Read Around the World: Children’s Reading Challenge

We are so excited to invite you and your kids to join our children’s reading challenge – Read Around the World. Following the popularity of our Book Voyage reading challenge for adults, we’ve designed our Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge with kids and families in mind!

Read Around the World Challenge for Kids –
How It Works

Read a Book From Each Continent

This summer, give kids a virtual passport and encourage them to travel to all seven continents through the pages of books!

For each continent, you’ll find links to recommended book lists later in this post.

From the Amazon rainforest to the savannas of Africa, and from the Great Wall of China to the outback of Australia, we know your kids will love exploring the world while learning about geography and other cultures. Reading around the world is not only a fun summer adventure – it will also keep your kids’ reading skills sharp and help prevent the dreaded summer slide!

Sign Up to Receive a Free Printable World Map Coloring Page

The Read Around the World Summer challenge is completely free, and it’s as simple as reading seven books throughout the summer set on each of the seven different continents. But we suspect your kids won’t want to stop there. Once they start reading about other countries and cultures, they are likely to have lots of questions, and the best way to answer those questions is with more books. And that’s what raising a reader is all about!

Download our free, hand-illustrated printable world map coloring page by adding your email address in the teal box below this paragraph. The map has space around the edges for your kids to record the titles of the books they read as they travel the world.

Read Around the World Book Lists
for Kids & Tweens

The lists of kids’ books for each continent are divided into sections, including picture books or younger children, early chapter books for new readers, and middle-grade books for more advanced readers. You’ll also find recommended age ranges for every book at the end of each book description.

Tips for Picking Books Your Kids Will Love

This reading challenge is easy to customize to your kid’s personal interests. If you have a kiddo who loves sports, for example, encourage them to read books about different sports or athletic competitions around the world; or for an animal-loving kiddo, explore the different animals that are unique to each continent.

Young readers who like books in a series may gravitate toward options like The Magic Treehouse or Greetings from Around the World because both series include books set all across the globe. Older kids and tweens might enjoy reading biographies of influential people from various countries, and the Who Is / Who Was series is a good starting point. Our recommended book lists for each continent include all of these, and much, much more.

We encourage you to start by browsing your kiddo’s bookshelf with them to look for their own books that might fit the challenge, and your local library is, of course, another great resource if you need a new book!

Corner bookshelf in kids' room with books organized by color

Summer Reading –
How to Avoid the Summer Slide

Summer reading is so important to help kids avoid the summer slide. What is the summer slide, you ask? According to research, kids who don’t read enough enter the next school year at a lower reading level than when they completed the prior grade in the spring.

There is compelling data that suggests that reading even 20 minutes a day not only prevents the summer slide, it also helps kids grow academically. And reading together is also shown to strengthen family relationships!

If you have a reluctant reader, it can be extra challenging to get them to read during the summer when they are away from school. On the other hand, if you have a voracious young reader, they can get bored quickly during the summer months. We’ve designed the Read Around the World summer reading challenge to keep both groups of kids excited about books all summer long!

We hope your whole family enjoys this challenge! Happy reading!


Comments on: Read Around the World: Children's Reading Challenge

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  1. Deanna wetzel says:

    My daughter does not like to read so doing these challenges is exciting for me to help her fall in love with books

    1. Melissa George says:

      That is so great to hear, Deanna! We hope she’ll fall head over heels and develop a lifelong passion for books!

  2. Kathryn LaPointe says:

    Thank you for all of this inspired work! I need your guidance with my reluctant (I’m being generous) granddaughters. I’m buying the tote, markers, and hope to buddy-read and celebrate “words of the world” with them this Summer.

    1. Melissa George says:

      We hope the totes help inspire their curiosity and desire to read about the different regions! Our best tip is to match the books to their interests as much as possible to get them started. For example, animal lovers might start with penguin, koala, and kangaroo books. Mysteries are often a hit for reluctant readers as well. Depending on their age range, Magic Tree House books are real winners for a wide variety of kids. Good luck and happy reading!

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  4. How do I print the map in one piece? We’re super excited to start this challenge but the link in the email doesn’t provide an easily printable file so my printer wants to print it in pieces. How do I correct this?

    1. Angela Rathbun says:

      The map that you received in the email is formatted to print on a standard letter size piece of paper. If you are having trouble getting it to print, check to make sure that your print settings are set to “landscape” orientation (not portrait). Also make sure that you’ve selected the “fit to page” option in the print settings. Let us know if you’re still having trouble!

  5. Can’t wait to start the Summer Kids Challenge. When can we see the first book lists?

    1. Melissa George says:

      We’ll be publishing them over the next couple weeks as we finish them, with the goal for the lists for all 7 continents to be available around the first week of June.