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Penn Valley - Read Harder Challenge: Home

This guide contains information about Penn Valley Library's 2020 Read Harder Challenge

2021 Read Harder Challenge

Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge is back to excite you with new ways to read outside the lines, read differently, and read more. We're excited to bring this challenge to the Penn Valley campus again in 2021 with a twist- we've added 2 bonus tasks just for Penn Valley. There are 26 reading tasks designed to get you out of your reading comfort zone and expand your worldview. Read as much or as little as you'd like, and don't forget books can overlap on reading tasks!

This year we're asking participants to sign up using this form. This will help us stay connected to you! 

 

How to Participate

 

Download a List- Keep track of your reading using this PDF or let us know when you finish a book by using this simple form and we'll keep track for you. 

Read Amazing Books- We've created a list of books we have available at Penn Valley Library. There is a bit of everything- E-Books, E-Audio Books, PV Books, and PV Books on CD! 

Win Prizes- Read as much or as little as you'd like. Once you're finished, email your list to amy.fortner@mcckc.edu and you'll receive a prize! (Prizes are for Penn Valley participants only.)

Book Picks

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Read this book and check off task 17 ( Read an own voices YA book with a Black main character that isn’t about Black pain) and task 22 (Read a book set in the Midwest)! 

Liz Lighty has always believed she's too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it's okay—Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz's plans come crashing down... until she's reminded of her school's scholarship for prom king and queen. There's nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she's willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She's smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams... or make them come true?

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

Read this book and check off task 14 (  Read a realistic YA book not set in the U.S., UK, or Canada) and 17 ( Read an own voices YA book with a Black main character that isn’t about Black pain)! 

After an incident at school, seventeen year-old Alaine is spending spring break in a "volunteer immersion project", toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle and her eagle-eyed mother at a new nonprofit in Haiti. Although it is meant as punishment, Alaine is still able to flirt with Tati's distractingly cute intern, get some actual face time with her mom and experience her family's history in Haiti for the first time. 

Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds by Billy Collins (Editor), David Allen Sibley (Illustrator)

Task 20: Read a book of nature poems

In this beautiful collection of poems and paintings, Billy Collins, former U.S. poet laureate, joins with David Allen Sibley, America's foremost bird illustrator, to celebrate the winged creatures that have inspired so many poets to sing for centuries. From Catullus and Chaucer to Robert Browning and James Wright, poets have long treated birds as powerful metaphors for beauty, escape, transcendence, and divine expression. Here, in this substantial anthology, more than one hundred contemporary and classic poems are paired with close to sixty original, ornithologically precise illustrations. Part poetry collection, part field guide, part art book, Bright Wings presents verbal and visual interpretations of the natural world and reminds us of our intimate connection to the "bright wings" around us. Each in their own way, these poems and pictures honor the enchanting creatures that have been, and continue to be, longtime collaborators with the poet's and painter's art. 

A phoenix first must burn

Task 10: Read an SFF anthology edited by a person of color

Black girls, including gender non-conforming individuals, star in this collection of sixteen stories of fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

From folktales retold to futuristic societies, this collection of stories centers on Black women and gender nonconforming individuals dealing with love and betrayal, strength and resistance. In all of them, the heroines shine brightly-- characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected.

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Task 15: Read a memoir by a Latinx author

Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. In her book, Undocumented America, Cornejo Villavicencio powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. She brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American.