AR Challenge

When I was teaching fifth grade one of my groups of students decided I needed an AR goal. (AR for those not in the know is the Accelerated Reader program by Renaissance Learning). I always set goals for my students using this program. I often took quizzes on books that I read to show them that I was keeping up on my reading too! They told me I needed to read different books like I had been telling them… I was stuck in a fantasy/ Mark Twain Nominee rut and didn’t realize it until my students pointed it out to me!

So they said I need to start with quiz #1 (each book title in the program is assigned a number) and just start reading. I like the challenge it would allow me to read some books that I wouldn’t otherwise read. I would also feel what it was like for students that sometimes had to read outside their comfort level. I believe the challenge was issued in January of the school year … I got pretty far. I read the first 8 in the AR program… and I was pleasantly surprised by some… and I really felt the frustration of reading a book that wasn’t my style!

I have CERTAINLY fell behind on this challenge and would really like to pick it back up… perhaps reading two books each school year from the AR challenge. I am going to put the list of books that I have read down below and try to do a blog or page about each one as I finish! More than five years have passed since I started this so I might be a little rusty and need to reread or browse some from the beginning of the list. I will link each book as I am finished… and type the title (unlinked) when I have started a new book!

What reading challenge have you committed to before? How successful were you?

*** Update: As I typed my list below I realized that I am not really sure where I left off because some of the books I had read before starting the challenge and there are a couple I am not sure if I have read… so I will be putting a SPLIT in my list… at the place I KNOW I left off by not writing little blurbs for the book until I have read them for this challenge. I know for sure I read Caddie Woodlawn… I know I have read Call it Courage at some point in my Elementary perhaps Middle School career… but I am REALLY stumped on Carry On, Mr. Bowditch… I will have to start reading that one and see if it rings a bell! : ) I feel like I read Centerburg Tales… and don’t think that would have been a personal pick. I also have my doubts about Daniel Boone … I thought I had read The Door in the Wall and can’t imagine wanting to read it unless it was for this challenge… so… it looks like I need to catch up starting at number 15 or 16 on the list below. I can tell you know I will need a copy of The Cricket in Times SquareDaniel Boone, and The Door in the Wall… I am pretty sure I don’t own them.

****Update #2: I will be starting with Call it Courage… by means of an audio book!

Book Read/Started

*As of right now I am only going to included little blurbs about the books or what I thought… it will take me some time to write a blog or page about each book.

  1. Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray – 6.5 / 9 pts
    • I have to say I was not very excited about this first on the list… but was pleasantly surprised
  2. All-Of-a-Kind-Family  by Sydney Taylor – 4.9 / 5 pts
    • This was CERTAINLY a pleasant surprise. I love this story about this family with five little girls living in NYC in the early 1900s. I really look forward to reading the others in the series!
  3. Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates – 6.5 / 5 pts
    • This was a good read… but it is a SLOW read… I don’t see many elementary kids picking it up and finishing it. If you have any fans of historical fiction they might enjoy it.
  4. And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold – 4.8 / 8 pts
    • I took FOREVER starting this book… it was certainly a victim of its old cover! This coming of age story Miguel’s family has a tradition of going on a yearly sheep drive up the mountain and he finally gets to go! I think this is a great story for any kiddo struggling to find themselves!
  5. “B” is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood – 4.3 / 2 pts
    • OH MY GOODNESS! LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! This reminded me of a Ramona or perhaps Junie B. Jones type book… but the setting in time was older… and I LOVED it. Again I look forward to reading more in the series. Much like Junie B… Betsy is worried about school… but thanks to new friends and great teachers… things turn out… with a couple of bumps along the way!
  6. Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten – 4.9 / 6 pts
    • My excitement about starting this book did not last while reading it. I think I am a victim of loving the Disney movie too much!
  7. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace – 4.0 / 3 pts
    • This book came out in the 1940s… but it is a tale of friendship that holds true! I enjoyed seeing the friendship grow between the two sweet characters… another series I can’t wait to read another … I hope soon!
  8. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – 7.7 / 11pts
    • I surprised many people when I said I was reading this for the first time as an adult. As I child I wasn’t really a horse person so I never wanted to pick them up. I will say I read the book quickly because I just HAD to know what would happen to this wonderful horse.
  9. Blue Willow by Doris Gates – 6.5 / 6 pts
    • This book is a Newberry Honor book and I loved it. I loved the relationship between Janey and her teacher. Janey is so used to moving due to her father being an itinerant worker but craves a more permanent lifestyle.
  10. The Borrowers by Mary Norton – 5.3 / 5pts
    • I so enjoyed reading this that I actually started sharing it with my class as a read aloud. I was constantly having them draw what the Borrowers home and rooms looked like and they really enjoyed it.
  11. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson – 4.6 / 5 pts
    • So… this is another classic I had managed not to read in my school years. I had always nodded along with people talking about the book and shocked a few teachers and students when I admitted I was reading it for the first time!
  12. Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry – 5.6 / 7 pts
    • Such a neat story. It is a bit of a slow read… but I stuck with it because I NEEDED to know what happened to Brighty after each of his adventures.
  13. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare – 5 / 10 pts
    • I ended up borrowing this from the public library… they even had to borrow it from another branch. This book is a Newbery Medal winner. I enjoyed how Daniel met and was part of Jesus’ life. I can think of many kids that would enjoy reading about Jesus… outside of the bible.
  14. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink – 6 / 8 pts
    • Yep… another classic that I didn’t read until I was an adult! I am surprised I didn’t read it sooner I was a huge fan of the Little House series… so one would think I would have read this too… alas… not teacher or librarian thought to recommend it!
  15.  Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry – 6.2 / 3 pts
    • Looks like I will be picking up my challenge here… as I read the summary for this book I realized I don’t think I really have read it! I think with the popularity of the movie Moana right now many young readers would find this interesting.
    • Started 7/8/17 (audio tape)
  16. Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham – 4.1 / 8 pts
  17. The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth – 5.9 / 2 pts
  18. Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price by Robert McCloskey – 6 / 5pts
  19. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White – 4.4 / 5 pts
  20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – 4.8 / 5 pts
  21. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh – 3.9 / 1 pt
  22. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden – 4.9 / 4 pts
  23. Daniel Boone by James Daugherty – 7.7 / 4 pts
  24. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary – 4.9 / 3pts
  25. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli – 6.2 / 4 pts
  26. Eddie and Gardenia by Carolyn Haywood – 3.8 / 3 pts