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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Reading Challenge: June 1st – August 31st, 2011

I love Goodreads.
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I love the ability to track all my books whether I have read, am reading, or want to read them. I love the linking and easy connect-ability with Twitter and Facebook. I love how I can update my status on the book I am reading and it will pump out that information to my Twitter and Facebook accounts for me. I also really love their lists and groups.
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This post is about the YA Book Club. I joined the group because I realized I was reading more and more YA (young adult) novels, and that I actually was enjoying them. I wanted to join a club where like-minded members could discuss these books.
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Often the members of this group (and other groups as well) host reading challenges, whether they be a month challenge or a quarterly challenge, etc. Due to time constraints I don't often participate. But with the slowness of the summer I decided to sign up for the newest one, Quarterly Challenge (Summer 2011).
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We have 3 months to read 10 YA books that satisfy following requirements: 
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1) Read a book which is a National Book Award for Young People's Literature winner or nominee. You can find information about all winners and nominees here. 
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I chose Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. My choice was based on the main character having Asperger's and the story being told from their point of view. My son has been diagnosed with borderline Asperger's and I felt it would be interesting to read something told from a child's point of view who struggles with the same issues. My review can be read here.


2) Read a book that is a new release published in June, July or August of this year. Goodreads offers lists of the most popular new releases by month, they might help you to make your choices - June,July and August. (If you have difficulties obtaining these new books, you can read a release from the same months in 2010).
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I chose Forever by Maggie Stiefvater because I have been waiting for a very long time to see how this Mercy Falls trilogy ends.


3) Read a book set in summer or has a summery cover (beach and such). 
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I chose The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells. This was probably the hardest book of the ten to choose. I went through almost every YA book in Chapters to find one that didn't reek of sickening summer beach love stories. This will most likely have some, but it won't drown me in it...I hope.


4) Read a book which is a 5-star favorite of one of your Goodreads friends.
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I chose The Giver by Lois Lowry. More than a few of my Goodreads friends had this listed as a 5 star read. That coupled with the fact it sounded a little like a combination of Matched and Divergent made me very eager to read it. Plus it looks short!


5) Read a book that from ALA'a 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominations list. The list can be found here.
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I chose Bumped by Megan McCafferty. This book is set in the future and has a dystopian feel to it so I figured it would be pretty good. It centers around twins (which I have a fascination with) being separated at birth and their different paths in this world where people over the age of 18 can no longer give birth. My review can be read here.

 6) Read a book written by a non-American author. Some ideas from Goodreads listopia - UK,Australian, New Zealand. 
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I chose The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. My son read this book for school and was embarrassed when I walked in on him crying just after he had finished a section. He told me he knew I didn't like to have books ruined for me so he asked me to read it so he could talk to me about it. I just had to add it to my list here. Plus, from what I have read, it's narrated by Death! How cool is that?


7) Read a book which is a historical fiction novel or a fantasy that has a historical setting (no present day urban fantasy). 
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I chose The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. The preview for the movie caught my interest quite a while ago and I still want to see it. Typically I watch the movie before I read the book, so by picking this book it will encourage me to finally watch the movie. I have a feeling it will make me cry though...


8) Read a book which has a racial/ethnic minority teen as a secondary or main character. Some options here. 
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I chose The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. This was one of the easiest books to pick because it is Kelley Armstrong (whom I adore) and I have not tried reading her YA series yet. So this works perfect! Her more mature series of werewolves, witches, vampires, necromancers, etc, is very entertaining. I can only imagine how fun this series will be to read.


9) Read one of the 10 books that have been on your to-read list the longest. 
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I chose The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. This book has been on my list for a very long time. I have already seen the movie, so that's no excuse. I tried reading it to my son when he was younger, but it was very challenging to read aloud and my son often stopped me to ask me questions about what meant what and what was happening. I figured reading it on my own was my best bet, but I have been putting it off a long time. Now is the time to read it.


10) Read a collection of short stories written either by the same author or a group of authors. 
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I chose Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black. This was another easy pick. Most of my Goodreads friends has this on at least one of their reading lists, and most highly enjoyed it. I've never been much of a zombie fan (blasphemy I know) but I do love unicorns. This should be an intriguing compilation to say the least.


I am really looking forward to completing this challenge. It will hopefully help me progress faster through my other challenge, to read 50 books this year.


I have already completed my first read in this challenge, Mockingbird, and it was amazing. Look for my review on it soon!

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