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YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge Begins!

It’s now April here on the East Coast of the US, so it’s time for YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge to begin! We’re hoping the challenge will push you to read/listen to more great books than you would have–and to discover something new in a genre or category you might not have tried.

Challenge objective
Read/listen to 25 of the 80 titles on YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best list to finish the challenge. The list includes YA novels, audiobooks, graphic novels, and books for adults, so there’s plenty to choose from. Bonus objective: read/listen to all 80 titles to conquer the challenge!

Challenge rewards
Beyond experiencing the best of the best that YA lit has to offer if you participate in the challenge, everyone who finishes the challenge will be invited to submit a response to a book they read for the challenge. The response can be text, graphics, audio, video and will be published on The Hub. Furthermore, everyone who finishes the challenge will be entered into a random drawing for our grand prize: a YALSA tote bag full of 2011 and 2012 YA lit! (If the winner is a teacher or librarian or something similar, we’ll also include a few professional development titles.)

Challenge conquerors will receive an elite digital badge to show off how well-read they are.

Challenge guidelines

  • The challenge begins at 12:01AM EST on April 1 and ends at 11:59PM EST on June 30.
  • Eligible books are those on YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best list: 2012 winners and honor books for the Alex Award, Margaret A. Edwards Award, William C. Morris Award, Nonfiction Award, Odyssey Award, and Michael L. Printz Award, as well as the Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction, Great Graphic Novels, Popular Paperbacks, and Quick Picks.
  • Format matters: a title that has been recognized for both the print version and the audiobook version can be both read and listened to and count as two books, but a book that has won multiple awards or appears on multiple lists in the same format only counts as one title. If a book was recognized as a print version, listening to the audiobook does not count.
  • Books must be read/listened to (both begun and finished) within the challenge time period. If you’ve already read/listened to a title, you must re-read/listen to it for it to count.
  • Just about everyone who doesn’t work for ALA is eligible to participate. Yes, non-ALA/YALSA members are eligible. Yes, teens are eligible. Yes, non-US residents/citizens are eligible. (More eligibility questions? Leave a comment or email us.)
  • Once you finish the challenge, we’ll contact you with details about creating and publishing your response.
  • The grand prize winner will be selected by 11:59pm EST on July 2. The winner will be notified via email.

How to participate

  • Comment here announcing your intention to participate. If you’re going to be tracking what you read/listen to on your blog, Goodreads, LibraryThing, YouTube or some other site, include a link to your blog/shelf/channel/profile in your comment. If you’re not tracking your reading online, keep a list some other way.
  • You may “register” by leaving a comment here and starting your reading any time during the challenge period.
  • Every Saturday, we’ll publish a check-in post. Leave a comment with everything you’ve read/listened to since the last check-in post. If you’ve reviewed those titles somewhere online, include links to those reviews! Otherwise, let us know what you thought of the books in the comments.
  • If you’ve finished the challenge since the last check-in post, fill out the embedded form with your name and contact information. This is how you’ll receive your Finisher’s Badge, how you’ll be contacted about your reader’s response, and how you’ll be entered into the drawing for our grand prize. Please fill out the form only once.
  • If you’ve conquered the challenge, let us know in the comments and we’ll send you your Conqueror’s Badge.

Sound good? If you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email. Otherwise, grab this Participant’s Badge, put it on your blog or in your email signature, and get reading!

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  1. Sara Ray Sara Ray

    I will be participating! I’ll be keeping a good old paper copy list of what I’m reading and the comments I have. See you all at the first check-in post! Have fun :)

  2. I am excited to be participating. I plan to use this challenge to read new books rather than re-reading those I have already enjoyed. I will track my challenge reading on LibraryThing where my user name is AngelaCinVA. The collection will be, what else, YALSA Best of the Best Challenge.

    • I will also be tracking, and writing about, my challenge progress on my blog, Writing ‘Bout Reading ( I mistyped the link in my original comment, but it should work from the link on my name in this and future comments. :-p

  3. Super excited to participate! I will also be using this challenge as a way to read and listen to books that are new to me. I’ll be tracking my progress on Goodreads at

  4. Jen B. Jen B.

    You know, I was considering doing this, but since I would have to fill out a form every time I wanted to check back and see the lists of eligible titles, that’s enough to convince me my time is better spent elsewhere.

    • Sara Sara

      The links above do not require a log in. Plus I printed all the lists as a reference and can fit them all on 2 pages. If you are worried about it going to log-in form, why not copy and paste the lists and save them as a document on your computer? It will be a fun challenge!!!

  5. I’m going to attempt the challenge! I’ll keep track of books read on my blog (linked above).

  6. I’m going to try the challenge and have put all the titles I haven’t already read or listened to on my “to read” shelf on Goodreads!

  7. So excited! I’m tracking my reading (as always!) at Goodreads, which I’ve attempted to link to as my website. Awesome!

  8. I do love a reading challenge so game on!

  9. Jacqueline C. Jacqueline C.

    I’m so excited about this challenge! I’ll be tracking my reading via Goodreads. Here’s the link to my shelf :

  10. Penny Johnson Penny Johnson

    Count me in! Does anyone know if there is a Best of the Best list on Goodreads? I couldn’t find one.

  11. Leslie Carloss Leslie Carloss

    I will be participating! I’ll be keeping a list of what I’m reading. Have fun reading! :)

  12. Rachael Nicholas Rachael Nicholas

    I’m participating! I am going to start right now…

    • Joanne Lee Joanne Lee

      Yay! Reading is so much fun! Bring it on Ms. Nicholas! This is going to be so much fun!


  13. Debbie Debbie

    I’m in! Keeping track on GoodReads… @

    Great choices…hard to pick 25. Can’t wait to share my finds w/my daughter!!

  14. Chelea Chelea

    Add me to the list! I will be keeping track through Goodreads, I created a bookshelf just for this challenge. Here is the link

  15. Wendy Wendy

    I will be taking this challenge.

  16. Joanna Roberts Joanna Roberts

    I will be taking this challenge and keeping track through

  17. Count me in! I will be tracking my progress on Twitter @OHSlib

  18. I’ll be posting on my tumblr. Far-To-Fall.

  19. Meredith Anderson Meredith Anderson

    …and we’re off! I can’t wait to dig in and READ!

  20. I would like to participate in the YALSA Best of the Best Challenge!

  21. Emily S. Emily S.

    I am all for joining this challenge!

  22. Laura P Laura P

    Another reading challenge, another goodreads shelf —

  23. Jenny Carroll Jenny Carroll

    I am starting this challenge asap!

  24. Amanda L. Amanda L.

    I am accepting the challenge!

  25. I’m going to try this. We’ll see how I do.

  26. Ok, I’m in.

  27. Megan Park Megan Park

    Ok, I’m in! I know it’s almost impossible for this mother of four but I’m up for the challenge:)

  28. I am aiming to participate! I’ve gathered to gether my to-read/listen list, and I’m excited to have this opportunity to target my reading.

    I am not quite sure yet where I’ll be posting my updates on my progress, but once I know, I’ll post it here!

    • So, as it turns out, a number of us over at No Flying No Tights will be participating and posting periodically over at the site. So, follow our reading adventures there!

  29. Kristin Roper Kristin Roper

    I’m in!

    • Follow my progress on the YALSA 2012 shelf.

  30. Jessica Jessica

    Participating! Ready to get reading!

  31. Challenge accepted! I’ll come back with links, etc. when I have them.

  32. Definitely participating!!

  33. Robin Robin

    I’m in!


    Well, I’m signing up five days late but I’m going to go for it anyway!

  35. Charles Charles

    Count me in!

  36. Gayle Goad Gayle Goad

    This sounds like fun. I’ll participate. Can anyone tell me how to add a blog on goodreads?

    • I’m not sure that Goodreads has an internal blogging feature, but you can create a shelf specifically for this challenge if you want. In Goodreads, click on “My Books” near the top and then in the left column, click on “add shelf.” That’ll give you a way to keep track of the titles you’re reading specifically for the challenge!

  37. Sophie Sophie

    I will be participating!

  38. Leslie Carloss Leslie Carloss

    I’ve made a good start and will be keeping my list on my Facebook wall.

  39. […] you would like to participate in the challenge. Check out this announcement. Those that reach the 25 goal will be entered into a drawing for some free books! I hope that you […]

  40. I am participating in this challenge and look forward to absorbing a lot of books!

  41. Def going to take this challenge! I’ll be keeping a list at my blog. Thanks for hosting.

  42. Joyce Joyce


  43. Molly Molly

    Totally going to participate! Gretchen you rock. :D

  44. Sarah Townsend Sarah Townsend

    I’ll be participating! I’ll track it on Goodreads ( with YALSA Best of the Best 2012 as the bookshelf name. I’ll also be tweeting about my reads @stowns.

  45. Amy Amy

    A little late to the party, but I’ve just stalked my library catalog and downloaded both an audio and ebook. I’ll track the books on my school blog at

  46. I am definitely in! Now I have something to push me to actually read all of these fabulous books! I will track my progress on my blog and/or my GoodReads.

  47. Molly C Molly C

    I’m participating! I just finally got around to reading Shine and it was everything I was hoping it’d be.

  48. Tracey Tracey

    I’ll be participating in the challenge :)

  49. Amanda Z. Amanda Z.

    I’ll be participating & I’m looking forward to blogging about some of the books on my library’s recommended YA book blog. :o)

  50. I am SO participating! I am trying to get through all of the Printz and Alex award winners by June 20 (ALA in Anaheim!) so this should help keep me moving forward on that. I’ll be tracking my reads on my blog using the tag “2012 best of the best reading challenge”:

  51. Jocelyn Baldwin Jocelyn Baldwin

    I’m gonna try! Better get offline and start reading!

  52. Tiffany Bronzan Tiffany Bronzan

    I’m going to try and participate. I will keep my personal list and list the books I’ve read on the weekly posts.


  53. This challenge has given me the excuse I need to read Maureen Johnson’s “The Last Little Blue Envelope,” sequel to “13 Little Blue Envelopes.” 24 more books to follow.

  54. Yay challenge – I will be tracking on Goodreads!

  55. I’m in – even if I am late. These are absolutely the books I would be reading/listening to anyway, and it will give me some extra umph to try to keep up…but I’ll probably be behind until summer kicks in. I’ll track it on goodreads, linked above.

  56. Mindy Engler Mindy Engler

    love the challenge!

  57. […] I first read this book in 2011 but reread it this month for the YALSA 2012 Best of the Best challenge. This review was written after my second reading, and I’m pleased to say that the work stands […]

  58. Erika Gangnath Erika Gangnath

    I will attempt it!

  59. Count me in! I’ve attempted to link my new Good Reads account above.

  60. I’m joining in!

  61. Jessica R Jessica R

    Can’t wait to start this challenge!

  62. Donna K Donna K

    I’m in…a little late. =]

  63. Samantha Samantha

    I’ll be participating.

  64. caresia allen caresia allen

    Im excited about beginning the challenge i will conquer the mountain i will win

  65. caresia allen caresia allen

    im going to take the challenge conquer the mountain and win

  66. I’m attempting the challenge! Hopefully I’m not starting too late. I’m dusting off my LibraryThing and tracking on there. Happy reading, all!

  67. I’m late to the game, but I’m going to give it a shot! Hoping my GoodReads profile was linked in the “website” area above!

  68. Count this librarian in. I know I’m behind but I promised myself that I could catch up!
    Happy Reading Everyone.

  69. I just found out about this today! But I’m gonna try anyway.

  70. Cathy Cathy

    I’m in!

  71. I’m in! I’ll keep a list at my blog. I’ll probably fail, especially since I’m starting so late, but it gives me an excuse to read a lot of fun books.

  72. Michelle Greer Michelle Greer

    I’m excited to participate and to track my books read on Goodreads! This seems like a lot of fun!

  73. Erik Swallow Erik Swallow

    Sounds like a blast! I have to clear my to-be-read pile a bit, but then I’m going to tackle some of the great eligible titles. I’ll track my readings at my GoodReads account (

  74. Suzy Zavarella Suzy Zavarella

    I’m in – late as usual!

  75. Lauren Ng Lauren Ng

    I will be participating in the Best of the Books!!!!!

  76. I’m in.

  77. I thought I had registered myself, but apparently not. So, here, I am!

  78. I’m starting late and may not finish by the end of June but I am going to give it a try!

  79. I am starting late but I am going to give it a try.

  80. Library.Lil Library.Lil

    Is there a reason that the Schneider Family Book Award is not included?

    • The Schneider Family Book Award is a fantastic award! However, it’s given by ALA rather than YALSA specifically, so it’s not included in YALSA’s Best of the Best list.

  81. Cindy S Cindy S

    I am in

  82. Late start…but I’m in!

  83. I want to play/read/participate :)
    I’m a little late in hearing about this, but I’ll give it a shot all the same.

  84. Laura England-Biggs Laura England-Biggs

    I’ll be reading like crazy – summer reading is upon us and I’m done teaching until next spring :)

  85. […] provide some background, in the beginning of April, I decided to take up the YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge.  For that challenge, I have been reading heavily from this year’s Award Winners and recommended […]

  86. Nicole Dolat Nicole Dolat

    I’m diving into the challenge! I started a little late, but I’m eager to make some good progress… :)

  87. Glenda Glenda

    I’m going to participate and hopefully meet the challenge! Good luck!

  88. I will be participating. Starting a little late, but I hope to meet the challenge! I will be keeping track of what I read through Goodreads. I included my URL. Thanks! Happy reading, all! :)

  89. Bethany Bethany

    I’m getting started late – but plugging along! I’ll be keeping track using my Goodreads shelf. Screen name Emma_jane.

  90. I’m picking up the gauntlet and giving it ago….

  91. My co-worker is doing this, and she convinced me to join too! Keeping up via librarything; link is above.

  92. Katie U. Katie U.

    I’m up for the challenge!

  93. christin christin

    I’m getting a late start, but why not!

  94. Gina Wiser Gina Wiser

    Okay, okay. I’m a little slow on the uptake, but I’m joining in! I have the end-of-the-school-year itch and am ready to read some things just for fun. I just finished the Scorpio Races and absolutely LOVED it. I am anxious to see which of these titles would be appropriate for a middle school library, so count me in!

  95. Amy Boese Amy Boese

    Getting in late, but I’m thrilled to try it!

  96. Coming to this a little late, so I had better get cracking! Doubt I’ll manage to finish (it’ll be hard in our small system just getting a hold of many of the items, especially the audiobooks) but nothing ventured, eh? will likely be tracking via a mix of my blog ( and Bibliocommons (username LibrarianVictoria).

  97. Another person joining late but I’m still going to try it June is such a great time to read and listen to books.

  98. I issued a similiar challenge to myself and my students for the summer. Our task is to tackle the 24 Teen Top Ten Contenders so we can vote on them for Teen Read Week this October. Those titles all appear on the Best of the Best! Yay!!!!
    I am tracking my books everywhere for my students to see… Shelfari, Goodreads and on our class facebook page!

  99. Eli Graham Eli Graham

    Joining in late, but will see how many I can get read. Some I may have read back in April, May so hopefully I can compete!

    • Cat Faircloth Cat Faircloth

      Sign me up too! I have to read from these lists for a class but never knew about the challenge. Hopefully I will be able to complete them all in time. I’ll be keeping up on paper for now.

  100. Cat Faircloth Cat Faircloth

    Sorry, I originally posted this as a response to someone’s response!

    I have been reading from these lists all Spring and Summer but never knew about this challenge. I want to enlist see if I can make it in under the wire. I will be keeping up on paper, might switch to Goodreads if I can find the time between classes!

  101. […] who finished the 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge by reading 25 titles from the 2012 Best of the Best list was invited to create a reader response to […]

  102. […] who finished the 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge by reading 25 titles from the 2012 Best of the Best list was invited to create a reader response to […]

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