2024 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 participated in more than one program. I especially recommend programs that reward with BOOKS, not food.

free summer reading programs for kids

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







Ready for the 2024 list of summer reading programs?

I will keep updating this list if any new summer reading programs are announced.

2024 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 in May. They will often have the chance to get free books or prizes–even with the strange times in which we live. Hopefully, your local library will be open for storytime and other activities.

2. Scholastic Summer Reading

From April 26 through September 3, visit the Scholastic summer zone for stories, games, and community. Keep track of your books. Read e-books. Meet favorite characters and authors. Print reading achievement reports.

Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids
3. Barnes and Noble
Download and print a Reading Journal. Then, read eight books and record the titles in the printed journal. Once you’ve read the 8 books, take your journal to your local Barnes and Noble to get a free book. 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 program is a pretty lame reading challenge if you ask me– read 7 books and get a certificate and one free book from National Geographic Kids. Still waiting to get the 2022 details…

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 book lists.

Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids
6. 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.

Bookworm Wednesdays at Showcase Cinemas
Participating Multiplex, Cinema de Lux, and Showcase theaters will give kids free admission to a movie when they present a book report.


. 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!

pizza hut book it!

9. Pizza Hut’s Book It Program
Register online for the next school year to earn prizes and pizza for reading.

10. Sonlight Summer Reading Challenge
Try this reading challenge for many different ages and reading levels from the Sonlight homeschool curriculum.

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 programs

Summer Reading Book 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)

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

  3. 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!