2019 Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens

updated 10/21/19

READERS: Find info about the 2020 Reading Challenge here!

The 2019 Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens

Our 2019 Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens is back and better than ever! This is year 3 for our annual reading challenge, and we’ve added some different components to extend your reading life.

We’ve also packaged the whole thing up into a handy pdf you can download and save to your computer. Printing just the pages you want and/or referencing it throughout the year will be easier than ever! 

The 2019 Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens

is in our store–free through January 31!

Grab yours today!

Why a Reading Challenge, or, Why do YOU Want to Join a Reading Challenge?

Perhaps the most important question is not, “Which challenge should I do?” but “WHY am I participating in a reading challenge in the first place?” (Or, why does your son or daughter want to participate?)

The point of the Redeemed Reader 2019 Reading Challenge is not to encourage you to simply read more books. After all, speed reading merely to check a title off of a list does nothing to enrich your actual life.

No, the point of our reading challenge is to encourage you to be more intentional with your reading life. Depending on the habits you already have in place, different sorts of challenges will be more or less beneficial for you. Most readers need some nudges to diversify our reading, and our reading challenges below are directly geared to that.

Check out these reading challenge testimonials:

Books v. Habits

Perhaps you need to build the basic habit of reading first, though. Or, perhaps you have a child who claims to hate reading. Forcing him to slog through even the basic level (13 books/year) is certainly not going to enhance his love of reading. Maybe your child has a reading disability. Requiring her to finish a certain number of books–even if they are technically on her reading level–is counterproductive.

Please do not jump into the 2019 Reading Challenge if you need to build habits first. For that, you need a habit tracker and different goals, such as the following:

  • I’m going to read for 15 minutes a day.
  • I’m going to challenge my son/daughter to read for 20 minutes every weekday.
  • Or, I’m going to rate/review/reflect on each title in a journal (or someplace like goodreads) before starting another title.

Habit trackers abound on the interwebz. For moms, check out AfterThoughts’ Mother Culture Reading Tracker (scroll down to see the Winter Tracker). For those who like to draw/create their own, check out Planning Mindfully’s Guide to all sorts of habit trackers. Pinterest has (of course!) lots of possibilities, too. If you find one you like, let us know!

If your child is already a reader (or experienced listener), then we encourage you to see if he or she would like to participate in the reading challenge at whatever level seems a good fit!

How to Read Along: the 2019 Reading Challenge Levels

Readers, choose your challenge*, and let the games begin!

  • Bakers Dozen (13 books/year)
  • Quarterback (25 books/year)
  • Weekly Reader (50 books/year)
  • Grand Slam (100 books/year)
  • Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Read Aloud Challenge for Families or Classrooms (new!)

*Parents and teachers: this should be your child’s decision, not yours. 

Each challenge level includes a variety of genres, types of books, old and new books, and more. The Bakers Dozen categories are the most general; categories include more specific types of books as the overall number of books grows. For example, one book to check off in the “Bakers Dozen” level is “old book.” The Grand Slam Level includes “a book older than 200 years” and a “book older than your grandparents” as well as other types of “old books.” One category in each challenge level is specifically Christian and includes books of the Bible, the Christmas story, a book about missions, and others, depending on the challenge level.

Remember, all books counte-books, picture books, chapter books, novels, graphic novels, poetry books, narrative 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. 

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, index cards, 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! 

Find the 2019 Reading Challenge in our shop today–free through January 31!

Let us know! Are you in? Are you going to accept the 2019 Reading Challenge? Which level?

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!

Reading Ahead for You

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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. Aimee on December 27, 2018 at 10:53 am

    I am going to do this with my 9 year old this year. She easily read over 200 books last year so my goal is just to read more than her!

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  4. Linda Dietz on December 29, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Is there a Children’s/Kids recommended reading list such as the one given on Tim Challies website? (Reading various types of books of varying number of pages etc)

    • Betsy on December 29, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      That’s exactly what this is! We based our first one directly on Tim Challies’s challenge (with his permission). We’ve tweaked it since to make it more kid-friendly. Different categories, different number of pages, different topics/genres (for instance, kids have to read one book that is 10 times the number of pages as their age; a book older than their parents; a nonfiction book; and more).

      • Betsy on December 29, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        I updated the post to reflect a little of that–thanks for asking the question because we didn’t make it very clear this year!

  5. Michelle F on January 1, 2019 at 11:28 am

    My 10, 9, and possibly 7 yo plan to join in this year, along with myself! We are looking forward to the challenge:) I love so much what you do on this website and have found it extremely helpful both for reviewing books for my kids and Fun YA reads for myself:)

    • Betsy on January 1, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Awesome! Happy reading!

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