40 Book Challenge

Posted on June 27, 2015


This year, you will be challenged to read 40 books by the end of the year.  These books will be chosen by you and can be from all sorts of different genres.  There are three ways to do this challenge:

  1. Guided Edition – This edition lets you read books from lots of different genres and explore authors and illustrators you may have never heard of. This edition of the challenge has a checklist and categories that you can check off as you read.  This is a good choice if you haven’t read a lot of books before and want to find books that you might like.
  2. Choice Edition – This edition gives you more control over completing the 40-book challenge. If you choose this edition, you will read books from seven different genres, You can then choose 13 chapter books of your choice to finish the challenge.
  3. Freedom Edition – This edition gives you the most control. You get to choose all 40 books and they can be anything you would like.  I do ask that no more than 7 of the books be picture books.

Some Notes about the Challenge:

  • 100 pages is equal to one book. Don’t be afraid to pick a longer book.  For example, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is 309 pages, so this would count as 3 books toward the 40-Book Challenge.
  • Graphic Novels and Manga are allowed, but please limit them to 5 total if doing the Freedom or Choice Editions of the challenge.
  • You can listen to audiobooks IF you have a written copy of the book and you are following along. Listening to an audiobook by itself is not allowed. 😊
  • Reading with your family is encouraged. If you read some of the book and a parent, sibling, grandparent, or anyone else reads some of it to you, it can still count toward your goal.


Tips and Tricks

  • Always carry a book with you. You can get a lot of reading done if you read a little bit at a time. Waiting in line, riding in the car, intermissions at sporting events, down time in class, etc. are all good time sot get a bit or reading in.
  • Join the library’s Book Club. They meet in the mornings and read a lot of books together.  These can count toward your goal.
  • Can’t sleep at night? Try reading for a few minutes.  It will distract you if you are worried about something and will make your eyes tired.
  • Can’t find a book you like? See Mr. Sampsell or Mrs. Clauson.  We are more than happy to help you find a book that fits your interest and is just right for you.
  • Overwhelmed by the challenge? See me after class or at the end of the day and we can work out a plan.

Ready to get started?  Choose an edition and get reading!

Guided Edition

Award Winners

Choose 2 award winning books

  • (John) Newbery Award Winner or Honor
  • (Randolph) Caldecott Medal
  • (Robert F.) Sibert Informational Book Medal


Choose 8 genres and read 1 book from each.

  • Biography/Autobiography
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Fiction/General Fiction
  • Graphic Novels
  • Historical Fiction
  • Horror/Scary Stories/Thriller
  • How-To/Instructional
  • Informational Text/Non-fiction
  • Mystery
  • Picture Books
  • Poetry
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Traditional Literature


Choose 8 authors and read one of their books.

  • Beverly Cleary
  • Judy Blume
  • B. White
  • Roald Dahl
  • L. Stein
  • Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Rick Riordan
  • Tedd Arnold
  • Franklin W. Dixon (pseudonym)
  • Lois Lowry
  • Louis Sachar
  • Charles Ogden
  • Ron Roy
  • K. Rowling
  • J. Palacio
  • Kate DiCamillo
  • Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Dav Pilkey
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Jerry Spinelli
  • L. Frank Baum


Choose 7 illustrators and read a book they illustrated

  • William Steig
  • Eric Carle
  • Mo Willems
  • Seuss
  • Leo and Diane Dillon
  • Maurice Sendak
  • Marc Brown
  • Ezra Jack Keats
  • David Small
  • Barry Moser
  • Toni DiTerlizzi
  • Doris Ettlinger
  • Hilary Price
  • David Diaz
  • Zachary Pullen
  • Scott Fischer
  • Toni dePaola
  • Nonny Hogrogian
  • Leonard Basin
  • Chris Van Allsburg


Choose 5 series and read one book from each chosen series.

  • Goosebumps
  • Fear Street
  • Ramona Quimby
  • Henry Huggins
  • The Shadow Children
  • The Giver Quartet
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Dork Diaries
  • Harry Potter
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians
  • Edgar and Ellen
  • A-Z Mysteries
  • Calendar Mysteries
  • Anastasia Krupnik
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Princess Diaries
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • The Boxcar Children Mysteries
  • The Oz Series


Your Choice

Read 10 chapter books of your choice.

Choice Edition:

To complete the Standard Edition, complete each of the tasks below:

  • 8 Fiction Books
  • 4 Fantasy & Science Fiction Books
  • 2 Mystery, Horror, and Thriller Books
  • 2 Poetry Compilations or Dramas/Plays
  • 7 Informational Texts
  • 2 Picture Books
  • 2 Biography & Autobiography

Freedom Edition:

Read 40 books of your choice.

Please no more than picture books and no more than 5 graphic novels.