Calling all readers!

It’s a day of rejoicing because the Summer Reading Challenge 2024 is here … or the Winter Reading Challenge for my Southern Hemisphere friends! If you can believe it, this is the eighth summer of the challenge.

If this is your first year, welcome! Normally when April turns into May I begin to feel the buzz of, “The Summer Reading Challenge is coming!” But this year was different. Why? Well, you can read the full version here in my newsletter to my ministry partners, but the short version is my 87-year-old mom’s femur broke on April 13th.

With the stress of this season in life, I knew that more than ever, we (um, I) needed this reading challenge :).

Ten summers ago the primary emotion of my summer was resentment. I associated childhood summers with spaciousness, a bit of boredom, and reading. My adult summers felt the opposite—crowded, busy, and no leisurely reading. While there’s much I love about being an adult, I missed summer reading and decided something needed to change.

I also noticed that left to my own, I read the same kind of book over and over, always meaning to get to other types of books. I don’t make time to read outside of my familiar categories because I have work, responsibilities, and intentions that, it turns out, can be strong ruts in my reading leading me to the same watering holes. So, thank you one and all of joining in and during this challenge we all become more well-rounded readers!

It will start on June 1 (I know!! Sorry for the last minute) and run through August 16, 2024. To enter, read seven books from 25 plus categories and leave a comment at the end of the challenge with the books you read. That’s all. No entrance fee, no hassle, just fun. Also, if you’re trying to find this on the website, surprise, you’re going to struggle because the website is being redone :). Why not add that into the mix, right :)?!

But here in the messy middle, we sally forth!

What’s different?

  • A book related to the Olympics (Paris, we see you!)
  • A book related to weddings or marriage (My oldest niece is getting married)
  • A book related a broken bone (My mom’s femur broke ☹)

What’s the same?

  • Many categories will be similar because reading is reading. As mentioned above, you will notice a few new gems
  • Choosing a penalty book within the first week of the challenge. A penalty book or category is one you declare to yourself I will read or be penalized. The last six summers I’ve selected a penalty book and it worked, except that my penalty book two years was horrible. I’m now a bit gun shy, but am reminding my self that my track record is 87% good books. I tend to choose “long” history books that I have meant to get around to but this summer is different … my penalty book was an impulse buy last Saturday and has the potential for me to not get around to it . . . so ha! I’m tricking myself into reading it! My penalty book for 2024 is Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America by Leila Philip.
  • Like previous years, if you do not read your “penalty” book, you will subtract two books from your total.
  • The joy of reading!

What’s in it for you?

  • All who comment on a summary blog post that I’ll publish on August 12th will be entered to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards. You will have between August 12-16th to comment with the names of the books you read.

Drumroll . . . here are the categories!

  • A biography or a book about history
  • A book you already own
  • A book you’ve been wanting to reread
  • A book a friend recommended
  • A Young Adult book (YA)
  • A book of poetry
  • A memoir or autobiography
  • A graphic novel
  • A book for professional development (loosely defined)
  • A book longer than 600 pages (counts as two books)
  • A book with a verb in the title
  • A play
  • A book about a country or culture you’ve never visited
  • A book that won an award
  • A book by an author you know (get “credit” for supporting your friends 😊)
  • A mystery or classic
  • An audiobook
  • A book with an animal
  • A book less than 100 pages
  • A book you want to discuss with others
  • A book you read as a child
  • A book in a different language than English (could be sign language, morse code, Spanish, don’t get hung up on terms 😊)
  • Read out loud to someone. Could be a whole book, a favorite passage, or to a child
  • Listen to someone reading out loud (not an audio book, an actual person)

A few categories special to Summer 2024

  • A book related to the Olympics (Paris, we see you!)
  • A book related to weddings or marriage (My oldest niece is getting married)
  • A book related a broken bone (My mom’s femur broke ☹)

Bonus: choose a Penalty Book in the first week of the challenge as a way to kick yourself in the pants. If you don’t read your penalty book you will subtract two (2) books from your grand total.

Download the 2024 Summer Reading Challenge

Download the 2024 Summer Reading Challenge, print it off, and track your progress. But most of all, have fun and read books you might not read in other times of the year!

My penalty book is Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America by Leila Philip. Anyone want to swap beaver facts this summer 😊?


In short: Read seven books from June 1 to August 16, 2024.

Are you in? What books are you looking forward to reading during the challenge?

Happy Reading, Amy



Leave A Comment

  1. Bev May 30, 2024 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Can’t wait. Love your summer challenge!

  2. Paulette May 30, 2024 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Happy Summer, Amy!!! I’m in! It made me sad that I wasn’t up for participating last summer. So I’m super grateful and excited that health has improved and life has actually settled to the point where a Reading Challenge seems fun again, not overwhelming. :) Do they really have books in Morse code?

  3. Liz Kamper May 30, 2024 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Ok…I’m gonna do it this year! Kids are bigger, life feels, well, weird…I think I can do it!

  4. Michele May 30, 2024 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I did just check the messy middle the other day because I was afraid I’d missed the summer reading challenge! When I saw it was being revamped and recalled a couple of global trellis videos from inside a hospital, I thought, “Ah, Amy’s not going to be able to do the challenge this year.” So now I’m extra excited it’s actually on. Can’t wait to pick out my summer list!

  5. Jamie May 30, 2024 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I’m in again. I love this challenge.

  6. Christy J May 31, 2024 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Ready to start reading! I’m glad the challenge is still here. I was wondering about it the other day. This year I have been behind my regular reading pace so I am hoping to do more this summer!

  7. Mary Beth Lott June 1, 2024 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    I was all ready to cancel summer since there was no Summer Reading Challenge. And now here it is! Oh, the joy of summer reading! Thank you, Amy.

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