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2013 Reader's Advisory Challenge

Inspired by Abby, I've challenged myself to up my reader's advisory (RA) game this year. I have long wanted to improve my RA knowledge-base and I think this is a great way of doing so. My other full-time staff member is working on it as well, as is the adult services department (in a modified way).

I plan to update this (and only this) post with the titles I read each month, so I don't bombard you because I know no one really cares. I am just going to list titles and perhaps a few notes here. Longer reviews can be found on my GoodReads page. I'm looking for titles you think I should read, given that the intent is to find books I can recommend to the kids in my town. We are using these booklists but if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment!

2013 Reader's Advisory Challenge

January - Mystery
  • Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs Great read-alike for Hiassen fans. My only quibble is there are a few minor references to someone smelling like marijuana and a few minor curses. Nothing you wouldn't hear at recess, but the kind of thing that can make you hesitant to recommend a book to certain families. Very much enjoyed this one and looking forward to reading more from Gibbs. For tweens. 
  • Nate the Great by Marjorie Sharmat Actually moved these out of J Fiction after reading this one and am going to try them in our Easy Reader section. For early elementary students. 
  • All 3 books in Gordon Korman's Titanic series. From an adult perspective, there is a lot going on here (gangsters, Jack the Ripper, gambling addicted parents, women's rights advocacy, plus some boat you've never heard of). This is the series that kept me entertained mid-month when our power went out at home for 27 hours and we had to stay in a hotel. Not for your more sensitive patrons. Upper elementary. 
February-Newbery Winner 
I've already read 2013's winner, The One and Only Ivan, so I'm going to try and get through the Honor books. If there's time left in the month,I'll take a stab at previous winners. 

  • Three Times Lucky We didn't own this book prior to the awards being announced, so it probably won't arrive in time for this month. I put an ILL request in for it, but was unable to get it. 
  • Splenders and Grooms
  • Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon  It was awesome.

March -  Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure 

April - Reluctant Readers

May - Realistic Fiction

June -  Historical Fiction

July - Graphic Novels

August - Classics

September- Teen Realistic Fiction

October- Teen Historical Fiction

November - Clean Reads for Tweens

December - Teen Chick Lit


  1. Fun! I love that so many librarians are challenging ourselves to read in various genres!

  2. Great idea. I am planning on reading "The One and Only Ivan" soon as soon as I get it from Interlibrary Loan request.

  3. I also requested "Three Times Lucky".

  4. I've been wanting to do this for a while now. Are you planning on reading these books at home? Lunch?

  5. Oh, good question! What I usually do is start a book on my break, and if it's really good take it home. Most of them get read on breaks though. I get an hour for lunch/dinner and then a half-hour in the afternoon too. I'm a fast reader, so I can make good headway in that amount of time.


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