Best Kids’ Summer Reading Programs of 2021 (Earn Lots of FREE Books!)

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girl reading a book summer reading program

Keep your kids reading all summer long! 📚

If you’re looking for a summer boredom buster and hoping to keep your children reading while school’s out, there are lots of free reading programs available for kids this year! Here are some of the FREE free summer reading programs happening in 2021.

NOTE – Bookmark this page and keep checking back, as we will continue to update this post with any additional summer reading programs as they become available!

headphones attached to a smartphone

Teens get 2 FREE audiobooks per week this summer from SYNC.

SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens ages 13 and up. Registration for the 2021 season is now open and FREE to all teens!

This year’s summer reading program will last through August 4. Each week, SYNC participants will receive two thematically paired audiobooks delivered through the student reading app Sora. By the end of the program, teens will have had the opportunity to listen to 20 new titles! Head on over here to read more about this program.

Holding Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Journal

Kids can earn a FREE book from Barnes & Noble or 2nd and Charles this summer.

Now through August 31st, Barnes & Noble is hosting a Summer Reading Program, where kids 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 between July 1 and August 31, 2021 (find a location near you).
  4. Choose a free book from the titles listed on the reading journal!

If you don’t have a B&N in your area, 2nd and Charles is offering a similar program. Head on over here to find a location near you!

Get a FREE Because of Winn Dixie notepad and pen from Books-A-Million.

This summer, when you read any four books from the Books-A-Million Summer Reading Challenge selection (found in-stores and online), you’ll receive a FREE Because of Winn Dixie notepad and pen! Note that you must present the completed reading journal in-store to receive this freebie, while supplies last.

For their Summer reading camp, Half Price Books is encouraging kids to read 15 minutes per day and keep track with the printable reading logs found here. They also have weekly printable activities for your kiddos.

Unlike past years where kids take their printed logs to the store for $5 rewards, parents will instead fill out the digital reading log and have the reward emailed to them. Parents can also enter to win a Half Pint Lending Library and $100 HPB gift card!

Plus, you can now order books online at Half Price Books and opt for free store pick-up! They even offer curbside pick-up.

child reading book and eating pizza

Earn FREE pizza from the Pizza Hut Camp Book-It reading program.

Students in PreK-6th grades (ages 4-12) as of September 1, 2021, can now enroll in the Pizza Hut Book It Program for the summer!

This parent-led summer reading program will track and reward your kids’ reading for June, July, and August. When your kids meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut!

Enjoy Bookworm Wednesdays at Showcase Cinemas.

The Bookworm Wednesdays reading program entitles kids to free admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Showcase Cinemas box office. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six years of age also receive free admission without having to submit a book report!

girl reading on tablet by pool

Participate in Scholastic’s Summer Reading Program!

Now through September 3, kids can participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Program. Participants will get access to the Scholastic Home Base, a free digital community full of books, live events, and games in a kid-safe environment.

Readers will be encouraged to track their reading streaks to earn rewards and unlock book donations, with the goal of donating 100,000 books to kids in rural America with limited or no access to books. Head on over here to learn more.

Check with your local public library for information on their summer reading program.

Be sure to check your local public library, as many of them will have summer reading programs for kids in addition to FREE storytimes, family movie days, kids clubs, activities, and more throughout the summer!

You won’t believe what your library card can do… check out these AWESOME perks of library membership!

Find out how kids can get cheap or FREE movie tickets all summer long!

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 3 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 5

  1. Susan

    My library is doing an Adult Reading Program in addition to the Children and Teen Reading Programs this summer.

  2. Laura

    “Half-priced books” also does a reading log, when complete your child gets $5 to spend in store on books.

    • Stacy F (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks, Laura! They changed it up a bit this year and went all digital but we did add that to the post.

  3. Robin Muldor-Engram

    The Peaches and Sourcream Children’s Foundation has incentivized its virtual summer reading program. The children are required to everyday for 20-30 minutes. They read two picture books a day and recurve a monetary reward plus book of choice for at home libraries. It’s a free 4 week program that promotes the joy of reading and each summary is worth $1.00. By the end of the fourth week participants are mailed a check for $40.00 each.

    • Amy

      Hey Robin, how do we sign up for this reading program? Do you have a link, you could share? Thanks!

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