2012 Reading Challenges for Children and Young Adults

Reading is a very important part of our lives. We are well known at our library, review books for various authors and publishers, and then pick up some more books in our spare time. I’d like to share with you some great reading challenges for children and young adults coming up in 2012.

 An Illustrated Year: 2012 Picture Book Reading Challenge, hosted by An Abundance of Books, is a wonderful challenge for any family with young children or anyone else who loves a beautiful picture book.

All you have to do is sign up, put the badge in your blog sidebar, and write a post about your participation to link back to the challenge. Then you are all ready to read and review some of your favorite books.

There are three levels of participation, but the top level is only 24 books. We check out more picture books than that in one trip to the library. I have no doubt that we can find 24 picture books to review during the year.

The Award Winning Reads Challenge co-hosted at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing and The Reading Housewives is one of my favorites. Whenever I’ve been at a loss as to which book I should read with my children, I’ve never gone wrong by picking up an award winner. You don’t have to have a blog to participate in this challenge, and you get to set your own goal. Anyone can do this. If you aren’t certain, I personally challenge you to read one of these wonderful books with your children and let me know how you liked it. Both award winners and honoree books from the Newberrry and Printz lists from any year count.

If you are at a loss to what books you might enjoy reading with your children in the upcoming year, check out the Excellence is Reading: 2012 Challenge hosted by the Super Readers Book Club. There you will find a list of books for the challenge, including many of our favorite books.

Erica at The Book Cellar is hosting the YA/MG Fantasy Chalenge 2012, challenging readers to dive into 10 YA/MG books published in 2012. She has even provided a list of some of the new books coming out. I loved last year’s YA challenge and am looking forward to reading more great new books again this year.

Truly Bookish and One Page at a Time are co-hosting the 2012 Multi-Cultural Book Challenge. Can you read and review one YA book a month? Join in! This is such a fun way to explore new cultures on your own or with your children. Reading multi-cultural fiction has heigthened my children’s curiosity about many different cultures, begging us to explore facts about the cultures in depth.

Don’t forget the 2012 Just Contemporary Reading Challenge hosted by Basically Amazing Books. Young adult books are often overlooked by adults. However, there are a lot of really great stories just waiting for someone. Not all of the details are available for this challenge yet, so I can’t wait to hear more.

Hereafter

Tara Hudson’s new novel, Hereafter, promised to deliver an enticingly unique young adult book, different from the rest of the watered down love stories on the market. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver.

Amelia, a ghost who doesn’t remember anything except her first name and parts of her death, wanders around aimlessly, as do the first 50 pages of the book. I forced myself to contune reading, waiting for the book to pick up and deliver the facinating read that would have me on tenderhooks. After finishing the 400+ page book, I’m still waiting. The story seemed contrived and lacking, although the book cover is hauntingly appealing.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by HarperTeen.

The Lost Hero

Percy Jackson fans will not be disappointed with Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero. The first series creatively wove a modern young adult fiction tale with Greek mythology. My children waited with excitement for each book to be released.

Riordan topped himself with this first book of the second series. Rather than merely continuing with the Greek mythology theme, he has found a way to successfully introduce the Roman aspects into the story with more humor than ever before. I don’t think my eight year old has laughed quite so much at a book we have read together. One liners have popped up everywhere in our lives, creating literary jokes which our family adores. I’m excited to see where this second series goes, and my children can hardly wait for the next book.

2011 Debut Author Challenge

I wasn’t going to sign up for The Story Siren’s 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Granted, it sounded like fun and would easily fit with some of the other reading challenges we are doing. However, we constantly have a list of books waiting to be read, and my children already have quite a list for us to read. Then, merely perusing the list of young adult authors debuting this year, my daughter and I spied her first name among the list.

Our children have traditional Irish names, and my daughter’s name is rarely heard in the States. The only person we have ever met who shared her name was another little girl visiting from Ireland and who used the alternative pronunciation. Needless to say, she was a bit excited. Hence, we are now signed up. We’ll see if we can fit in this many new authors along with the que of young adult literature my children already have.