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2018 Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens (with printable!)

The 2018 Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens

Our 2018 Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens is back and better than ever! We’ve changed it up a bit from our previous yearly reading challenges to make it more accessible and flexible. Additionally, it should be easier to find relevant titles right here on Redeemed Reader, should you wish to do so!

How to Read Along

Directions: Ask your kids or students what challenge level they would like to strive for: Bakers Dozen (13 books/year), Quarterback (25 books/year), Weekly Reader (50 books/year), or the Grand Slam (100 books/year). ALL BOOKS COUNT: e-books, picture books, chapter books, novels, nonfiction “encyclopedia” type books, etc.

Each challenge builds on the previous, so if a child finishes one level and wants to read more, he or she can simply transfer check marks to the new sheet and keep right on reading. 

For example: the “Bakers Dozen” Level is the top line/main category; successive lines are added under each category for each new challenge level. This is our “old book” category with all levels shown.

  • An old book (i.e. older than your mom or dad)  (check out RR’s “Retro Reads”)   [Bakers Dozen Level]
    • An older book (i.e. older than your grandparents)  [Quarterback Level adds this line]
    • An even older book! (hint: the Victorian time period and early 20th century include LOTS of fantastic children’s books)  [Weekly Reader Level adds this line]
    • A book more than 100 years old  [Weekly Reader Level also adds this line]
    • A book more than 200 years old (hint: fairy tales and folk tales are often quite old) [Grand Slam Level!]
    • An even older book! (hint: Shakespeare and Shakespeare retellings count, as does the Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress, Homer (and associated retellings), ….) [Grand Slam Level!]
    • A book commonly recognized as a “classic” (something like A Little Princess, Treasure Island, Peter Pan, etc.) [Grand Slam Level!]
    • Another “old” book of your choice [Grand Slam Level!]

We recommend printing off only the current challenge a child is working on; it’s less overwhelming for struggling or reluctant readers, in particular. For voracious readers, go ahead and print the Grand Slam Challenge, but remind them not to do all the “free choice” reading first! They will then have a more well-rounded experience on which to build their free choice readings.

The Team Approach: you are more than welcome to divide and conquer: take a challenge level as a family or classroom and divide up the books amongst yourselves.

Don’t forget to track your reading! We’ll check in periodically, but this is primarily for your family’s (or classroom’s) enjoyment! Depending on your approach, a journal the child picks out, a printed sheet with lines for titles, or a simple piece of notebook paper might work best.

Digital tracking can also be fun: biblionasium is a solid, free resource for kids younger than 13 (all “friends” go through parental approval); goodreads is the biggest, most well known free resource for kids older than 13 (and their parents). Motivational coupons and bookmarks for this sort of thing abound on pinterest; let us know how your family or classroom decides to operate!

Note: No “double dipping!” (don’t count a book simultaneously as a “fantasy book” AND a “new book” unless the category specifies a “re-read”). However, if your child is reading a book for school or another reading challenge (such as a summer reading challenge), and the book fits one of the categories below, by all means count it! 


Print the Bakers Dozen Level (13 books/year)

Print the Quarterback Level (25 books/year)

Print the Weekly Reader Level (50 books/year)

Print the Grand Slam Level (100 books/year)

Let us know! Are you in? Are you going to accept the 2018 Reading Challenge? Which level?

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  1. We’re in! My oldest (13yo) and I are each going to do the Quarterback Challenge.

  2. Sunday Cofran says

    We’re going for the weekly reader. (I wish the checklist was a little easier to print… )

    • Glad you’re participating, Sunday! I’m sorry you’re having printing difficulties. Is the printable doc not working for you? Could you tell us a bit more of what you’d like to see? (The link is supposed to take you to a Google doc that you can print)

  3. Tiffany says

    We are doing it! Oldest (15) and middle (13) doing 50, youngest (11) trying for 25, Mama (old) reading 100! We are looking forward to the challenge here in Spring, Texas!

    • I think it’s so much fun when families tackle the challenge together, Tiffany! You’ll help encourage each other along the way–and I’d bet, with kids that old, you’ll all be swapping some titles back and forth as you discover some new books!

  4. Kelley says

    My daughter has accepted the challenge! Looking forward to a great year of reading!

  5. Betsy and kids are doing this alongside our readers! Betsy: Grand Slam; oldest daughter (aged 12): Grand Slam; one son (aged 10): Quarterback Level; one son (aged 10): Grand Slam. I love that my kids feel free to pick the challenge level that suits them best!

  6. How fun! I printed off the Quarterback Challenge for my 13 year old and myself. We usually read far more books than that in a year so we might upgrade but this gives us a great start.

    I’m sharing this challenge with my writer’s group. Maybe we can do it together.

    • Gina, that’s a great idea to tackle a challenge like this with your writer’s group–especially if you all write in different genres.

  7. Ashley says

    My nine year old is doing the baker’s dozen level- we just finished filling out the list. Thank you for your hard work giving us the “retro reads, good book..etc” list. I’m really excited to see our interests broaden! For me, I am going to journal my book list this year to see how many (and varied) my interests are…and then see where the “holes” are to fill in 2019!

    • Ashley, that’s a great idea to track your reading and see where the holes are! That’s helped me broaden my own reading. It seems, too, that some years I lean more to one genre than others. It would be interesting to look back and see how those “holes” shift!

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  9. Becky says

    My husband & I have completed the Bakers Dozen Challenge with our 4 year olds! We’ve challenged ourselves with reading 1000 unique books between now & mid-August when they start kindergarten. (We’ve likely read that many unique books already, but we didn’t keep track.) Our beginning readers help read when they can — for one girl that might be a single word in a book, but it’s something.

    I’m having trouble finding places on the challenge for most of the books that our 4 year olds prefer — books about animals that are not remotely realistic. But, that’s encouraging us to expand their horizons. We’ve always read a lot of non-fiction and old books, but we’re trying to add some new genres this year as well.

    Thanks for the challenge!

    • What a fantastic goal, Becky! And don’t worry about finding books. We’ve got some booklists planned that should help people find books in the various categories throughout the year.

      Don’t forget that “talking animal” books count as fantasy (fantasy is broader than just dragons). Also, the old and new book categories can be any genre. Ask people to recommend books about animals for the “recommended” titles or look for “popular” books that your children will enjoy.

      But hopefully you and your family will also discover some new genres and topics to enjoy! We all benefit from diversifying our reading 😁. The challenge will stretch me, too.

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