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2013 Hub Reading Challege check in #10

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2013 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 3 counts, so sign up now!

reading challenge logoTwo weeks ago I was up to 11 titles, with grand plans for both adding more to the list and broadening my reading horizon by trying something I wouldn’t normally pick up. I still haven’t finished (well, started) either of the two books (Enchanted and Dodger) I mentioned last time, but I did quite enjoy Ultimate Comics Spider-man, v. 1, The Round House, and Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb. Admittedly, those were all books I had every intention of reading anyway, so I don’t think they really fulfill my goal of branching out, but I do get to add three more titles to my total. On the other hand, I am now in the middle of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, which is not something I probably would have picked up on my own, rave reviews notwithstanding. So far I’m loving it.

Plus, I totally gave in and read Eleanor and Park, even though it’s new and doesn’t count. I have no willpower when it comes to shiny new books. But after Mr. Penumbra and I part ways I really am going to read Enchanted and Dodger, and I added a couple more titles to my library hold list that I definitely wouldn’t have on my radar were it not for the Reading Challenge. My mini goal for the next couple weeks is to try really hard to focus on challenge books, since, if my math is correct, we’ve just about reached the halfway point.

How are you all doing so far? Do any of you find it difficult to both keep up with new books and read “backwards” to catch great titles you missed? Have any of you instituted reading “rules” to keep yourself on track for the challenge? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

If you’ve completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list, let us know by filling out the form (which actually works now!) below. (The information you provide is what we’ll use to send you your Challenge Finisher badge, contact you about your reader’s response, and notify you if you win our grand prize drawing, so be sure to use an email address you actually check!) Do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles.

If you’re not done yet, happy reading and keep us posted on your progress! Tweet your reviews and progress with the #hubchallenge tag, and we’ll see you at next week’s check-in!

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Julie Bartel

Julie is a writer and librarian living in Salt Lake City, UT.


  1. Sara Ray Sara Ray

    I have finished book 18, The Silence of our Friends, and am in the middle of 3 others. It’s been busy in my life but hope to finish this challenge very soon as things start to get less crazy. The Silence of our Friends was definitely not my favorite graphic novel but it was okay. I am still looking forward to quite a few on the challenge list :)

  2. Rose Rose

    This week I read two titles:
    Bomb- What a great title to get students interested in the nitty-gritty details of the building of the atomic bomb and the lies that surrounded it.
    Steve Jobs-As I read this title I kept thinking he has to get nicer! Before I read the book I knew little about Jobs’ life. I can say that I was not impressed with him as a human being but he did have a mind for technology. That being said I think that author was true to his life and am glad that his actions were not sugarcoated for young readers.
    I have finished 12 books in the challenge so far and I can’t wait to read more!

  3. I’ve read 2 books this week
    Prom and Prejudice: Eh…it was so-so. I didn’t really like it. You can see more in my review
    Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid): More like a compilation of events making a story instead of one plot. Cute Kids book. Haven’t read the other books in this series and probably won’t but this one was pretty enjoyable.

  4. Beth Beth

    Finished #8 – Drama by Raina Telgemeier. It was a cute graphic novel. I like the art and the story was sweet with a few poignant moments. It wasn’t too deep, but if very much reminded me of life in middle school, so kids would probably relate to it.

    I’m hoping to finish Code Name Verity by next week’s post. Trying to keep up my reading with a month old baby is pretty tricky, but this challenge is motivating me!

  5. Okay, so I am playing catch up since I started the challenge late. I read almost all of the graphic novels this week. My friend Dahmer we very interesting, but not anything I would recommend to a student. Trinity was defiantly my favorite, I learned so much and I am actually teaching about this right now in class so it really beefed up my knowledge of the subject. Annie Sullivan was alright, kind of boring but interesting if you were doing a project on the subject, I felt the same about The Silence of our Friends. This brings my total up to 9. I ma currently listening to the Diviners and reading Me, Earl and the Dying girl (Hilarious!) I plan to finish that one this week a long with Boy 21 and Aristotle and Dante. I have about 7 others from the library that I will be reading quickly after that. I am not having to hard of time choosing between new books and challenge books because I am not really around the new titles. It would be hard if I was around them in a library, although I do have to keep up with my book club as well, but it isn’t too hard. I don’t really have a plan or strategy, just read as much as possible! :)

  6. Anna Anna

    Just one this week – I listened to Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It was kind of funny listening to it right after The Fault In Our Stars, as Kate Rudd was one of the readers and I had to keep reminding myself it wasn’t Hazel. The story was very good, sensitively told. Total books: 23!

  7. h.vert h.vert

    I finished Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Jesse Andrews), Pure (Julianna Baggott), and Love and Other Perishable Items (Laura Buzo) this week.

    My favorite out of the three was the one by Laura Buzo, and I think it’s because the story was set in Australia, letting me see a slice of life there. I also found it interesting that alcohol consumption was featured so prominently, and I wondered how the drinking culture among adolescents differed from in the US.

  8. Cathy Willis Cathy Willis

    I only finished one this week, Moonbird.
    Loved it!
    Now I want to go out and save the Red Knot Rufa. Go B-95!

  9. As the weeks have rolled along, I’ve gone from reading mostly Challenge Books to reading mostly new books. It is nice be feel you are far enough along to read off-list.

    I have finished!!! Well, I’ve read #25 and 26. I finished Code Name Verity (audiobook). I was both excited and a little nervous. First, I was thrilled to revisit a book I loved so much. When I read it the first time, I couldn’t put it down and read it in a day. Nothing else got done that day, except a couple of walks for the girls. And yet, I was nervous. Would the voices of the audio version match those in my head? There’s a lot you don’t know until you read Kittyhawk, the second part of the book. Was the whole thing ruined because I knew what was ring to happen? But it worked. I loved Julie’s voice, read by Morven Christie. At first, I wasn’t thrilled with ‘s portrayal of Maddie, voiced by Lucy Gaskell but soon grew to be OK with it.

    I also finished My Friend Dahmer. If not for the Challenge, I would never have read this book. It is not a fun read, but it is certainly interesting.

  10. Alison Alison

    Finished two this week.

    I loved The Raven Boys. My only complaint was the way it ended. I know another book in the series will be coming out but I felt the ending fell flat. I loved all the characters and felt the descriptions were wonderful, especially for Noah.

    I also read Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy and hated it. I was not intrigued by the story and thought all of the characters were somewhat annoying. Rosalia was the worst. I really hoped she would come to her senses at some point and Carlos was too self absorbed to help anyone else.

    • To me, it felt like the ending of The Raven Boys was too rushed. It built slowly for so long and then everything happened at once, to the point that it was almost hard to follow. Then it ended with such an obvious cliff hanger! Still, I loved the book and can’t wait to read the next installment.

      • Sara Sara

        Agreed. I thought Raven Boys was going to be a stand alone title and was a bit surprised when I realized I only had about 30 pages left in the book. I didn’t mind the pacing of the book until the end. The ending was super rushed and an obvious attempt to set up a series. Honestly I can’t see this story dragging out for another book. That being said I’m still going to read the next one when it comes out, maybe I’ll be surprised.

        • Alison McKenzie Alison McKenzie

          I’ll definitely read the next one. I would think she’ll focus more on the backgrounds of the other characters. I thought they were all very interesting and enough was left out to pick the story back up.

  11. This week I read The First Test by Tamora Pierce, it was great. I am currently on my fourteenth book. I am doing well I think, I am over halfway through(which maybe I should have been earlier?) I am sure that I will finish sooner rather than later. Um, I have had no difficult keeping up with new books, because I tend to breeze through those, mostly because I already know they are good if I know the author, or have read some of the series. I probably should institute some rules, I think that would help me as I go. I guess those are thoughts for next time though.

  12. Debbie Debbie

    Working on writing my own novel this month as a part of Camp Nanowrimo, I didn’t have as much reading time as I normally would. I only finished one book this week, The Round House by Louise Erdrich. The writing was definitely meant to be savored and I’m glad I didn’t rush through it. This brings my total to 23.

    Spiderman and Friends with Boys are up next, along with The Diviners on audio and Isle of Blood.

  13. Oops! I never checked in last week.

    Week 9: Finished listening to The Diviners by Libba Bray. I found listening to the audio book even more creepy than reading the book. I’m not a huge fan of horror. But Libba Bray captured just the right level of creepiness for me. I really appreciate the way this book sets the stage for the rest of the series, but its story line is wrapped up neatly without any obvious cliff hangers to torment me while I wait for the next book.

    Week 10:
    Crusher by Niall Leonard (audio) Yay! A real, honest-to-goodness murder mystery. I suspect the British slang may bother some readers, but I enjoyed it. So glad I listened to this one.

    Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. After a string of darker books, I needed something light. I’d been putting this one off for fear of it being too much of a fluffy romance for my taste. It was exactly what I needed. I appreciated the way Kontis was able to bring in references to so many traditional fairy tales without forcing her own story to conform to any of them. Another “if not for the challenge, I wouldn’t have read it” book.

    The Silence of Our Friends. The way this graphic novel focuses on just one episode in the Civil Rights struggle allows it to explore in depth how both blacks and whites were affected, down to the children of the white TV reporter. Well done and another graphic novel my husband grabbed from my pile and devoured!

    Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Loved it! Thank you Challenge for getting me to read this! On the surface, it’s a fun story. But I detect some parody and satire going on – Da Vinci Code, those that believe you can get anything via Google, etc. Definitely merits a careful re-read.

    This week I plan to go back to whittling down my neglected To Be Read shelf. I think I need to make myself alternate between Challenge books and other reading. But, in the end, what I read will probably be driven by my mood – or what I have to read for work.

    Update on my bog at Challenge Update: Week 10

  14. I Hunt Killers is the last book for this challenge. And what a book to end with! I recommend reading this with My Friend Dahmer since it brought to mind the nature vs. nurture question.

    This has been a fun challenge. Carry on, friends!

  15. Finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami. LOVED The Fault in Our Stars! Part of the connection could be that I have had two recent bouts with cancer and totally related to so many of the challenges the main characters were dealing with. This is such an honest look at dealing with serious illness and how it affects not only yourself but those around you. Didn’t care much for Stargazing Dog. Not sure why, but didn’t connect much with the stories at all. I have now completed 14 books and am currently reading Ten by Gretchen McNeil.

  16. MindyE MindyE

    Even though I’ve finished reading 25 books for the Challenge, I’m still going to read from the list until the end of June. This week I read Seraphina – loved it! Can’t wait for the Book 2!! and I’m finishing listening to The Fault in Our Stars.

  17. Made it to 20 this week.

    My Friend Dahmer was interesting. I picked it up because I thought one of our summer reading leaders may have wanted to do a graphic novel (nope…he wants to do Stephen Hawking). Really interesting story. Hard to say I “liked” it. More like I appreciated it.

    I also read Stargazing Dog. I thought I had been sufficiently warned after reading others’ reactions to the book in these check ins, but I still wasn’t ready for that. Holy cow.

    My non-graphic novel was Every Day by David Levithan. Did not like this one at all. My cat woke me up in the middle of the night and I picked up my Nook to read myself back to sleep. Instead, the book made me so angry I got worked up and had even more trouble falling back to sleep. Got it all out on GoodReads first thing this morning. So, I’ve decided that Levithan is a writer I can’t completely trust. I loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson (although now I wonder if it was the reflected charm of John Green) and I could not finish Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Guess I’ll just have to try each book as it comes along. This is one that I definitely would not have finished if it weren’t for the challenge.

    Maybe this week I’ll finally get around to Tamora Pierce. I’m hoping her stories will be a nice antidote to Every Day. I’ve also got Trinity which I’m looking forward to since I loved Bomb and have The Girls of Atomic City on my to-read list.

    I feel like this year it’s been easier to balance new and personal reading with challenge reading. I guess partly because I didn’t get into it until this time last year. So, with an earlier start and the Non-fiction and Morris December challenge, it’s been a bit more laid back this year, which is great.

  18. Good week for me, challenge-wise: I finished three books, bringing my total so far to 11. This week, I finished MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE (loved it, of course), FRIENDS WITH BOYS (felt like I missed something), and MOONBIRD (I’m terrified of birds, but I enjoyed this more than I thought I would). Still listening to THE DIVINERS and reading BOMB. Yes, I am terrible at balancing books. I’ve been reading for the challenge, reading ARCs I’ve received (print and digital), and trying to keep up on series I loved (FRAGMENTS and GAME, I’m looking at you!). I don’t really have a rule, but I have a feeling I’ll have to focus more strictly on the challenge to finish in time.

  19. Coming in late on this check-in, I realized that I totally forgot about Wonder Show when I did last week’s check-in. I read it between Love and Other Perishable Items and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I really liked Wonder Show, read it in 2 days. Interesting story involving orphans, carnival/circus culture, storytelling, friendship & loyalty themes.

    This week I finished:
    Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Absolutely loved it.
    First Test (Protector of the Small #1) by Tamora Pierce
    Page (Protector of the Small #2) by Tamora Pierce – these were very similar to the Song of the Lioness books except the main character does not have to hide the fact that she is a girl and she does not have a Gift, so there is more focus on her physical training and relationships/problems with other pages. I liked these all right, but felt I was missing things because I had not read the Immortals series, which apparently precedes this one.

    So I am now up to 22 titles and plan to read Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson, Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal, and Pure by Julianna Baggott to finish up the challenge. I would like to finish this week, as I have a bunch of new books I would like to read! I may come back and read some more from the list later, we’ll see.

  20. I had a busy week. I have only twelve books read (Sigh) but they have all been great. This week it’s on to “Heist Society”

  21. Julie Julie

    Oops! Just filled out the form that says I’m done. Meant to write here. Finished Boy 21 and Struts & Frets this weekend. Boy 21 was a very good book tho I thought the ending was abrupt. Struts & Frets was enjoyable and a really good one. Up to 16 books. Will try some more Tamora Pierce this week.

  22. Joanna Joanna

    This week I listened to Crusher by Niall Leonard. I really enjoyed it. Highly recommend it!
    I’ve also read Every Day by David Leviathan.

  23. Brenda Schwarz Brenda Schwarz

    I am slow to getting reading done this week because I am working on a wedding for my daughter and working full time. It seems as though that by the time I get off of work, make supper and do a little for the wedding I am tired. I start off good when I read and then I find myself asleep on the couch. I have the three vietnam books and they seem short so hopefully I can knock those off this week and another to make my total 14 books.

  24. I am still reading Ten by McNeil. I am enjoying the suspense of the novel. I am hoping to finish it in the next couple of days and move on to another book.

  25. Two more this week for 27 total: Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller and Monstrous Beauty. I am struggling through In Darkness; I guess that alone is pushing me outside my reading envelope, in that I would have abandoned it already if not for the reading challenge. I do find that during the reading challenge I for the most part push other books to the side, with the occasional sneak read thrown in when I feel like I need to take a break.

  26. I’ve finished Love and Other Perishable Items, I Hunt Killers, and Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller since I last checked in and I really liked all 3. I’m torn about what to read next week–there are so many great new titles that are tempting me!

  27. # 10 – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I really enjoyed this. The author just created this sort of atmosphere and it really drew me in.

    #11 – Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby – So Freaking Good! Loved it. Orphans, Creepy Mister and his Apple Orchard and of course, the sideshow freaks. A great read.

    I don’t know if I’ll make it to 25, I keep getting sidetracked with other books!

  28. Just finished book 11-Everyday by David Levithan-which was fabulous. I’m hoping there will be a second so we will know what A finds out! I am starting Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein next.

    I am like Sarita and keep getting sidetracked by other books. I am doing the Goodreads YA Challenge also so those are keeping me busy too!

    List of books are at:

  29. This week I picked up Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store and I’m really enjoying it! It’s smart and funny and I love the collision of the digital world with that of old technology or OK (Old Knowledge!) from BOOKS, well the old school variety of books with pages bound between covers. This week our computers went down DISTRICT WIDE! for an ENTIRE DAY! and everyone was forced to find alternative ways to communicate information. It was a long day. And today we are celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day and while we have lots and lots of pocket sized poems strewn about and many books on display to pick up and look through, students have been Googling poems on their smartphones and reading them aloud from there instead. This book is so much fun and if you’re a (school) librarian or a bibliophile or a technophile you will enjoy and I highly recommend.

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