What’s in a Name?: Reading Challenge #2


Apparently I’ve been sleeping under a rock and so was unaware of the crazily addictive presence of “Reading Challenges.” I had no idea what challenges were all about until a week ago, and now, I am beginning to recognize their strange power. (For anyone else out there who also happens to be living under a proverbial rock, a reading challenge is an online event organized by a mastermind, in which people commit to reading a certain number of books connected to a particular theme, in a given amount of time. Often there is a blog associated with the challenge where participants post reviews of the books they read, and find out about what everyone else has read too).

For starters, I am a list girl. I enjoy making lists. Lists please me. They often lend shape, control and purpose to my busy life. Lists are good. I also like goals. And so it would seem that Reading Challenges were created for me. I can also imagine that it would be easy to let Reading Challenges take over your reading life, sucking all spontaneity from your reading experiences. This sounds supremely unfortunate to me. I was checking out a few book blogs yesterday, and one blogger was bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t get a grip on all of the titles she needed to read for all of her challenges, and she longed for a day when she might just pick up a book she liked because she felt like it, not because it was a title she needed to cross off her list. Sad, so sad.

With this caveat in mind, I have been careful not to jump all over any and every groovy looking challenge I’ve found over the past couple of days. I have decided to take on one more challenge this year (in addition to the Expanding Horizons Challenge I settled on first). I couldn’t really resist this one, since it is so quirky and it came from a 10 year old’s brain. Cool, yes? The What’s in a Name? challenge, created by Annie, involves selecting 6 books to read in 2008 with particular words in their titles: a colour, a first name, a plant, a place, an animal, and a weather event.

I wanted all of the books for this challenge to be for kids, teens or crossover titles. Now I haven’t settled 100% on the following books, but I think most are here to stay:

1. The Red Necklace – Sally Gardner

2. Becca at Sea – Deirdre Baker or The Plain Janes – Cecil Castellucci

3. Sacred Leaf – Deborah Ellis

4. Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood – Ibtisam Barakat

5. The White Giraffe – Lauren St. John

6. Heat – Mike Lupica

I’m happy with all of these, but had to dig pretty deep for an animal title. Any other suggestions for a book with an animal in the title (or in any of the other categories for that matter)?

No more challenges. No more.

5 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?: Reading Challenge #2

  1. Bohae

    That’s what *they* always say: “no more” or “never again.” And then…there is suddenly “more” and there is an “again.” πŸ˜‰

    Here’s an animal one: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (I haven’t read this one, but I thought it looked interesting…)

    Color book: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (again, I haven’t read this one either, but I want to : )

    Another animal book: Snail Mail, No More by Ann Martin and Paula Danziger (I remember I liked reading it…but that was when I was in grade school πŸ˜‰ of course, it’d be a candidate for an easy, – and hopefully – fun read πŸ˜‰

  2. shelfelf Post author

    Thanks so much for the suggestions! I know many people who loved Sue Monk Kidd’s book, and I’ve looked at 13 Little Blue Envelopes a few times as well.

  3. Karen

    You’ve probably already read it but Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles is a great one (animal). The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty was hilarious (name). I’m looking forward to reading November Blues by Sharon Draper (color), Cracker! : The Best Dog in Vietnam(animal and place!) and Weedflower (plant) by Cynthia Kadohata, Under the Banyan Tree by Toni De Palma (plant), Black Storm Comin’ by Diane Wilson (weather or color), and Baghdad Burning : girl blog from Iraq- Riverbend (place). I’ve purchased them all for our library and they’re all on my “to read soon” list!

  4. shelfelf Post author

    Karen – what a great list of suggestions! Thanks. I have read the Deborah Wiles (and wept and wept while reading it by the way). I’ve heard that The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie is hilarious. Loved Cracker. Weedflower was so-so for me. And I’ll be sure to take a look at Baghdad Burning. Great possibilities.

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