A reading challenge for kids bracket style!
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Tournament of Books Reading Challenge

Do you love basketball's March Madness and reading? Why not join the two with a Tournament of Books Reading Challenge!

My kids and I love basketball. With March Madness just around the corner, we’ve been feverishly working this week to get caught up on all our school work so we can join in the watching frenzy that starts next week.

As we talked about our brackets, who we think will win this year, and all the good food we plan to eat with Grammy and Papa (we stay at their house for the first rounds!), we started getting really excited.

On the heels of that conversation, my oldest requested a new reading challenge.

He loves to read, and he especially loves having a book list to keep track of what he’s reading. He’s that kid that finishes the summer reading challenge in a single week.

Anyway, all of these conversations were taking place when my brain latched onto an idea. What if we made a reading challenge bracket style?

Of course the next thing I did was hit Pinterest and the rest of the world wide web to see if anyone else had the same idea. I found plenty of schools and libraries across the country creating their own tournament of books, but nothing we could join in ourselves.

However, I did glean some insight into how to host our on Tournament of Books Reading Challenge! And that’s what I want to share with you today because I would love for you and your children to join us.

A reading challenge for kids bracket style!


Intentional By Grace Tournament of Books Reading Challenge

What is it?

A reading challenge for kids bracket style!


  • To have fun reading together!
  • To build community around good books!
  • To get new book recommendations!

Who can participate?

EVERYONE! There will be a picture book bracket for the youngest among us and a chapter book bracket for older children.

When will it happen?

During basketball’s March Madness season!

Though I have to say, this challenge is in no way endorsed, promoted, or sanctioned by the NCAA and any of it’s other massive list of trademarked terms…but you knew that already. 🙂 

Do you love basketball's March Madness and reading? Why not join the two with a Tournament of Books Reading Challenge!


What do participating families need to do?

1. Sign up for the challenge. To do this, simply fill out this form. This will allow us to stay in touch via email, and get all the needed information from you and to you.

In addition, you will get a link to our private Facebook group where you can join in the fun there as well (this part will be optional, but recommended, of course!).

2. Submit nominations for the Tournament of Books Reading Challenge. After signing up, each child will need to submit his or her nominations for favorite picture book and favorite chapter book. The link to the nomination form will be found in your inbox when you sign up. Nominations are due by Saturday, March 10th at noon.

3. Print the Tournament of Books Reading Challenge Bracket. There will be two separate brackets – one for picture books and one for chapter books. The Tournament of Books Reading Challenge Brackets will be released on Sunday, March 11th by 3pm EST. To download the brackets, pop your email address in here and we’ll send it right over along with all the additional information.

4. Each participating child will fill out his or her bracket. Children are welcome to take part in one or both challenges. They will need to fill out their brackets, choosing which book will win each face off (just like your basketball brackets 🙂 )

Do you love basketball's March Madness and reading? Why not join the two with a Tournament of Books Reading Challenge!

Then, it will be voting time!

To determine which books will advance to the final championship, each child will need to cast his or her vote for Round 1 by Friday, March 23rd at noon, Round 2 by Sunday, March 25th at noon, and Round 3 by Sunday, April 1st at noon.

The only requirement is that the child must have read each of the books to vote. If there is a book he or she has not read, a vote for that face off cannot be cast. He or she is welcome to vote only on the books actually read.

My kids and I will then tally the scores and announce the winners of each round in the Facebook group LIVE during each corresponding game day of the basketball tournament (usually the following day after votes are cast).

We will also send out an email to those not participating via Facebook.

What is the “prize”?

Now this is the super fun part. No challenge is complete with a sweet prize!

At the end of the challenge, we will choose two winners (one from each bracket). Each winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card to spend on a book of his or her choice to add to his or her home library!

How will we choose the winners? 

When you sign up for the challenge, your name will be added to the giveaway. This will be considered your “Free Entry.”

Then, each time you turn in a completed ballot (one with all the fields voted on because you read all the books!), your name will be added to the final drawing. This means you can increase your chances of winning the giveaway with each round you complete. There are a maximum of 4 extra entries per person.

So even if your child hasn’t read all the books by the time the tournament starts, they still have a chance to catch up as the tournament progresses to earn extra entries for the final giveaway!

A reading challenge for kids bracket style!

What do you think? Do you want to join the fun?

I know this was a lot of information, so I’m going to simplify this for you.

Click here to sign up for the challenge, from that point on what you need to do next will land magically in your inbox. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve already been sharing this reading challenge with my friends and family (so feel free to do the same!). Because of that we’ve already had questions popping up that I want to answer here.

What if my child is too young to read? Can we still participate?

Absolutely! Reading the books aloud to your children is completely acceptable. This goes for both the picture book bracket and the chapter book bracket.

Does my child have to actually read all the books, or can we use audiobooks?

Audiobooks are my best friend when it comes to books and my children. Well, that and my library card. But to answer the question, it is perfectly acceptable to use audiobooks for the challenge. This is great for families of multiple children doing the challenge – reading aloud or listening to the audio version can be a sweet time together.

Will this take a lot of time to do? I’m already pretty maxed out with other responsibilities.

For the most part, this challenge is for your kids. They are the ones reading (if they are old enough). You will just need to make sure they have access to all 16 books in the challenge. Then help them cast their votes on time.

What kind of books will be on the bracket?

That is to be determined! We are taking nominations right now, and those nominations will be used to create the bracket. It is my goal to have a healthy mix of classics and new books.

If my child has already read a book, do they have to read it again?

Nope. Hopefully, your child will have read a few of the books already! But we hope, too, you will add some new books to your favorites list based on what other families are loving right now.

As questions arise, I will add them here, so feel free to use the comment section below to ask any other questions you may have.

Are you signed up yet?

Alright, I think that’s about all I can say for now. I hope you’ll join us!!

Click here to sign up and get your nominations in for the books that will be part of our challenge!

The bracket will be released on Sunday, March 11th! I can’t wait!

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