Idaho Teen Reading Challenge

8 Books. 7 Months. 1 State.

Over 500 Idaho teens and tweens at 58 different libraries completed the 2022-23 Idaho Teen Reading Challenge – nice work! Check out the map below for locations of the libraries that had a teen finish the challenge. Registration for the 2023 – 2024 Challenge is now closed.

New Categories for the 2023-24 School Year

The Idaho Teen Reading Challenge is a chance for school and public libraries to challenge teens to read books outside of their comfort zone. Here’s how it works:

  1. During the months of October – April, teens are challenged to read 8 books from the following  10 categories:
    • Found While Browsing: a book you found on your library’s shelves or website
    • Judge a Book by its Cover: a book with a cover you like
    • One-Word Title: book with a title that is only one word long
    • Read Before You Stream: a book that was turned into a movie or TV series
    • Retelling of a Classic: a retelling of a classic story
    • Sci-Fi/Fantasy: a science fiction or fantasy book
    • True Story: a book based on an actual event or person
    • YRCA Nominee: a book nominated for a 2024 Young Reader’s Choice Award
    • Your Favorite Genre: any book from your favorite genre
    • Free Choice: read whatever you want!
  2. Register your library to participate in the reading challenge. When you register, you will have the chance to request tracking forms, bookmarks, and reading journals to hand out to teens. New this year: we will also send a custom sticker that you can give to teens who complete the challenge. Registration will open in late August.
  3. We will mail you a set of tracking forms, bookmarks, journals, and stickers. You can decide how much interaction you have with teens who take the challenge – you can set up a spreadsheet or other method to track their progress, or just check in occasionally. When they have completed the entire challenge, they need to turn in their tracking sheet to you. You do not have to keep the tracking sheets. Do you need more materials? Requests more here after Oct. 1.
  4. Keep track of how many teens complete the challenge. In May, you will be asked to submit a short evaluation with the total number of teens who finished the challenge at your library. You will also be able to send feedback about the program and suggestions for next year’s categories. New this year: in May, the ICfL will randomly select three libraries who have teens complete the challenge to receive a set of books – one school library, one public library, and one library from the total list of libraries with at least one finisher.

That’s it! Hopefully this will be a fun way to engage with teens and encourage them to discover books they love.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why are there 10 categories if you only need to read 8 books? 
A: Giving teens a choice is important and having extra categories builds a little bit of flexibility into the program. The hope is that teens are challenged to read something new and not turned off by having to read in a category that doesn’t work for them.

Q: I need more tracking sheets / bookmarks / journals – can you mail me some?
A: Yes – we have left over printed materials and will send them to any library that requests them until we run out. Just email Jennifer to get more tracking sheets, journals, bookmarks, or stickers:

Q: Will the ICfL provide an incentive for teens who complete the program? 
A: Yes! Teens who finish the challenge will receive a custom sticker and earn an entry for their library to receive a set of free books in a drawing at the end of the program. One public library, one school library, and one library from the total list of finishers will be selected at random to receive a set of free books of the library’s choice. The more teens that finish, the more chances a library has to be selected to receive the books.

Q: Can my library provide additional incentives?
A: Yes! Feel free to use the framework of the challenge and modify this program in ways that work for your teens.

Q: What types of books qualify for the reading challenge?
A: ALL types of books qualify – audio books, eBooks, graphic novels, instructional manuals, etc.

Q: Who can participate in the challenge?
A: All Idaho teens, ages 12 – 19, can participate.

Q: What about sixth-graders who are 11 but will turn 12 this year?
A: They can definitely participate in the challenge too!

Q: Can my library use our own tracking system, like Beanstack, instead of the tracking sheets?
A: Yes! You can just send your stats to Jennifer in May to get counted.

Q: Can I print off my own stuff? 
A: Yes! Here are PDF’s of the bookmarks, tracking sheets, and journals.

Q: Can I edit these in Canva and add my library’s logo?
A: Sure! Here are Canva links to the bookmarks, tracking sheets, and journal.

Q: Is there a way to get a copy of the Idaho Teen Reading Challenge logo?
A: Yup! Here you go!

An info session for the 2023-2024 was held on Thursday, September 7. Check out a recording of the info session here:

Questions about the challenge? Contact Jennifer:

Jennifer Redford

Youth Services Consultant
Email / 208-639-4147
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