If you’re looking for a way to introduce new books into your children’s reading lists, this post is for you.
This is a simple reading challenge that allows you the opportunity to broaden your kid’s horizons by focusing on the setting.
Why have a reading challenge for kids focused on place?
As of the writing of this post I have just under 1,900 children’s books organized by country – and 500 children’s books waiting to be posted – on this site.
That is a lot! In my own discoveries I’ve learned that there is something for everyone. And I think it’s time to start learning about those books and places, too. Nothing does that better, than a challenge.
Challenge items review
I have a downloadable pdf for the challenge checklist, but here’s a brief review of what you can find:
- From your culture – I left this ambiguous intentionally. Whether it’s where you’re from or where you live, or where your ancestors are from – read about it. You can check some tips on reading cultural books here.
- Award-winning – Many award-winning books have a strong sense of place. This year I started categorizing Newbery and Caldecott honors books on my site, but I still have a backlog and more to add.
- Set Locally – While you can find many books on this site, I do not have everything. This prompt is me encouraging you to reach out to your local bookstores and library to support your local writers.
- Set in a place you’ve never visited – In my mind, I picture throwing a dart at a world map and reading a book from that country. However, most people don’t want to ruin their maps. You could always do the spin the globe and point thing. Or, you can go to the Random Country generator. They’ll give you 4 random countries, and you can either read a book about each of them or pick one.
- Audio version – I kind of like the idea of the oral tradition used in modern times via audio books. Like the award-winning books, I just started categorizing these and have a lot more to update. Audible on Amazon is a great place to look since you get two free downloads to try it out. Listen in the car and see what kind of discussions listening to these stories can take you.
- E-book version – In my heart, I’m anti-electronic books for kids. In my brain, I think there are times when an e-book is a great choice. Travel. When you have your phone on you and nothing else and encounter a long line. This category has also recently made it on my site. You can easily find books in two ways:
Appis an app of just kid’s books. It’s a free trial and low monthly fee that really helps to make a variety of books accessible for kids – including many of the books on this site. Try it free for 30 days here with no obligation.
- Kindle Unlimited is the app for Amazon e-books. I received a free
three monthsubscription when I purchased my kindle for my own summer travel. I was pleasantly surprised with how many books I recognize on this site are available there. Plus, there’sbooks for adults, too. You can get Kindle Unlimited here.
- Setting picked by someone else – Let someone else pick the setting, or maybe even the book. I would approach it as a simple ask – what’s a country you’ve always been interested in learning more about? And then go with that. If you can’t find someone to ask, I pick Iceland for you.
- About a holiday you do not celebrate – Part of the fun of reading books set in different areas of the world is learning about the culture. One of the best things to learn about another culture is the holidays they celebrate.
- Translated from the original language – This one is my favorite. For 2019 I’m really challenging myself to find more works that are translated from the original languages. Nothing compares with learning about another culture through their own stories. So, this category is sort of self-profiting. If you find something you like and it’s not on here, please let me know so I can add it.
- Three books from one series – Whenever I find a book I like, as an adult, I always check to see if there are more books in the series. I think kids do the same. This is a fun way to find a variety of settings featuring the same style and characters. I get more in-depth with my favorite series for children’s travel books and another list of travel book series for kids.
Free reading challenge checklist download
To keep track of what you’re reading with your kids this year, I’ve created a free download. Just click on the image below and then print:
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