2020 Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids

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Want to keep your kids reading over the summer? How about joining a free summer reading program or two!? My kids loved the free books so we used to do more than one program. I especially recommend programs that reward with BOOKS not food.

But first, you might want to know about these Imagination Soup resources:



Summer Reading free printable for kids

*FREE Summer Reading Printable Packet

Ready for the 2020 list of programs?

Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids

Plan for a summer reading program (or two) because it helps motivate kids with reading incentives as well as provides accountability. Here are all your options:

1. Your Public Library
Make this your first stop for summer reading. Most public libraries will be kicking their summer reading program off soon. Head down and get signed up. They will often have the chance to get free books or prizes. Plus, many local libraries will have story times and other activities during their summer reading program.

2. Scholastic Read-a-Palooza
Read-a-Palooza kicks off Scholastic’s free 18-week program. Log on to the website to record your minutes and do activities.


Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids
3. Barnes and Noble
Download and print a Reading Journal. Read eight books and record them in the journal. Once it’s complete, take your journal to your local Barnes and Noble and get a free books. It couldn’t be easier.  You can also find a printable parent’s guide with tips and fun literacy activities.

4. Amazon Summer Reading Challenge
This is a pretty lame reading challenge if you ask me– read 8 books, get a $1 coupon.

Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids
5. Half-Price Books Feed Your Brain
Read for at least 15 minutes each day. Download their free reading log to record your minutes. Once you’ve read 300 minutes, you can turn your completed log into your local HPB store and earn $5 Half-Price Books Bucks. You can also find tips and printable books lists.

Lifeway Summer R.E.A.D. 
Download the journal and bookmark. Lear about the quest and get recommended books. Visit the LifeWay stores at the end of the summer to select your prize– one of six books and a free Bible.

free summer reading programs for kids
7. Chuck E. Cheese’s
This reading reward calendar earns tokens to Chuck E. Cheeses.


Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids
8. KCEdventures Genre Challenge for Summer Reading
Challenge your kids to explore new areas of the library. KCEdventures has created a bingo-style printable that covers 15 different genres. Try to read at least one book from each and record them on the sheet.

9. Sync Summer Audiobook Program for Teens 
Kids ages 13+ can win audiobooks by participating in this program that uses the OverDrive app. Don’t rule out audiobooks, they count as real reading!


Encourage your child to read this summer by participating in one of these programs. They may want to participate in a huge national program or maybe the local library summer reading program is more their speed. Maybe an individual challenge will motivate them the most.

For more help with reading comprehension, visit this post.

Summer Reading Lists by Grade Level:

Picture Book List for Pre-Readers

1st Grade Reading List (age 6 – 7)

2nd Grade Reading List (age 7 – 8)

3rd Grade Reading List (age 8 – 9)

4th Grade Reading List (age 9 – 10)

5th Grade Reading List (age 10 – 11)

6th Grade Reading List (age 11 – 12)

7th Grade Reading List (age 12 – 13)

8th Grade and High School Grade Reading List (age 13 and up)

free printables for summer reading and learning
Download these printables for summer learning here.

More Book Recommendations

If your child loves Junie B. Jones, try these books.

Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

If your child is a new reader, start with my favorite easy chapter books.

If your kids love Harry Potter, here are 26 books they’ll also like.

Adventure Books for Kids

Fantasy Books for Kids

Funny Books for Kids

Historical Fiction Books for Kids

Mystery Books for Kids

Nonfiction Books for Kids

Science Fiction Books for Kids

2020 summer reading programs

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7 Responses

  1. Kelly Gorton says:

    I am a special education teacher with several grade levels. I would love to send Summer Reading Lists home. I was able to print 2nd and 3rd grade but not 4th and 5th grade. Could you please send me the information for 4th and 5th grade summer reading lists?
    Thank you!

  2. Love these reading program suggestions! Just what I was looking for!

  3. Jacquie Fisher says:

    Thanks for sharing the genre reading game with all these amazing summer reading programs!

  4. A better than the average summer reading program is available at Redeemedreader dot com. The theme is time travel, there are two lists one for the kiddos and their families (perfect for read aloud) and a second list for teens. Contests and a devotional!

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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