Set Sail With the YA Buccaneers Summer Reading Challenge

Summer is here! Warm weather is in the air, cute boys are playing soccer (ahem) and the beaches are officially open for lounging. You all worked your butts off with us in Bootcamp, so now it's time to reward yourself.

Lie down poolside (or lawnside, or beachside) and crack open a good book in honor of our Summer Reading Challenge!

WHAT IS THE SUMMER READING CHALLENGE?

Reading recharges your batteries for writing. The more you read (and the more variety of books you read), the better your writing will become, simply by learning the tricks of the trade, all the various ways to tell a story, set a scene, express a mood. I'm a firm believer in the power of the subconscious -- you may be reading and having fun and relaxing, but your subconscious is collecting inspiration like a solar battery, soaking all those words in.

Reading outside the genre you normally read and write in can also spark new ideas, and expand your perspectives. That's why we wanted to issue this challenge!

Below is our Reading Challenge Bingo Board (TM), graciously provided by Lady Byrd Bonebreaker, alias Sara Biren). To play the reading challenge, check off as many squares as you can! Some books can count for multiple squares, too -- like if there's a memoir that's been on your to-read list for a long time, or if you have an old favorite with summer in the title (such as The Long Summer, if you're a Harriet the Spy fan).

WHEN IS IT?

The Reading Challenge starts today, June 17th, and runs all summer until August 31st. Plenty of time to speed-read your whole list!

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?

Just sign up in the comments below and let us know which books are first up on your to-read lists! We'll have Friday check-ins throughout the summer where you can share your reading progress, rave about the books you loved, and tell us about which ones you're excited to start reading. Who doesn't love a good discussion about a great book?

WHERE'S THE BOOTY?

You know us Buccaneers would never issue a challenge without a treasure chest to be won at the end (in addition to the treasure of winnowing down your gigantic to-read list, of course). We'll be announcing fabulous prizes for the Reading Challenge in July, so stay tuned for our next update in a couple weeks for more details!

In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Time to get reading! Oh, and don't forget the tall glass of lemonade to accompany that breezy novel.