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Celebrate the Author Challenge

December 15, 2007

Celebrate the Author Challenge


Though my timing may not be the best, I believe a lot of challenge-addicts ARE shopping around for 2008 Challenges beginning in January. (Yes, I am one of them.) And while it is true that I will already be hosting a challenge, the Cardathon Challenge, next year. I can’t resist starting another one.

This is a twelve month challenge (January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008).

The challenge is designed to “celebrate” author birthdays. Choose one author for each month of the year. Read at least one book a month. 12 authors. 12 birthdays. If you like, you can read MORE than that. If you’re really obsessive, you might want to “celebrate” all 52 weeks of the year. (But even I am not THAT zealous!) The challenge is designed to ‘celebrate’ the special bond–the connection–that occurs between the author AND the reader as well as the connection between readers. It is very easy to “bond” with other readers over certain works, certain authors, etc.

There are several websites that will do the hardwork for you. Such as Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators: Author Birthday List by Date and by Name. And Kidsreads.com. And Author/Birthday Web Directory. And Teen Author Birthday Index. You can search the internet for general birthday information. Or choose your authors, search the web for bio information, and see if you can work it all out that way. (Hint: typing the authors name, a “+” and the word ‘birthday’, tends to work if you assume that wikipedia gets such things right.)

You can choose picture books, poetry books, early readers, chapter books, fiction for middle grades, fiction for teens, adult reads, nonfiction, whatever you want. You could choose 12 picture books. You can read books in or out of your comfort zone.

You might want to make a list and choose alternatives for each month…that way you can narrow it down as you go. And you do NOT have to choose a book until the very moment you’re ready to start reading. Just pick a handful of authors.

And here’s the secret. If you change your mind, just be sure to change your list to reflect that change. I don’t care how many times you change your list.

Here’s my list:

January – Edgar Allen Poe – Collections

February – Cynthia Voigt  – Dicey’s Song

March – Carl Hiassen – Flush

April – Scott Turow – Ordinary Heroes

May – Arthur Conany Doyle – Collection

June – Harriet Beecher Stowe – Uncle Tom’s Cabin

July – Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter

August – Mary Shelley – Frankenstein

September – James Fenimore Cooper – The Last of the Mohicans

October – Oscar Wilde – The Importance of Being Earnest

November – Bram Stoker – Dracula

December – Rudyard Kipling – Jungle Book

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