Spread your reading wings and join the PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge 2012

Do you enjoy reading books from and about different cultures?  Would you like to have an incentive to read more culturally diverse books?  Either way, the PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge is the one for you!

We’re keeping it simple,  as it would be great for libraries and schools, as well as parents, as well as book bloggers and grown-up children’s book afficionados, to take part. The number of books and the flexible time span mean that it could be incorporated into a school reading program or a storytime slot, for example.  The one major addition is to include a work in translation, otherwise it’s running pretty much along the same lines as last year.  Here’s how it works:

1. Read a total of seven books.

2. Choose six books from/about/by or illustrated by someone from different countries anywhere in the world, three of which must be in different continents, and at least one of which must be translated from another language.

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

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

5. Have the books read aloud to you or read them yourself; share them as part of a book-group or in class. Read them in books, on an e-reader, or listen to audio-books. Combine your choices with other reading challenges.

6. There is no time limit for the reading the World Challenge, apart from completing it by the end of the year.

You can sign up to the Challenge in the Comments to this post. Do come back and tell us what books you’ve read. Writing reviews is not a necessary part of the Challenge, but if you do post any, we love to read them so do leave a link to them too, and I’ll also incorporate them into the updates I write through the year.

If you’re looking for ideas, you’ll find lots 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.  Let’s try and generate a list of picture, MG and YA books translated into English too…  And do feel free to pick up our gorgeous button from the sidebar too; or if you’d like me to send you the code, email me, marjorieATpapertigersDOTorg.  Here’s to another year of exciting reading!

59 Responses to “Spread your reading wings and join the PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge 2012”

  1. Sylvia Says:

    What an excellent idea and worthy challenge. I’m up for it. Also, is there a time limit on completing the challenge?

  2. Marjorie Says:

    Sylvia, that’s great – and no, there’s no time limit apart from completing by the end of the year… Last year, some people did the whole thing very quickly, whereas in my family, we ended up having to race to get it all in by the end of December – partly because we were a bit disorganised at deciding which books to alot to the Challenge, which meant Older Brother and Little Brother especially read lots of books that didn’t get added to the tally! I’ll add some bold to Rule #6 to make it clearer…

  3. Beth Stilborn Says:

    I would love to join this challenge — I think it would add greatly to the picture books and other books I already read and review on my blog. I will happily add your button to my blog.

    I’m grateful that the comment challenge led me to your blog, and to this excellent way of learning more about our world.

  4. Joanna Says:

    I am definitely up for this. Although can I be sneaky and instead of reading a book in translation simply read a book in another language?

  5. Stacey Says:

    I am so glad you stopped by my blog today so I had a chance to learn about Paper Tigers and your great challenge. Count me in! And if you could send me the code for the button, I’d love to put it on my blog :)

  6. Marjorie Says:

    Yeay, welcome on board, everybody.

    Beth and Stacey, I’ll email you the button code. Beth, so true about the Comment Challenge – trouble is, it’s getting addictive!

    Joanna, oh all right then 😉

    Stacey, it was thanks to Read Aloud Dad I found you and I’m so glad I caught that post – here’s the link, everybody – go and read Stacey’s post about reading aloud to children! http://staceyloscalzo.com/2012/01/get-them-reading/

  7. sandhya Says:

    Count us in, Marjorie- both A and I. We really enjoyed participating in last year’s challenge. So it is six books as usual, and the seveth has to be a translation?

  8. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Yay! We’re joining this year once again! Here’s our sign-up post indicating our intention to participate in the challenge (which by the way came online before you posted this announcement – see how excited we are!) http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/reading-challenges-for-2012-and-total-books-read-for-2011/

    Looking forward to reading more books ’round-the-world’ this year.

  9. Marjorie Says:

    Sandhya, so glad you and A are in again. Actually it’s seven books… six books from “out there” including the translation, and the seventh is the local book. Does that make sense? I realsied when reading some summing-up posts that there was some confusion last year and I tried to reword it more carefully this year, but I’ve probably muddied the waters again by adding in the translation. I decided on a book in translation because, for those of us seeking out books in the US and the UK, the number of children’s books available in translation is actually shockingly small, and it ould be good to highlight that, by promoting the gems we find while reading for the Challenge…

    Myra, you are a hoot and I’m so glad you’re keen. I was one step closer to the beginning of the year in announcing the Challenge this year, compared with last, and next year, I’ll try and beat you to it 😉

  10. Caitlin Says:

    What a great idea! I am definitely in as well.

  11. Marjorie Says:

    Brilliant! Welcome, Caitlin :-)

  12. patientdreamer Says:

    Please send me the code..with laptop stolen and having to just settle for reading right now I am picking up wonderful blogs like this one that I missed. I am into anything multicultural.

  13. Marjorie Says:

    Diane, I’m sending it to you right now – I’m so glad you’re joining the Challenge. And I’m s srorry to hear about your laptop – how awful. As soon as I’ve sent that email, I’m going to do a back up!

  14. Medea Says:

    Sign me up! I get so focused on introducing my culture to my kids that I often forget there are others! Can’t wait to see what everyone else reads too.

  15. Marjorie Says:

    Medea, Welcome to the Reading the World Challenge. I’ve just visited your blog and your children sound delightful – I love the divisipon of opinion over natto. I have to say, it was the one thing I didn’t manage to try when I visted Japan! We really look forward to hearing about the books you read together.

  16. Jen Says:

    I wouldn’t say you are missing much! But I hope you can visit here again.

  17. Marjorie Says:

    Jen, aka Medea, I have already become hooked on your blog – I’ll definitely be back; and I see you’ve put the Challenge button in your sidebar – thank you.

  18. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hello! We’ve already posted our first book for the Reading Challenge – it’s a nonfiction book “Lily Renee, Escape Artist” by Trina Robbins and illustrated by Anne Timmons and mo oh. Here is the link: http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/nonfiction-monday-lily-renee-escape-artist/

  19. florence Says:

    Hi! I’m up to the challenge, and will leave you a link to any reviews I do write!

  20. patientdreamer Says:

    I am sorry to say I never got the code or button to put on my blog…. (can’t understand why) mind you it was about the time I had no laptop, so could have gone elsewhere…
    I would love to join up if I can. would it be possible for you to send again to my email. Thankyou. (I had done a couple of reviews the past month which would have been perfect for this)

  21. Marjorie Says:

    Hi Diane, I’ll send that email to you again – it obviously did get caught up in some maelstrom! And of course the books you’ve already read can count towards the Challenge – the button is certainly not a requisite. I’ll be writing a Challenge-to-date post soon so do leave links to any reviews you’ve written, then I can include them – look forward to seeing them :-)

  22. Patricia TIlton Says:

    Please count me in. I will definitely submit book reviews. I’m just a bit confused about where I sign up. Diane mentioned a button. I’ve already have couple reviewed in 2012 that I have to share.

  23. Marjorie Says:

    Hello, Patricia – it’s wonderful to have you joining us for the Readiong the World Challenge and we look forward to reading your reviews :-) Just letting us know here with your comment counts as signing up – and the button Diane mentioned is a button to add to your blog side-bar – if you wwould like to add it to your blog, just email me at marjorieATpapertigersDOTorg and I’ll send you the code.

  24. Patricia TIlton Says:

    One more question. Do the books have to be newly publshed in 2012 or can they be published in previous years? – Pat

  25. Corinne Says:

    The books can be published in previous years.

  26. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hi Marjorie, Corinne, and lovely ladies here, I have just posted my second book for the reading challenge:
    Princess Hyacinth or the Surprising tale of a girl who floated by Florence Parry Heide and Lane Smith.
    Here is the link:

  27. Patricia TIlton Says:

    The following is my first entry: “Goyangi Means Cat”, by Christina McDonnell, Viking, 2011. The beautiful picture book about a young Korean girl who is adopted and she bonds with a cat. The author includes many Korean words throughout the text so children can learn Korean words. http://childrensbooksheal.com/2012/03/16/goyangi-means-cat-perfect-picture-book/

    My second entry is “Abe in Arms” by Pegi Deitz Shea, PM Press, 2010, YA Fiction. This story is about a boy who is forced by the rebels to be a child soldier in war-torn Africa and his escape to a refugee camp where he is adopted by a doctor from Doctors Without Borders and his family. Abe has to face the demons of his past in order to move forward. Very timely story.


  28. Marjorie Says:

    Myra, Patricia, that’s great. I’ll be writing a Challenge update soooon. Princess Hyacinth sounds fun and Goyangi sounds gorgeous as well – I don’t know either of them – but Abe in Arms I do know – it’s an amazing book.

  29. Patricia TIlton Says:

    Marjorie, I have another picture book that was written in 2005. You may have heard of it, “The Librarian of Basra” by Jeanette Winters. It is nonfiction and true story about a woman who tried to save the books in Basra, before the US bombing started in 2003. http://childrensbooksheal.com/2012/03/23/the-librarian-of-basra-a-true-story-from-iraq/

  30. Patricia TIlton Says:

    Marjorie, I completely forgot to include this 2011 nonfiction book I just reviewed in January, “The Mangrove Tree” by Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore, about the work of a Japanese scientist, Dr. Gordon Sato, who planted mangrove trees by the salty Red Sea to feed the poorest people of Hargigo: http://childrensbooksheal.com/2012/01/27/the-mangrove-tree/. Beautiful book written in verse for young children on the left and text for older children on the right. Beautiful book.

  31. sandhya Says:

    Hi, Marjorie. We have been a bit tardy in beginning our challenge. The first entries for both A and myself are up.
    For A:
    http://arightowrite.blogspot.in/2012/03/book-review-agenda-of-apprentice.html Non-fiction. Translated from French. France.
    For myself:
    http://arightowrite.blogspot.in/2012/03/book-review-cinderella-ate-my-daughter.html Non-fiction. US of A.

  32. Patricia TIlton Says:

    Oops — gave you the admin link to the Mangrove Tree post. If you can delete the link above I’d appreciate it.


  33. sandhya Says:

    Hi, Marjorie. I wrote a comment yesterday giving links to the reviews for the first entries both for A and myself. It seems to have got lost. Here are the links again.

    For A: http://arightowrite.blogspot.in/2012/03/book-review-agenda-of-apprentice.html Non-fiction, translation, France.

    For myself: http://arightowrite.blogspot.in/2012/03/book-review-cinderella-ate-my-daughter.html Non fiction, the US of A.

    Do visit.

  34. Jen Says:

    I read my second book for this challenge to my kids and here is the review:

  35. Marjorie Says:

    Thank you for leaving these links, everyone. Now I’m back from Bologna, I aim to write an update post this week.

    Patricia, I’ve changed that link so it should be right now :-)

  36. The Busy Librarian Says:

    Love this idea! Can I join?

    I’ll gladly add the button and share reviews on busylibrarian.com!

    – Matthew

  37. Marjorie Says:

    Hi, Matthew – absolutely! Great to have you joining us.

  38. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hi Marjorie, here is our latest post for the Reading the World Challenge: Margarita Engle’s newest novel in verse: The Wild Book, this is our poetry contribution, and while coming from the US, it also makes mention of Cuba. Here is the link: http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/margarita-engle-the-wild-book/

  39. patientdreamer Says:

    Oops I suddenly remembered I was surpose to send a link here for my books that I have read… okay here is my latest one. Its written and published only about 10minutes away from me here in my hometown and it about a bird we find everywhere… enjoy….
    You will notice it’s also attached to my PPBF challenge also.

    Here is also another one which I loved and although it was written here it is about a Polish family.

    My third book is this lovely one set in Venice… enjoy

    Hope you don’t mind I posted the three together.

  40. Patricia TIlton Says:

    Hi Marjori. Here is the link to a YA book, “Saraswati’s Way,” I reviewed about a boy in India. It is for age 10-14, so I was on the fence as to whether or not it could be consdered MG/YA. It’s unique because it is written by Monika Schroder, who has lived and taught elementary school in India for 7 years. There are a many Hindu words used throughout. She also exposes the reader to Hinduism, and an ancient Vedic math, that the boy learns. I found it a realistic portrayal. http://childrensbooksheal.com/2012/04/30/saraswatis-way/

  41. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hi there Marjorie, here is our 4th book for the Reading Challenge: Tall Story by Candy Gourlay. :)

  42. Patricia TIlton Says:

    Hi Marjorie. Here is another entry for the Reading Challenge: “Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth” by Joan Schoettler.
    http://childrensbooksheal.com/2012/06/04/good-fortune-in-a-wrapping-cloth/ Beautiful book about an ancient Korean art form. Korean words included.

  43. Patricia TIlton Says:

    Hello again. Have another powerful book that was released May 2012, “Never Fall Down,” by Patricia McCormick. It is a powerful YA novel about Arn Chorn-Pond and his ability to survive the Khmer Rouge from 1975-79 and the Killing Fields of Cambodia. A book all should read.


  44. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Our 5th book for the challenge is a powerful picture book from Australia: The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. One of the new treasures I discovered this year. Definitely a must-read. Here it is: http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/the-rabbits-by-john-marsden-and-shaun-tan/

  45. Sue Says:

    Well, more than half the year is over, but I just found you. Guess I will be more than ready next year. So far, I have read and reviewed Un Livre: Press Here by Herve Tullet. This is a French origination and is brilliant. Simple, engrossing, and brilliant.

    Here’s my review: http://kid-lit-reviews.com/2012/04/24/un-livre-press-here-by-herve-tullet/

  46. Marjorie Says:

    Sue, welcome to the Challenge – I’m glad you found us and it’s defintiely not too late to join.

  47. Simran Says:

    Hi Marjorie,
    I know its pretty late in the year but we (my son and I) have been reading a lot of books this year and so would really like to join.
    We did it last year too but could not complete it. I realized now that reviews are not a necessity so that makes it easier for me coz I tend to procrastinate on that.
    Here is us starting the challenge – http://chipsnchutzpah.wordpress.com/2012-papertigers-reading-the-world-challenge/
    Will update the books read soon.

  48. Marjorie Says:

    It’s great to have you join us, Simran and N – happy reading :-)

  49. Simran Says:

    Here is an update of what we have read this year, looks like we are almost done with the challenge, but will aim for some more :)

  50. Marjorie Says:

    Wow, Simran, you and N have certainly been busy!

  51. Patricia TIlton Says:

    I reviewed a middle grade 2012 fiction novel, “The White Zone,” by Carolyn Marsden. The story occurs after the fall of Baghdad in 2008 when the country is in turmoil. Two male cousins, one is Sunni and the other is half Sunni and Shiite, have to come to terms with their relationship while the country has turned on itself. A very important story about the real victims of war.


  52. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Oopsie, I forgot to include my link for our 6th book in this Reading Challenge:
    The Librarian of Basra from Iraq, graphic novel/picture book, nonfiction. Here is the link: http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/its-monday-what-are-you-reading-and-nonfiction-monday-2/

    I’ve also just posted our 7th book for the reading challenge. The Book that was Handed Down by Yixian Quek from Singapore! :) picture book/fiction/from a place where I live :)

    Here’s the link: http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/monday-reading-a-spread-of-picture-books-on-books/

  53. Simran Says:

    We are done with the challenge for this year :) We as in me and my 4 year old!! Loved doing it and looking forward to next year’s!! :)

  54. Patricia Tilton Says:

    Here are two more picture book entries for 2012.

    My New Granny (translated from French to English about aging grandparents and dementia) http://childrensbooksheal.com/2012/11/28/my-new-granny/

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind http://childrensbooksheal.com/2012/12/14/the-boy-who-harnessed-the-wind/

    Happy New Year,

    Patricia Tilton