YALSA’s 2015 Hub Reading Challenge Begins!

It’s February 11th. Do you know what that means? We are officially two days into YALSA’s 2015 Hub Reading Challenge! What is that you ask?

The HUB hopes to challenge you to read/listen to a list of selected, AWESOME books than you maybe you’ve never heard of or might  not have tried have otherwise. Discover something new!

Challenge objective Read/listen to 25 of the titles on our list of eligible titles [pdf] to finish the challenge. The list includes YA novels, audiobooks, graphic novels, and books for adults, so there’s plenty to choose from. Bonus objective: read/listen to all eligible titles to conquer the challenge! [Please note: at the time of this writing, we are still awaiting the 2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens top ten list to round out the list of Hub Challenge eligible titles. The list will be updated with that info as soon as it’s available!] 

Challenge rewards Beyond experiencing the best of the best that YA lit has to offer, everyone who finishes the challenge will be invited to submit a response to a book they read for the challenge. The response can be text, graphics, audio, video and will be published on The Hub. Furthermore, everyone who finishes the challenge will be entered into a random drawing for our grand prize: a YALSA tote bag full of 2014 and 2015 YA lit! (If the winner is a teacher or librarian or something similar, we’ll also include a few professional development titles.)

Challenge conquerors will receive an elite digital badge to show off how well-read they are. (And don’t forget major bragging rights and the undying awe and respect of everyone, everywhere.)

Challenge guidelines

  • The challenge begins at 12:01AM EST on February 9 and ends at 11:59PM EST on June 21.
  • Eligible books are the YA titles that were named winners or honor titles for the Schneider Family Book Award and the Stonewall Book Award and those on YALSA’s 2015 Best of the Best list (2015 winners and honor books for the Alex Award, Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, Margaret A. Edwards Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Odyssey Award, and William C. Morris Award, as well as the 2015 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction, Great Graphic Novels, Popular Paperbacks, and Quick Picks.) Middle grade titles recognized by these lists and awards are not included in the list of eligible titles for this challenge.
  • Format matters: a title that has been recognized for both the print version and the audiobook version can be both read and listened to and count as two books, but a book that has won multiple awards or appears on multiple lists in the same format only counts as one title. If a book was recognized as a print version, listening to the audiobook does not count.
  • Books must be read/listened to (both begun and finished) within the challenge time period. If you’ve already read/listened to a title, you must re-read/listen to it for it to count. The only exception is for titles you read for the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge; whether or not you finished that challenge, you may count that reading toward your 25 titles.
  • Just about everyone who doesn’t work for ALA is eligible to participate. Non-ALA/YALSA members are eligible. Teens are eligible. Non-US residents/citizens are eligible. (More eligibility questions? Leave a comment or email us.)
  • Once you finish the challenge, we’ll contact you with details about creating and publishing your response.
  • The grand prize winner will be selected by 11:59pm EST on June 23. The winner will be notified via email.

How to participate

  • Comment here announcing your intention to participate. If you’re going to be tracking what you read/listen to on your blog or on Goodreads, LibraryThing, YouTube or some other site, include a link to your blog/shelf/channel/profile in your comment. If you’re not tracking your reading online, keep a list some other way.
  • You may register for the challenge by leaving a comment here and starting your reading any time during the challenge period.
  • Make it a social experience! Share your challenge progress and get to know other participants by using the hashtag #hubchallenge on Twitter.
  • Every Sunday, we’ll publish a check-in post. Leave a comment to talk about what you’re reading for the challenge. If you’ve reviewed those titles somewhere online, include links to those reviews! Otherwise, let us know what you thought of the books in the comments.
  • There will be an finisher form embedded in each check-in post, so once you’re done with the challenge, fill out the form with your name and contact information. This is how you’ll receive your Finisher’s Badge, how you’ll be contacted about your reader’s response, and how you’ll be entered into the drawing for our grand prize. Please fill out the form only once.
  • If you’ve conquered the challenge, let us know in the comments and we’ll send you your Conqueror’s Badge.

Sound good? If you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email. Otherwise, grab this Participant’s Badge, put it on your blog or in your email signature, and start reading!

2015 reading challenge logo - participant

Hello Tween World!

Who is a tween and why should I care?

Oxford English Dictionary defines a tween as a “person who is nearly, or has only just become, a teenager. While the age to which tween applies varies, it is nearly always within the range of eight to fourteen years old.”

Tween Scene Talk defines a tween as someone who is between the ages of 8 and 12 years old while a tweenager is between the ages of 10 to 12 years old or under 13.  Tweens tend to be going through what Tween Scene Talk calls an “awkward stage of pre-puberty and puberty where they’re just beginning to form stronger social bonds with their peers and desiring more independence from their families.”

Typically, a tween is in the late elementary school and middle school years, somewhere between grades 4-7.  Beyond early-aged chapter books but perhaps not ready for some Young Adult content, tween literature is growing to meet their unique developmental and social needs. Of course, books suitable for tweens did not just appear over night.  I did not wake up one morning to enter my local library and find a whole new department dedicated to tweens, tucked between the Children’s and Young Adult sections. Rather, tween literature can usually be found sprinkled between different areas, crossing over these typically separated sections of the library.

If you are a tween or interact with tweens on a daily basis, be it a parent, teacher, librarian or mentor,  understanding the recent research about this age group is extremely useful when selecting appropriate literature and reading resources.  I believe one of the best resources out there is current, up-to-date librarian and teacher websites, including official library or media sites, blogs, twitter pages and review sites. Public and school library websites around the world, for example, are expanding their pixels so to speak to include ‘tween zone’ sections that are dedicated to promoting resources specifically for this age group. Even if you are not a member of that library, most of these sites provide free book reviews, lists and/or blog type discussions. Please visit the Tween Shareville tab for Tween resources and add your own sites!

So, you might be asking yourself, “if there are so many resources already out there, why yet another blog, let alone a WordPress blog?”

GOOD TWEEN READS aims to link together resources scattered throughout the web, providing free access to current reviews & book lists as well as serving as a gathering point for tweens,  tween librarians, teachers, parents, mentors and more.  Please grab your favorite tween read, start blogging and gather round the Good Tween Reads fire. Welcome!

Good Tween Reads
Brought to You By An Aspiring Tween Librarian