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7 Programs to Help Your Kids Score FREE Books & Prizes This Summer

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When I was 10, I won our local newspaper's contest for reading the most books in one summer. From what I recall, my prize was going down to the newspaper's headquarters, meeting some executives, and getting my picture in the paper.

Thankfully, today's reading programs have way better prizes! Your kids can win free books, prizes, tokens, gift cards, and more!

Read on to choose the summer reading program that best suits your child's interests!

1. We Give Books

We Give Books is an amazing nationwide nonprofit organization that provides digital and hardcopy books to kids. Your child can read books online and access free educator resources to enhance the reading experience.

2. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

This summer's theme is "Imagination's Destination." The program remains the same as in past years. Kids read 8 books, recording each book in the B&N Reading Journal. Then just take a trip to your local B&N store with your child—and be sure to bring their Reading Journal list. Your child can then choose their free book.

3. Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

  • Website:
  • Dates: May 4 – September 4, 2015 (Registration opens April 6).
  • Details: Kids earn badges and prizes and are entered into sweepstakes for recording online the number of minutes they've read.

This summer's theme is "Power Up & Read." Scholastic rewards kids for reading with badges, prizes, and contests. There are 12 featured titles and optional learning games and activities.

4. Sylvan's Book Adventure Program

Sylvan's Book Adventure Program works on a point system. Each book from the Sylvan summer reading list includes a quiz. When kids take the quizzes, they earn points. The more answers they get right, the more points they accrue. They can then redeem these points at the local library for fun prizes—items like candy, temporary tattoos, free books, CDs, and magazines.

5. Chuck E. Cheese’s Summer Reading Program

Kids are rewarded for reading each day for two full weeks (parents decide how long the child must read) by receiving 10 Chuck E. Cheese’s tokens. You will need to print out the calendar and bring it to Chuck E. Cheese’s and make a food purchase in order for your child to get their 10 free tokens. Once your child has finished one two-week calendar, they can begin a new one and earn 10 more free tokens!

6. Collaborative Summer Library Program

Your child can use the resources for this program at home, but many libraries around the country also participate in the CSLP curricula for kids, teens, and adults. The Teaching Books website has a multitude of free multimedia resources for each featured book on the summer reading list, including interviews with the authors, audio and video book talks and book trailers, discussion questions, activity guides, interviews, and much more.

7. Half Price Books "Feed Your Brain" Summer Reading Program

Now there is even another reason to love Half Price Books! Their amazing summer reading program rewards kids for reading 15 minutes each day. Kids keep a log of their progress, and when they hit 300 points, you can take a trip to Half Price books with the log (initialed by you) and redeem it for a $5 gift card and a chance to win a $20 gift card.


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