11 Summer Reading Programs for Free Stuff

summer reading programs

My daughter just started to get into reading. I was an avid child reader (and now a writer), so I have had a hard time not pushing my interests onto her during homeschooling.

“What do you mean you don’t really like reading?”

(shrug) “I just … don’t …”

And then my head exploded in confusion.

OK. It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the picture.

I think what finally worked for us was the transition book. She really enjoys art and creating, so introducing her to formats like comic chapter books and graphic novels (like this and this) helped pique her interest. After that, she started naturally choosing longer (and thicker!) chapter books. (She’s also really into this series by Thornton W. Burgess originally published in the early 1900s that I never would’ve picked for her, but hey, if it works!)

Because of the lack of interest, she’s never participated in the summer reading programs. So, her mind was totally blown when we were in Barnes and Noble recently and an employee handed her a summer form.

“Wait. I can get free stuff … just for reading … stuff that I pick out?”

And, she was hooked.

After that, I started to notice it wasn’t just the bookstores who had summer reading programs. I started to see them pop up in unique places (like from the company that provides our online Bible course). So, I decided to put together a list of summer reading programs. Maybe it will help you and your (non) readers, too!

2017 Summer Reading Programs for Kids

Your Local Library

The reading program that is most popular is probably the one from your local library. They often give away prizes for time spent reading or for number of books read.

To find libraries in your state, check out PublicLibraries.com.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble has a summer reading program for grades 1-6 that allows your child to pick a free book from a predetermined list of books once they have completed the program. You can visit the store or print the Reading Journal from home.

DUE DATE: September 5, 2017


Scholastic.com has a summer reading challenge where kids can log their minutes reading online, unlock badges and rewards, and enter to win Klutz books.

DUE DATE: September 8, 2017


Half Priced Books

Half Priced Books has their “Feed Your Brain” Summer Reading Program where kids log their reading time and can trade in their log for “bookworm bucks” to use toward the purchase of items in the store.

You can download the log from home or pick it up in the store.

DUE DATE: Claim Bookworm Bucks before August 31, 2017

Veritas Press

Veritas Press has a summer reading contest categorized by grade level, with a specific number (and type) of book that must be read for each grade level. If you are in the first 250 to complete the readings (and submit them online), you will receive a $10 gift certificate. All submissions will be entered into a prize drawing for $150,  $100, and $70.

DUE DATE: September 15, 2017

Book Adventure

BookAdventure.com is an online program that encourages kids to read by taking online quizzes about the books. Kids earn points online and then can redeem them for fun things.

DUE DATE: Ongoing program 

Chuck E. Cheese Rewards

Chuck E. Cheese has a rewards program where you can download a calendar and mark off the days your child completes the item (like chores and reading). You can then redeem the calendar at a local Chuck E. Cheese for prizes.

Reading Reward Calendar

All Calendars

DUE DATE: Turn in calendars by December 31, 2017


The Books a Million Summer Reading Challenge involves reading four books from their summer reading challenge list. Then, you receive a free Maze Runner series water bottle.

You can download the reading journal online.

DUE DATE: Unclear


Sync is a summer reading program that provides free audiobooks for teens ages 13 and up. The program provides two new audiobooks each week for download.

DUE DATE: Unclear when the program ends or if it is ongoing


LifeWay is a Christian retailer that is providing a free book and a free Bible when your child reads (and logs) six books as well as memorizing six Bible verses.

Download the reading log journal online (which is also a cool activity pack).

DUE DATE: August 31, 2017

Showcase Cinemas

If  you live in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Ohio, then you may be familiar with Showcase Cinemas. Participating locations offer Bookworm Wednesdays where kids get free admission to a children’s movie when they present a book report to the box office.

DUE DATE: Summer months


Did we miss a program? Leave it in the comments so we can check it out!


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