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Free Summer Reading Programs

The summer brings lots of free time–a great time for kids to be reading! Encourage them with these Free Summer Reading Programs.

Free summer reading programs for kids at stores nationwide

Happy Summer! Summer is filled with lots of time at the pool, playing with kids in the neighborhood, and plenty of fun. But most of us want to keep our kids reading for pleasure and to keep up for next school year.

These FREE summer reading programs at stores nationwide (and online) are just the incentive to keep kids motivated.

Free Summer Reading Programs

Save even more money by using your public library to borrow books instead of buying them. Just set up a weekly visit with your kids, and ask your children's librarian for book recommendations if you get stuck. That's the best free summer reading!

Barnes and Noble

Kids in grades 1-6 who read 8 books and record them on the Summer Reading Journal can head to a Barnes & Noble store to pick out a FREE book from their selection (you'll see the choices on the journal). The program runs through September 3, and the limit is one FREE book per child.


Read 4 books from the Summer Reading Adventure section, record them in the printable notebook, and bring it into the store to get a FREE drawstring backpack.

Chuck E. Cheese

Year-round, Chuck E. Cheese offers 10 FREE tokens to kids each time they read for 2 weeks in a row. Download and print a Reading Rewards Calendar (there are others if you'd like to reward another activity). Limit is one of any FREE token offer per child, per day. Food purchase is required.

Half Price Books

Kids 14 and under can earn Bookworm Bucks for each 15 minutes per day they read during the months of June and July. Print out a reading log, and once they read 300 minutes, be sure to turn it in to the store by August 29th. Teens can skip the reading log and submit a book review to earn Bookworm Bucks.

Pizza Hut Book It!

Each summer, the Book It! site offers resources and activity calendars for parents to use with their kids over the summer, but there are no prizes or giveaways.

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and Help

Scholastic offers a FREE online reading program through September 6th. Kids can sign up and log their reading minutes to help donate books to kids in need. You can download suggested book lists for all age groups and on different themes. Learn more with their parent guide.

Showcase Cinemas

Through August 1st, kids receive FREE admission to Bookworm Wednesdays movies when they present a completed book report. Children under 6 do not need to complete the book report, and accompanying adults also get FREE admission. No food purchase is necessary.


Through August 1st, teens 13 and up can get two FREE audiobooks per week. Each paired set can be downloaded using OverDrive (the same app my library uses for ebooks and audiobooks).

TD Bank

Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade can do TD Bank's summer reading program and earn a $10 deposit for a new or existing Young Saver account. They'll need to read 10 books, record on the Summer Reading Form, and bring into a local branch by August 31st.

Your Local Library

Be sure to check out your community library system for programs this summer. Ours is great! When the kids complete their reading log, they receive a coupon booklet with coupons for free mini-golf, ice cream, water park pass, and more. We use it every summer for lots of frugal fun!

Free summer reading programs

Looking for more free fun?

Huge list of FREE and low-cost summer movies for kids - updated for Summer 2018

Free and Low-Cost Summer Movies for Kids

Summer vacation means finding frugal fun with the kids. Head out for FREE summer bowling at a lane near you!

Get Rolling with Free Summer Bowling