Reading the World Challenge 2011

Well, here it is at last, this year’s PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge. I know some of you have been on tenterhooks but there’s one advantage to announcing it a little late. All your other challenges should be well assimilated by now, and adding one more shouldn’t be too much of a trial… Anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Challenge for the last two years has revolved around geographical boundaries, as is perhaps to be expected of a World focused challenge – however, following deep consultation with Little Brother (9), we have come up with an extra geographical consideration this year. We have also decided to make the time factor as flexible as possible, in the hope that some teachers/librarians might be tempted to engage children in the Challenge during school term time. So without further ado, we present the PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge 2011:

1. Choose six books from/about/by or illustrated by someone from different countries anywhere in the world, 3 of which must be in different continents.

2. Choose one book from/about your city/district – as local and as relevant to your geographical setting as you can find.

3. You should choose at least one book of each of the following: fiction, poetry and non-fiction.

4. Have the books read aloud to you or read them yourself; share them as part of a book-group or in class. Combine your choices with other reading challenges.

5. There is no time limit for this year’s Challenge, apart from completing it by the end of the year.

Do join us, and keep us posted as to how you’re doing – we love reading all your posts. You can find lots of ideas in the PaperTigers Reviews and Reading Lists sections, as well as in many of our Personal Views – or do let us know your own suggestions.

Happy Reading!

And P.S. If anyone would like the code for adding the button to their blog, please email me โ€“ marjorie(at)papertigers(dot)org.

49 Responses to “Reading the World Challenge 2011”

  1. Corinne Robson Says:

    I’m in!!!

  2. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Yey! Finally! Count us in over at GatheringBooks. =)

  3. JudiJ Says:

    Good work, Paper Tigers. I’ll be promoting the challege to Australian schools this week on the SATF blog.(And while I am here, did I ever tell you how much I love your monthly events links – a fantastic service. Thanks)

  4. Gabby Says:

    We are IN ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Zoe Says:

    Hoping to join in too!

  6. Marjorie Says:

    Welcome aboard, everybody – looking forward to hearing about your book choices.

    And Judij, it would be great to have some schools taking part in the Challenge, so thanks for the plug. And I’ll make sure Corinne sees your comment about the Events Calendar – she’s the one who takes credit for Putting that together… and I’ve just seen your weekly round-up for the first time. Fantastic!

  7. JudiJ Says:

    Thanks Marjorie. The post is up and I have also mentioned it on Twitter. It’s a great challenge.

  8. sandhya Says:

    Great challenge, and am joining in. A question, though. It sounds as if the challenge is specifically for children. Please correct me if I am mistaken. This is because I would like to join too. In that case, is it necessary for my daughter (age 9) to join separately? We can do it in tandem, then. Also, is it OK if I post her impressions of a book on my blog? Maybe add my impressions to that?

  9. Karen Says:

    Sounds great! I’m going to try to get some classes at my school involved too.

  10. Marjorie Says:

    Thank you, JudiJ.

    Sandhya, of course you are welcome to join in too – in fact, last year most of the people who joined in were adults, which I suppose is why I’m emphasising the children’s side, to get more kids involved. It would be wonderful if you and your daughter did it in tandem – and absolutely, post her impressions on your blog, and don’t forget to leave a link here too, so that we are sure not to miss them. In our family we have always done the Challenge as a readaloud all together then each of my boys has done it separately – then I’ve tried to post on all three books, with their words for their books. Here’s a typical post so you can see what I mean…

    Karen, that would be WONDERFUL! :-)

  11. sandhya Says:

    Thanks, Marjorie, that was really helpful. You can count us in, both me and my daughter A. Here is the link to my sign-up post.

  12. Marjorie Says:

    That’s great, Sandhya – I hope both of you get a lot of fun out of it and we really look forward to reading A.’s commentaries as well as your own.

  13. sandhya Says:

    Is there a particular post at which we can post our reviews? Both A and I are done with our first books. Do let us know. Else, here are the links.
    For A:
    For myself:

  14. Marjorie Says:

    That’s perfect, Sandhya – as I write update posts, I’ll bring in all the links left here as comments – now I’ll just head over and ready them :-)

  15. zarah_g Says:

    i am joining again. i failed tremendously last year, but i’m bouncing back this early. just read the guernsey potato peel pie society, shiver, beastly and is now half way through the cellist of sarajevo.

    for my review of the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society, go here =>

  16. Marjorie Says:

    Wow, I only announced it last week, Zarah – definitely making up for lost time :-)

  17. Susan T. Says:

    This sounds like a fun challenge! I have been reading translated books lately, so it will be fun to expand the list to works for kids, too. I’m in. Yippee!

  18. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hello. We have posted our first book for the Challenge: Maya Angelou’s Life Doesn’t Frighten Me at All:

  19. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hello, we have posted our second and third book for the challenge: A 2-in-1 Ann Grifalconi Special: The Village that Vanished (Jane Addams Children’s Book Award) and The Village of Round and Square Houses (Caldecott Honor). Here’s the link:

  20. sandhya Says:

    Here is the second book I am entering for A. Under India, non-fiction.

  21. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Here is our third book for the Reading Challenge – Fernando Krahn’s The Self-Made Snowman (Children’s Book Classic, South America)

  22. Amy Broadmoore Says:

    Great minds thinks alike. This Reading Challenge is a great way to encourage people to read books about other countries!

    My children and I are reading around the world and posting lists of the best books we find about each continent at Delightful Children’s Books (

  23. Amy Broadmoore Says:

    I have posted a list and reviews of our 10 favorite books about South America at:

  24. sandhya Says:

    Here’s my entry for the US of A under fiction for myself.

  25. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hello Marjorie, we do a 3-in-1 Feature of Suzy Lee’s Wordless Picture Books: Mirror (2003), Wave (2008) and Shadow (2010) for our Northeast Asia part of the challenge. We also have a Q & A included with Suzy Lee herself for each of the books. Do drop by and visit. =) This is our 4th post out of 6 required for Reading the World Challenge. Not bad. =)

  26. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Oh dear, I forgot to put the link, here is the 3-in-1 Feature of Suzy Lee’s books:โ€™s-mirror-shadow-wave/

  27. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hi, this is our 5th out of the 6th required posting for Reading the World Challenge 2011:
    Jeannie Baker’s Mirror – Australia, Picture Book, Fiction. Here is the link (before I totally forget about it again):

    I have a feeling we’d do more than six. I hope it’s fine with you. =)

  28. Mary Says:

    Hi, here’s our 6th entry for Reading the World Challenge. It’s a non-fiction and based in the Philippines where i Live.

  29. sandhya Says:

    Here’s the next book for A under the US of A, as the writer/illustrator, Sanjay Patel, is an animator with the Pixar studio there.

  30. Amy Broadmoore Says:

    For recommendations of great picture books set in countries around the world, take a look at Delightful Children’s Books – Read Around the World booklists ( I have just completed a series of Read Around the World booklists: Children Around the World, Maps, Africa, Europe, Australia, The Arctic, South America, and Asia.

    In addition, librarians planning their summer library programs can take a look at a new Read Around the World resource page for librarians:

  31. Uma Krishnaswami Says:

    My first 3 entries and a post on Reading Like a Traveler (and not a tourist) over at The Brain Lair:

    And my post linking to that one:

    This was the last post of a marathon 22-day blog tour so it was nice that the challenge fit so well with what I wanted to say.

  32. sandhya Says:

    Hi, Marjorie. Here is the next book review for A under the Czech Republic, non-fiction.

  33. sandhya Says:

    Here is the next book review for myself under India, non-fiction, poetry.

  34. sandhya Says:

    Here is the next book for A under fiction, Lebanon.

  35. Uma Krishnaswami Says:

    New title added to my Reading the World list:

  36. sandhya Says:

    Here’s my next book under Malawi, Africa. Non-fiction.

  37. sandhya Says:

    My comment has been eaten up by wordpress, so here goes again.

    Here is my next book, under Australia. A historical novel.

    So that leaves me with one book each for A and for myself. Hope to finish it before the year end.

  38. sandhya Says:

    Here is the sixth and final entry for A. Poetry. Great Britain. The writer, Frida Bedi, was a British woman who married an Indian.

    There is this other book of poetry we have read together recently, which does not really qualify for the challenge, as the author, illustrator, publisher are all from the US, and I have already one book under that category. The anthologist, however, has Polish antecedents, and has written some books on the holocaust. So I would like to share that book, notwithstanding. A wonderful book for children to learn poetry forms from!

  39. sandhya Says:

    And here is my last entry for the challenge under non-fiction, Afghanistan. ‘Dear Zari’ written by Zarghuna Karghar.

    That ends the challenge for both myself and A. I’ll be posting a wrap-up post soon, and will share the link.

  40. sandhya Says:

    OK, you have a very confused bookworm on your hands, Marjorie! I have changed the books I have entered for the challenge a bit. Here’s my wrap-up post that will give you the right list. Sorry!

  41. Marjorie Says:

    Fantastic, Sandhya – and I’m so glad you highlighted Paul B Janeczko’s book as we love his anthology of shape poems, A Poke in the I and you’ve poked me to look at his website – – and I’ll definitely be seeking out more of his work. And you’ve been much more organised than I have – I’m about to write my Challenge wrap-up post now!

  42. sandhya Says:


    It was fun doing this challenge, Marjorie. Have been over to your wrap-up post.