The Daniel Boone Regional Library is hosting a year-long program for adults called the Read Harder Challenge 2018. Book Riot, a literature website, publishes a challenge each year designed to encourage readers to “explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try.” You can find this year’s list on Book Riot’s website.
Though most of the challenges listed are for grown-up books, there are a couple of challenges that appeal to a younger audience. Here are the books I listened to in audiobook format for two of the challenges.
The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
“One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia.
I had planned to only listen to the first book in the series to complete this challenge, but I just couldn’t stop! The full series is read by Sisi Aisha Johnson, and her portrayal of Williams-Garcia’s characters is truly inspiring.
Picture it: The year is 1968 and eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters are forced to spend the summer with their estranged mother in California. The sisters are expecting a summer filled with Tinker Bell and Disneyland, but instead they attend a Black Panther summer camp (the political movement, not the superhero). The series follows them over the course of a year and a half and covers everything from their discovery of the Jackson 5 to their melodramatic relatives in Alabama.
A children’s classic published before 1980
“Watership Down” by Richard Adams.
This is a classic that I had often heard about but had never actually read before, and I loved it! One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was finding out how it originally came to be. Adams said he would often tell stories in the car to his daughters, and on a particularly long trip, they demanded something new. So he told them the story of what would later become “Watership Down.” They loved it so much that they said he should write it down, and, after much cajoling, he did. “Watership Down” is the epic tale of adventure, survival and bunnies. What more could you want?
For more information about how you can participate in the Read Harder Challenge 2018, join our Facebook group and look for other events throughout the year.