The Fifth Annual #Bookaday Challenge
Every year, I prepare for summer with the same comforting rituals. I buy a pack of Goody black hair elastics and new flip flops. I write end-of-year notes to my students. I recheck my summer travel plans. And I publicly announce my intention to read a book for every day of summer break.
This ambitious challenge began as an attempt to catch up on the landslide of books piled around my house and reconnect with my reading life. Over the years, the Book-a-Day challenge has evolved into a social event connecting readers who share book recommendations and celebrate reading. Nerdy Book Club fun fact, I “met” Colby Sharp for the first time when he joined the Book-a-Day Challenge on Twitter in 2011. Mini Book-a-Day events pop up during spring and winter breaks, and literacy gurus like Teri Lesesne post book titles under the #bookaday hashtag all year.
That book on your nightstand for the past two months? That biography someone gave you last Christmas? That cascading pile of journals on your office floor? Isn’t it time? Won’t you join me in the Fifth Annual Book-a-Day Challenge?
Imagine languid days reading an entire book in one sitting. Picture yourself staying up past midnight to finish one more chapter. Summer (reading) is coming.
The rules (more guidelines, really) are simple:
Read one book per day for each day of summer vacation. This is an average, so if you read three books in one day (I know you’ve done this!) and none the next two, it still counts.
You set your own start date and end date.
Any book qualifies including picture books, nonfiction, professional books, audio books, poetry anthologies, or fiction—children’s, youth, or adult titles.
Keep a list of the books you read and share them often via a social networking site like goodreads or Twitter (post using the #bookaday hashtag), a blog, or Facebook page. You do not have to post reviews, but you can if you wish. Titles will do.
Let me admit a secret. I probably won’t make my Book-a-Day Challenge this year without reading more than a few picture books and graphic novels to hedge my bets. You probably won’t either. Book-a-Day is not a competition. It’s an opportunity to enjoy marvelous reading experiences and rededicate ourselves to daily reading. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we read, or how much, or when. What matters is that we have fun and indulge in our favorite leisure activity—reading a lot of books!
I like a little bit of everything, but here are ten books I plan to read:
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Dreams and Shadows by C. Thomas Cargill
Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman
Red River Stallion by Troon Harrison
Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler
The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
Golden by Jessi Kirby
Winger by Andrew Smith
I hope you have an adventurous summer both inside and outside the pages. Please share the books you plan to read this summer and help our reading lists grow.
Donalyn Miller is a fourth grade teacher at Peterson Elementary in Fort Worth, TX. She is the author of The Book Whisperer and the upcoming Reading in the Wild. Donalyn co-hosts the monthly Twitter chat, #titletalk (with Nerdy co-founder, Colby Sharp), and facilitates the Twitter reading initiative, #bookaday.
I’m in! I may not make it, but at least I will make a dent in the towering piles of books. I’m looking forward to finally reading THE ONE AND ONNLY IVAN and ONE FOR THE MURPHYS along with the stack of Young Hoosier Books for next year. STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR is one of my favorite Young Hoosiers from the past.
I am jealous that you are reading Ivan and One for the Murphys for the first time. They were two of my favorites last year. I am excited about Standard Hero Behavior!
I love this. I started following the #bookaday hashtag last summer to see what people are reading because it’s so inspiring to see people reading SO MUCH. Sadly, I can’t participate myself; as a very slow reader with so much on the go, I just can’t commit to a book a day, but I will live vicariously through all of you (and will discover more books to put on my own toppling TBR pile)! Enjoy!
No matter how much you read, you should still join us and share your recommendations whenever you can. I would love to know more about what you are reading, Joanne:)
Thanks, Donalyn! Right now I’m mostly reading my own and friends’ manuscripts, but I absolutely will enjoy some pleasure reads this summer. I have Kate Messner’s EYE OF THE STORM next on my list (and am looking forward to her fall release, WAKE UP MISSING) and also want to finally read/reread some classics: MATILDA, HATCHET, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, HOLES. I also need to finish THE RELUCTANT JOURNAL OF HENRY LARSEN, which I had to put down because I was reading it at the time of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Oh yeah! Our summer won’t start for another month, but I’ll be there between digging a foundation, sawing and pounding nails (we’re going to start building a log cabin this summer). And when we’re done, I look forward to seeing you in September at the NERA conference to discuss what we read. Top on my list of TBR, once it’s available, is Reading in the Wild by a certain Ms. Donalyn Miller….oh wait, just checked and it’s not due out until Oct. 7th (sigh)…guess that won’t work for summer reading.
Carol, I hope Reading in the Wild is worth your wait. Can I see the new cabin in September?
I am in this summer. I have lurked and watched in the past, but I am going to dive in this summer. I am looking forward to hearing about some new titles. I don’t know the ones you mentioned, so I will be checking them out. Plus, I’ll get some ideas for growing my classroom library.
I am a slow reader, too, but if picture books count, I’ll give it a shot. I want to look for more ways to include picture books in my class curriculum. I also have a few verse novels to read since I am working on my own. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, May Be by Caroline Starr Rose, and Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley is on my nightstand. I look forward to learning about new titles. It is both daunting and encouraging to a would-be author to see so much good literature for young people.
I read lots of picture books during #bookaday and I discover so many treasures to share with my students. I look forward to reading your recommendations:)
So Fun!! I plan to catch up on some great books from 2012 like Summer of the Gypsy Moths, Bomb and Kepler’s Dream. I am finally going to read some long-timers on my TBR list such as A view from Saturday and Dicey’s Song. Throw in lots of picture books and a few older Newbery’s and that looks like a great summer of reading to me.
Kepler’s Dream is one of the best books I read last summer that no one seemed to know…I am glad you are discovering it. I still have not read Insurgent and Bitterblue (refer to my winter bookgap challenge post), so I plan to catch up on those.
I’m in! My Goodreads “to read” list is so full it is crazy! I participated last year and can’t wait for this year. My school year doesn’t end until June 18th, so that is when I will start. I am going to be reading a variety of picture books, children’s novels and professional books. I might even read an adult fiction or YA title. So much fun!
Hurray! I am glad you are joining #bookaday again. I look forward to your recommendations:)
I don’t remember how I “met” all of you…John, Colby, Donna, Paul, Donalyn, & so many more. But it was around 2011 because that’s the first year I had a reading goal, 111 books, because of John. Made that by August & finished the year at 222. AND I met John & Donna on their yearly book trip. 2012 was my book a day goal, 366 books & I made it! 520 books is my goal this year & I’m WAY behind so book a day is a must. Can’t wait to read your suggestions, especially the Kathi Appelt one. Thanks Donalyn for being an inspiration to me & so many students & teachers. As my students & I say after we finish a read aloud, “YAY BOOKS! “
It doesn’t matter how we met–what matters is we did. I am grateful, Jean.
Can’t wait to start #bookaday and hear about so many new titles. So I’m going back to classroom teaching after being a lit coach for several years. Bookaday will help me read titles in my new classroom library that are new to me so I’m ready for book recommendations in the fall. Looking forward to unscheduled time for blissful reading 🙂
It is hard to keep up with books for my students, and #bookaday helps me keep up, Barb. I am glad you are participatiing. Welcome back to the classroom, I know your students will benefit.
I am in too! We have school until June 14th so I will start then. Donalyn I heard you speak in Grand Rapids a couple summers ago and my classes have really enjoyed some of the titles you recommended. I can’t wait for summer!
My school year doesn’t end until June 7th, but I wanted to announce #bookaday a few weeks ahead so everyone could plan:) I am looking forward to your recommendations:)
I’m in! It’s good for teachers and librarians to show their students that we don’t ask anything of them we won’t do ourselves. A good way to get a jump start on this is to join in the MotherReader 48 Hour Book Challenge starting 7 June!
Do you have a link you can share for the MotherReader Challenge? I think many Nerdy Book Club members would be interested!
Start at http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com/ for info on the MotherReader Challenge as Ms. Yingling is hosting this year.
Are non-educators/non-authors welcome in the #Bookaday world? I’d love to participate even though my vacation is only 1 week in late June and 2 weeks in August. (I’m a Mom with an overwhelming TBR pile, both of books I want to read for myself and YA and adult books I am vetting for my voraciously reading middle-grade sons)
My pile is high and I am ready to read. My summer starts 6/7, so I will be a late entry. I can’t wait to hear what everyone is reading. I found Ivan and Wonder last summer, and I know this summer will yield great new titles as well. Can’t wait!
I will start my personal #bookaday on June 7th, too! I look forward to discovering and sharing great books this summer, Teresa.
Like many others, I followed the #bookaday hashtag on Twitter last summer, but I didn’t participate. I’m excited to participate this summer as I will be, hopefully, starting my first school year as a teacher in August, and I want to start the year like Colby Sharp–jumping up on desks and getting my kids excited about reading!
Welcome to the profession, Angie!
I’m in! I love a legitimate excuse to laze around and read all summer. Especially since anything counts, I can do this… Think I’ll get started right now!
I travel a lot in the summer, Nancy, and my books keep me company and give me something to do. I look forward to some lounging during our family vacation in July:)
Let’s do this again, my friend. Just finished Winger a few minutes ago. Blog post by the end of the day. Happy Reading!
I am so happy that you are joining #bookaday for another summer, Cathy. I think you’ve participated since the beginning, friend. I cannot wait.
Yay! I’ve been waiting for this post! I haven’t done it before, but I will this summer! I’m also going to challenge my students to do the same. Starting June 1st!!
Hurray! I am glad you are participating!
I recently finished The Girls of Atomic City and enjoyed it. My grandfather was one of the blue collar workers, my dad one of the school children when it all began. Years later Daddy returned to teach in Oak Ridge and was there when they integrated the schools. I found it very interesting to read from an objective perspective because it’s always been a part of my personal history. For those who enjoy non-fiction and baseball, I just finished Eight Men Out. For the first time I fully understand the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919. Because I spend so much time reading new YAL for my students during the school year, I am looking forward to reading some books just for me this summer. Frozen in Time and Bonhoeffer are on my list. However, I also have some YAL that flew off my shelves before I had a chance to read them: The Messenger, The Raven Boys, and the Fault in our Stars to name a few. I am also intrigued by the Reveant series if anyone knows anything about it. And I am really looking forward to Sarah Dessen’s new book. Sadly, some of the books I am looking forward to the most don’t come out until fall. I can’t wait for Allegiant and Across a Star Swept Sea.
Is there a website for students who want to participate because I too would like to challenge my students.
Although I have “unofficially” participated in the past, I am looking forward to being a part of the “book a day” community! I have started my own book bolg this year and will try to participate through blogging as well as twitter and facebook! I can’t get enough recommendations for reading or talk enough about books and what I am reading! Picture books, poetry, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, historical, realistic, informational, biography, and much more! I don’t start my summer vacation until the end of June but hope to begin sooner!
I bought my black elastics this morning before reading this. I never realized it was a summer ritual, but I guess it is. 🙂 This will be my third official bookaday summer. I feel so fortunate to have found this fabulous community. Thanks!
As a new librarian, the #bookaday challenge has made me a better librarian! I gather so many great titles and read so much, I have recommendations for students and teachers the entire school year! Trying not to overwhelm them with my skills. 🙂
I want to join this summer but I won’t be starting until school gets out on JUNE 26th! I am moving from first grade to second grade after 23 years in first so I need to brush up on early chapter books and some professional reads. Plus there are a number of YA books my teenage daughter has been wanting me to read. Can’t wait!
I’m in! I have lots of poetry books to read since I was the lucky recipient of a $500 grant to bring more poetry into my classroom. Yeah Colorado Council of the International Reading Association (CCIRA). Two weeks to go for me…but I might just cheat and start a little early!
Definitely! I have never done it before but could easily make that challenge just by creating a list of all the recommendations here. I have just finished Divergent and looking forward to reading the remaining 2 books. Also in my pile Liar and Spy, Splendors and Glooms, Three Times Lucky, and Bomb.
I told my students on Friday that my goal last summer was a book a day. I missed it by a little, but with 74 books read, it was very a rich reading experience. I’m going for it again this year. See you at #bookaday! On my list: The 5th Wave, Zebra Forest, One Came Home, The Center of Everything and a HUGE stack of nonfiction that I just never seem to get to.
I can’t wait to stay up way past my bedtime and read middle grade and YA books I don’t have as much time for during the school year! 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading Rump, Zebra Forrest and One Came Home….and that is just the top three on my mountain! 😉 So glad I met you Donalyn! You have changed my reading life! ❤
I’m in…and I’m inviting my husband (who teaches across the hall), my son (who just got his teaching degree) and my fifth grade students to join me! I have my flip flops and my pile of books to read…so I’m ready to go! (By the way, we can’t wait to have you at Judson University in Elgin, IL in a few weeks! Reading in the Wild is at the top of my Summer Someday List!) ….Today I read On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein, The Matchbox Diary and A Tangle of Knots! 🙂 Here we go!
Thanks for spearheading this again, Donalyn! I can’t wait to start. I have a list already started. First, I’m finishing up Inferno by Dan Brown?
So excited to join in the fun! School doesn’t end until June 21st for me, then a week of curriculum work, but I’ll do my best after that. There are so many books piled up in my office, I don’t know where I’ll start. Maybe a little organizing is in order 🙂
So excited to join. I also want to make a goal to read to my children 14, 11 and 9 because I was so inspired by The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma. I think it’s going to be a challenge with my older two but I’m going to try. Thanks for the inspiration!
I can’t wait to join! I had so much fun with the SLM Shelf Challenge. Our summer break is just days away. I have a late book order arriving this week. There’s the first 30 titles.
I can’t wait to get started! I participated last year and although I did not keep the same pace once school started I continued to keep track of my reading and read more than ever! My TBR pile is bigger than usual after attending #ira2013! I am looking forward to reading One for the Murphys, The Lions of Little Rock, Invasion, Ninth Ward, and many more!
I should have saved Quidditch Through The Ages for this, but the little volume did settle my mind about jumping in with both feet. My little girl ought to be bringing home a stack of picture books from BEA, and I need to look for some more gems that the Jr. Librarian might enjoy even though he has moved on to headier fare. Add one senior citizen to the list.
I’m in for this year! My last day of school isn’t until the 19th, but on the upside (silver lining?) I don’t have a return date for the fall, so my summer reading can go on indefinitely! I was just hatching a plan for my kids to write book reviews on their favorites for the last year, so they can help ME fill up my summer reading list. Mostly I really appreciate #bookaday for keeping me on top of all the latest must-reads. Thanks for doing this again.
I am SO in! I joined Nerdy after Donalyn spoke at the Greater Washington Reading Council conference late last fall. Getting a post everyday has become as important as my cup of coffee. I’m on the VA Reader’s Choice Middle School committee. Reading about what everyone likes and seeing reviews has broadened my list of nominations. If not for Nerdy, I wouldn’t have nominated Temple Grandin and have such an awesome list of titles to cover this summer. One For the Murphy’s is my new favorite, but Endangered by Elliott is a must read. Thank you Nerdy and Donalyn, you truly inspire me!
Reblogged this on booksandbassets and commented:
Here’s a great idea for summer.
June 7th can’t come soon enough. I just had a student ask me how many books I plan on reading this summer. I love that they are already thinking about it. Maybe they will participate with me officially this year!
I’m in! I’ve lurked around the book a day challenge for the last few summers and it certainly helped me be as a youth librarian. Even though I’m not in the library world any more since I had my daughter in December, Nerdy has certainly helped me stay current on new titles!
Reblogged this on Sew Simple Sew Jess and commented:
Decided I’m officially joining in this year! Thank goodness for a massive to-read pile.
I am in! I have a stack of four on my nightstand. Some professional and some not. I’m excited to try out some new stories and genres!
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Donalynn – I’m in! The three piles in my den are competing; books I want to read, books my students say I HAVE to read, and books referred to by other books I want to read (just finished The End of Your Life Book Club) Also look at your lists on Goodreads for your 5 star books – we agree about 80% of the time :). Recently loved A Long Walk to Water and The Runaway King. So looking forward to Reading in the Wild – thank you for writing another book I’m sure to love. We’ve both changed schools and grade levels since we met. Hope you are loving the switch!
I would love to join the bookaday challenge this year. I’m in Ontario, Canada, so my summer vacation begins June 30th. I’ll join you then! 🙂
What an exciting concept. A book a day over the summer. This will be a challenge with three children to taxi around. But, I will do my best. I am also planning on reading Standard Hero Behavior. Unfortunately, my summer does not begin until June 25. But, I may start a little early. Who needs to do laundry or cook dinner??
I love this idea, and I’m on board.
Count me in too but I suspect it might be easier for me because I work year round even with kids off for the summer. I will have my glorious library all to myself with a couple of reading camps off and on. Linda Urban’s The Center of Everything is the first up, then Sapphire Blue, book 2 in the Ruby Red trilogy. I always re-read the Harry Potters in July to celebrate Harry’s birthday and I have a small mountain of new books to catalog (and read) too. My students believe I read every single book in the library but they are wrong, I only read 99% of them- no scary books for me. I just need to get through inventory season and then begin the #bookaday challenge which is more of a #bookaday celebration.
This sounds like a great challenge! I’m going to give it a go. Can’t wait to see what everyone else discovers this summer!
I have been out of school for two days already so I guess I have some catching up to do! I love to read and have always judged the quality of my summer by the number of books I read. I absolutely love to stay up late and read. I am moving to 4th grade this fall so I have extra motivation to read new titles! The teacher who retired left me her library, so I will be digging through her boxes tomorrow to get started. Looking forward to sharing what I find!
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I’m in! I set my goal this year to read 365 books and I’m keeping up with that so this should be a continuation of the same. Our summer vacation starts June 22nd and ends September 3rd, so the goal of 73 books for the summer is a go!
So excited! I’m starting the challenge on Friday, June 7th! I’ve followed along for years on Twitter and this time I am in!! Woo hoo! Found Ivan and Wonder last year, can’t wait to see what this year brings! I love, love, love this reading community! @lyssareads
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I’ve noted the #bookaday tweets with interest in past years, so this year I’m jumping in!
Since I usually manage to finish a book in the evening after I’ve tucked in the computer for the night (that advice about no tech for an hour before bedtime really does work for me), some days I may have more than one #bookaday tweeted and others none – but I *will* indeed read 90 books in the 90 days between June 1 and my Aug 20 departure for the International Association of School Librarianship Conference in Indonesia.
Will I get their reviews/recommendations written up and posted on BooksYALove.com and/or http://www.abookandahug.com in any sort of timely manner? Heck, no! I read fast and write with great deliberation, so the ones that I choose to recommend will trickle out through the summer and fall…
Just came across this challenge via an e-newsletter. Fun! We got out of school last Friday, May 31…have only read two so far! Not sure I will accomplish a book-a-day, for some of mine are longer reads, but I will give it a try! Thanks for hosting!
Okay, I’m in. I’ve been worried about how to fit it in, so have never joined the challenge, but if I can just read more than I have every day and regularly share out what I’m reading, it’s a start! Graduation is today, report cards due Monday morning. I start after that. #bookaday, here I come, with 15 review books to finish, and a focus on “books for ME” this summer; I need to read a stack of grown-up books I’ve been missing…
When I first thought of becoming a reading specialist after many years in education and as an occupational therapist, I looked through the stacks at the library to find books on reading. There were not many – 3 in all. What a perfect three they were. The Book Whisperer, Reading With Meaning, and Readicide. I was hooked!
I am so excited to be part of this challenge this year. School is out for me on June 18th. I look forward to everyone’s recommendations especially picture books, early chapter books, and books for struggling readers.
Last day of school for me (in Canada) is June 27, but I am going to join you all early because I have the time…and the MASSIVE to read list, as well. This is perfect. Have some professional reading to get done for the new job (school librarian for k-3), reading for summer reading club I am running (picture books, chapter books, non-fiction), and lots of middle grade and an adult fiction or ten I’d like to try.
Happy reading all! #bookaday is going to be great!
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Excited to post my first summer #bookaday on Twitter and link it to a review on Goodreads. I’ve been following the #bookaday, #titetalk, and #yalit hashtags since January 2013, and have found a treasure trove of great books to recommend to my students. Thanks so much Nerdy Book Club! I’ve been starting my teaching day by reading the daily Nerdy post with a side of cafe au lait.
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This book challenge looks fun, inspiring and informational. I am an educational therapist so I work with clients in the summer too. Many of my students dislike reading because it is so hard for them. So sad, but, so awesome when I see them make gains and begin to enjoy reading and pick up a book because they want to read!