The 2021 Reading Challenge encourages you to read books from different categories.

Each month has a challenge that is wrapped up the last Tuesday of each month with a show-and-tell-style book discussion. Choose whatever format you like — paper, e-book or audiobook.

Monthly topics

Read a book …

January: … set in a different country
February: … written by a young author (under 30)
March: … in the fantasy or science fiction genre written by a woman of color
April: … with an animal as the main character
May: … that is a classic or a retelling of a classic work
June: … by an LGBTQ author or about an LGBTQ character
July: … by an author of color
August: … that has won an award
September: … that has been banned or challenged
October: … that is Own Voice (a book written by a member of the marginalized community from which it depicts)
November: … that was translated from another language
December: … that has positive representation of differently-abled individuals

Here a few suggestions of books that met the category requirements. If you would like more ideas, email [email protected], call 785-825-4624, ext. 234, or use the website’s chat tool.


“Little Family” by Ishmael Beah
“A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah
“The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival” (Young Adult title) by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess
“Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo
“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa
“A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
“Once Upon a River” by Diane Setterfield
“The Summer Book” by Tove Jansson
“1Q84” by Haruki Murakami
“The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso
“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
“The Stranger” by Albert Camus
“White Chrysanthemum” by Mary Lynn Bracht
“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee
“The Island of Sea Women” by Lisa See

Youth Titles (Middle Grade)

“A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park
“Never Forgotten” by Patricia McKissack
“Bronze and Sunflower” by Cao Wenxuan
“The Night Diary” by Veera Hiranandani
“The War That Saved My Life” and “The War I Finally Won” by Kimberly Bradley
“Akissi: Tales of Mischief” (Graphic Novel) by Marguerite Abouet & Mathieu Sapin

Like Prizes?

Each month, participants will have a chance to win a $10 Chamber gift card. To enter, attend the Reading Challenge book discussion or complete a review in the library’s catalog of the book you read for the month’s theme. Mention “Reading Challenge” as part of your review. Watch below to see how:

At the end of the year, a winner will be chosen from all participants for a chance at a grand prize gift basket.

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