Monthly Book Award Reading Challenge [February Check-In]

Welcome to the Februaryy 2020 check-in for the Book Awards Reading Challenge. This month’s task is to read a book (or books) that WON an award in FEBRUARY. Then link up to where you posted about it in the comments, on our Goodreads GXO Reading Challenge group or on Instagram using the hashtag #GXOAwardReadingChallenge.

[February Check-In]

The American Library Association Awards (including the Youth Media Awards) were announced in February 2018 – many years, they are announced in January … so be careful which year you choose books from! One of the winners for that year – for the Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the U.S., – was The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas, narrated by Bahni Turpin. I listened to the audiobook and agree – it is an absolutely fantastic representation of a wonderful book.

The Hate U Give (Book)

Bahni Turpin is one of my favorite audiobook narrators with works like On the Come Up, Angie Thomas; Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot; The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead and The Help, Kathryn Stockett … just to name a few of the audiobooks I’ve listened to that are narrated by her.

Another set of awards presented in February are the PEN America Literary Awards. I’ve only read a few books that have won this award, most recently, Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, which won the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award in 2019. The award is given “to the author of a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, and that has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.”

Black Gods Drums and Friday Black (Books)

Friday Black is a short book of short stories that “tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world.” I thought the collection was a bit uneven – my reading notes on Goodreads say … the book started out with The Finnkelstein, a story that slapped you in the face! I didn’t know how to feel, it was tragic, gruesome and weird. But then it was followed by a story, Things My Mother Said, that’s like 2 pages long that didn’t really say much. And that’s how this book was for me – up and down – with some stories holding my attention more than the others. But, this is clearly a gifted writer, and I look forward to reading a novel from Adjei-Brenyah.


  • Your task is to read at least 1 book that has WON a book award presented in the month (any year)
  • Post about what you’ve read anywhere online – your blog, in Goodreads GXO Reading Challenge group and / or social media using the hashtag #GXOAwardReadingChallenge
  • Come back to our check-in here in the comments leave a link and/or tell us which book(s) you read, the award and year it won.

And don’t forget to update your 2020 reading challenges tracker … so what are you reading this month?!


// Comments //

  1. I read a memoir by Hope Jahren. Her book, the Lab Girl won the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books
    In 2017. This book was an enjoyable mix of sciences and human interest. The relationship Hope has with her lab partner Bill is quite quirky and is fun to watch grow. She does a wonderful job of detailing aspects or her research and plants/trees in general. I can recommend this book to anyone who is interested I learning more about the green life around us as well as those curious about the life of research scientists

  2. Heather Kochan

    Feb 26

    The book I read for this month’s challenge was Young Jane Young which won the Southern Book Award in February.

    • Tanya Patrice

      Mar 01

      @Heather you made this book sound awesome!

  3. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh [2018 Southern Book Prize–Children’s/Juvenile]

    • Tanya Patrice

      Mar 01

      @Bev I read Flame in the Most previously, and had similar thoughts to you. It’s OK … but could have been better.