Announcing the 2021 Annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge in Partnership with Simon & Schuster

Masthead Waves

Libraries and schools are invited to join the challenge this coming January 2021; Prizes include virtual events with 8 authors.


For the fourth year in a row, Beanstack presents the Annual Winter Reading Challenge. Simon & Schuster’s Books Like Us program will sponsor the challenge, which supports public libraries and school systems throughout the United States. The publisher will award book collections and virtual author visits to the winning libraries and schools.

Winter is for Reading

Beanstack, the software platform from parent company Zoobean, is the number one choice for reading challenges among librarians and readers alike. The web and mobile apps make it easy for administrators to set up and manage challenges, and even easier for readers to log and track their reading.


While Beanstack is popular for Summer Reading programs, the company’s flagship challenge takes place each year in January, coinciding with wintertime in North America. “There’s something so special about Winter Reading. It’s great for all ages and we really see communities come together and join us in achieving these big reading goals,” said Zoobean co-founder Jordan Lloyd Bookey.


“Public and school librarians are always looking for ways to better engage their communities, and Winter Reading is the perfect opportunity.” In past years, libraries that participated in Winter Reading saw a lift in patron engagement continue into spring and summer as well. And for schools, the challenge is a fun way to build a culture of reading and encourage free-choice reading.

Books Like Us

Simon & Schuster’s Books Like Us is a celebration of diversity, harnessing the transformative power of seeing oneself reflected in a book. This Winter, participating communities are invited to explore books from bestselling and acclaimed authors including Cozbi Cabrera, Sharon Draper, Stuart Gibbs, Stephen Graham Jones, Hena Khan, Debbie Ohi, Christina Hammonds Reed and Rebecca Roanhorse. Each author will participate in a virtual event at a library or school that achieves the highest level of participation from their community.


"What better way to start off the new year than by diving into a good book? Simon & Schuster's Books Like Us is delighted to sponsor Winter Reading 2021 which encourages readers of all ages and interests to see themselves in a good story," said Michelle Leo, VP, Director of Education & Library Marketing for Simon & Schuster.


Challenge participants will be able to read any books they like during the challenge, and will be provided with recommendations from Simon & Schuster’s featured authors along the way.

For more information about the 2021 Annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge, including prize details and how to join, visit the challenge website:





Zoobean, Inc. provides a mobile app and other products that help people achieve reading goals by tracking reading and participating in reading challenges. The company’s flagship product, Beanstack, helps public libraries and school districts create, manage, and measure reading challenges. A sister product, Beanbright, offers school buildings a free, streamlined, out-of-the-box version of the reading challenge service. Most recently, the company has introduced Badge Books, which are sticker books that work hand in hand with the free Beanstack mobile app. Zoobean’s investors include Kapor Capital, Mark Cuban, RevUp Capital, the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, and Amazon’s Alexa Fund. Its founders were previously Washington, DC’s teacher of the year and Google’s first head of K-12 education outreach.




Simon & Schuster, a ViacomCBS Company, is a global leader in general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Adams Media, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. For more information visit our website at

Keep up with the latest news and updates from Beanstack