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Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge

Posted about 2 years ago by Jennifer Deuell

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with reading challenges over the years.  I love them because they get me super excited about new books, they appeal to my organizational/planning side, and who doesn’t love a good New Year’s resolution, especially one having to do with books.  On the other hand, I hate them because I have yet to finish one. Not one!

Well folks, this year is going to be different.  That’s because this year I’ve been introduced to Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.  This challenge is designed to get you out of your reading comfort zone. It pushes readers to explore new genres, new authors, new subjects, and more.  The best part is there are only 24 challenges. That’s an average of 2 books per month. I can do this, right? I can, and you all are going to help keep me accountable!

Since I’m the Teen Librarian here at RPL, I thought it would be fun to try and meet all of these challenges with YA books. Here’s what I have planned so far:

Challenge Prompt Book Title Author
A epistolary novel or collection of letters The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky
An alternate history novel Dodger Terry Pratchett
A book by a woman and/or AOC that won a literary award in 2018 Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers (ENYA Award) Deborah Heiligman
A humor book Does My Head Look Big in This? Randa Abdel-Fattah
A book by a journalist or about journalism We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists Melissa Falkowski (Editor), Eric Garner (Editor)
A book by an AOC set in or about space Ignite the Stars Maura Milan
An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind Meg Medina
An #ownvoices book set in Oceania Jellicoe Road Melina Marchetta
A book published prior to Jan. 1, 2019 with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads
A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman Wonderful Feels Like This Sara Lovestam
A book of manga
A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse Kids Like Us Hilary Reyl
A cozy mystery
A book of mythology or folklore Zahrah the Windseeker Nnedi Okorafor
An historical romance by an AOC Josephine Beverly Jenkins
A business book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Angela Duckworth
A novel by a trans or nonbinary author Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen Jazz Jennings
A book of nonviolent true crime Hole in My Life Jack Gantos
A book written in prison
A comic by an LGBTQIA creator As the Crow Flies Melanie Gillman
A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009 Full Cicada Moon (2015 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature) Marilyn Hilton
A self-published book
A collection of poetry published since 2014 Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation Brett Lauer & Lynn Melnick

As you can see, I have a few challenges I still need to find books for.  If you have suggestions, I welcome them! Also, I’d love for some of you to join in on this reading challenge with me.  You don’t necessarily have to read YA books, anything will do. I’ll be posting here on the blog every two weeks as well as on our Facebook page.  Feel free to chime in and tell me what you’re reading.

For more information on Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge visit

About the Author

Jenn Deuell is the Young Adult Coordinator with Richmond Public Library. She is a native of Fredericksburg, VA but has lived in Richmond for long enough that she now considers it home. She loves all things YA and can usually be found curled up at home with a good book (rainy day or not). Her other hobbies include traveling and spending time with family, including her three rescued pit bulls.

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