Read books in January, earn prizes from San Diego Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge

San Diego Public Library's Winter Reading Challenge for all ages runs Jan. 1-31, 2020.
(Courtesy Image)

Love participating in your library’s summer reading program? The San Diego Public Library is offering a new winter version that is only available in January 2020.

“Litera-SEA” is the theme for the inaugural Winter Reading Challenge, with prizes and reading suggestions for all ages having a maritime and ocean theme. Of course, participants are welcome to read anything to qualify for prizes.

The winter version started on New Year’s Day and closes Jan. 31, 2020, so the library system is only requiring those who register to read (or have read to them) five books or for five hours. The prize package, available while supplies last, features a SDPL pencil case, pass for two to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and a free Subway kids meal (for kids up to age 11) or a free Subway 6-inch sub (for ages 12 through adult).

To participate, you need to register at

For details, you can visit the city’s Central Library or any San Diego Public Library branch, including La Jolla Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.

As for those sea-themed book suggestions on the library’s website, they include:

Baby and toddler water transportation picture and board books such as “This Boat” by Paul Collicutt, “Boats Float” by Rebecca Stromstad Glaser and “Boats! Boats! Boats!” by Joann Cleland.

Preschool and early elementary water transportation picture books such as “The Wreck of the Zephyr” by Chris Van Allsburg, “Shiver Me Letters” by June Sobel and “Little Bear’s Little Boat” by Eve Bunting.

Upper elementary and middle grade fiction stories about sea exploration such as “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, “Mystery of Crocodile Island” (a Nancy Drew book) by Carolyn Keene and “The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912” by Lauren Tarshis. Suggestions for nonfiction books about sea travel include “You Wouldn’t Want to Sail With Christopher Columbus!” by Fiona Macdonald and “How They Got Over: African Americans and the Call of the Sea” by Eloise Greenfield.

Young adult sea travel novels geared toward teens include “The Ship of the Dead” by Rick Riordan, “The Girl From Everywhere” by Heidi Heilig and “Escape by Sea” by L. S. Lawrence.

Adult sea travel novel suggestions include “Mr. Midshipman Hornblower” by C.S. Forester, “The Collector of Lost Things” by Jeremy Page and “The Ghost of Mary Celeste” by Valerie Martin.

• Suggested nonfiction books on sea travel and exploration for teens and adults include “Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations” by William H. McRaven, “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick and “Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia” by Christina Thompson.

Questions? Contact La Jolla Library at 7555 Draper Ave., (858) 552-1657, and visit San Diego Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge website: