One of the things I love about being on Twitter is connecting with other people who love reading, both children’s literature as well as “adult” books. Through the Twitter Universe, I learned about The Book-A-Day Challenge. The Challenge was started by Donalyn Miller, a Texas teacher and literacy/reading instruction expert, who vowed to read at least one book a day over her summer break from school. She extended the challenge to colleagues, students, and friends. It took off and now is in its third year.
The concept is simple . . . read, on average, one book per day, over whatever period you define for yourself. Note the “average” there . . . somedays that might mean zero books, other days two or three. Any type of book is fine . . . fiction, non-fiction, professsional, adult, children’s picture books, and young adult works. Really, anything goes. The next part of the challenge is to document and share your reading titles through whatever social media you choose, be it Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, blogs, and the like. On Twitter, readers post the title of their book with the hashtag #bookaday, which makes it easy to do a search to see what other readers are doing for their reading.
I was intrigued by the idea. In reality, my girls and I spend a lot of time reading in the summer whether it’s by ourselves or aloud to each other. I knew we read a lot of books over the summer, but just how many, I wondered? Courtesy of Twitter, my own list of books now marked as to-read on Goodreads grows each day with the lovely recommendations that I glean from the posts of other readers, educators, and/or parents out there. The Challenge seemed like it would be a great way to plug away at my own pile of tempting titles for adults and children. Another motive was to also preview some titles for middle grade children in hopes that I could tempt my older, almost ten-year old, daughter to move beyond Harry Potter (she is currently reading the series for the third time) and Nancy Drew (she has consumed nearly every title of the original series). I figured if I knew the books personally, I could better sell them with “book talks”, essentially commercials for books, which is a take away from my brief teaching days. It seemed the challenge was worth trying for all sorts of personal reasons, but really ultimately it is to have fun and explore new books for me and my girls.
Now that week one is done, I’d thought I’d recap where I’m at with the challenge. You can also follow my Book-A-Day progress over at Twitter, or on Goodreads, where I’ve been highlighting my Challenge books by adding them to the bookshelf “2011 bookaday”. Feel free to look there for publisher descriptions of the books as well as my slightly longer reviews of the books.
My Goal: 75 Books
Days so Far: 7
Read, so far: 6
- #1 The Help, by Kathryn Sockett: The mega-best seller. Very enjoyable and thought provoking.
Children’s, picture books
- If I Never Forever Endeavor, by Holly Meade: Beautifully illustrated book with a good message about recognizing your fear of trying something new, and then the joy of accomplishment. Would be great as a read aloud for even older children anxious about trying something new.
- Finding Susie, by Sandra Day O’Connor and illustrated by Tom Proht: Yes, by the former Supreme Court Justice! A sweet picture book sure to delight animal and pet lovers.
- Gracie, The Lighthouse Cat, by Ruth Brown: Gorgeous illustrations show the simultaneous rescue of both humans and a cat in a big storm at a light house.
- A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, by Chris Van Dusen: Written and illustrated in a whimsical fashion, similar to the illustration Van Dusen draws for the Mercy Watson series. The delightful rhyme makes reading this one a fun treat and we look forward to more adventures with Mr. Magee.
Children’s/Young Adult, non-fiction
- Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, by James L. Swanson: Very informative look at the quest to capture the group behind Lincoln’s assasination, good for 10 year+