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2018 Reading Challenge Check-In: January

Reading Challenge Check-In: January

Well, readers, we’re a month into year 2018. A month!?!

It seems like a good time to take the pulse of our 2018 reading challenge efforts. Humming along nicely? Haven’t started yet? Started, but already stalled out?

Redeemed Reader Resources

Throughout this year, we’ll be posting booklists that target various categories from the challenge to help you diversify your reading (in addition to our regular reviews). Just last week, we published “Here Be Dragons“–our mega fantasy and sci-fi list (don’t miss the comments which include even more suggestions!).

The ALA will announce the 2018 Newbery and Caldecott awards in early February, and we’ll update our site accordingly so you can choose a recent award winner if you’d like. Perhaps one of the books we’ve discussed in our Newbery Buzz series will even earn a mention!

In the coming months, you can expect to see lists of biographies, award winners, love stories, and more!

One Family’s Progress To Date

In the meantime, though, here is a more personal check-in. My kids and I are doing the challenge together, and we’re making good progress so far! One of my New Year’s Goals was to read instead of checking my phone so much (all those “wait times” for doctors, family members, etc.). It’s amazing how much more reading I’ve been able to do! Remember, though, I’m a “professional reader.” I’ve always read a lot, and my numbers shouldn’t be indicative of a normal adult’s expected reading pace.

You might enjoy looking at our lists to see how flexible the reading challenge is: you’ll notice cartoon books, nonfiction about StarWars, fantasy, mysteries, picture books, poetry, and more!

We may move some titles around to different categories as the year progresses; all links are to RR reviews, so any of those that I didn’t personally review can also count as a book recommended here on RR! I’m also noting some “in progress” books.

***Please do not take these reading lists as a “recommended” list. My kids and I read many books that I don’t review (wrong audience, offensive, not interesting enough, not enough time, etc.). Just because we’ve read something doesn’t mean it’s recommended; nor does the fact that I never review it automatically mean it’s “bad.” I try to pick the books that will benefit RR’s readers the most when I choose the ones to review!

Without further ado, here’s how we’re lining up at the end of January (we’re all ahead so far–good way to start off!).

Betsy – Grand Slam Challenge (100 books/year)

Total at end of January: 16 books completed

I read a lot of different kinds of books!

  • The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung (year-long/in progress; Christian Beliefs; adult)
  • Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Bober (biography still in progress; young adult)
  • Revolutionary Rogues by Castrovilla (Biography of someone more than 200 years ago; picture book)
  • Irenaeus of Lyon by Simonetta Carr (biography of someone more than 500 years ago; picture book)
  • The Extraordinary, Ordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson (biography of an author; picture book)
  • The Ark Plan (Edge of Extinction #1) by Laura Martin (Science Fiction/Fantasy title; middle grades)
  • Code Name Flood (Edge of Extinction #2) by Laura Martin (sci-fi/fantasy title of my choice; middle grades)
  • Cobalt Squadron by Elizabeth Wein (popular book; middle grades)
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (realistic fiction; young adult)
  • Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine by Caroline Starr Rose (historical fiction; middle grades)
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (historical fiction about a time period we’re studying in school; in progress; middle grades/young adult)
  • The Happy Dinner Table (nonfiction; adult)
  • There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather (nonfiction about a different country; adult)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (recommended by a parent/in progress*; adult)
  • All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (recommended on Redeemed Reader; graphic novel)
  • Invisible Emmie by Terri Libensen (graphic novel; middle grades)
  • Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (book of my choice; graphic novel)
  • El Deafo by CeCe Bell (book of my choice–reread; middle grades graphic novel)
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz (not putting it in a category yet–what if it wins an award?)
  • I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith (popular book in our family; children’s poetry)
  • *the brief story behind Jane Eyre: I’ve never read it (knew the story, had too many other books on my To Be Read (TBR) pile). Asked my mom for a “parent recommendation” for our reading challenge, and that’s what she said! Good excuse to finally read it; I’m listening to it read by Thandie Newton and she is a fabulous narrator. Look for it on Audible if you’re interested!

E-Age 12 – Grand Slam Challenge (100 books a year)

Total at end of January: 12 books completed with 2 in process

She’s an avid reader and especially loves fantasy. In fact, she’s a textbook “Adventurer.” The reading challenge will be good for her: she will have to diversify as the year progresses!

  • All’s Faire by Victoria Jamieson (graphic novel)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (fantasy/sci-fi)
  • The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (in process; fantasy/sci-fi of her choice)
  • The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (book of her choice)
  • The Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (book of her choice)
  • El Deafo by CeCe Bell (new book: award winner during E’s lifetime)
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (historical fiction about a time period we’re studying in school)
  • A Pocket Full of Murder by R. J. Anderson (mystery)
  • Little Taste of Poison by R. J. Anderson (mystery from the same series)
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (mystery from a different series–even though it’s not a series!)
  • I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith (popular book in our family; children’s poetry)
  • Judges (book of the Bible)

D-Age 10 – Grand Slam Challenge (100 books/year)

Total at end of January: 11 books completed

Another avid reader in my house! He also enjoys fantasy, but his fantasy tastes are a bit different than his sister’s.

  • El Deafo by CeCe Bell (graphic novel)
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (historical fiction about a time period we’re studying in school)
  • Garfield Rounds Out by Jim Arnosky (book of his choice)
  • Garfield Feeds His Face by Jim Arnosky (another book of his choice)
  • Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome (book that is older than his grandparents; in process)
  • The Door Before by N. D. Wilson (fantasy/sci-fi by a Christian)
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (fantasy/sci-fi)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (fantasy/sci-fi with a dragon)
  • I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith (popular book in our family; children’s poetry)
  • Star Wars The Last Jedi: Visual Dictionary (nonfiction)
  • 2 Kings (book of the Bible)

W-Age 10 – Quarterback Challenge (25 books/year)

Total at end of January:

My “inventor” type kid, this son really enjoys fantasy/sci-fi with a mechanical edge.

  • The Ark Plan by Laura Martin (fantasy/sci-fi)
  • Code Name Flood by Laura Martin (fantasy/sci-fi of his choice, in process)
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (historical fiction about a time period we’re studying in school)
  • I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith (popular book in our family; children’s poetry)
  • Garfield Rounds Out by Jim Arnosky (book of his choice)
  • Garfield Feeds His Face by Jim Arnosky (another book of his choice)
  • The Bluebird Effect by Julie Zickenfoose (nonfiction; adult level; in process)

E – The Man of the House 

Total books in January: 3 completed, several in process

(not officially doing our reading challenge but an avid reader like the rest of us)

  • You Need a Budget (adult nonfiction; finance)
  • QBQ! (adult nonfiction; leadership)
  • The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty (adult nonfiction; leadership)
  • Oil: A Beginner’s Guide (adult nonfiction; current issues; in process)
  • Westminster Shorter Catechism; Study Guide by G. I. Williamson  (adult nonfiction; theology, in process)
  • Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias (adult nonfiction; apologetics, in process)

Readers, how are YOU doing? What has been your favorite book of 2018 so far?

 

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