Thursday, December 05, 2019

2020 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Girl reading a book by Federico Zandomeneghi

Host: Becky's Book Reviews (sign up)
Duration: January - December 2020
# of books: minimum 12

Level One: Read ANY twelve books throughout the year.
Level Two: Themed Then and Now Pairs (minimum 6 pairs, or twelve books)

Sign up for either (or both) by leaving a comment.

Level one is self-explanatory. Any means ANY. If a book qualifies as being for a middle grade audience, then it qualifies as ANY. Fiction. Nonfiction. Graphic novels. Poetry. What is a middle grade audience? There's a younger range and an older range within middle grade. Certainly there are distinctions between books published for twelve year olds and books published for eight year olds. But essentially think books for mid-to-upper elementary schools and/or lower middle schools.

Level two is, I hope, a fun twist to the challenge. Read two books that share a theme. One book representing "then" and one book representing "now." Then and now are subjective terms certainly. Depending on one's own age, life experiences, and reading habits. But there should be around a twenty year gap (or more) between the "then" and "now" books. For example, you might compare CLEMENTINE by Sara Pennypacker to RAMONA THE PEST by Beverly Cleary.

I have a list of suggested themes, but, by all means feel free to come up with your own!

Suggested themes:

Newbery Winners
Newbery Honors
Coming of age novels
Problem novels
Family/Dysfunctional Family
Series books
Animal Fantasy
Science Fiction/Dystopias
Ghost Stories
Young Love/First Romance
First Job(s)
Historical Fiction
Rural setting
Urban setting
School setting
Characters from TV, movies, games, etc.
New Experiences
British Authors
American Authors
Australian Authors
Canadian Authors

How was the subject treated then? How is it treated now? Were there any similarities in the two books that you read? Were there any differences? How well did your "then" book age? Is it dated or still relevant? Do you think your "now" book will age well? Could it become a classic? Which did you prefer? Which would you recommend to an actual child?

If you have a blog, write a post reviewing both books...OR...write a post comparing the two and linking to your reviews. If you don't have a blog, then you can share your thoughts in a comment on one of the check-in posts.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jamie Ghione said...

In for level one.

Ms. Nose in a Book said...

Joining in for level one! I just started getting into middle grade and am excited to explore more.

Unknown said...

I'm wanting to sign up for both of these! Love Middle Grade and they are just getting better and better at tackling issues for younger readers to understand and make sense of. Kids seem to be growing up so quick these days that it's important for them to be covered at this age. Thanks for creating this challenge!

Tina @ The Cactus Jefa said...

My kids and I will be doing level 1!

Elizabeth M. said...

I'm definitely going to shoot for level one, but I'd really like to try level two as well! I think it would be interesting and fun to compare themes from differently aged books. So I guess I'm definitely signing up for level one and tentatively signing up for level two!

Here's a link to my goodreads shelf where I'll be keeping this books-

I may also create an instagram just for my books, but I haven't decided on a name for that. I'll be using the tag #2020MiddleGradesChallenge if I do post there!

Susan said...

I love MG books! I'm going to sign up for Level One. Thanks for hosting!

Donnisha said...

I'm in for Level One

Donnisha said...

Going for level 1

Donnisha said...

I'm in for level 1.

Elizabeth said...

I just finished my first two books for this challenge! I'll be posting my reviews on my goodreads ( and the reviews on my instagram! (