My family has been participating in the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program for six years now, but the program has been going on for a lot longer—18 years! With the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program, my children can spend the warm, summer afternoons lost in reading adventures—and earn a reward for doing it!

Who can participate

Any child in first through six grade can sign up for the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program.

How to get started

Visit your local Barnes & Noble store to pick up your child’s Imagination’s Destination Reading Journal. Find the store closest to you here. You can also visit the Barnes & Noble website to download and print a copy of the journal. After you fill out your child's information on the journal's first page (easy stuff like your child's age, school, parent's name, etc.) you're ready to get started!

Start reading

Have your child read any book (whatever book they want!) and record the title of the book and the author's name in their reading journal. Don't forget to have your child write down why or why not they recommend the book. This was my daughter's favorite part—she loved giving long reviews!

Turn your journal in

Once your child reads at least eight books, simply bring their reading journal into any Barnes & Noble store. You must return reading journals by September 2, 2014 in order to qualify for a free gift.

Choose your reward

When you turn in a completed reading journal, your child can pick a free book from Barnes & Nobles’ Summer Reading book list. Books to choose from include Pete at the Beach, Sideways Stories from Wayside School and the How to Train Your Dragon series. For a complete list of books, check here. Your child can only earn one book during the length of the program, but my kids are always thrilled nonetheless.

Additional benefits

You can also download a free reading kit that helps you and your child pick books they’ll actually enjoy. The kit includes fun activities to help your kids use their imagination to create their own stories and ideas. Barnes & Noble also offers story times and events for kids to encourage and stimulate an interest in reading. Check with your local store for more details.