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5 Top Summer Reading Programs

There is nothing better in the summer than reading a good book. Wanting my children to be avid readers, I tried to set a good example for them. Every summer when I was homeschooling my children, the summer time meant no more textbooks. Summer fun included fun reading. It was the best time to grow a love of reading because with summer reading programs they got to pick their favorite books to read.

That meant that summer was a busy time at our local library. We went often to turn in books and check out new ones. I always made a big deal about signing up for the summer reading program. There was a big push at the library for signing up and there were prizes and fun every time that we went. Earning rewards for reading was also a wonderful incentive!

There are many summer reading programs and clubs to participate in. Often, children will be able to earn a reward, such as a free book. This is a great tool to keep your child’s eye on the prize. Making reading rewards exciting does much to build the worth of books in your child’s mind. Love of reading definitely starts at home.

Here are my 5 favorite Summer Reading programs:

Local Library

Some libraries may still be closed to the public, so you will have to check with your local branch. Libraries are the best because they are free. There’s a never-ending supply of books and the entire family can enjoy finding a great read for the summer. Summer programs include kick-off parties and reward parties at the end of summer. Rewards might be as simple as a book mark, little toys, or a book bag. Check this free resource out and enjoy!

Barnes & Noble

For grades 1-6, the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program, offers a free book. Children must read 8 books and complete a Reading Journal. Then, they can select a free book from their summer list. The 8 books can be found at home, in the library, or any bookstore.

summer reading


Scholastic Summer Read-A-Palooza wants to make reading fun, and they have set up the summer reading program digitally. This is a great idea during the pandemic, as many children can’t access their local libraries. The program is called Scholastic Home Base, which is a digital destination filled with free full books, live events, and games to encourage lots of summer reading.

Books A Million

Books A Million offers a Summer Reading Adventure that is similar to Barnes and Noble. Children read 4 books and fill out their reading log. When they bring the reading log back into the store, they will be rewarded with a free Dog Man logo baseball cap.


Summer Reading Challenge is a reading program that works through the Amazon Stores. Children are challenged to read 8 books and keep track of them. When they bring their list into the store by September 2 they’ll receive a Certificate and a $1 off their next book purchase.

However you choose to promote reading this summer, I hope you’ll encourage your child or grandchild to read to their heart’s content.

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Lisa Ehrman

Lisa has been blogging since 2013, and loves sharing resources and ideas for living a simple life. To get free printables, bonus words, and more - sign up for the newsletter.


Tami Vollenweider · July 15, 2020 at 3:38 pm

I knew about the local library having a summer reading program,but didn’t know of the others you mentioned. My grand son is 6 and loves to read,he even has done it a couple of times on social media. Thanks for the info and I’ll let his mom know of these sites doing this!

    Lisa Ehrman · July 15, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    I’m glad to help you find these places. I love little children reading and getting excited to read.

Brandon Sparks · July 31, 2020 at 7:57 am

Thanks so much for this great info. It sure helps..

Calvin · August 1, 2020 at 4:05 pm

These are great! Fun learning starts with good programs

Sandy Pincombe · August 17, 2020 at 3:44 pm

I loved having my kids participate in any reading program I could find when they were growing up. Since I was an avid reader I wanted them to learn to enjoy all genres of books. They were all brought up the same and given the same opportunities to enjoy reading. My oldest son and daughter love to read and were honor students in high school with top scores on their college ACT/SAT exams. My other two boys weren’t into reading and their grades were okay but not honors. I still think it was due to their love of reading.

    Lisa Ehrman · August 17, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    I think you’re right. Research seems to support that, too πŸ™‚

monique s · August 20, 2020 at 6:06 am

Love to keep the kids reading for learning and creative thought

Dorothy Boucher · October 9, 2020 at 11:45 pm

These are really awesome! I didn’t even know they have a challenge for children on the reading through these sites, will have to check them out, My grandchildren love reading.

Debbie P · October 20, 2020 at 10:14 pm

I will hang on to this for next summer. It’s always a good idea to see what the local library has planned.

megan allen · October 31, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Reading is so important for learning! Thank you!

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