas for summer reading!

  39. Michelle says

    I would like to enter my family. Sounds like lots of fun!

  40. Jessica B. says

    We’ve already read a few of these, but we’ll participate. We love a good reading challenge.

  41. Jen G. says

    I’m thrilled that we will have this reading challenge to do together as a family!

  42. Mandi says

    We are excited to join the challenge (List 1)! I’m looking forward to sharing this experience as a family.

  43. Danielle says

    We are all looking forward to this year’s challenge! I always enjoy E.Nesbit’s books, and The House of Arden is a new one for me. Thanks for putting together a great list! We will go with List 1.

  44. Linda Murphy says

    Always excited to introduce my family to new books! Last summer, my son Joseph was one of your summer book reading “interns” and it was also our first summer to join you!

  45. Michelle Burke says

    The Burke family is going to give it a whirl! We’ll be choosing books from both lists.

  46. Heather VT says

    My daughter and I will do list #1. We love The House of Arden, so I’m glad that won the reader’s choice!

  47. Travis Lowe says

    We are looking forward to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. My kids love the movie.

  48. Gina says

    We’re always looking for good book recommendations. Thanks!

  49. Stefannye says

    Four little readers in our family so we’d love list 1!

  50. This is simply Amazing!! All my boys are going to love reading list#1 together. May add in list#2 with my oldest (11) just because he loves reading THAT much.

  51. Carrie says

    We want to read list 1! Our oldest is 10 and is looking forward to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but we’ve really enjoyed E. Nesbit and I’m looking forward to Wrinkle in Time.

  52. Jude says

    We will be reading book list number one. Just want to clarify, can we do this as a read aloud, together?

  53. Georgia says

    We will do list one! Is this the official place that we register? 😉 Thank you for organizing this!

  54. Michelle Bosworth says

    We’ll be reading list 2 and some from list 1. This is going to be fun. 🙂

  55. Maghan says

    Love the concept! Hope my boys will be as excited as I am.

  56. we’ll be reading list #1 out loud as a family and our 13yo will tackle list #2 on his own. excited about THIS summer reading adventure!

  57. Anne says

    Most looking forward to reading CS Lewis. But am glad to be introduced to some new authors as well!

  58. Kim Murphy says

    Most looking forward to the discussions about these books! And, the devotions.

  59. Jodi Vetter says

    What fun! Thank you. This is perfect for our family.

  60. Mary Foreman says

    List 1 for the whole family – some fun read alouds for the lunch table!

  61. Angela says

    Looking forward to reading list #1 in our family of 6. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time looks like a fun one!!

  62. Madison says

    I will be reading list 2. Love Lewis’s Space Trilogy, but am looking forward to the first book by E. K. Johnston. Thank you so much for doing this!

  63. Erica Colt says

    I think each book sounds great. I’m looking forward to reading these with my younger children (almost 8 and 5)!

  64. Heather B says

    Looking forward to the challenge-going with list 1 and On the Blue Comet looks great!

  65. LWeaver says

    We’re joining the reading program. I look forward to reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to my kids. Thanks!

  66. Rebecca Beardsley says

    We’re looking forward to reading Nesbit’s book, House of Arden. I’ve heard good things about her writing. This will be our first year participating in this challenge and my 3rd grader is going to LOVE it!

  67. Deanna in CO says

    We will definitely read List 1 – maybe some of List 2 too! 🙂

  68. Cheryl says

    List 1 – sounds like great fun! Thanks for the recommendations!

  69. sharon says

    Thanks for making this reading program possible. We’re excited to meet new friends by reading books along with others this summer!

  70. We’ll be reading from list #1 — came to this website for a bible review for my boys — glad to have found this challenge!

  71. Laura M says

    My daughter (14) and I are looking forward to starting List 2!

  72. Janell says

    The Young family will do list #1 as a read aloud, or just two children as well as list #2 with one or two kids.

    Since you updated your book list, you also need to update your Amazon links at the bottom of the article, before the posts. Thanks!

  73. Pingback: Homeschool Items – June 11, 2014 | Home Educators Association of Virginia

  74. Sharon H. says

    We’re in for our family for the 1st list! We’re looking forward to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the most!

  75. Jessica says

    My son and I will be reading List #1. He is most looking forward to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I am most looking forward to On the Blue Comet.

  76. Janice Hubbard says

    I’m looking forward to The Dragon’s Tooth since it is the only book I’m not familiar with although it has been at least 23 years since I’ve read Lewis’ Space Trilogy!

  77. Marion Stade says

    I actually read this book because of your suggestion. While the story of “On the Blue Comet” by Rosemary Wells is an engaging and imaginative story the story also include 3 instances of profanity. In a book aimed at 10 years and older in addition to being suggested on your book list for 9 year olds, the swearing neither enlightens nor explains. As an adult I will not collect nor suggest this book. I am beginning to think I am the only one that thinks that profanity should not be included in books, for children or adults.

    • Marion, you raise a valid concern, and in my long-ago review of Blue Comet I mentioned the use of profanity as a caution. I don’t believe that profanity (misuse of the Lord’s name) should be included in books, especially for children, and the increase of it is a sign of our times. We at RedeemedReader often find ourselves in this position–does the existence of swear words or profanity or supernatural nonbiblical entities cancel all the value a particular book might otherwise have? I’ll answer for myself, since I picked this book as my selection: Christians are called to live in the world as it is, which means not always shielding themselves from sin but confronting it and learning to deal with it with it in a godly manner. During our read-along of Blue Comet in mid-July I intended to address this issue, and flag the instances of profanity you cite for families who are reading the book aloud. Youngsters who are reading the book to themselves should learn to mentally quarantine these instances and respond to them biblically (for instance, Is this an example of taking the Lord’s name in vain? Why or why not? Are all the occurrences of this phrase “in vain”? etc.) In my opinion–which certainly isn’t infallible–encountering such issues in their reading is a more-or-less safe way to work them out individually and own a biblical truth which was heretofore abstract. Of course there are limits to such an approach–we don’t recommend books that glorify or rationalize ungodly behavior. The uses of profanity in Blue Comet may signal just such glorification to many parents, and I respect that view. I saw genuine value in the book otherwise and intended to treat the profanity as an issue to be dealt with.

  78. Jill Litzinger says

    Please sign us up! We’ll do books from both lists. Thank so much!

  79. H team says

    Read 3 books….We blacked out the bad language in the book “on the Blue Comet” and that was his favorite book.

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