Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year: 2014 Endings and 2015 Beginnings

Yes, it's that time again, time to take stock and see where I've been and where I'm going.

Reading Challenges:
When I first started blogging over at The Children's War, it was June 2010 and reading challenges were in full swing.  But they sounded like fun and I couldn't wait for 2011 so I could participate in reading challenges, too.  Well, it turns out that I am not such a good challengee.  So I cut down on the number of challenges I joined in 2012, and again in 2013.  Still not such a good challengee, I cut down again in 2014.  And I finally almost met all my challenges.


In the #summerthrowdown Year 3,hosted by @BrianWyzlic @HeiseReads @LibraryFanatic and @thebrainlair, I said I would read 18 books in 31 days.  I actually read 23 books in 31 days, five more than I had pledged.  Not bad!

I read lots of nonfiction picture books this year, but when I decided to participate in the Nonfiction Picture Book Reading Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy, I left the number of books unspecified, but I did list 8.  I probably did better than 8, but forgot to list them.

For the Newbery Reading Challenge hosted by Smiling Shelves, I really have to hang my head in shame.  I know I read Newbery winners, I just forgot to list them…all.


I really enjoyed reading more nonfiction books than I usually do, so I have decided to again participate in the Kid Lit Frenzy's Nonfiction Picture Book Reading Challenge.  Thank you, Alyson, for hosting this again.

And yes, I am going back for another go at the Smiling Shelves Newbery Reading Challenge.  I will try to do better in 2015, and thank you, Julie, for hosting this challenge again.

In 2014, I did a little retro reading of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett prior to reading A Year in the Secret Garden by Valerie Budayr.  I really enjoyed that, and have decided to make Retro Randomly Reading a regular feature on Randomly Reading.

Because I'm on a book committee, I read a lot of books for young readers.  So, in 2014, I also started to do a Saturday Roundup of books that I have read, but not reviewed.  This proved to be a very successful feature and I will be doing it again in 2015.

2014 is the year when the importance of diverse books really came to the fore.  Many of us have been introduced to experiences different from our own and are all the better for it.  Thank you to the late
Walter Dean Myers for asking the question Where are the People of Color in Children's Books? in his Opinion essay in the March 15, 2014 New York Times.  Sadly, WDM passed away shortly after this was published, but WOW, what he started…

Thank you, Ellen Oh, Malinda Lo and Aisha Saeed for taking up WDM's challenge and starting the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and setting the children's book world (readers, bloggers, publishers and everyone else) on their toes and changing the way we think about books for young readers.

2014 has been a great year, and I'm really looking forward to 2015.

Wishing Everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!


  1. And to you! 2014 was such a great year for new books, and so exciting to try to imagine what the new year brings!

    1. Thanks, Susan. I always enjoy reading your posts, too.


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