Summer, oh glorious summer! While school might be out, reading can always be in. I’ve yet to meet a teacher that didn’t encourage kids to read over summer break. It helps them improve their language skills, increase their knowledge set, and reinforce what they’ve learned during the past school year. It is an abnormal summer with camps and activities being canceled due to COVID-19, so fill the time by reading! Whether your child is listening to you read to them, reading on their own, or following along to an audiobook – it counts!

Keep your kids engaged and motivated to read this summer with these free reading programs.

Barnes & Noble
Summer Reading Giveaway
The Barnes & Noble summer reading program rewards your child for reading with a free book.  Students in grades 1-6 can earn a free book by reading eight books this summer. After reading a book, students are asked to write a sentence or two about their favorite part of the book in the summer reading journal. When the journal is completed, you can turn it in to B&N between 7/1/20-8/31/20. There is a list of books that students can pick out for free!

Book It
Camp BOOK IT!Are you old enough to remember the BOOK IT! reading program? The one where you were rewarded with a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut? And who could forgot that gigantic button (well, it seemed gigantic when I was a kid) with stickers to track milestones? The brand new summer program is called Camp BOOK IT!, and you can complete it digitally. You create a family account and track the minutes your child has read. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut!

Chuck E. Cheese
Reading Rewards Calendar
Chuck E. Cheese has come up with a free and fun way to motivate your kids. Kids can earn 10 Play Points if they complete two weeks’ worth of reading or assigned household chore.  Check out the website for other award certificates you can print out. These range from sports accomplishments to tooth fairy awards. You can use the Play Points towards games, food, and more!

Half Price Books
Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program
Fill out the weekly reading log and share it by tagging @halfpricebooks and #FeedYourBrain for a chance to win weekly prizes!  The program runs June and July. The website below has book recommendations, as well as printable activity sheets. If you check in with Half Price Books during the summer, you’ll find virtual storytimes, tips, and reading recommendations.

Hennepin County Library
Virtual Book Clubs for 2nd – 6th gradersHennepin County Library is offering virtual book clubs during the summer. Kids join other similarly aged peers to discuss a great book! These virtual book clubs are geared toward those entering 2nd – 6th grades. Readers must register for the session they are interested in, download a digital version of the chosen book, or choose curbside pickup. Dates start June 23, and run through August. Register soon! Hosted by different Hennepin County libraries.

Carver County Library
Summer Reading ProgramCarver County Library has a lot planned for this summer! There’s something from birth to age 18. The program runs June 1 – August 15.

Beanstack Account
You will want to register for a free Beanstack account through the library system. Beanstack is a platform used to help create, manage, and measure reading challenges. Through Beanstack, your child will be able to participate in different activities. You can also opt to participate using printed sheets. Complete 5 activities and win a book! Some of the activities include: Read outside, create a new recipe, write a letter, go on a nature walk, and other fun suggestions. In addition, for every book review completed online (or on a Read, Write, Draw form) kids will receive tickets they can redeem to be entered into a drawing for Barnes and Noble gift cards or additional books.

Access Beanstack:

Printed sheets for kids and teens can be found at:

Virtual Book Buddies
Kids ages 7-10 can join this Zoom virtual book club. They will listen to part of a story, play a game, and enjoy reading all summer. Sign up is required for each session, so hurry. There is one session each month in June, July, and August. Books can be picked up at the library, and you get to keep them!

Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading Program
Kids who are looking for a good challenge should check out the Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading Program. Once completed, readers earn a Mensa for Kids t-shirt and award certificate. To participate in the program, readers must select from the appropriate reading list posted on the website. Readers must read every book on the list! Adults can read the book aloud, or listening to an audio version is acceptable as well. Once the list is completed, mail it, and the t-shirt order form to Mensa.
This year- round challenge is open to any reader under 18 years of age, regardless of Mensa affiliation.

Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza
This is a nationwide campaign aimed at making reading fun while improving access to books for all. Through the Scholastic Home Base website, kids will find full books, live events and games. Kids will be encouraged to track their reading streaks™ to earn rewards and unlock book donations, with the goal of donating 100,000 books by July! The more they read, the more books get donated!

You will need to create an account at Scholastic’s Home Base site to participate:

Happy Summer Reading!!

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Carolyn Wieland

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2 thoughts on “Free Summer Reading Programs For All Ages!

    1. Hi Farrah, thank you for reading the post! I don’t run any of these programs, but just put them together as a resource for families this summer.

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