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2013 Hub Reading Challenge final check-in

reading challenge logoHappy Saturday, everyone! 83 titles. 13 lists and awards. 20 weeks. And now, the Reading Challenge comes to an end. You ahve until 11:59pm EDT tonight to wrap up the last of your reading and listening, and you have until 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, June 23 to let us know if you’ve finished (or conquered?!) the challenge.

At that point, we’ll do our drawing to determine our grand prize winner, who will receive a YALSA tote bag full of recent YA lit! (If the winner is a teacher or librarian or something similar, he or she will also receive a professional development title.) We’ll also send everyone their finisher badges and extend invitations to all challenge finishers to submit a reader response that we’ll publish on The Hub.

We’re also interested in knowing what you thought of the challenge! Leave us a comment and tell us what your favorite book was, what you enjoyed most about participating, what you’d like us to change for our next reading challenge, or anything else you want us to know. Want to share your thoughts more privately? Email us.

If you’ve completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list, let us know by filling out the form 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.


  1. Sara Ray Sara Ray

    I didn’t add any to my 25 as I wanted to (new books caught my eye!). But I do intend on reading more from the list (halfway through two of them, just got distracted). I think the length of time was good this year. Last year it felt, as a slow reader and a busy life, it was a real challenge to finish. This year I allowed myself a few pleasure reads in between but definitely took advantage of some of the shortest books.

    I loved reading everyone’s comments! It really helped me pick out books I would not have on my own. It is hard to pick a favorite but Ari & Dante blew me away and The Running Dream was a.m.a.z.i.n.g!

    Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their comments and to the HUB staff! Awesome idea this challenge is and I can’t wait for next year!

  2. MindyE MindyE

    so many great books! I don’t think I can pick a favorite!! I did enjoy the audiobooks! The Diviners seemed creepier!! Warriors Don’t Cry was more heartbreaking “hearing” all the ugliness! The Isle of Blood was icky! Monstrous Beauty was even more ethereal. And Personal Effects was just WOW!!

  3. Library.Lil Library.Lil

    Finished with about 10 hours and 4 minutes to spare! I enjoyed it, and was glad of the extra time this year. I did make my goal of reading at least one from every list/award. I was really glad that some of the other awards were included this year, like the Stonewall and the Schneider Family.

    This week I finished:
    One Shot at Forever: Loved it. To be fair, I like baseball and I like a good sports underdog story, but there really seemed to be something magical in Macon in 1970/1971 and I love how it was captured in the book.

    Code Name Verity: Finished less than 10 minutes ago, so I’m still wrapping my head around it!

    Thanks for the challenge! I look forward to next year!

  4. I finished Mr. Penumbras’ 24-hour Bookstore this week. The best discovery I made was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I particularly enjoyed reading the Alex winners. There are a few I didn’t get to, but have added them to my summer reading list. I, too, am looking forward to next year. And I’m planning to celebrate the end of the Challenge by knitting a scarlet pullover a la Julie in my favorite from the list, Code Name Verity.

    • MindyE MindyE

      I love the idea of knitting a pullover!

  5. This was my first year trying the HUB Challenge, and I’m really glad I participated. I had enough time to read 25 books, although I ended up reading a number of books not on the list, and just finished up my last “official” book yesterday. I think Dodger and One Shot at Forever were my favorite reads. I tried to choose books that Middle School Students would be interested in reading – and when I brought them to school visits this year the uproar over Ultimate Comics Spiderman was overwhelming. I could barely keep track of the book – and in the last presentation of the day a teen picked the book up and read it through my whole presentation, except for when I grabbed it back for a few minutes to booktalk, and gave it back to him. I will be taking the HUB Challenge again next year.

  6. Julie Julie

    #50 Aristotle & Dante…Universe – okay
    #51 Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – again, just okay.
    #52 Code Name Verity – dreadful (on a par with Pure which I loathed)

    Am glad I did the challenge – my 1st one. Lots out of my comfort zone which was good
    for me. Would have liked to have the 2 graphic novels that were remotely interesting
    (Drama & Friends With Boys) not written as GNs. I still do not enjoy the comic book
    form. My favorites were Ten (mysteries are my favorite), October Mourning (intense, thought-provoking, tragic), Pregnancy Project ( could have been written by any number
    of students where I work), Gone, Gone, Gone (I lived thru the sniper attacks so it was
    all too familiar) & The Running Dream (I coach CC & track). Only “read” one audio book then read it in book form also (Crusher) – too slow, can’t go back easily &, contrary to
    what many people do, I could NOT listen in the car – way too distracting.
    As this was my first challenge, I don’t know how I would change it or do it differently.
    Some people read according to the awards the books received – I just read what was
    available in my school library & the public library. A few of the books are on the 2013
    Teen Read Week list and the 2013-14 Black-Eyed Susan list (Maryland’s “best of”). I am
    concentrating on finishing those lists now. What did I learn? Well, fantasy isn’t as
    bad as I thought it was (Tamora Pierce’s 2 series), and graphic novels are. Also, my
    idea of a good book is not the same as many other reader’s. I wasn’t as thrilled with
    John Green’s book as most were (I really like his others) or Me and Earl..Girl, or Code
    Name Verity (unbelievably boring) or The Miseducation of C Post (kind of boring). The “who-done-its” on the list were my favorites. I’ve discussed some of these books with
    friends & with the Media Specialist at school and we all like different genres. My age
    may have a lot to do with liking/disliking a book. I’m 69 and did not read growing up.
    A couple I will purchase for my 11 yr-old grandson, an avid reader. I am looking forward
    to the next challenge. Thanks for putting it all together. You’re awesome!

  7. Proud to say I finished the challenge! I was hoping to get closer to 30 completed, but I finished 25 (with two more non-fiction titles nearly done but I won’t finish tonight). I finished Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March this past week.

    I think my all-time favorite book of the challenge was Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. My second was The Running Dream. In the sequence of when I finished them, they were my 2nd & 24th books, so I started with a really good one and ended with the best. Overall, though, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge as it’s pushed me to read outside my comfort zone. I know sometimes we require students to read genres they normally wouldn’t choose, so it’s good for me to experience that, too. In some cases, it worked out really well (like reading The Name of the Star). In other cases, it was good there was a challenge hanging over my head to motivate me to finish reading the book! Let’s just say I plan to participate in the challenge again next time.

  8. Katie Katie

    Finished #25 tonight – took it right to the wire, but I completed the challenge! Between work and school, I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I’m glad I went for it in my first year attempting the challenge. There were a lot of titles I never would have picked up and ended up really enjoying, so I had a great time navigating through the lists.

  9. I finished #25 (the last book in The Song of the Lioness series) last night with 40 minutes to spare! I am really pleased I did the challenge, as it made me pick up several titles that I may not have read on my own, namely the Quick Picks (which I didn’t exactly enjoy, but I can see their appeal to reluctant readers) and the Alex winners. Reading the Alex books was such a treat, as I tend to get consumed with reading YA for work. One of my favourite challenge titles was an Alex winner – Tell the Wolves I’m Home. That was tied with Seraphina as my favourite.

    I’m going to continue reading some of the Hub Challenge books, namely Aristotle and Dante (sitting here on my coffee table) and The Raven Boys. I will definitely try and participate again next year.

  10. Donna Siebold Donna Siebold

    I ended up reading 57 out of the 83. I put on a real push in the last week racking up 12 more titles: Fault in Our Stars, Ten, Friends with Boys, Struts & Frets, Love & Other Perishable Items, Moonbird, Bomb, Crusher, I Hunt Killers, Drama and The New Kids. Of this I enjoyed Fault in Our Stars, Bomb, and I Hunt Killers.

    I liked Moonbird but I don’t think Phillip Hoose did himself any favors by reading the book himself. His delivery was not, in my opinion, stellar. It took me a good while to get interested in Crusher – something about the British flavor just left me cold – in the end I did enjoy the story, though. I also really enjoyed Drama – graphic novels are just not my cup of tea, but I liked the bright colors of this one and the easy to follow story line. Many of the others were confusing to me as the order of the text in the panels was hard for me to follow. I would never have read or even heard of these graphic novels, if not for this list, so I am happy I took up the challenge.

    The hardest part for me was obtaining the titles. I had to join four library systems to get my hands on an audio copy of the Watch that Ends the Night and that arrived so late I did not get to finish it.

    I am part way through Wonder Show and have two other titles on my tablet that are part of the Challenge. I have one other book on my table to read and have about six more still on order from various libraries. Ultimately I think I will finish about 70 of the titles on the list and I am really pleased about that.

    I think the books I enjoyed the most were The Fault in Our Stars, October Mourning and the Diviners. So far the one I enjoyed least was After the Snow – I just could not finish that one.

  11. Donna Siebold Donna Siebold

    oops, left out We’ve Got a Job in my list of 12. I really can count – I just can’t type!

  12. Loved this reading challenge and so proud of myself for actually completing it! I enjoyed reading books that I might not have read otherwise. Can’t pick a favorite, but some that I really enjoyed included The Fault in Our Stars, The Diviners, I Hunt Killers, and Prom and Prejudice. I will definitely try this again.

  13. I did it! I finished my 25th book, Everyday just before the deadline. I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t rushing through it. I prefer to savor the words, letting them percolate, letting my brain go off on tangents…no time for that though. I liked the concept of the story and it was an interesting way to explore a variety of characters and social issues, themes on gender. Book number 24 was Raven Boys, which was a great vacation after reading Girlchild, although I kept tripping over the name of the boys school, Aglionby, until I googled a tweet from the author on its pronunciation (agg lynn bee), phew. Then things went along smoothly and now I will be googling ley lines and taking up dowsing until September when the next book in the series comes out.
    I loved participating in this challenge! It was a great motivator to explore books and formats I would not have picked up on my own. I haven’t listened to an audio book in years, and now I will be fitting those in regularly. I wanted to read all the Alex awards and I almost did it! Also, there were so many GLBTQ (did I leave out a letter?) books that would be great for my high schools GSA awareness program. I’m going to keep reading from the challenge list over the summer, it will fortify me for some good book talking opportunities in September when school resumes and it’s already provided an excellent selection of recommendations for our suggested summer reading list. My favorite was Mr. Penumbras 24 Hour Bookstore. Thank you Hub Challenge!

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