Library Column for January 12, 2024

@ Your Library

Happy New Year! Join our reading challenge for 2024! We’re calling it the Alphabet challenge and want you to read (or listen to) 26 books this year. The challenge will run from January 3 – December 27, 2024. Read one book for each letter of the alphabet. You can read by title, by author, by topic or a mish-mash of all three or some other configuration that suits your fancy. Fill out our form before the end of December and we’ll give you a certificate for Chamber dollars. Challenge friends and family members to also read the alphabet this year or read 26 books together.

Each month I’ll highlight some titles that might fit into your reading challenge. This month we’ll look at author’s whose last name starts with what we think of as the hard letters ‘jqxz.’ As far as last names go, J isn’t too bad as J.A. Jance, Iris Johansen, Craig Johnson and Robert Jordan are all options. Three authors with several titles that aren’t as popular include Jonas Jonasson and his bestseller The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared or Sarah Jio with Goodnight June an imagined story about how the children’s perennial classic Goodnight Moon might have come to be. Or try regional author Tim Jollymore with Listener in the Snow for an amazing story of Algonquin legend and heartrending strife in the Northen Minnesota snow.

Q also has several authors with Anna Quindlen in Object Lessons and more or Kate Quinn and The Huntress, just one of her World War II tales of intrigue and suspense. X is definitely more of a challenge, but there are ways to work it out by including authors such as Khaled Hosseini whose last name can be transcribed as Xosseini, which makes The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns acceptable titles for the letter X. Also workable would be The Rubaiyat of Omar Xayyam or as we know the author’s name Khayyam.

Z also isn’t too difficult with authors like James W. Ziskin and his Ellie Stone mysteries, Gabrielle Zevin and the delightful The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry or Vicky Zimmerman and Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies.

Kids can take our reading challenge. Here are some authors for authors through the alphabet. Katie Zhao and The Dragon Warrior, Dawn Quigley and her delightful JoJo Makoons series or try the classic They Came from Sweden by Clara Ingram Judson. Most picture books are written at a 3rd-4th grade level and are a wonderful way to encourage kids to read as they can usually be read in 10 – 15 minutes. Don’t rush to get them reading chapter books, there are some amazing books that provide great reads and wonderful openings for conversations. I Miss My Grandpa by Jin Xiaojing, anything by Charlotte Zolotow or Gene Zion, but especially his Harry and the Dirty Dog. My Papa Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero and the wonderful series about problems by Jory John including Penguin Problems.

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