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2019 Hub Reading Challenge May Check-In


The 2019 Hub Reading Challenge is flying by! Time for a check-in!

Other than the end of the Reading Challenge, there’s another big thing looming over a lot of y’all who work in public libraries.

Summer reading!

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Deep breaths, people! There’s good news in this post!

If you’re feeling like you’re lagging on this year’s challenge, summer reading can be a great motivator. In my last job at a public library, we were always inundated from June to August with folks of all ages and interest levels looking for new books to read and sometimes it was a challenge to help them find something that might appeal to them that was actually on the shelf available for check out. Because lots of readers = lots of bare shelves! So going into a time of high circulation with some fresh new titles in mind can be super helpful! So maybe it’s time to take a look at the spreadsheet of eligible titles and choose a book you know very little about. Your readers’ advisory repertoire will thank you later!

And if you’re not a library staff member preparing to run summer reading, maybe you can use some of the titles from this challenge towards your own summer reading goals!

So, how is your challenge going? Are you zooming along towards your goal? Or has your start been slower than you hoped? (It’s okay, you have time!) What have you read so far that you’ve loved (or hated)?

Be sure to let us know in the comments! And be sure to tag any social media posts with #hubchallenge!

Here’s a quick reminder of the challenge guidelines:

  • 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.
  • Books must be read/listened to (both begun and finished) between the date the award winners and selected lists have been released and June 30, 2019 at 11:59pm EST. If you’ve already read/listened to a title (before the winners/selected lists were announced), you must re-read/listen to it for it to count. The challenge ends on June 30, 2019 at at 11:59pm EST. Once you’ve completed the challenge, let us know by completing this form.
  • Just about everyone who doesn’t work for ALA is eligible to participate. Non-ALA/YALSA members are eligible. Teens are eligible. Non-US residents/citizens are eligible. (More eligibility questions? Leave a comment or email us.)
  • The grand prize winner will be selected by 11:59pm EST on July 1, 2019. The winner will be notified via email.

–Stephen Ashley, currently reading Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Stephen Ashley

Stephen Ashley is the Member Manager for the Hub. He has worked in both school and public libraries with youth of all ages. He can currently be found in North Carolina reading, listening to live music, and never finishing a to do lists. He cannot remember where he parked.


  1. I am working on my 21st book! I also thought that this challenge wrapped up at the end of May so…reading this post was a huge relief!

    My favorite reads so far are A Heart in a Body in the World and The Astonishing Color of After. Overall, I’m super happy with almost everything I’ve read :)

  2. Anna Chappell Anna Chappell

    I forgot to check in for April, but here’s what I’ve read since March:

    Animal Zombies!: And Other Blood-Sucking Beasts, Creepy Creatures, and Real-Life Monsters
    The Astonishing Color of After
    The Black God’s Drums
    Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam
    The Cruel Prince
    A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
    Front Desk
    How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?
    Love Beyond Body, Space & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology
    Lu (print)
    On a Sunbeam
    Poet X (print)
    Quidditch Through the Ages
    Speak: The Graphic Novel
    Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
    Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad

    I’m currently listening to Educated and reading (in print) The Parker Inheritance and Picture Us in the Light. I’m working on the whole list; 68 so far! I’m loving The Parker Inheritance and really enjoyed How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?, The Black God’s Drums, and Front Desk.

  3. Fifteen read, in the middle of one more, and more than enough choices on deck to finish by the end of June… if I knuckle down. So far I’ve liked Hey Kiddo, Crush, and The Black God’s Drums best… and was surprisingly into Blood Water Paint, considering I normally hate novels in verse. Books I almost threw against a wall: Damsel and Check, Please!: #Hockey.

  4. Margaret Margaret

    I’ve completed 21 (and would be at 25 if the four volumes of Silver Spoon were counted individually instead of being a single list item). I don’t know whether I’m going to reach 25 before the deadline or not.
    The title that made the whole challenge a success for me was the audiobook of Akata Witch with Yetide Badaki’s absolutely delightful narration. I had never gotten around to reading the print version and now I’m glad that I didn’t, because the audiobook made such a wonderful first impression.

  5. Stefani Haas Stefani Haas

    I have finished 24 of the 25 books for this challenge and am currently working on book 25 at the moment! Since last check in I have read
    1) Darius the Great is not Okay by Adib Khorrmam
    2) Anne Frank’s Diary: the Graphic Adaptation
    3) Finding Langston by Lea Cline-Ransome
    4) They call me Guero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles
    5) Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson
    6) The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya
    7) Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

    I am currently reading:
    1) Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
    2) The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

  6. I’ve had some other required reading this month, so I’m woefully behind where I had hoped to be. Hopefully I can rally through the last month and a half.

    I’m up to 14 books, with 3 new since last check-in.
    #12 – The Book of Essie
    #13 – What If It’s Us
    #14 – Anger is a Gift

    I enjoyed them all, but I think of the three, The Book of Essie was my favorite, but a very narrow margin.

  7. I have finished 18/25. Monday’s Not Coming, Learning to Breathe, and Darius is Not Okay are my top 3 at this point. I am not counting my rereads, The Poet X and Akata Witch. My most surprising reads (in a very good way) were The Parker Inheritance and Finding Langston. I love middle grade books that combine a bit of history and mystery.

  8. Heydi Smith Heydi Smith

    Yay, I’m done early! Man, usually I’m sweating it to the end. This year had such great choices and I was able to get them quite easily from my library. Here’s my list and reviews:

    My favorite book this time is: The Astonishing Color of After.
    My least favorite book this time is: Damsel. (I love the cover though.)

  9. May books read:
    1. #Murder Trending – 5
    2. Crush – 2
    3. Front Desk
    4. Green – 2
    5. Hurricane Child
    6. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World -3
    7. Learning to Breathe – 2
    8. Let’s Talk About Love – 2 1/2
    9. Sunny – 3
    10. Book of Essie – 41/2
    11. Season of Styx Malone – 3 1/2
    12. Call Me Guero – 4
    13. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone – 3 1/2

    I have 2 DNFs – Feed and Darius the Great. Only 2 left that am going to read. I have read 39 so far.

  10. BJ Neary BJ Neary

    Today is June 8, 2019 and I have finished reading 25 books for this challenge!!!

  11. Kelly Kelly

    I’m behind! Only have 17 done and it’s June 21st? Can I do it? I’m gonna try!!!!!

    This last month finished:
    – Educated-loves it!
    – Children of blood and bone- great story I!
    – the cruel prince-just okay

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