Introducing YALSA’s Backlist Reading Challenge!

Do you ever feel like you never get a chance to read older books because you’re so focused on trying to stay on top of new releases and current trends?

We can relate.

Lots of young adult librarians and library workers have had a great time participating in the Hub Reading Challenge, which focuses on reading the recent award winners and selection lists, we thought it would be fun to focus on reading older titles from the YALSA awards and lists that you may have missed and always meant to go back to, but just haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

backlist bingo challenge

The challenge is simple: read 5 titles from our Bingo Board to complete it, or go for a blackout and read 25 books to knock out the entire board.


Read 5 books in a row, a column, or diagonally across the board. You can even go for outside corners, small diamond, or whatever combination suits you. The point of the challenge is just to read older books—from lists and awards 2015 and older—to deepen your readers’ advisory knowledge and familiarity with the best of young adult literature.

Even better, we’re hoping that everyone can benefit from a great discussion and refresh their knowledge of backlist titles. Have these titles stood the test of time? Are they relevant? Are there amazing titles that are perfect read-alikes for popular current titles? We want to hear!

To facilitate discussion, we’ll be having two twitter chats Sunday, September 11th at 7 pm Eastern and Tuesday, October 25th at 9 pm Eastern. We’ll also have monthly check-in posts for readers to share the titles they’ve picked up for the challenge.

You can print off the Backlist Reading Challenge Bingo Board and browse all the past awards and selected lists on the YALSA website.

You can comment below with your intention to participate! The challenge is open to anyone and everyone who is interested in reading and discussing young adult literature.

Questions? Email Molly at

— Molly Wetta, currently reading How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball

13 thoughts on “Introducing YALSA’s Backlist Reading Challenge!”

  1. Very Cool! With multiple reading groups starting again, I’m not sure I can fill the board and I will strive to get bingo for Nov 15. Thank you HUB staff!

  2. I was just shy of finishing the Reading Challenge before I got burnt out so I’m totally in on this one. I’m going for one line but hoping to finish the whole thing!!

  3. Hello everyone! I did not get in on the last reading challenge so I am definitely going to jump on board with this one. I don’t have twitter but I will be doing the monthly check in. I will add it to the lists I have going. Happy reading everyone!!

  4. I’m in. Your timing is uncanny — I just finished with the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge and this year’s High School Battle of the Books list, and thought I was through with challenge lists until December. ;-)

  5. Just shared with my high school’s English teachers as an independent reading challenge for students. With prizes.

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