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Coming Soon: The 2014 Hub Reading Challenge

2014 January 29
by Allison Tran
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Hub Reading Challenge logo Get excited, YA lit enthusiasts! Now that the Youth Media Awards have been announced and the selected list committees are wrapping up their work, we are pleased to officially announce our 2014 Hub Reading Challenge!

When? The 2014 Hub Reading Challenge will begin at 12:01AM EST on Monday, February 3. Once the challenge starts, you’ll have about four months (until 11:59pm on Sunday, June 22) to read as many of the following as you possibly can:

If you participated in our Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge- even if you didn’t finish- you can count that reading toward your progress in The Hub Reading Challenge. Otherwise, only books that you both begin and finish within the challenge period count, so if you’ve read any of these titles before, you’ll have to re-read them to count them.

What? To complete the challenge, read or listen to 25 of the selected titles before the deadline. Everyone who completes the challenge will be invited to submit a reader response (which can be text, audio, video, graphics, or some combination) to his or her favorite (or least favorite!) challenge title, which we’ll publish here on The Hub. Additionally, everyone who completes the challenge will be entered into a random drawing to win our grand prize: a YALSA tote bag full of 2013 and 2014 YA lit titles! (If you’re a librarian or teacher, we’ll also toss in a couple of professional development titles.)

Not challenging enough, you say? For the speed readers out there, we offer this: on top of completing the challenge, you can go on to conquer it by reading all of the eligible titles.

As you read, you’ll also be earning badges that you can post on your blog or website or include in your email signature to show off how well-read you are, and if you conquer the challenge by reading all of the eligible titles, you’ll earn a super-elite badge (as well as our undying respect and awe).

How? Keep track of what you read every week and how many titles you’ve finished. Every Sunday, we’ll create a check-in post; comment on the post with what you’ve read or listened to that week (and what you thought of it!). If you’ve completed the challenge, fill out the form embedded in the post to give us your name and email address so we can contact you after the challenge is over. The challenge will run on the honor system, so be good!

Format matters, because listening can be a very different experience from reading in print, so be sure to experience challenge-eligible titles in the format in which they were honored. For example, Scowler won the Odyssey Award, which reocgnizes outstanding audiobooks, so even if you’ve already enjoyed the print version, you’ll need to listen to the audiobook to count it for this challenge. Tip: Some titles will be faster reads than others, so if you’re not sure if you can read 25 books in 20 weeks, start with quicker reads (like Quick Picks and Great Graphic Novels) first!

Who? All readers of young adult literature — teachers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, bloggers, parents, teens, anyone! — are welcome to accept our reading challenge. If you’re a librarian or teacher, consider encouraging your patrons or students to give it a try.

Any questions? Let us know in the comments or send us an email. Otherwise, we’ll see you when the challenge kicks off next Monday!

-Allison Tran, currently reading Go, by Chip Kidd

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28 Responses
  1. January 29, 2014

    Will the challenge include the YA titles honored by the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and the Pura Belpre Award?

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      January 29, 2014

      Not this year, but I’ll note this to consider for next year’s challenge- thanks for the good question! The titles honored by those awards are excellent.

      • January 30, 2014

        What a shame! It seems odd that the Challenge would include some of the non-YALSA awards (Schneider Family and Stonewall), but not others. I know they don’t always honor YA titles, but it would be nice to include those titles when they do. These are books that are likely to be less familiar to many people.

        Oh well, I guess I’ll have an extra distraction while working on the Challenge, unless some of those titles come out on one of the selected lists. And I encourage anyone who hasn’t read Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina to do so, even if it isn’t on any of the selected lists.

        • Allison Tran permalink*
          February 2, 2014

          Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is actually on my to-read list, so I appreciate that recommendation! Again, thank you for weighing in on what you’d like to see in this reading challenge– we don’t want to change things up at the last minute, but I assure you that these comments will be discussed in the planning for next year.

        • February 3, 2014

          Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is listed on the Top 10 Quick Picks list, so it should count for this challenge =)

  2. Joy H permalink
    January 29, 2014

    For the books on the ‘Top Ten lists from YALSA’s 2014 selected lists’, those are supposed to be 2014 lists? What’s there still says 2013, so I was wondering if those lists were going to be updated.

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      January 29, 2014

      Yes, this challenge entails the 2014 lists. I think the selection committees are still finalizing the details of their lists… hopefully we’ll see the results of all that hard work soon!

      • Joy H permalink
        February 3, 2014

        Thanks. I’ve seen a few new ones posted, though some are still in the works, I guess. Was wondering if this list would could any of the books on the Rainbow List as well?

  3. January 29, 2014

    Any chance we can adjust the rules this year? Maybe so that people who are reading/discussing books before the YMA can count books they read in the previous calendar year toward their total? In addition to the Morris/Nonfiction books, I’ve read many of the others on the lists, and it seems a bit silly to reread them when I was able to catch them the first time through. I usually try to conquer the entire challenge, and it’s pretty painful to realize that I’d have to reread twenty or so books instead of counting the first time I read them. I think allowing reads during the previous year – when most of the books were published – would be a good way to reward those who have been keeping up with popular and notable new books.

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      January 29, 2014

      Hi Jenni, thanks for the good question. We’re going to stick to the rules as stated this time around, but I’m definitely noting your feedback to discuss when we plan for next year’s challenge. I can relate to your perspective- I feel like I hardly ever have time to re-read! The rationale behind the rule about only counting books read during the challenge period is to encourage participants to read widely and experience books they may not have otherwise picked up on their own– so if they’ve already read a number of the eligible books, they might choose some books that weren’t previously on their radar.

      In any case, I very much appreciate your comments. Thanks for weighing in, and I hope you’ll participate in this year’s challenge!

  4. Julie Trapp permalink
    January 29, 2014

    Is there a list of them all in one spot like last year that can be printed out?
    And – don’t change the rules now. Lobby for a rule change next year if you want them changed.

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      January 29, 2014

      Yes, when the selected lists all come out, we will get a printable list out for everyone. And thank you for your feedback– we will stick to the rules as stated in this post, but all feedback is welcome for future planning. So do let us know what you think as you go through the challenge- thanks!

      • Cheryl Gladfelter permalink
        January 30, 2014

        So glad to hear there is going to be a master, printable list. That was really helpful last year. I’m excited for the challenge!

  5. Margaret permalink
    January 29, 2014

    For next year, could you consider changing the rules to allow readers to count any eligible titles begun after the YMA announcements?
    I’m sitting on a copy of Midwinterblood which I checked out on Monday but, according to the current rules, can’t begin reading until next Monday.

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      January 29, 2014

      Thanks, Margaret– absolutely, I will note your feedback to discuss during our planning process for next year. You’re not alone in asking us to reevaluate this rule, and I appreciate the feedback. I hope you’ll enjoy participating in this year’s challenge!

  6. Anna Chappell permalink
    January 30, 2014

    Hmm, I had a thought – maybe for next year the rules could state you have to read 25 new books for the challenge, but if you wanted to go for the elite list and do the entire thing, you could count the ones already read before without rereading?

    Either way, looking forward to it!

    • January 31, 2014

      @Anna, I like your idea! I was planning on reading 25 new books for the challenge anyway, but I always try to conquer the entire list, and it would be nice to be able to count previous reads for the “conquer” version of the challenge so that I wouldn’t have to re-read 30-35 books. :)

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      February 2, 2014

      This is a good thought- thank you for weighing in! I’m taking notes on all these comments and will discuss in the planning for next year.

  7. January 31, 2014

    Can’t wait to start this. Excited that participating in the Morris/Nonfic Challenge put me a little ahead even if I couldn’t finish. I had a hard time getting the books together at the time to finish it but I’ve got them all now. Will be passing the info on to our new teen person at the library so she can be encouraging the kids to participate too.

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks, Amy! I had a hard time getting all the books for the Morris/Nonfic Challenge too… but I agree, it was fun to get ahead, even a little. :)

  8. Julie permalink
    January 31, 2014

    Just wondering if you could consider a rule change on the format of a book. I do almost all my reading via audiobook because I don’t have a lot of time to sit down with a book. I completely understanding having to listen to books that won an Odyssey award or having to read the graphic novels in print, but I don’t think that there’s much to be gained by reading the print version of an un-illustrated book that won for its written content. I completed the challenge last year but never posted about it here because I did almost all the novel reading via audiobook and that wasn’t allowed. Thoughts?

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks for the thoughts, Julie! As an avid audiobook listener, I gave heavy consideration to allowing either format to count. Ultimately, together with the Hub Advisory Board, we thought since format matters for the committees who select these titles, it should matter for the challenge, too. A narrator can make or break the experience of a book, and the audio version could totally skew a reader’s perception (for better or worse). So if that book was recognized in print, the listener may not be getting the intended experience.

      All of that said, this challenge is always being re-evaluated, so I will take note of your comments and we’ll revisit this again for next year, for sure! Thank you very much for weighing in.

  9. Elizabeth permalink
    February 1, 2014

    I had so much fun and experienced so many new books by doing the Hub Challenge last year–so excited to do it again this year!!

    • Allison Tran permalink*
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks so much, Elizabeth! We’re excited to have you participate.

  10. Jody permalink
    February 3, 2014

    Yay the challenege starts tomorrow!!! I’ve been waiting for the big challenege, my goal is to finish them all!

  11. Julie permalink
    February 3, 2014

    12:01 AM (I took a nap earlier so I could start then) I began reading “The Death of Bees”. Wish I had started with something else. About 1/2 way through and it’s not going well.
    Premise is actually funny (yeah, I said that), but the language is getting to me. I am not entertained by books, TV, or movies that rely on 4-letter words.

  12. Kim Bauer permalink
    February 3, 2014

    This will be my first year participating in The Hub Challenge and I can’t wait to get started! I think I understand what books need to be read/re-read/listened to but was curious how the Edwards Award works for the challenge. Since it is awarded to an author do we read the books listed (which in this case are 4 of Zusaks titles) on the Edwards Award web page?

  13. Jennie Evans permalink
    February 3, 2014

    So excited that the challenge is officially underway!

    I was just wondering about Strobe Edge. Do you have to read all 6 books for it to count? And then does it count as just 1 book/title or can you count each book individually?

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