Read Across the Library Challenge

Recently I posted some scavenger hunt ideas for the elementary school library.  I got to test them out with some 4th and 5th graders and most really enjoyed being able to roam the shelves and discover authors and books they have never seen before.  Yes, the “hunt” led to many messy shelves, but some kids ended up checking out cookbooks, books on science experiments, and other serendipitous finds.

I thought it’d be good to pair this kind of game with a reading challenge, to encourage kids to explore genres that they normally wouldn’t read or think they like.  Librarians could offer up different incentives each week, or book-talk various genres during the school year.  The “checklist” could be made into bookmarks or bingo cards (each month of the year could feature a specific pattern for extra challenge), or the entire class could take on the challenge.  Kids could do their own book-talks — in front of the class?  short video trailer?  Book posters?  The possibilities are endless.

Here’s the checklist in its simplest, bookmark form.  Of course, it can be changed to adapt to your library holdings.

My Read Across the Library Challenge

Name: _____________________________

Teacher: ____________________________


  • Modern realism
  • Animal fiction

  • Mystery

  • Fantasy or science fiction

  • Historical

  • Classic

  • Multicultural

  • Picture books for older readers

  • Audiobook

  • Reader’s Choice


  • A president

  • An artist

  • An athlete

  • An entertainer/celebrity

  • An important historical figure

  • Reader’s Choice

Informational, or Non-Fiction

  • Mythology

  • Holidays and traditions

  • Folktales, fairy tales, fables

  • Science; science experiments

  • Geology

  • Plants

  • Animals

  • A book about technology

  • A book about the human body

  • Architecture

  • Graphic novel; graphic histories

  • Poetry

  • Countries/states

  • World history

  • American history


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