summer reading contests

2016_childrens_poster from Ohio

It’s Memorial Day week-end, the harbinger of full-on summer! Once again, I’m posting a number of programs created to reward kids for reading over these school-vacation months. 

Whether your kids need incentives to read or actually need to come up for air from their books from time to time, it’s always fun to enter free contests and win prizes!


Keep in mind that your local library is almost surely running a program specific to your area, so check with them first. Here in the Twin Cities, that program is Bookawocky, with prizes ranging from books to State Fair tickets, gift cards for stores, movie theaters and cafes, CDs, preschool rhythm instruments — good stuff! Our kids won prizes every year from the library — don’t miss out!

 Scholastic’s annual Summer Reading Challenge got underway a few weeks back and already some 43 million minutes of reading have been logged by participating kids!
Read. Log your minutes on the ever-growing Minute Counter. Win prizes and get entered for a chance to win some awesome gifts from Klutz Press!

Half Price Books’ Feed Your Brain campaign has programs for 8th graders and under, and for high schoolers. The youngers log minutes, the olders write reviews. All are rewarded with Bookworm Bucks. 


Barnes and Noble’s Summer Reading Triatholon starts June 4th. Read, complete your reading log, and choose a free book. Simple and fun!

Sylvan Learning Centers has a Book Adventure program. Books from their lists are read, online quizzes taken, and points accumulated toward prizes ranging from temporary tattoos to 3-month Highlights subscriptions.

Chuck E Cheese includes reading in their rewards calendar program all year long. Check off the boxes for a couple of weeks and bring it in for free tokens.

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Showcase CinemasI think these are up in the Northeastern U.S. — has a Bookworm Wednesday deal again this summer. Bring in a book report and you, your parents/guardians, and other kids 6 and down get free admission to select kids’ films.

Have I forgotten any great summer programs? Let us know in the comments.