kids to read this summer doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. From suggested
titles to free movies (if you get enough stickers, of course), here’s a round-up
of our favorite summer readings programs to provoke and inspire your kids to open a book. —
Double-Dog Dare Challenge: Borders bookstores (RIP) are daring kids 12 and under to read
this summer by challenging them to read any 10 books they choose. All they have
to do is fill out the downloadable form stating
which 10 books they’ve read and Borders will give them a free book from a list
Noble Summer Reading Imagination’s Destination Program: Barnes & Noble is making summer
reading as easy as one, two, three. Kids can read any 8 books and record them
in their Reading
Journal. Once they’ve read their books and filled out the journal, kids can
redeem the completed journal for a free book from B&N’s list. Finally, parents
can download activities and tips in the store’s activity kits.
NYPL’s Summer Reading Program: By registering online, kids can
create avatars, share their favorite books, movies, music, and video games, and
review others’ suggestions. Bookworms can even earn cool Summer Reading Badges!
H.E. Buddy Summer
Reading Club: Participants
read 10 books and fill out a form which a parent must initial. Tots who are too
young to read on their own may be read to by an adult. Mail in the form and in
about 3 to 4 weeks the child will receive a free tee. (Can anybody say, it’s t-shirt time?)
Scholastic’s Summer Challenge: Scholastic’s exciting reading
program allows kids to record their reading minutes in a virtual log. Then they
can enter to win sweepstakes and digital prizes. Plus, kiddies will be helping
to shatter the world record for number of summer reading minutes (currently
39,418,605). Think you can help smash it? Let’s find out!
Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge: Pottery Barn Kids will give children a free book once
they’ve read all the books on one of PBK’s recommended reading lists. These
lists feature Caldecott Medal winners such as Make Way for Ducklings and Where
the Wild Things Are. Kids can join select Pottery Kids stores for weekly storytimes
or read independently in the comfort of their own (perhaps PBK-designed) home.
PBS KIDS Summer
Community Challenge: This program from PBS KIDS Raising Readers is a free six-week reading venture
that sends daily activity-based emails designed to inspire and build essential literary
skills. They’ll also send you book suggestions and advice from Challenge Coach,
Angela C. Santomero, Creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer of the hit PBS
KIDS show “Super Why!” and Nick Jr.’s “Blues Clues.”
Wednesdays: On Wednesdays
(through August 10) at select National Amusements theaters, kids can catch a
free flick! By completing a book report entry form, children can watch films
like, Shrek Forever After, How To Train Your Dragon, and Megamind. If this deal doesn’t get kids
to read, we don’t know what will.
TD Bank’s Summer Reading Program:
Want to earn a
little cash while turning pages? TD Bank customers can have their children read
10 books and complete a Summer Reading form. Next, mosey on over to the nearest
TD Bank, hand over the form and $10 will be deposited into a new or current Young
Saver Account. Now that’s what we call smart savings!
Times Second Annual Summer Reading Contest for Students: This contest was so popular last
year that The New York Times decided to bring it back. Students are invited to tell
the newspaper what interested them the most in the Times that week (an article, an essay, a photo, a feature, etc.)
and the winner(s) will be featured in a special post. Alert: this contest may
have your teens trying to steal your morning paper. (But hey, we can think of
worse things in life.)
New York State
Library Reading List: Compiled by the New York State Library, and in conjunction with the New
York Library Association’s Youth Services and School Library Media, this list features
books for kids of all ages. With categories such as Picture Books, Elementary,
Tween, and Teens and up—any reader will find magic amidst the pages.
Summer Reading List: The New York Public Library has a lengthy summer reading list for bookish
babies as well as 6th graders. Titles include: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle, The
True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, and The Thief Lord by Julia Alvarez.
The Horn Book Summer
Reading List: The
Horn Book, which has reviewed children’s books for the past 80 years, has put
out their 2011 Summer Reading List. This list includes picture books and selections
for younger readers as well as lit for high school students.
Reading is only one cool way to perk up the brain during the lazy summer months. For other ideas, check out our article on battling summer brain drain.