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Holiday #bookaday Wrap-Up and 2011 Reading Challenges

As I announced on my blog last month (last year...), my Twitter friends and I decided to reprise our summer #bookaday challenge for the holiday break. Reading one book a day--any book--I hoped to reduce the book piles around my house, discover new titles to share with my students and colleagues, and engage in my favorite pastime, reading. While my book piles don't look any smaller, I read 45 books during the two weeks of holiday break. For the sake of full disclosure, three of the books I finished were books I started before the break: Forge, Riding Invisible and Soul Enchilada, but I read parts of at least twenty books while cleaning out my bookroom shelves, so I think it's acceptable to count these three.

My #bookaday challenge connects me to teachers, librarians, and readers all over the world and I know it has increased the number of books I read. According to goodreads, I was #27 on the Top Readers list for 2010, reading 572 books. My friend, fellow #bookaday reader, and librarian extraordinaire, John Schumacher read 1,703 books. He was goodreads' #1 reader in 2010. While John, our #bookaday friends, and I read staggering amounts of books every year, how many books you read isn't really the point. Reading every day, whether it is a stack of picture books, 30 pages of an adult novel, or a section of that professional book you know will influence your paradigm--making a daily commitment to read is what matters--both to our teaching and our personal lives.

Here are the books I finished for #bookaday. Starred entries indicate my favorites.

Picture Books

*Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

*Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia by Jeannette Winter

*The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee

The Boys by Jeff Newman

The Brothers Kennedy: John, Robert, and Edward by Kathleen Krull

*But I Wanted a Baby Brother! by Kate Feiffer

Christian, The Hugging Lion by Justin Richardson

Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains by P.I. Maltbie

Dogs by Emily Gravett

Gumption by Elise Broach

*The Handiest Things in the World in the World by Andrew Clements

Heads by Matthew Van Fleet

Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows

*Let's Count Goats by Mem Fox

Little Black Crow by Chris Raschka

Lots of Spots by Lois Ehlert

*Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli

Monsters Eat Whiny Children by Bruce Eric Kaplan

The Monster Princess by D.J. MacHale

*Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer

*The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, Illustrated by Ted Rand (reread)

No T. Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo

*Pepi Sings a New Song by Laura Ljungkvist

*A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black

*The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon

*Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy

*Santa Calls by William Joyce (reread)

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Illustrated by Mary Engelbreit (out of print)

*So Many Days by Alison McGhee

*The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett

Thank You for Me! by Marion Dane Bauer

The Tortoise or the Hare by Toni Morrison

The Wild, Wild Inside: A View from Mommy's Tummy! by Kate Feiffer

Middle Grade Fiction

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry (suitable for early grades)

*Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson

*The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

*Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner

Trash by Andy Mulligan

Middle Grade Nonfiction

*Outbreak! Plagues That Changed History by Bryn Barnard

Young Adult Fiction

*The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

*Matched by Ally Condie

Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo

*Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill

Adult Nonfiction

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman by Lisa Scottoline

I have already begun my next reading challenge, joining Dana Huff's Books I Should Have Read in School, but Didn't Challenge. Dana invites readers to read classic books--be it children's or adult literature, which we should have read at some point in our lives, but missed. I revisited Betsy Bird's Fuse Eight's Top 100 Children's Novel Poll and selected several classic children's books I have never read. Yes, this month, I will finally read Shiloh and Caddie Woodlawn. I will comb through the unread professional books and adult literature I have around the house, too. I also signed up for Paul W. Hankins' Facebook Centurions 2011, after participating in Centurions 2010. Centurion members will attempt to read 111 books in 2011. Whether you join these reading challenges, investigate other reading challenges, or make one of your own, I hope you enjoy a wonderful reading year.

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