2017 Reading Challenge for Kids with Printable

booksThe Grown-Ups’ 2017 Reading Challenge

Perhaps you have seen Tim Challies‘s  2017 Reading Challenge. Inspired in part by an original PopSugar reading challenge, Challies has broken his challenge down into different levels of readers: those who might just want to tackle one book a month (“Light”) all the way to those who want to read two books every week (“Obsessed”). The goal, in part, is to encourage us to read a wider variety of books than those we normally choose. The rules are simple: choose your category (or mix them up) and read!  [note: this is the original post from December 2015 with updated links to Challies’ new plan]

The Kids’ 2017 Reading Challenge

We wanted to get young readers involved, too. With Challies’s blessing, we have taken his original 2016 challenge list and converted it to a list that will work for everything from picture books through middle grade titles and more. No matter where your children are on the reading spectrum, they should be able to find books in the categories on our list (even if you are still reading all their books to them).

Take the Challenge!

Let your younger children choose from our kid-friendly list, you and your teens choose from Challies’ original list, and those kids in the middle choose which list/topics fit them best. The key differences between the two lists include a reduction in the specific theological topics/figures (i.e. grouping the Puritans and Reformers together), more kid-friendly topics in place of such ideas as “philosophy,”  and a broadening of such topics as “abortion” to “babies.” The lists follow roughly the same order. If you have good access to Christian titles and/or children’s titles in some of the more obscure and/or mature topics, by all means use them. Our kid-friendly list simply reflects a broader maturity range and availability of titles in the given subject areas.

Talk Amongst Yourselves

While we will not be monitoring this challenge in any formal manner, you are welcome to connect with one another via Twitter using #3RChallenge (for Redeemed Reader Reading Challenge). If you are using Tim Challies’s list, the hashtag is #vtReadingChallenge. Let us know in the comments if you are planning to accept the challenge!

Printable 2017 Reading Challenge

FREE Summer Reading Book List

More than 75 books for children and teens, all about islands, oceans, and more. Bonus: get a free hand-drawn reading tracker!

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.


  1. Angelina on December 28, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Thanks! For sharing this – great idea for school librarians was my first thought…

  2. Megan on December 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    YES!!! I’m in! 🙂 Thanks for putting this together, Betsy!

  3. […] kids’ reading challenge This reading challenge is based on the one at Tim Challies’ site, but it’s simplified a little and made more age-appropriate for kids. […]

  4. Rachel Vander Wall on December 29, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I’m excited about doing this with my kids!!

  5. RushHouse on December 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Our home school family is commuting to this for he new year… Boh a challenge and adventure!

  6. Cynthia on December 30, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    My husband and I spent the evening picking out first 13 books for us and our oldest child, and only independent reader. Looking forward to using both lists this year.

  7. Bridgette on December 31, 2015 at 11:51 am

    My husband and I are doing the adult challenge and I’m excited to include my oldest son in this version of the challenge. I’m also thinking about a list of read aloud for my littles. We are already reading “The Family Pilgrim’s Progress” and “The Biggest Story Ever Told” aloud in school and as a family. Maybe I’ll make a list of other ones to get through in 2016.

  8. […] 2016 Reading Challenge for Kids. Redeemed Reader took Tim Challies’ reading challenge and adapted it for children. […]

  9. Anne on February 26, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks for such a great reading challenge. My sixth and seventh grade daughters have been excitedly working their way through the list. Do you plan to offer any suggestions for the categories? For example, I have not yet found a book on a current issue for them? I am also hunting for a book with a fruit of the Spirit in the title? Any suggestions?


  10. Betsy on March 1, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Good questions, Anne. At this point, we haven’t planned to specifically address particular line items on the challenge. Off the top of my head, I’d say to ask your pastor or Sunday school teachers or youth leaders for some good current issue ideas. Try to get a feel for what your kids are interested in (current issues could be as diverse as election year issues, abortion, immigration, gender issues, etc. LOTS of possibilities and not all will be relevant/appropriate for every family). For Fruit of the Spirit in the title, that’s a bit ambiguous, isn’t it? You could do something like Surprised by Joy (C. S. Lewis) or Each Kindness by Woodson (a terrific picture book that is reminiscent of The Hundred Dresses in theme) or Gentle Ben by Morey…. Whatever you choose, we’d love to hear if you find the *perfect* book in the process!

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  12. Kelly on September 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Just wondering where the kid-friendly version went. I see links to Tim’s list and the PopSugar original but not the RR version. My daughter’s copy is nearly illegible with all her notes and we were hoping to start fresh (with simply check marks this time). Thanks

    • Betsy on September 8, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Thanks, Kelly, for bringing this to our attention! We’ve had some trouble with our old links during our big re-vamp. I’ll look into it ASAP. I’m so glad your daughter has been using/enjoying it!

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