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18 Fun & Free Kids Summer 2019 Reading Programs (Earn Free Books & More!)

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Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program Sign

Keep the kids entertained over the summer!

If you’re looking to keep your kids busy and engaged over the summer, here are the best free, fun kids summer reading programs you’ve gotta check out for 2019!

NOTE – Bookmark and keep checking back on this post, as several sites have not updated their landing pages or reading forms for 2019. We will add any new information as it becomes available!


1. Amazon Retail Stores

AmazonBooks Outside

When students in grades K-8 read any eight books and turn in their list at any Amazon retail store by September 10th, 2019, they will earn a $1 off their next book purchase at Amazon Books. Visit the Amazon website for details.

Hip Tip: Curious to know what we thought of the Amazon Books retail bookstore? Check out our post!


2. Applebee’s

Are you a teacher in the Upstate NY or Connecticut area? Select locations offer a reading-focused reward program that encourages students ages 10 or younger to read (and record) at least 10 books on their Bookworm Club record card. This program can be used by schools and/or libraries as educators deem fit—as a summer reading program or as a school-year program.

Once a student completes all 10 books, they will earn a free kid’s meal at participating Applebee’s locations (when accompanied by an adult making a purchase). Please note that this specific program is only for Upstate NY or Connecticut markets.

NOTE: Each Applebee’s location is individually owned and operated by Franchises, so programs will vary by location. Be sure to contact your local Applebee’s to determine what summer reading program is offered.


Holding Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Journal

3. Barnes & Noble

Through August 31st, Barnes & Noble will be hosting a Summer Reading Program, where kiddos in grades 1-6 can earn a completely FREE book by following these easy steps:

  1. Download the summer reading journal, or pick one up at your local B&N store.
  2. Have your child read ANY 8 books this summer and record them in the journal.
  3. Head to your nearest Barnes & Noble and turn in the completed journal by August 31st, 2019 (find a location near you).
  4. Choose a free book from the books listed on the back of the reading journal – limit one free book per child!

4. Barefoot Books

Note that they have not added information for their 2019 summer reading program, so be sure to check back!

When you sign up for the Barefoot Books Summer Reading Club, you’ll get FREE access to the members-only Summer Reading Clubhouse, where you’ll find the following:

  • A Welcome Letter with need-to-know summer reading tips
  • An exclusive membership certificate for your child to color
  • A kid-friendly reading log and special Kindness Kingdom Book Report, so your child can track this summer’s adventures
  • A recommended reading list, highlighting favorite books to build kindness in children as young as infants through early elementary
  • Official Club activities for your child to enjoy
  • And more — all for FREE!

All of this will be emailed for FREE to your inbox when you join the Barefoot Books Summer Reading Club.


Children reading books

5. Books-A-Million

This summer, when you read any four books from the Books-A-Million Summer Reading Challenge selection in-stores and online, you’ll receive a FREE Diary of a Wimpy Kid drawstring backpack! Note that you must present the completed reading journal in-store to receive the freebie, while supplies last.


6. Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese has a reading program (as well as other reward programs) where kids can earn 10 FREE Chuck E. Cheese tokens for reading every day for two weeks. This promotion is valid all year round. Note that a food purchase is required in order to redeem 10 tokens.


7. DOGOBooks

Head on over to DOGOBooks.com and add your favorite books to your summer reading list. Read books and write as many original reviews as you can. The more reviews you write, the higher your chances of winning! Then, 10 participants who review the most books will be eligible to win a Prize Pack of eight books. The next 25 participants with the most reviews will be eligible to win a $10 Gift Card. For complete details, see Term and Conditions and mail in your Consent Form.


Half Price Books Summer Reading – Mouse and the Motorcycle closeup

8. Half Price Books

From June 1st through July 31st, 2019, kids aged 14 and under (or 8th grade and under) can earn $5 Bookworm Bucks (store credit) to use in the store whenever they’ve read 300+ minutes. Just download and use this reading log, add up your minutes, and have a parent/guardian initial each week.

Then bring the reading log to your local Half Price Books to claim your Bookworm Bucks on or before August 29th, 2019. Each child can earn $5 Bookworm Bucks for the month of June AND $5 for July.


9. LifeWay Summer Reading Adventure

Starting June 3rd through August 31st, LifeWay stores are launching their 2019 Summer Reading Adventure. This program is geared toward grades 1 through 6 – and even toddlers, ages 1 to 5 – but all are welcome to join in the adventure. Just read six books over the course of the summer and memorize six Scripture verses to earn free prizes!

Choose from one of nine books, plus receive a free Bible, while supplies last. Be sure to complete your form by August 31st, 2019, to receive your prizes (redemption form will be available later in the summer). They’ll be shipped right to your door!


Pizza Hut Book It Summer Reading Program - kids holding out name tags

10. Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program

If you homeschool any kiddos between the ages 5 – 12 as of September 1st, 2019, you are eligible to sign up for the Pizza Hut Book It Program! This program allows your children to earn a FREE Personal Pan Pizza every month during the 2019-2020 school year when they reach certain reading goals (i.e. the number of books, number of pages, or number of minutes).

Note that homeschool group/co-op orders are not accepted; all individual families must enroll separately. If you are not a homeschooler, you can visit the Book IT website to see if your school is registered and signed up to participate in the Book It Program.


11. Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a FREE online reading program for children running now through September 6th, 2019. After registering, kiddos can read as many minutes as they can, log their minutes, and then earn digital rewards as they complete weekly reading challenges!

Visit Scholastic’s website and click on the Summer Reading Challenge tab (on the left-hand side) for more details and to sign up.


Kid Summer reading - Dragons love tacos book

12. Pottery Barn Kids

Every Tuesday at 11 AM, attend FREE Story Time at your local Pottery Barn Kids with readings, activities, and more. Plus, become a Pottery Barn Kids Club member, and you’ll get a special surprise after attending five events (possibly a $10 off purchase coupon, free book, or another prize).


13. Public Library

Be sure to check your local public library, as many libraries have a kids’ reading rewards program, as well as FREE story time, family movie days, activities, and more throughout the summer.


14. Reading Rewards

With Reading Rewards, you can customize a reading incentive program just for your kids. It is easy and completely free to set up your own reading goals and allow your kids to use their RR Miles to “buy” rewards in the reward store created by you. Ideas include movie night, a sleepover with friends, a trip to the dollar store, game console time – anything you want!


Showcase Cinemas - Young girl grabbing a snack box and smiling

15. Showcase Cinemas

Note that they have not added information for their 2019 summer reading program, so be sure to check back!

During the summer months, Showcase Cinemas offers Bookworm Wednesdays that entitles kids to FREE admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Cinema de Lux, Showcase, or Multiplex Cinemas box office. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six years of age receive FREE admission and do not need to submit a book report.


16. SYNC Audiobooks for Teens

SYNC is a FREE program for readers ages 13+ that gives away two FREE complete audiobook downloads every week each summer. Through August 1st, each week SYNC features high-interest titles based on weekly themes, and the files are available from Thursday morning until the following Thursday morning when the new audiobook titles become available.

The audiobook downloads are in MP3 format and delivered through the OverDrive app which can be easily downloaded for FREE. Visit their site to download the free audiobooks for 2019.


17. TD Bank

Note that they have not added information for their 2019 summer reading program, so be sure to check back!

The Summer Reading Program encourages students in grades K-5 to keep their reading skills sharp during summer vacation and also helps them to save money. TD Bank deposits $10 into a new or existing TD Simple Savings account when each child completes their own reading challenge of 10 books. Be sure to contact your local location to verify participation.


girl hugging stuffed unicorn plush

18. Imagination Vacation

Imagination Vacation is a free summer reading program for kids ages 4 and up that awards points for reading each and every day this summer. Each point earned counts as an entry into their weekly drawings (held on Facebook live!) and gives the child opportunities to win amazing prizes!

They’ll be giving out tons of adorable plush, fun craft kits, premium doll furniture sets, Club Eimmie subscriptions, and more. Then, at the end of the program, they’ll be holding a grand prize drawing for even bigger prizes including jumbo stuffed animals and inflatable water slides.

Each participant will also receive a fun, fridge-worthy printable certificate honoring all their hard work logging all those reading hours. The program is absolutely free to sign up and participate in- entries are earned by logging reading hours at Eimmie.com/read.


Happy Reading!

Parents: Score FREE kids bowling & skating all summer long!

Join The Discussion

Comments 17

  1. Angelica

    Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities within the United States. You get one every month for free. No credit card necessary. I’ve been receiving books for my child. He gets excited when they come in the mail. Check to see if they offer this in your community! https://imaginationlibrary.com

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Such a great program! Thanks for sharing with us, Angelica!

  2. Saiza

    Mid-Continent Library here in the Kansas City area has an awesome summer reading program. They have all kinds of activities all summer long, and when you read so many books you earn a book. I think you can earn up to 7 books and last year if you completed it you got a free tshirt too. I think you have to register for the program by the end of the month though.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How neat! Our library offers a similar summer reading program. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Adelina Dibbs

        ya i agree im excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Laura

    Applebee’s promotion listed in the post is only for NY and CT

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing, Laura! I don’t find that detail as I click through. I’m guessing it may vary by location. Hope that helps!

  4. Megan

    King County Library System (Seattle area) gave everyone (kids or adults) who read 500 minutes last summer two free tickets to Wild Waves! Hope they do it again this year!

  5. JD

    Thank you for adding the SYNC audiobook program. I would like to add that adults are not only welcome but encouraged to participate as well as teens. The selections are awesome and are ideal for those who drive a lot.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You are SO welcome!

  6. Urvi

    Kiddo does the BN program every summer. Love that Amazon is doing it too. We’re in!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Yay!

  7. E

    Thank you so much for posting! We will do the lifeway one this year in addition to the Barnes and noble and our local library’s programs. Our local library has an awesome science program-packed schedule for the summer and my kids are very into science! We can’t wait! We also do book-it during the school year and my kids are already asking when it starts again! And we signed my toddler up for the 1000 books before Kindergarten program that our library has (its nation-wide), we did it a couple years ago with my older two kids. It sounds like a lot, but we read a lot! Love your list, thank you!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How fun! You’re very welcome! Enjoy!

    • Urvi

      Also, I called the Paramus, NJ location, and he confirmed, “We are not sponsoring a summer reading program”. Rats!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh bummer! Sorry to hear that! Thanks for the heads up! I see that in the details now as well.

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