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Need Something Fresh to Complete the Summer Reading Challenge? Take a Cue From Our Partners

June 28, 2023

Just 33 Days ‘Til the Challenge Ends

We’re nearly to the halfway mark of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge — and so far, Nashville, you’re blowing us away.

But with time running out to rack up votes for a cause you care about, you might be looking for something new to finish strong — something to read, something non-bookish to check out, or maybe just a cool event to attend.

Check out these Summer Reading Challenge recommendations, inspired by our nonprofit partners for this year’s Challenge.

Little Books for Little Readers

Book’em’s mission to put a book in the hand of every Nashville child is one we deeply appreciate. After all, it’s closely aligned with our own.

When it comes to getting your youngest readers invested in reading, we’ve got something for everyone.

Award-Winning Children’s Books
Every year, the Association for Library Service to Children presents the Caldecott Medal to the very best in children’s books and stories.

And wouldn’t you know it: we’ve got all of the award winners and honorees from the past year!

Check out this recommended reading list to find all of last year’s winners, and share your favorites with your little one.

Library Concierge
When Book’em heads out for a Read Me Day, they always take a big stack of books with them. Why? You guessed it: so the kids can take one home.

And the best part? They get to pick the one they want.

Here at NPL, you and your children can put together a custom stack of books based on the things you love. Library Concierge is our personalized shelf-browsing service where our expert librarians “shop” for you based on your kids’ preferences.

Just fill out the form, give us a little time, and we’ll find your kiddos’ next favorite reads for you.

Book Clubs for Kiddos
Good books; good friends; good times. Who doesn’t love a good book club?

But book clubs aren’t just for teens and adults. We host clubs catered specially for our youngest readers so they can meet kids their age, discover new books geared for their reading level, and have a blast doing it.

Head on over to our events calendar to find a book club for kids meeting at a branch location near you.

Totally Teens

The team at Oasis Center makes it their daily mission to help teens and young people overcome obstacles and become their best selves.

At NPL, we’re also committed to giving teens a space where they can explore who they are and what they love.

For Summer Challenge, we’ve got a wide array of resources to help teens explore the world around them as they rack up coupons, votes, and that all-important grand prize entry.

YA Books for Mental Health
Teenage years are awesome … but also not.

Gaining more independence; balancing new responsibilities with relationships and schoolwork; trying to figure out who and what you want to be … it’s a lot to take in.

We get that, and that’s why we keep a full stack of books about teens and young adults navigating life’s challenges.

Outdoor Fun with the Library of Things
School’s out, the sun is shining, and the lawn is now officially two weeks overdue for mowing.

Yep — it’s definitely summer.

If you’re ready to get outside and enjoy the warmest time of the year, we’ve got something pretty cool to check out. The Library of Things — our collection of common household and other items — includes pickleball sets, croquet sets, tumble towers, and more.

It’s all free, and it’s all available with an NPL card.

Make Your Space with Our Maker Space
Interested in writing and producing your own songs? Learning to 3D print? Making your own movies?

We’ve got something to help with that. It’s called Studio NPL.

This interactive technology space is catered to teens who want to engage with music, video, photography, design, and more, all under the mentorship of a working professional in these fields.

Whether at our Main Library campus or one of our satellite studios, we’ve got plenty of opportunities for you to stretch your creative wings while you learn something new and make something awesome.

Fabulous Finds Featuring Furry Friends

Nashville Humane Association has one simple goal: get shelter pets into loving homes as quickly and safely as possible. And, for nearly 80 years, they’ve succeeded in a big way.

There’s no shortage of animal lovers at NPL, and no shortage of cool things that place a special emphasis on our extended, furry family which you can use to complete this year’s Challenge.

Animals of the South
Tennessee and the Southeastern United States are teeming with many different species of wildlife, from birds to deer to fish. (And snakes … lots and lots of snakes.)

It’s a wild world out there in the animal kingdom, and that’s why we put together a great list of easy books that introduce readers to the fauna in our little corner of the world.

Board Games from the Wild
You may not know it, but it’s no secret: NPL’s got a fine selection of board games to enhance any game night.

And if nature and gaming are your jam, we’ve got quite a few that center on the animal kingdom, including Trekking the National Parks, Wingspan, Cascadia, and more.

Check them out for yourself, and take the opportunity to see the full range of 136 board games we have in stock.

Read to a Furry Friend
We all have to make our reading journey at our own pace. Sometimes, it’s terrifying, especially for kids.

That’s why we came up with a way to help kids boost their confidence in the most tender way possible: by reading to a furry friend.

Through READing Paws, we bring in dogs and their handlers to sit with you and your child while they read to a loving pup who listens patiently while they read — judgment free.

Registration is required, so find a READing Paws event at your preferred branch, and call to reserve your spot.

Wizard avatar


Ed's a proud member of NPL's Marketing and Communications team. Some of his favorite books include Dracula, Once an EagleNeuromancerStarship TroopersThe Black CompanyBerserkBlade of the ImmortalBlame! and Vampire Hunter D. When not at the Library, you'll find him spending time with his wife and son, doing interval training, reading, or waiting for the next FromSoftware game.