Summer Reading Challenge Finale & Prizes

**Because we weren’t able to send out a newsletter this week, we have decided to extend the deadline for this to Wed, August 6.  Please let us know if your child completed the challenge by then!** 

Other Summer Reading Challenge posts: Introduction,

Week One: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional

Week Two: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional

Week Three: off

Week Four: 1) Kids. 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.

Week Five: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.

Week Six: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.

Did Your Kids Complete the Challenge?

Thanks to all of you who joined us for our Summer Reading Challenge this year!  We are happy to say that we all made it through, and although I think we could have done some things better, it’s been fun traveling through time with you all!  Hopefully next year, we’ll have learned from some of our mistakes, and it will be an even better program for our young readers.

For now, though, it’s time to let us know which of your kids completed the challenge!  In the comments below, just give us the first letters or names of any children you know who read three of the books on our lists.  Your kids have until this Friday night at midnight to finish all their reading and get their names in the comments.  Then, this Saturday (August 2) we’ll choose one young reader to win the $100 Amazon gift card jackpot.  Two other readers will win $30 gift cards.

What did you enjoy? 

While you’re taking the time to write, we’d love to hear which books your kids did (and didn’t) enjoy, as well as ideas you have for how we could make the reading challenge better next year.

One other quick note before I close: if you appreciate book lists, we are currently working on a Back-to-School Book List for all ages that should be announced in the next few weeks.  These are books that we think would equip your kids in some way for starting school or perhaps just be a needed diversion from all the “real” work of studying.  We hope you’ll keep an eye out for that, as well as our upcoming series scrutinizing school book lists!

12 Responses to Summer Reading Challenge Finale & Prizes

  1. Jen G. August 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    KJ completed the challenge! We finished Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Rush Revere as read-alouds with the other kids, and K read A Wrinkle In Time on her own! Her favorite was A Wrinkle In Time because it was the first graphic novel she read. I really enjoyed the theme and the selection of books. Thank you for a fun summer reading journey! :)

  2. Kim August 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    We (the 4 kids and I) didn’t finish yet, but wanted to say thank you for putting the list together. We will keep reading and look forward to next year’s reading challenge!
    Kim R.

  3. Cheryl August 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    With the deadline extension, my son (JMM) decided he wanted to go ahead and finish The House of Arden, after having already read two Chitty books, as well as the Rush Revere book. So, please include him in the drawing, in addtion to my daughter KMM, described below.

    Thanks so much!

  4. Emily August 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    Steph, Thanks so much for your feedback and for giving the read along a try! The kids are actually going back to school here this week, so for us, summer seems to be pretty much over. :( That said, we have already picked a theme for next year, and we plan to announce that in early April. So, we hope that will give everyone lots more time to get the books and get through them by the end of July! Each year is such a learning process for us, but we have some great ideas about how to streamline and really give you more bang for your buck.

  5. Steph M August 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    I loved the idea, but I felt like there wasn’t enough time for the readalouds by the time my books came. I guess I should have just had my daughter do the picture books. :/ Any reason the challenge ends halfway through the summer instead of the end?

  6. Tamra August 5, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    My husband and I read from the kids’ picture books list to our 4, 3, and 2 year olds, Kaeb, Zoe & Ava respectively. Even our 2 month old got in a few stories! We got slowed down on week 2 because we read about 20 extra Cheryl Harness books per your note to see her other titles so we’re still finishing up, but we had fun checking them out of our library network and bringing home our big bags of books to read! My kids have particularly loved Clocks and More clocks, and Locomotive–we even purchase our own copy of that one!

    Thank you for giving us suggestions on reading. It has been a fantastic experience for our family to continue to have new books to check out!

  7. Kelli August 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    My 14 year old read The Giver, Out of the Silent Planet and The Dragon’s Tooth.
    I think her favorite was The Dragon’s Tooth and she has read the other books in that series as well. She read The Giver in one day and I think she is still processing it. Out of the Silent Planet was the most difficult book for her and it took longer for her to read it, but she enjoyed it.

  8. Mandi August 1, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    I appreciate all that you did to put the summer reading challenge together. It was fun to have a theme, books and the devotionals to guide our summer-long conversation.

    It took awhile for our books to arrive so we read the two prequels to CCBB Race Against Time. The cliff hangers whet my boys’ appetite for another book…and so began their readingest summer yet.  My older son especially made huge strides toward being an enthusiastic independent reader thanks in part to book list 1.

    My older son (Z, age 8) read all six books on list 1 (as amended). He says the graphic novel is his favorite; he enjoyed the suspense of being scared for Charles Wallace. He also liked the train motif of On the Blue Comet.

    As read alouds my younger son (P, age 6) enjoyed CCBB Race Against Time, Rush Revere, and House of Arden. He devoured A Wrinkle in Time on his own and is tackling Blue Comet now. I think his favorite character is Count Zborowski since his new favorite interjection is “I say!”

    It really was a fun summer but, of course, flies by too quickly. The time capsule also reminded me of this fact in that my kids grew a 1/4 or 1/2 inch in just five weeks. They won’t be little for long…thanks for helping us make some good memories of this time.

  9. Cheryl August 1, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    First, thanks for putting together this summer reading program! We enjoyed the theme of time travel. As for entrants into the drawing, I have either one or two, depending on how the rules are applied.

    I began by reading aloud Chitty Chitty Bang Ban and the Race Against Time. Both my 10yo son (JMM) and my 8yo daughter (KSM) enjoyed listening to this book. My son, however, was exasperated that it ended with a cliff-hanger. I promptly checked out the next (and final) book in the series and assured him (based on your summary) that all conflict would be brought to a satisfying resolution. Both of them (KSM and JMM) devoured Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon in a little over a day’s time, enjoying it thoroughly.

    Next, through my Audible subscription, we listened to Rush Revere and the First Patriots. It was read by Rush Limbaugh himself. I think Emily’s earlier evaluation of the series is spot-on – mainly entertainment, with a bit of history and mostly-benign propaganda.

    Lastly, we started The House of Arden as a read-aloud. As I expected, I enjoyed the writing, the dynamic between brother and sister, and the adventure. Earlier this week, as I was reading, though, my 10yo began complaining about his lack of interest. My 8yo daughter was enjoying it immensely. Needing to get some other things done and not up to a battle, I discontinued it as a read-aloud and assigned it to my daughter to complete. She heartily consumed the rest of it in a day’s time, giving me eager reports of the children’s development in their wisdom, kindness and bravery. She also enjoyed the reunion with their father and uncle at the end of the story.

    So, if two Chitty’s count as two books, then JMM completed three and KSM completed four. If only one Chitty counts, then only KSM completed the required three.

    Thanks so much for offering this incentive! :-)

  10. Jessica July 31, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    My son David and I both completed the Reading Challenge using List 1. With each new book, my son had a new favorite. He really liked Chitty Chitty Bang because he thought it was funny. Then came Rush Revere and he loved the talking horse. I enjoyed Rush Revere because it was a history book that actually held my son’s interest. It was fun but we were learning at the same time. Next we read A Wrinkle in Time, and that was the first graphic novel either of us had read. We seemed to breeze right through it and enjoyed having pictures to help tell the story. This was my son’s favorite book of all. He really enjoyed that they overcame the evil with love. He kept looking at the end of the book over and over again. The last book we read was On the Blue Comet. I had already reserved this book before the list was changed. This was also the book that I was most looking forward to by the description. I read this out loud to my son and had no trouble leaving out the bad words. We really both enjoyed it so I’m glad that we didn’t skip it. I really enjoyed the whole challenge. It was nice to have different books that all shared the same theme. We both also enjoyed having the discussions and devotionals each week. Thanks for putting together such a great program.

  11. Emily July 28, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Thanks so much for all the insight on your experiences, Sara. I enjoyed poking around on your site, too, and I’ve already found at least one book I have put on my wish list. So, thanks!

  12. Sara July 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    We just finished school so The Daughter (G – 13) did not try to tackle the full Teen list. We pulled a few from the younger list and a few from the older list.

    The Daughter read both of the Rush books for kicks, because we occasionally listen in at lunch and she has been hearing about the books on the radio. She thought they were cute, and that younger readers will love the horse.

    The sequel to House of Arden, Harding’s Luck is on her free read list for next year, so she wanted to go ahead and read House of Arden this summer. She enjoyed the siblings, and found the book enjoyable and interesting.

    N.D. Wilson’s The Dragon’s Tooth was the best in her opinion for an escapist summer read. A few chapters in, she informed me that would need me to request the sequels (from the library). She was fitting this in along with school reading, but she still managed to read the entire trilogy of Ashtown Burials. She said to tell you that it was unrealistic of you to expect her to start reading something else when there were two more books in the Ashtown series burning a hole in her psyche. :)

    I read Genesis: Space and Time by Schaeffer and found quotes aplenty for my Commonplace Book. Then I read Jeff Baldwin’s The Deadliest Monster and loved it! (It is not on your list, but I found his comments thought provoking and looked him up. His book is on The Daughter’s reading list for Y10 so I’m actually ahead on some of my pre-reading!)

    We have both started The Silent Planet now that we’re out of school! But we may not finish by the deadline – in any case thank you for letting us know about some great books to read!

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