2018 Hub Reading Challenge April Check-In

It’s time for our first Hub Reading Challenge Check-In!

Now that we’re really into the swing of things, I’m wondering how y’all have gone about choosing books to read for the challenge? One of the best parts about the Hub Reading Challenge is having a giant list (in sortable spreadsheet form!) of amazing, pre-vetted books to choose from. And if you’re looking to expand your reading horizons, you really couldn’t ask for a better list than this year’s.

But, I know for me personally, actually choosing a starting point from such a big list can be overwhelming. I’m quite like the seagulls from Finding Nemo when it comes to grabbing books in my everyday life, so I know it can be easy to end up with an overwhelming to-be-read pile when you have a lot of options.

This year I’m starting with the Morris titles. I was lucky enough to hear the Morris recipients speak at Midwinter and receive copies of their books while I was there, so I’ve been able to dive right in. I know I’m way late to the game here, but The Hate U Give is absolutely stunning and worthy of every award.

But there’s just something very exciting about debut novels. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a long list of favorite authors and I will always be excited to read their work. But it’s so much fun to pick up something by a first-time novelist with no expectations only to be totally blown away. There are some great debuts on this year’s reading list beyond just the Morris honors, like Last Seen Leaving, Girls Made of Snow and Glass, and Dreadnought.

So, how is your challenge going? What are your favorites so far? 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:

  • The goal of the Hub Reading Challenge is to read 25 books over the next four months from a list of the most recent award winner and honor books and YALSA selected lists.
  • 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, 2018 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, 2018 at at 11:59pm EST. 
  • 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.)
  • Once you finish the challenge, we’ll contact you with details about creating and publishing your response.
  • If you’ve already finished, let us know here! The grand prize winner will be selected by 11:59pm EST on July 1, 2018. The winner will be notified via email.

–Stephen Ashley, currently reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

17 thoughts on “2018 Hub Reading Challenge April Check-In”

  1. I’m 10 books in and have already encountered a number that I likely wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. Love this Challenge! Particularly enjoyed The 57 Bus, Long Way Down, and Scythe.

  2. I just finished my 12th book for this challenge, We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. There hasn’t been a single book that I’ve even remotely disliked so far! My favorites have probably been What Girls Are Made Of, Down Among the Sticks and Bones (also read Every Heart is a Doorway to prepare), and Malagash. Thanks for this challenge!

  3. I’m 10 books in! I’ve never made so much progress in one month of The Hub Challenge before, so I’m really proud of myself.

    #1 – Long Way Down – LOVE
    #2 – The Inexplicable Logic of My Life – the narrator was perfect for the emotional story
    #3 – We Are Okay – so captivating
    #4 – Trombone Shorty – felt like cheating b/c it’s so short, but it was really awesome and my 5 year old loves it
    #5 – Honor Girl – the ending was highly unsatisfying, but it’s a true story, and we don’t always get the endings we want, I guess.
    #6 – Saints and Misfits – bought immediately for my library; we need this voice
    #7 – The 57 Bus – my favorite so far!
    #8 – Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation – really well done, but I’m frustrated to see full nudity images. It’s appropriate to the story, completely, but it makes it hard for me to have in my school library.
    #9 – Vincent and Theo – super great, but what a sad story
    #10 – Flying Lessons & Other Stories – great collection; must buy

    Hoping I have another 10 to add next month, but I doubt I’ll be that successful two months in a row.

    1. I just finished book #8. Each year I try to read 1 book from each category and then go back and read books that look like books of interest. I have generally enjoyed each of the books I have read so far.
      1. Dear Martin (Morris, Quick Books)
      2. As the Crow Flies (Stonewall) most problematic and unsatisfying hence #8
      3.Piecing Me Together (Best Fiction, Amelia Bloomer, Coretta Scott King)
      4. I am Alfonso Jones (Great Graphic Novels)
      5. Saints and Misfits (Morris, Amelia Bloomer)
      6. We are Okay (Printz, Rainbow List)
      7. The Stars Beneath Our Feet (Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe)
      8. Little & Lion (Stonewall)

      Piecing Me Together is my favorite at this time. As a former gifted and talented student in the first International Baccalaureate program at my high school, so much of this book rings true. I was especially impacted by the examination of why so many programs, volunteers, and organizations seek to “support” underrepresented students of color, but never consider the gifts, talents, and passion that these same children of color have to offer the wider community.

  4. Yay the first check-in! I started off strong with 12 and will slowly approach the remaining titles. I am always suprised by the books I never would have picked up without the challenge!

    1 – Not Your Princess (NF)
    2 – Lighter Than My Shadow (GN)
    3 – Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom (Audio)
    4 – What Girls Are Made Of – unexpectedly loved this!
    5 – The Backstagers (GN)
    6 – The Stars Beneath Our Feet
    7 – My Brother’s Husband (GN) – how adorable!
    8 – Ramona Blue – unexpectedly LOVED this!
    9 – Roughneck (GN)
    10 – The Hate U Give (Audio) – I read this last summer and the audio is Amazing!
    11 – Patina
    12 – We are Okay – This was good but I feel like I missed part of the story.

    What’s next? I may reread Little & Lion – it was that good! I’m going to try Electric Arches as an ebook (available via Hoopla and my first ebook), finish Jonesy (GN), and try a couple of Angela Johnson books I haven’t already read. I have about a dozen more books checked out so I’ll see where the mood takes me.

    Happy reading all!

  5. I’m starting this challenge slowly and have only completed three books.
    1. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Linda Blackmon Lowery
    2. I am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
    3. Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adapation by Octavia Butler

  6. I’ve finished five so far, all rereads/listens, as I’m waiting on library holds.

    1. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
    2. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
    3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman (My favorite so far and I’ve got Thunderhead in my TBR.)
    4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    5. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

    I’ve enjoyed all of my picks so far. Scythe is my favorite, followed by The Hate U Give.

    I’m currently listening to, and loving, Flying Lessons and Other Stories by Ellen Oh (ed.).

    Next up will probably be One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus, unless one of my library holds come in.

  7. I’ve only managed to get through three books so far. It’s a pity so many were read before the Challenge period!
    1. PASHMINA – Nidhi Chanani
    2. ONE OF US IS LYING – Karen McManus
    3. PATINA – Jason Reynolds – Enjoyed this one just as much as GHOST. Can’t wait for LU and SUNNY!

  8. I’ve read just 5, reading #5 Piecing Me Together now. My faves so far is Hate U Give & Scythe. I still find it worthwhile to read titles from this list, as I’m unsure if i’ll hit the 25 books by June.
    1 – Scythe / Shusterman.
    2 – Pashmina / Chanani.
    3 – The Hate U Give / Thomas.
    4 – We are okay / LaCour.
    5 – Piecing me together. (reading)

  9. Was there ever an official ruling as to whether it is permissible this year (as it has been for past challenges) to count the Nonfiction and Morris nominees read after the shortlists were announced?

  10. OK, so I have retired from the work force (32 years in a high school library), moved to a new state and have soooo much more time to read. My list so far:
    #1 Saints and Misfits – 3
    #2 Dreadnought – 2
    #3 Noteworthy – 3
    #4 Girl Rising – 3
    #5 Down Among…Bones – 2
    #6 Piecing Me Together – 3
    #7 Hope More Powerful..Sea – 4.5
    #8 She Rides Shotgun – 4
    #9 An Unkindness of Magicians – 2
    #10 All Systems Red – 2
    #11 Fantastic Beasts – 1 (audio)
    #12 The Pearl Thief – 4 (audio)
    #13 Sparrow – 4.5
    #14 Long Way Down – 3
    #15 Eliza & Her Monsters – 2.3
    #16 Goodbye Days – 5
    #17 Bird – 2
    #18 Heaven – 3
    #19 Sweet Hereafter – 3
    #20 First Part Last – 5
    #21 Toning the Sweep – 2
    #22 Pashmina – 2
    #23 Brave – 2
    #24 Lighter than My Shadow – 2.5
    #25 Black Hammer – 1
    #26 I am Alfonso Jones – 1
    #27 My Brother’s Husband – 1
    #28 Spill Zone – 2
    #29 Starfish – 5
    #30 Dear Martin – 2
    #31 Eyes of the World – 3
    #32 Vincent and Theo – 3
    #33 The Whydah – 3
    #34 57 Bus – 1
    #35 Boy Called Christmas – 2.5
    #36 Book of Dust – 4
    #37 Scooby Apocolypse – 1
    #38 One of us is Lying – 5 (reread)
    #39 42 is not Just a Number – 5
    #40 Patina – 3
    #41 We are Okay – 4
    #42 Last Seen Leaving – 3 (reread)
    #43 Dress Codes…Towns – 4
    #44 You’re Welcome, Universe – 3
    #45 Little and Lion – 3
    #46 #Not Your Princess – 3

    Long list, I know, but reading is my “job” now. I review them on my Goodreads account. Also, Mr. Ashley, I moved to NC and am having a devil of a time accessing some of these titles – especially the audio books and one of the Morris books.

  11. For February & March I read and loved
    1-Dear Martin by Nic Stone (read & listened to this ripped from the headlines debut)
    2- I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina (Graphic novel about racial violence)
    3- An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard (Magic, revenge & retribution)
    4-Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali (Muslim girl’s family friends & school in US)
    5-Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (gorgeous multicultural graphic novel)
    6- Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld (series/graphic novel about a toxic spill)
    7- Roughneck by Jeff Lemire (indigenous people, fractured families, ice hockey, & violence) Graphic Novel

  12. I read 11 books, and DNF’d 1, in March. My favorites are asteriked.

    1. A Boy Called Christmas
    2. The Wizards of Once
    3. All Systems Red*
    4. My Brother’s Husband, omnibus vol 1
    5. The Backstagers, vol 1*
    6. Black Hammer, vol 1
    7. Down Among the Sticks and Bones*
    8. Scythe*
    9. The Clockwork Dynasty
    10. Lighter Than My Shadow
    11. Jonesy, vol 1

    DNF. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

    My thoughts on them here: https://booksandbibliotheks.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/the-hub-march-2/

  13. I guess I need to pick up the pace! I’m only 4 books in, although I’m *almost* done with my fifth.
    1. They Both Die at the End – 4 stars
    2. Saints and Misfits – 4 stars
    3. Jonesy volumes 1-3 – 5 stars
    4. Dreadnought – 5 stars

  14. I’ve finished 8 books so far and reading/listening to numbers 9 and 10. So far, my favorite is A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I listened to the audio and it was so fun and insightful. I’ve recommended it to everyone who will listen. I also really liked Down Among the Sticks and Bones. I read the first book in the series too, but preferred the second book. Honor Girl was an interesting audio too. I’d never listened to an audio of a graphic novel before.

    Teen services is only a part of my job so I often get behind on reading YA. So glad this is giving me an opportunity to catch up.

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