Reading Challenges

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Baby Book Bees

For kids under age 1.

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1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Help prepare kids for kindergarten.

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Caudill, Bluestem, and Monarch Challenges

Designed to promote life-long readers, and each challenge is tailored for specific grade levels.

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Other Challenges

Learn more about our summer and winter challenges.

bookbeesBaby Book Bees

Sponsored by the Lawrence Family, Baby Book Bees is our latest initiative meant to encourage parents to start reading to their children from day one. Even though babies can’t read yet, their brains are constantly absorbing new information through what they see and hear. By reading to your baby, you are exposing them to new words every day.

There are many ways for a baby to interact with a book, all of which are beneficial . . . looking at the pictures, grasping the book in their hands, turning the pages - even putting the book in their mouth! These are all ways for babies to learn what books are, how they work, and to develop positive associations with reading.

Baby Book Bees is the first step in your child’s journey to read 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. If that sounds like a lot, let’s break it down. If you read just one book a day, you will have read 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years, and 1,095 in three years. By the time your children reach kindergarten, they will have established strong early literacy skills.

1000bookswebnobg1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is funded in part by the Darien Rotary Club. We encourage all families and caregivers to read 1,000 books with their children before they enter kindergarten to help ensure their child has the necessary early literacy skills to succeed.

Need help with the program? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Check out our winners on the 1,000 Books "Wall of Fame."

Book Logs: 1-100 | 101 - 200201 - 300 |  301 - 400 | 401 - 500 | 501 - 600 | 601 - 700 | 701 - 800 | 801 - 900 | 901 - 1000


reading challenges logosCaudill, Bluestem, and Monarch Challenges

Keep your children's learning going just by reading!

The Rebecca Caudill, Bluestem, and Monarch award books are designed to promote life-long readers, and each challenge is tailored for specific grade levels. We have challenges designed around the award books, and kids can earn a certificate and a free book just for reading!

Which challenge is right for your child?

Rebecca Caudill books are for grades 4-8.

Bluestem books are designed for students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles.

The Monarch encourages children grades K-3 to read critically and become familiar with children's books, authors, and illustrators.

To get started, download and print the form at home . . . and start reading. Read the books digitally though MediaLibrary/Libby/Overdrive with your IPPL card.

Rebecca Caudill

Once you complete the challenge as outlined in the form, simply take a picture of the form with your phone, and email it to Mid-Kids Librarian Monica D. at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have any questions, email Monica.


summerchallengeOther Challenges

We have summer challenges for everyone, and this year, we are excited to offer an all-online experience. Our summer challenge has prizes! Prizes vary by age level, and include books and gift cards to local businesses and organizations like Brookfield Zoo, DuPage Children’s Museum, Zazzo’s Pizza, and Barbara’s Bookstore. Summer Challenge prizes are generously supported by the IPPL Foundation & Friends.

Find out more here.

Our Winter Challenge is typically held December-February. Check back for more information.