Looking Back on 2009: Reading Challenges in Review

I made some goals for myself at the beginning of the year and participated in some reading challenges, so it’s only fair to myself that I account for them.  Thus this post.  I do keep track of my reading challenges on my challenges blog but wanted to share with you what happened this past year and give some link love to the awesome hosts.  I don’t stress over challenges which I think is key but enjoy seeing lists!

Personal 2009 Reading Goals

I went back to the post I wrote about how I wanted to do in 2009.  This is what I said.  Interesting . . .

  • Continue to read with my children. Especially, get them going on their ABC’s.  My oldest is three and has a difficult time with language.  Has zero interest in his ABC’s.  I would like to work harder with them this year on their reading skills and letter recognition. Check!  We had a great time checking books out from the library, going to storytime, snuggling on the couch and reading Cybils books together.  AND AND AND my little boy said his ABC’s perfectly just last month.  You should have seen us celebrating!  His letter recognition is great.
  • 52 Books in 52 Weeks – I said, “In my attempt to read a wide variety of books, I’m setting the goal to read and review 52 books in each of the following categories:  Fiction, Young Adult, Middle Readers, Picture Books, and Non-Fiction.  I’m not going to stress if I don’t do well, but the fun is in the journey.”  Well, the fun was in the journey.  In 2009 I read: 21 non-fiction, 28 adult fiction, 38 young adult fiction, 51 middle grade fiction and 40 picture books.  Didn’t hit 52 in any of them!
  • Read more parenting, gardening, and photography books this year.  I’d like to revive some of my other interests that seemed to take the back burner this past year.  Didn’t review a single one!  Failed.
  • Continue  interaction with authors via and interviews, guest posts, and blog tours. The blog tours got a bit stressful and I slowed down on interviews in the second half of the year but I LOVE interviews and guest posts.  Will continue for 2010.

I think it would have helped if I had actually reviewed the goals I made at least once during the year but considering that I didn’t, I’m okay with how I did.

Perpetual Life-Long Challenges

Read all the Newbery Medal and Honor books

Newbery books I read in 2009:

  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  2. Savvy by Ingrid Law
  3. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott
  4. The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
  5. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
  6. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  7. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
  8. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  9. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  10. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  11. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  12. The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
  13. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
  14. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  15. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Read all the Pulitzer Fiction Winners

Not a single book read this past year.  Well, this certainly will take a lifetime at this rate.

500 of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

Sadly, I did not read a single book off this list in 2009 either.  I did start and didn’t finish both The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  Not doing too well.

Community Challenges

A-Z Challenge

A-Z Reading Challenge

Hosted by Becky of Becky’s Book Reviews
Visit the A-Z Challenge Blog
When: All of 2009
How: Read 52 books, 26 titles for A-Z and 26 authors for A-Z.

I made this one even harder by trying to read only books I owned that were Newbery and other MG books.

Alpha by Title
Amelia’s War by Ann Rinaldi
The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryre Brink
Dovey Cove by Frances O’Roark Dowel
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Ketley Snyder
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L Konigsburg
The Good Master by Kate Seredy
Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan
In Grandpa’s House by Philip Sendak
Journey Outside by Mary Q. Steele
Keesha’s House by Helen Frost
Letters from a Slave Girl, The Story of Harriet Jacobs by Mary E. Lyons
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
*The Quaint and Curious Quest of Johnny Longfoot by Catherine Besterman or *Queer Person by Ralph Hubbard
Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
Sarah Plain & Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
To Be a Slave by Julius Lester
*Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
The View From Saturday by E.L. Kongisburg (read but not yet reviewed)
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
X
Yolonda’s Genius by Carol Fenner
Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipoivic

Alpha by Author
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byors
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
anything by Eleanor Estes
The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
I
J
Cracker by Cynthia Kadohata
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
In My Enemy’s House by Carol Matas
Rascal by Sterling North
Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Q
Daughter of the Mountains by Louise Rankin
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
T
U
V

Stuart Little by E.B White
X
Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
Getting the Girl by Marcus Zusak

My thoughts: So I only read 10 out of 52 books but I still love this challenge so much that I’ll be duplicating it again for 2010.

Dewey’s Books

Dewey's Book Challenges

Chris at Stuff Dreams Are Made Of and Robin at A Fondness for Reading hosted a very special challenge in honor of Dewey from The Hidden Side of A Leaf in which participants read 5 books that Dewey reviewed.

My list of possibilities:

The View from Saturday by EL Konigsburg (to be reviewed)
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
(to be reviewed)
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
March by Geraldine Brooks
Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Gossamer by Lois Lowry
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

My thoughts: I read 3 of the 5 books that I listed as possibilities and still need to review two.  I wish I had finished this one.

Diversity Rocks

Diversity Rocks ChallengeHosted by Ali at Worducopia, the Diversity Rocks Challenge is to ensure racial and ethnic diversity in the authors that we read. I committed to read 40 books with diverse authors.

  1. Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson (African American)
  2. Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Steve Rolston (Asian)
  3. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (African American)
  4. Jellaby by Kean Soo (Asian)
  5. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (African American)
  6. The Well by Mildred D. Taylor (African American)
  7. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look (Chinese American)
  8. Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee (Japanese)
  9. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, Illustrations by Kadir Nelson (illustrator: African American)
  10. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Hudson Talbott (African American)
  11. Be Water, My Friend: The Early Years of Bruce Lee by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee (Japanese American)
  12. Passage to Freedom, The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee (Japanese American)
  13. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson (illustrator:  African American)
  14. The Voice That Challenged A Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman (African American)
  15. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller (African)
  16. Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grime, Illustrated by Bryan Collier (African American)
  17. A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman (Sri Lankan)
  18. Wife of the Gods, An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey (African American)
  19. I Hadn’t Mean to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson (African American)
  20. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look (Chinese-American)
  21. Heroes by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee (Japanese-American)
  22. Zlata’s Diary, A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic (Bosnian)
  23. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy in Collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez (Cuban)
  24. Hush by Jacqueline Woodson (African American)
  25. Chess Rumble by G. Neri, Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson (African-American)
  26. Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal
  27. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
  28. My Name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, Illlustrated by Catherine Stock (African American)
  29. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams, Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (African American)
  30. Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico! Americas’ Sproutings, Haiku by Pat Mora, Pictures by Rafael López (Illustrator  – Mexican)
  31. Gracias Thanks by Pat Mora, Illustrated by John Parra (Illustrator – Hispanic)
  32. War Child, A Child Soldier’s Story by Emmanuel Jal (Sudanese)
  33. They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys From Sudan by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak with Judy A. Bernstein (Sudanese)
  34. I Am a Star, Child of the Holocaust by Inge Auerbacher (German)
  35. Picking Cotton, Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torne (African-American)
  36. Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea (Hispanic)

My thoughts: Although I fell short 4 books, I’m really happy with 36! I often don’t know racial backgrounds of authors but this challenge helped me make an effort to make note.

Jewish Literature Challenge

December 21, 2008 – April 27, 2009
Hosted by Callista.

Read at least 4 books by Jewish Authors or about Judaism (Fiction, Non-fiction, memoirs, Adult books, Teen books, Children’s books, books about the Holocaust, books about anti-semitism, books about Jewish Life, Jewish Culture, Jewish Customs. Books by Jewish Authors no matter what the subject.)

My thoughts: FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.  I did great with this challenge in 2008.  Not so much this time around.  A big fat zero.

NewNew Author Challenge Author Challenge

Hosted by Jackie at Literary Escapism this challenge was to track new-to-me authors in 2009.  Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels, but anthologies are also a great way to try someone new.

Excluding picture book authors, I challenged myself to read 75 new-to-me authors.

  1. The Sisters Grimm, The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley
  2. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  3. Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight
  4. The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine
  5. Losing Kei by Suzanne Kamata
  6. The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris
  7. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
  8. Down to a Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese
  9. Feathered by Laura Kasischke
  10. I Know It’s Over by C.K Kelly Martin
  11. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  12. Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez
  13. The Mechanics of Falling and Other Stories by Catherine Brady
  14. Matrimony by Joshua Henkin
  15. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  16. Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Steve Rolston
  17. Chiggers by Hope Larson
  18. Letters from a Slave Girl, The Story of Harriet Jacobs by Mary E. Lyons
  19. The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
  20. Jellaby by Kean Soo
  21. Longhorns and Outlaws by Linda Aksomitis
  22. The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
  23. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  24. The Well by Mildred D. Taylor
  25. Freedom Walkers, The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russel Freedman
  26. An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
  27. Surviving Ben’s Suicide, A Woman’s Journey of Self Discovery by C. Comfort Shields
  28. Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
  29. Ruby Among Us by Tina Ann Forkner
  30. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West
  31. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
  32. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  33. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia ReillyGiff
  34. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  35. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  36. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
  37. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
  38. Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell
  39. Savvy by Ingrid Law
  40. Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman
  41. Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka
  42. Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
  43. A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman
  44. Wife of the Gods, An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
  45. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  46. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
  47. Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
  48. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  49. Dork Diaries: Tales from a NOT-SO-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell
  50. First Comes Loves, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite
  51. That Went Well, Adventures in Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan
  52. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
  53. Zlata’s Diary, A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic
  54. Chess Rumble by G. Neri, Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson
  55. Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
  56. I Am a Star, Child of the Holocaust by Inge Auerbacher
  57. Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal
  58. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
  59. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haine
  60. Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf
  61. Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  62. Standing Still by Kelly Simmons
  63. The Next Thing On My List by Jill Smolinksi
  64. Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal
  65. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  66. Thanksgiving at the Inn by Tim Whitney
  67. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  68. War Child, A Child Soldier’s Story by Emmanuel Jal
  69. They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys From Sudan by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak with Judy A. Bernstein
  70. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  71. Standing Still by Kelly Simmons
  72. Secrets of a Christmas Box by Steven Hornby
  73. Picking Cotton, Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo
  74. The Widow’s Season by Laura Brodie
  75. The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
  76. Torn by God by Zoe Murdock
  77. Searching for Eternity by Elizabeth Musser
  78. Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy
  79. Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
  80. Silver Shoes by Paul Miles Schneider
  81. Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman
  82. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
  83. Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart
  84. A Loser’s Guide to Life and Love by Ann Cannon
  85. The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer
  86. Slob by Ellen Potter
  87. Binky, The Space Cat by Ashley Spires
  88. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  89. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  90. Long Shot, Comeback Kids by Mike Lupica
  91. My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville
  92. Dessert First by Hallie Durand
  93. A Child’s Journey Out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure by Leeann Whiffen
  94. The Mistress’s Daughter by A.M. Homes
  95. Tone Deaf in Bangkok and Other Places by Janet Brown, Photographs by Nana Chen

My thoughts: Well over 75 and so close to 100! I loved tracking how many authors I hadn’t read before.  I’m in again for 2010!

Non-Fiction Five

Non-Fiction Five ChallengeHosted by Trish at Trish’s Reading Nook, the Non-Fiction Five Challenge rules were:

1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May – September, 2009

2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self-help)

During the five month period I read:

  1. That Went Well, Adventures in Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan
  2. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
  3. First Comes Loves, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite
  4. Zlata’s Diary, A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic
  5. Travels with Tarra and Just for Elephants by Carol Buckley

My thoughts: I love non-fiction! During the entire year, I read 21 non-fiction books.

Read Your Own Books

Jenn hosted fhe 2009 Read Your Own Books Challenge. The concept is simple – read books that YOU OWN.

For this challenge, I did NOT count review copies of any sort.  All books were either purchased, off of my bookshelf or received as gifts.

  1. Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen
  2. Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
  3. Ruby Among Us by Tina Ann Forkner
  4. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
  5. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  6. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
  7. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  8. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  9. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
  10. Letters from a Slave Girl, The Story of Harriet Jacobs by Mary E. Lyons
  11. The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
  12. The Well by Mildred D. Taylor
  13. Consider Love, It’s Moods and Many Ways by Sandra Boynton
  14. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  15. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
  16. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
  17. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  18. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
  19. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  20. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  21. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  22. Zlata’s Diary, A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic
  23. The Next Thing On My List by Jill Smolinksi
  24. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
  25. Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson
  26. Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
  27. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  28. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  29. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  30. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  31. Picking Cotton, Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo
  32. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  33. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  34. Charlotte’s Rose by Ann Cannon

My thoughts: I read more books off of my own shelf than I thought.  I’m happy with that number but not enough adult fiction though.

Support Your Local Library

J. Kaye’s Book Blog hosted the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge where participants were encouraged to read from their libraries.

I chose to read 50 books from my local library in 2009.

  1. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look
  2. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross (since purchased)
  3. I Hadn’t Mean to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson
  4. Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
  5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  6. Feathered by Laura Kasischke
  7. I Know It’s Over by C.K Kelly Martin
  8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  9. On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
  10. The Sisters Grimm, The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley
  11. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
  12. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  13. Always by Ann Stott, Illustrated by Matt Phelan (since received as gift)
  14. There’s a Wolf at the Door: Five Classic Tales Retold by Zoe B. Alley, Illustrated by R.W. Alley
  15. Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez
  16. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbot
  17. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West
  18. Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell
  19. Alvin Ho:  Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
  20. Snow by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Lauren Stringer
  21. Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka
  22. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
  23. Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Steve Rolston
  24. Chiggers by Hope Larson
  25. Fade by Lisa McMann
  26. The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
  27. The Lightning Thief, Book One of Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
  28. Jellaby by Kean Soo
  29. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  30. Holbrook: A Lizards Tale by Bonny Becker
  31. My Brother, The Robot by Bonny Becker
  32. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  33. Mary Veronica’s Egg by Mary Nethery, Illustrated by Paul Yalowtiz
  34. A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
  35. An Ant’s Day Off by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Nina Laden
  36. The Christmas Crocodile by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by David Small
  37. Ella the Elegant Elephant by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  38. Ella Sets the Stage by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  39. Ella Takes the Cake by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  40. Ella Sets Sail by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  41. Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee
  42. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, Illustrations by Kadir Nelson
  43. Be Water, My Friend: The Early Years of Bruce Lee by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee
  44. Passage to Freedom, The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee
  45. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
  46. The Voice That Challenged A Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
  47. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, Illustrated by George Ford
  48. Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grime, Illustrated by Bryan Collier
  49. Freedom Walkers, The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman
  50. Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
  51. Frogs by Nic Bishop
  52. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  53. Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis
  54. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
  55. Hush by Jacqueline Woodson
  56. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  57. Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf
  58. Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  59. Chess Rumble by G. Neri, Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson
  60. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look
  61. A Birthday for Bear by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
  62. Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
  63. The Book That Eats People by John Perry, Illustrated by Mark Fearing (received review copy afterwards)
  64. A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis
  65. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
  66. All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Marla Frazee (received review copy  afterwards)
  67. Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty
  68. Goodnight Goon, A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex
  69. Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
  70. Where’s My Mummy by Carolyn Crimi, Illustrated by John Manders
  71. A Very Hairy Scary Story by Rick Walton and Illustrated by David Clark
  72. Dear Vampa by Ross Collins
  73. War Child, A Child Soldier’s Story by Emmanuel Jal
  74. They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys From Sudan by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak with Judy A. Bernstein
  75. The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria
  76. The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
  77. Searching for Eternity by Elizabeth Musser
  78. Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy
  79. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  80. Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
  81. A Loser’s Guide to Life and Love by Ann Cannon
  82. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  83. SLOB by Ellen Potter
  84. Binky, The Space Cat by Ashley Spires
  85. My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville
  86. A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
  87. Who Was Born this Special Day? by Eve Bunting, Illustrated by Leonid Gore
  88. I’ve Seen Santa! by David Bedford, Illustrated by Tim Warnes

My thoughts: Thrilled to see that I used my public library so much! While storytime is in session, I go with the boys at least twice a week.  We checked out a million and one picture books and I wish I could have spotlighted them all.

Themed Reading

Wendy at Caribousmom hosted The Themed Reading Challenge which was a six month challenge from February to July designed to help readers clear books from their to-be-read stacks which center around a common theme or themes.

I chose to read 4-6 books by my local Utah authors.

  1. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
  2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (to be reviewed)
  3. The Dark Divine by  Bree Despain (to be reviewed)
  4. A Loser’s Guide to Life and Love by Ann Cannon (to be reviewed)
  5. Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis
  6. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
  7. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  8. The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
  9. Charlotte’s Rose by Ann Cannon (to be reviewed)
  10. The 13th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner
  11. A Very Hairy Scary Story by Rick Walton and illustrated by David Clark
  12. A Child’s Journey Out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure by Leeann Whiffen (to be reviewed)
  13. That Went Well, Adventures in Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan.

My thoughts:  While I did read six books during the six month period, I extended this challenge for the entireyear.  In fact, we have so many awesome local authors here that I’m joining Suey in making this a perpetual challenge.

War Through the Generations – World War II

Anna from Diary of an Eccentric and Serena from Savvy Verse and Wit have dedicated blog for challenges related to war and its impact and this year was World War II, one of my favorite topics to read about.

Participants needed to commit to at least  five books which can be fiction or non-fiction, and they can be about any aspect of WWII. WWII should be the primary or secondary theme, and it doesn’t matter whether the book takes place during the war or after the war.

  1. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
  2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary An Shaffer & Annie Barrows
  3. Heroes by Ken Mochizuki
  4. On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
  5. Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki
  6. Passage to Freedom by Ken Mochizuki
  7. Someone Named Eva from Joan M. Wolf
  8. I Am a Star, Child of the Holocaust by Inge Auerbacher
  9. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman

My thoughts: Anna and Serena are two of the best challenge hosts out there and I really want to give them kudos for a job well done! I’m SO excited for the 2010 theme centered around the Vietnam war.

The End.

(And because I’m a glutton for punishment – I signed up for *gulp* 16 challenges in 2010.)

21 comments


  1. You did a whole lot better than I!

    on December 30th, 2009 at 9:29 pm
  2. What a lot of reading! But I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who didn’t finish some of her challenges. I’m going to commit to fewer challenges in 2010 – but I’m still contemplating the Social Justice Challenge.

    on December 30th, 2009 at 9:36 pm
  3. You accomplished quit a bit. Congratulations! I signed up for quite a few challenges for 2010 as well as hosting my own 52 books in 52 weeks and Mind voyages science fiction challenge. Talk about glutton for punishment. Thought I’d never be managing three blogs. I’ve been impressed with all you have accomplished this year and the great interviews. Thanks for sharing. Will be watching and reading in 2010

    on December 30th, 2009 at 9:42 pm
  4. You truly are a book worm and a glutton for punishment! Awesome goals and achievements!

    on December 30th, 2009 at 9:45 pm
  5. What a great reading year you had!

    on December 30th, 2009 at 10:37 pm
  6. Pam – It only looks it because I entered one to many challenges!

    Alison – I said I was going to commit to fewer challenges as well but I couldn’t resist so many of them this year. And yes! Do the Social Justice Challenge!

    Robin – I did my own 52 books in 52 weeks in 2008. I easily discovered that I hit that so that’s why I tried for the 52 books in different genres.

    Danielle – I am a glutton for punishment! why do I do this to myself?

    Charley – Thanks!

    on December 30th, 2009 at 11:59 pm
  7. Wow, you did great! I don’t know how you keep track of them all. I’m even confused over which challenges I joined and which I just thought about joining. Trying to get a handle on it, and definitely joining fewer challenges next year.

    on December 31st, 2009 at 12:49 am
  8. Ali – I keep track of my challenges on my challenge blog (http://challenges.mawbooks.com) which I look at once a month. Otherwise, there is no way I’d be able to keep track.

    on December 31st, 2009 at 3:45 am
  9. You are amazing! I wish I could find time to read as many books as you. Have a wonderful reading year in 2010.

    on December 31st, 2009 at 8:24 am
  10. Good job!!!!!! I have a couple of challenges that barely got off the ground for me, but Oh well…. 2010 is another year.

    on December 31st, 2009 at 8:40 am
  11. You did great this year! Good luck on your challenges in 2010.

    on December 31st, 2009 at 9:34 am
  12. I think you did great, Natasha! And to make you feel better – I also did not read even ONE book for the Pulitzer Project!!

    So glad you participated in the Themed Reading Challenge and that it has inspired you to create a perpetual challenge to read local authors :)

    Happy New Year!!

    on December 31st, 2009 at 10:22 am
  13. It’s always fun to look over the year’s progress, even the disappointments. I had to double check to make sure I hadn’t made any reading goals for this year before writing my summary. I think most of mine were unspoken. Good luck with this years challenges and goals, Natasha!

    on December 31st, 2009 at 11:17 am
  14. I enjoyed reading your reading achievements of 2009! You did great and may continue doing so. Well, my new year’s resolution is definitely to read (and review!) more books. :) Oh, and congratulations on your child’s ABC too!

    on December 31st, 2009 at 11:32 am
  15. I think you did really well. I tend not to join too many challenges because they make me stressed sometimes. I want to say thank you for joining the Vietnam War reading challenge.

    on December 31st, 2009 at 12:47 pm
  16. I totally blanked…I forgot to say thank you for the compliment…Anna and I try hard to keep the war blog up to date.

    I also want to congratulate you and your baby for getting into those ABCs and getting them down. Great job! Here’s to even more progress in 2010!

    on December 31st, 2009 at 12:52 pm
  17. You did a very nice job with the challenges you participated in this year! I didn’t finish the Dewey challenge either, and that was one that I wished I would have worked harder on.

    I might consider adding some of the perpetual challenges (the award categories) next year. This year I really overdid it with the challenge sign-ups.

    on January 1st, 2010 at 9:27 pm
  18. You did a great job with the challenges this year! Thanks for the kind words about the War challenge. I’m so glad you took part in 2009.

    on January 1st, 2010 at 11:27 pm
  19. Congratulations on the wonderful job with meeting your personal goals…I can see that cute little boy face saying those ABC’s…hurray for him and his parents! And what a great job on the challenges you undertook, great diversity in your reading.

    on January 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 pm
  20. Congratulations on the wonderful job with meeting your personal goals…I can see that cute little boy face saying those ABC’s…hurray for him and his parents! And what a great job on the book challenges you undertook, great diversity in your reading.

    on January 2nd, 2010 at 11:23 pm
  21. Wow. That’s an amazing number of books! How do you keep track of them all? I’m so happy the first goal you set was to read more with your children. That is a goal of mine as well (especially because I work out of the home). Yay for your little boy’s ABCs. =)

    on January 3rd, 2010 at 11:24 pm

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