Summer Reading Programs--Earn Free Books!

Hello again, and apologies for our long absence. Even though I have finished my first year of officially homeschooling, things still don't ever really settle down when you have four young children! (Or in the case of my sister who writes this blog with me--5 children!). We haven't forgotten this blog, but we probably won't be updating as much as we have in the past. Still, I wanted to pop in and share a few fun tidbits about summer reading.

Summer is halfway over and my kids have loved participating in summer reading programs. My kids love to read, so they don't need the motivation, but they still like keeping lists of the books they have read and marking off how much time they have spent reading. Our local libraries give toys, books, and patches as prizes for reading and also sponsor fun programs for the kids. The library should definitely be your first stop for summer reading--programs vary by library district and state--but I have never been to a library that didn't offer some sort of summer reading program for kids--and many offer great programs for adults, too.

A few books my kids have earned as prizes for summer reading

Some commercial companies also sponsor nationwide summer reading programs The two we have participated in  this year that I would like to share with you are the Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge and the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program.

For the Pottery Barn Kids Challenge, your child must read at least 8 books from a designated list. You can print out the list at home or pick up bookmarks in store with the list of books. We were able to find most of these books through our local library. They also have the books for sale at Pottery Barn Kids so if you like to visit the store, you can browse and read some while you are there. They also host weekly storytimes at the stores--check your local store for details. We loved discovering a few new favorite books from the summer reading challenge list, such as the picture book The Day the Crayons Quit .
When your child has read 8 books, you can visit a store and let an employee know that the child completed the challenge. Then they will give your child a certificate and a free book. The books my children choose among were a random assortment of clearance books--the selection will probably vary by the store. This challenge ends July 17th or "while supplies last."

For the Barnes and Noble Reading program, you must read any 8 books and write whom you would recommend each book to and why. Then, you can go choose from a selection of books as a prize. The choices of prizes are listed in the reading log so the kids can pick out their book ahead of time. Then, you just take the completed reading log and the book the child picked out to the checkout counter and they will scan both items and give the child the free book. Barnes & Noble also hosts storytimes and other fun events for kids if you want to make more of an outing from your visit. My son picked out the bookSideways Stories from Wayside School as his prize and he loved it so much--he has already read it through twice. This summer reading program goes through September 2nd.

So, what has been on their reading lists this year--here is a sample of some of the favorite books of each of my children:
Son #1 (independent reader, reads short chapter books):The Spiderwick Chronicles , The Magic School Bus Chapter Books , Classic Starts™: Treasure Island
Son #2 (independent reader of picture books and easy chapter books): Pickles To Pittsburgh , Moonshot, How Things Work 
Daughter #1 (doesn't read independently but loves to be read to): Ladybug Girl , Madeline , An Elephant and Piggie Books
Daughter #2 (baby--likes interactive board books): In My Nest, Pat the Bunny

Be sure to check out some of our reading lists for different ages and holidays we have shared in the past. And we'd love to hear any comments with your favorite books you have read recently.

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