Summer Reading & Book Programs for Kids

summer book reading programs kids

This is a picture of Lydia reading The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear to Asa. She has it memorized and loves to “read” it to him. He loves this book and any excuse to be read to! So, they happily sat down this week and Lydia read it to him–complete with sound effects and voices.

When she was finished she said, “Let’s write this down for our BOOK CLUB!” We’re doing the Summer Reading Challenge at our library and she is so excited about it! Lots of companies and libraries challenge kids to read AND give lots of fun prizes. I compiled a list of reading programs and encourage you and your kids to join one this summer!

1. Local Libraries. Our whole state is doing Make a Splash! Read! this summer. If Lydia reads 10 books (or has them read to her) she gets to write her name on a fish paper and put it on the bulletin board at the library. And even though that sounds incredibly lame, she is ECSTATIC about this! If she reads 5 more books she gets a Chick-fil-A coupon and if she reads 5 more her name is entered into a drawing for a big bag of books and a Skippyjon Jones puppet!

2. Barnes & Noble’s Passport to Summer Reading

This one looks so fun! Elementary aged kids download a passport and then complete it by reading 8 books—and noting the books’ locations in the passport! Once they’ve read 8 books and completed the passport, they get their choice of a free book from Barnes & Noble! There are even some downloadable parent-kid activities to go along with it! I so wish Lydia was old enough to do this! (Begins May 25)

3. LifeWay’s Summer Reading Race!

I’m not sure if this one is that great of a deal but it looks kinda fun. You get a “racing card” at any LifeWay store and it acts as a 15% coupon for any book in the children’s section. For every 5 books that you buy and read from LifeWay you get a prize (but it doesn’t say what that is!). They do have a good Reading List that is great for any time! (Begins June 5)

4. Borders’ Double Dog Dare

Kids 12 and under can read 10 books to earn one of ten specially selected free books from Borders Bookstores! There is a downloadable form to fill out and the free book is yours! If we do this one, I’m totally getting Ramona the Brave for Lydia! (Ends 8/26/10)

5. Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

I have to admit, I spent about 20 minutes on this website trying to figure out how this challenge works. The best I can figure is you create an account and log the minutes you spend reading. These minutes will be added up to help break the world record for reading. Not sure how motivating that is but the website is kinda cool and is divided up between older and younger readers.

6. Pizza Hut Book It! Summer Break Reading Challenge Sweeps

Oh, Book It! I loved participating in Book It! as a kid. I still have my old button with all the stickers on it. *sigh* This summer, if your child (K-6) reads 5 books they can be entered to win a prize pack which includes some fun summer gear, $20 and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis (one of my FAVE books!). Plus, after poking around the website, I found lots of good parent reading resources! (June 15-August 15)

7. Here are some more reading programs that aren’t in my area but may be in your neck o’ the woods: Half Price Books ($3 for every week you read 15 minutes or more!), National Amusements (free movies for reading books!), TD Bank ($10 for reading 10 books!)

Do you know of any other Summer Reading programs? Especially one with fun prizes? Share in the comments so we can all join in!


  1. Lydia is reading one of my MOST FAVORITE BOOKS EVER!!

    Great list, thanks for sharing it!
    .-= Kathy Hill´s last blog ..Top Ten Tuesday: Summer and the Senses =-.

  2. Thank you for the reminder! Reading program starts today at our library! YAY…we are so spoiled to have such a wonderful library system! Also, I was excited to find out about the Borders program. Thanks for the link.

  3. Oh Book it! I LOVED Book it. What a great list. I’m going to check out what our library is doing next time we go. I didn’t think that there would be programs for preschoolers but it’s nice to know there are some that could work for us.

  4. I loved Book It! And more importantly, so did my kids…LOL I’ve been keeping a watch on my library’s website, but haven’t seen anything posted yet. I’ll have to check again. Thanks for the list.


  1. […] come out of the woodwork to do fun stuff for kids! Last week I told you about all the fun {free} Summer Reading Programs. Well, today, here are some free and almost free activities that stores, business and companies do […]

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