Teen Summer Reading Challenge

Welcome to the Teen Summer Reading Challenge home page!  This is where you will find all sorts of lists for the library summer challenge for teens.  Book lists, event lists, prize lists, challenge lists, suggestions and tips for completing challenges, and more.

The Teen Library Challenge isn’t just about reading.  Try something new this summer and spark a reaction.  Sparking a reaction can be about going out into the world and creating a change that you want to see, or it can be about finding out something new that sparks a reaction inside yourself.  Get rewarded for reading, watching movies, playing video games, and more.  Look below for different challenges.  Every challenge you complete earns you tickets to drop on raffle prizes like gift cards, art supplies, movie passes, robotics kits, tools, and more.  Once you complete a challenge, bring proof of it to any of our branches to exchange for tickets, and drop them into the raffle baskets of your choice.  Winners will be announced at our summer reading finale in August.

For books, write a short (1 paragraph) review of something you read, or have a conversation about the book with a librarian.  For movies, shows, or museums, bring us a ticket stub, brochure, or short (1 paragraph) write-up.  Librarians will keep track of your progress each time you come in to redeem challenges for tickets, so there’s no reading log to lose.  Click below for a printable brochure.

Teen Summer Brochure 2014


Spark BookYou can read a magazine article, comic book*, or blog post for 1 ticket, any book you want and get 2 raffle tickets, but reading anything from any one of these lists gets you 3 tickets, which means three chances to win any of our great prizes!  This category is unlimited, which means that you can read as many books as you want and continue to redeem them all summer long for raffle tickets.
* = a comic book for 1 ticket means a floppy comic, or, a single issue of a series; a comic series that is collected and bound into graphic novel format counts as a book for 2 tickets.

Angelina’s Picks:

Nutmeg Middle School 2014 Nominees

Nutmeg Middle School 2015 Nominees

Nutmeg High School 2014 Nominees

Nutmeg High School 2015 Nominees

Nutmeg Middle School Winners

Nutmeg High School Winners

Spark A Reaction Teen Book List

Governor’s Reading Challenge (High School)

Governor’s Reading Challenge (Middle School)

Book from a Connecticut Author (click here for books our library owns)

Your School’s or Teacher’s Reading List (see your school’s website or contact your teacher for these lists; please bring list with you to the library when redeeming reading for tickets)



Bee SparkYou can complete any of these three challenges, up to 5 times, and redeem them for tickets.  This means that if you watch five movies based on books, and redeem them for 5 tickets, and then you go to a show, you’ve already used up your five redemptions for this category and you cannot redeem it for 3 tickets.  The tougher challenges have better rewards, so choose your challenges wisely.

Movies Based on Books – 1 raffle ticket each.  There are some great ideas for what movie based on a book to see on the TeenReads Books On Screen blog, though any movie that is adapted from a book will do.

Any documentary – 2 raffle tickets each.

Live Shows – 3 raffle tickets each.  You can see any live show (theater, music, sports, etc.), but you might want to check out The Daily Nutmeg’s weekly events calendar or The Arts Council of Greater New Haven.



discoverDo any of these challenges to redeem for tickets up to 5 times.  This means that if you take a selfie at each of our five branches, and redeem them for 5 tickets, and then you go to a museum, you’ve already used up your five redemptions for this category and you cannot redeem it for 3 tickets.  The tougher challenges have better rewards, so choose your challenges wisely.

Take a picture or selfie in any of our branches and tag @nhfpl on Instagram.  1 raffle ticket.

You can find lots of ideas for science experiments to try at the library.  Show us a video of you doing the experiment for 2 raffle tickets.

You can check out museum passes for free with your library card or go to any of New Haven’s fine free museums (click and scroll to see list) to complete a discover challenge.  Right now, there’s a beautiful free exhibit at the Knights of Columbus Museum, so check it out!  This one is worth 3 raffle tickets, plus 1 extra if you interview a museum employee about the exhibits.



Imaginator BannerThis category has a limit of 10, meaning you can submit original work up to 10 times for raffle tickets.

Bring in your own original artwork, writing, video, dance routine, song, etc. to the library and get 3 tickets for it.  Plus 1 bonus ticket if your work is Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math related.

If you’re having trouble getting started, come to our Musical Inspiration Writing Workshop on Thursday, June 19th, at the Ives Main library in the teen area from 4-5 PM, or come to our Blackout Book Page Poetry on Saturday, June 28th from 2-4PM at Stetson Branch.  You’ll get credit for coming to the event, and if you submit whatever you create there, you’ll be able to get tickets for that too!  Win-win!



GearsThis category has a limit of 10.  You can go to as many activities at the library as you want, but you can only redeem them for tickets 10 times.  Try to mix it up between weekly clubs and special events.  All teen library events are free with no registration required unless otherwise noted.

Go to any teen event at the library = 2 tickets

Here’s our summer schedule for teens:

Teen Kickoff Party—Saturday, June 14th, 2-4 PM @ Ives Main. Free book and backpack for signing up. Plus watch a real hypnotist and mentalist in action and enjoy free snacks!
Musical Inspiration Writing Workshop—Thursday, June 19th, 4-5 PM @ Ives Main. Draw inspiration from creating and listening to music and then transform it into creative writing.
Juggling Performance & Workshop— Saturday, June 21st, 2-4 PM @ Ives Main. Free Performance @ 2. Ticketed Workshop @ 3. After a free show, learn ball basics and move onto clubs and passing patterns. Workshop space is limited! Call (203) 946-8129 to register.
Tie-Dye & World Cup Party—Monday, June 23rd, 6-8 PM @ Mitchell. Make a cool tie-dyed T-shirt, watch a world-cup soccer game, and enjoy a free snack. Please bring your own white shirt to dye.
Blackout Book Page Poetry—Saturday, June 28th, 2-4 PM @ Stetson. Create poetry art from old books.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards Tournament—Tuesday, July 1st, 3:30-8 PM @ Ives Main (lower level program room). Free to play competition. Sign up at the event to win Yu-Gi-Oh! card packs and other great prizes!

Computer Autopsy—Wednesday, July 16th, 2-4 PM @ Wilson. Take apart a computer and make cool stuff from its parts!
Constellation Clothing
—Friday, July 18th, 2-5 PM @ Stetson. Create your own version of the night sky on a T-shirt to take home.
Game TimeTuesday, July 29th, 6:30-8 PM @ Wilson, Thursday, July 31st, 5-7 PM @ Fair Haven, & Friday, August 1st, 2-4 PM @ Stetson. Come play Xbox Kinect and Wii with your friends!
Henna Party
—Thursday, August 7th, 5-6:30 PM @ Fair Haven. Get a unique henna temporary tattoo for free! Completely safe, natural, and non-allergenic body art.
Skateboarding Summer Club—Mondays, 3-5 PM @ Stetson. Come to our free weekly skateboarding club while the weather’s nice. Beginner to advanced. Please bring a parent to sign a permission form the first time you come.
Teen Summer Finale—Friday, August 22, 1-3 PM @ Ives Main (lower level program room). The moment you’ve been waiting for all summer is here—raffle prize drawings, free food, and more!
Teen Finale

We also have weekly clubs that meet throughout the year, which will continue to meet over the summer:

Mondays @ Main:  Informal Sign Language Club – Teen area – 3:30-4:30PM  – Have you ever wanted to learn sign language but have no one to practice with? Join us! This is not a formal class, but a casual weekly gathering of people who are interested in learning, teaching, or practicing sign language. We are all learning and growing together, and all levels of experience are welcome. Free. Ages 13 and up.  (month of June only)
Tuesdays @ Main:  Teen Gaming Club – 3:30-5:00 PM – Children’s Program Room – Every Tuesday in the second floor program room at Ives Main branch, play games on Wii or Xbox Kinect. Board and card games are also available, and people are encouraged to bring their own games to share.
Wednesdays @ Wilson:  Teen Anime & Manga Club w/CT Otaku Society – 3:00-5:00 PM – Community Room – Join the Connecticut Otaku Society for Anime & Manga club at Wilson branch every Wednesday from 3-5PM. Watch and discuss anime, learn more about Japanese culture, and meet other like-minded people to collaborate on things like cosplay, conventions, and more. 303 Washington Ave.
Thursdays @ Main:  High School Writing Club – 4:00-5:00PM - Teen area — Short stories, poetry, non-fiction, your first novel…share it all with other high school writers just like you and get valuable feedback!



IvyThis category has a limit of 5, meaning that you can show us five different days of volunteering at someplace besides the library and redeem them for tickets.

Volunteer or do a good deed and show us a photo or write-up (1 paragraph) or letter from your supervisor to redeem for 2 tickets.  (Please note that volunteering at the library this summer will not be counted towards tickets, though you are still welcome to do so.)

There are lots of places in New Haven looking for teen volunteers.  Try LEAP, New Haven Reads, your local place of worship, food banks, United Way, Yale New Haven Hospital, or Volunteer Match.

You could also donate toiletries to the homeless.  The Youth Services Department will be serving the homeless on the New Haven Green from June 30th-July 3rd. They are soliciting toiletries for the homeless.  They would greatly appreciate it if you can donate a few items.  If you are able to do so, please contact them at yaw3@newhavenct.net or at 203-946-7582.



Everybody gets a free book and drawstring backpack just for signing up!

Teen Summer Reading Challenge Raffle Prizes (Winners picked at finale on Aug 22):
~$30 Barnes & Noble gift card
~$15 Hull’s Art Supply gift certificate (two chances)
~$10 Wal-Mart gift card
~$5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card (three chances)
~Comic book pack – includes 5 graphic novels from Alternate Universe Comics, each a collection of a popular comic book hero arc, such as Spiderman, Deadpool, and more.  (two chances)
~Art supply pack and free month of private weekly art lessons:  Art supply pack is a charcoal pad and assorted charcoal pencils, colored pencils, and other art tools; Lessons provided by a New Haven Public Schools Art Teacher after school, scheduled at student & teacher’s convenience.
~Foodie bundle – includes:  Edible chemistry kit, Manga cookbook
~Media Madness – includes:  Vibroy portable vibration speaker, How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity
~Shakespeare Swag – includes: Shakespeare Insult Generator Book, To Be or Not To Be: A Choosable-Path Shakespeare Adventure
~Gamer Gear – includes: Game Console & Electronics Refurbishing Kit
~Inventor kit – includes: Makey Makey circuitry set
~Builder kit – includes: Foldable whiteboard, Kelvin.23 All In One Tool, Practical Duct Tape Projects
~Survival kit – includes: The Zombie Survival Guide, KeyTool Keyring Multi-tool, Fiendish Japanese Pocket Puzzle
~Secret knowledge pack – includes: Book of Secrets, Pocket Ref, 4th edition, The Sherlock Holmes School of Self-Defence Book, Fiendish Japanese Pocket Puzzle
~Mad Scientist kit – includes: Pocket Microscope, Small Tomes of Immense Learning, Fiendish Japanese Pocket Puzzle, Digital Protractor
~Crafter/Tinkerer kit – includes: Beginner Solder Kit, DIY Print Fabric with Lights Kit, Fiendish Japanese Pocket Puzzle
~Batman Vault: Museum in a Book
~Sol Sport Solar Charging Kit For Mobile Devices
~Rock Climbing Lessons – Pass to City Climb which is good for either an introduction to climbing for four people or a belay lesson for two people (value must be used in a single visit, reservations required)