Here’s the thing about my first Book Challenge

Here’s the thing about my first Book Challenge… I did it!

In October 2013 I started reading the 100 Best Children’s Chapter Books of All Time. My goal was to read every book on the list by my 25th birthday (November 21, 2014). I am very proud to say that last night I finished the 100th book, The Indian in the Cupboard, and completed my book challenge over three months early! In addition to reading the books on the list, this past year I read a few other books. Books like Wildwood, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, Carry On, Warrior, Sarah’s Key, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and My Notorious Life. Which means I read over 100 books in the past ten and a half months!! I feel pretty good about that, even if 100 of those were children’s books. 

Over the next few days I’d like to share my Book Challenge Superlatives. These are the books that stood out for better or for worse throughout the ten months. Let’s start off with the overall winners and losers, my most favorite and least favorite children’s chapter books of all time. 



Redwall by Brian Jacques
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Giver by Lois Lowry
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by EG Speare



The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
Stuart Little by EB White
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Mary Poppins by PL Travers
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

What about you? What are you favorite Children’s Chapter Books of All Time? Do you see them here? What did you think about The Wind in the Willows? Classic children’s tale or just a big ol’ snooze? How about Stargirl? Overrated weirdo or free-spirited superstar? Let’s talk about books!


Before I even finished this first Book Challenge I knew I wanted to do another. The hard part was choosing a new list! So I made up my own. (You can find it here just above the old list.) It’s a nice mix of books I’ve always wanted to read, books I found on a couple lists (Amazon’s Top 100 Readers’ Pick82 Book Club Books100 Books You Can’t Put Down, and One of those “In Your 20s” Lists), and recommendations from friends. It’s also a nice mix of fiction, non-fiction, YA, classic, historical fiction, science fiction, biographical, and contemporary. Follow my progress on Goodreads!

4 thoughts on “Here’s the thing about my first Book Challenge

  1. I love Stargirl! Honestly, I love pretty much everything by Jerry Spinelli. Have you read Maniac Magee? A Wrinkle in Time and The Witch of Blackbird Pond are two of my all-time favorites. And I just checked out The Penderwicks from the library, so I’m glad to hear that you liked it so much.

    I didn’t care much for The Wind in the Willows, either. Mr. Toad is so obnoxious. And you know, I think that Cornelia Funke’s books just don’t translate well. I read Inkheart in English and really didn’t like it–but then I read The Thief Lord in its original German and loved it! So I’m going to have to try Inkheart again in German, I think.

    Books books books! You got me all excited. I want to go reread all my favorites again. 🙂

    1. Maniac Magee was on the list as well, so I did read it. I believe it shows up on the Saddest Childrens Chapter Books of All Time to be posted later this week. This was my first time reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond and I just really enjoyed myself! I loved the romance.

      Oh my word I had no idea Cornelia Funke’s books weren’t written in English. Yes, that might explain it. I didn’t enjoy the writing style but I suppose that says more about the translator than Funke.

      So it! It was so fun being a kid with my books!

  2. I feel like the great/terrible thing about asking the Internet’s opinion on these books is that you’re appealing to all of our emotional memories. I’m thrilled to see some of the books on your best-of list and mortified by some on the worst-of list. But, consdiering I haven’t actually read any of these books in at least a decade or more, I don’t feel like I have concrete ground to complain or discuss on. All I am left with is that I LOVE that you did this challenge! I definitely want to do it as well to refresh my memory.

    Also – you did it in 10.5 months?! Way to go! That is seriously impressive!

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