Free Summer Reading Programs for 2011 – Free Prizes, Reading Lists & More!

We absolutely LOVE Summer Reading Programs! Every year since 2004, we’ve been updating our  lists here of all the Summer Reading Programs nationwide for everyone to join in the educational fun with the incentive of cool prizes on top of all this great family time and content consumed! So, far only 1 program already started, with most starting this week or weekend, so bookmark this page, share it with others and come back for updates. And, of course–if you know of other great finds, please share! I have quite a bit of commentary added so enjoy!

  • PBS Summer Reading Community Challenge - Begins June 6th for 6-weeks of daily prompts and opportunities for daily prizes. Scholastic and iVillage are their partners, so this should be a great program. Check out Scholatic Summer Reading site for even more prizes!
  • Barnes & Noble Imaginations’ Destination. By far our favorite reading program we never meet each year! Just read 8 books, log them on their journal, and get a FREE book. All the details can be downloaded through this Parent’s Kit. May 24th – Sept. 6th.
  • Borders Double-Dog-Dare Challenge. (1) I really don’t like the name of this year’s theme, as we don’t dare, let alone double-dog-dare anyone to do anything. There’s no positive incentive in using those terms. My girls just asked, “Are they at least giving about 2 books for the double-dare?” “No…but good point.” Anyways, we are happy that they choose to get away a Free book for 10 books read, like they debuted last year. Previously years they only gave 1/2 off to selected titles. However, BIG warning: we had to go to 3 different Borders just to find a decent title remaining, because it’s first-come first-served (or at least it was last year). The program starts June 1st, so we plan to go there first and not wait until the end of the summer like we typically do.
  • Half Price Books Feed The Brain Summer Reading Program – Starts June 6th. If you read more than 600 pages between July 25 – August 7, you can receive $5 Back-to-School Bucks summer reading reward. Top reader prizes, and the Biggest Storytime Kick-Off on June 5th at 2pm.
  • H.E. Buddy Summer Reading Program – Go to “Join the Summer Reading Club”, or just fill in the 10 books you read on this form for cool prize; at least a T-shirt!
  • Bookworm Wednesday – July 6 – August 10. Another program we love, specifically because I’m against movie theatres so the only time we go is in the summer when it’s free…but, my girls are terribly disappointed at this year’s line-up, as the movies are all “old”, unlike years past.

* As Muslims, we do not use interest-bearing savings accounts, credit or incur debt, so while there’s banks use  savings account dollars as an incentive for kids to read books; which while there’s no minimum to open the account, there’s fees applied if minimums are not met, hence getting kids into interest-bearing, debt-accruing habits at any early age. We do not promote or condone these programs.

Summer Reading Programs 2011 Details Not Yet Launch

  • Reading Is Fundamental always has an awesome reading program. Sign-up for their newsletter (upper, right-hand corner) to get their latest news.
  • Homeschool Blogger Summer Reading Splash – a fun interactive program with scavenger hunts, weekly prizes, coloring contests and more. I’m not sure if they’ll update this  blog, because it’s a different theme as last year, so be sure to check the main blog network of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.
  • 3rd Annual Summer Islamic Reading Program. Ready to launch June 1st, inshaAllah, God willing, we’ll have everything ready May 31st. Two great updates: we’re including Canada and registration AND submission will be make electronically, online. For quicker prizes and publication of your reviews, inshaAllah! ;-)


Public Library & Statewide Summer Reading Programs

  • Check out your local public library!
  • Don’t forget your state’s Department of Education, or even your Governor’s office.
  • 2011 – Open now to create your avatar, create your logs, reviews, like reviews with thumbs up, Earn Badges, Special Badges and Prizes. While it’s created by NYC libraries, we’re going to try to login in and see if we can add enter, because it looks so awesome!

Summer Reading Lists  & Resources 2011

Free Summer Programs for Kids

Thanks to Staci for sharing these freebie lists, interestingly she had all the summer reading programs I have listed from past participation. ;-)


  • Chuck E Cheese Promotions – We actually stopped going to CEC in 2009 the last time I organized a huge Eid party there. I re-evaluated what that place meant to me and my girls–as I was sadly disappointed by the “gambling” affect of kids fighting, pushing others around, arguing and competing to get so many tickets to get bigger prizes, the crying and whining and guilt-tripping to parents to give them more tokens/money, etc. It was so bad that there were teenagers who actually kicked in & broke one “popular” game and stole hundreds of tickets. While those kids and many of these instances I mentioned were thankfully not a part of my party, the exposure alone for me and my girls was enough for us to ever bear again. Worse, where were all the parents!? My girls haven’t missed the place since. But, we do have many fond memories of the place, and even got our youngest potty-trained, partly due to CEC Promotion Calendars, so this is why I’m offering this link for you to make a decision for your own family. Now, for fun, well-intentioned trips; we still go to arcades and other game places, but we do not partake in ticket-gathering and prizes. Any tickets earned are divided evenly and shared for the prizes. We always give money prior to walking into the place and do not budge, no matter what! It’s the fun memories achieved by being together; not the outcome of “playing” (aka “gambling”) that takes place by being there.

Please share with others, and comment below if you find any cool finds! Feel free to recommend any good books too!



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  1. Khalilah M. says

    As Salaamu Alaikum,

    Oooh! Thanks so much for posting this sis! Can you tell I’m excited?? Lol.

    • says

      Thanks the stumble Jen, I beat you to it! ;-)

      It’s different from godaddy than on my webhost. I’ve been meaning to make a tutorial so I guess I still do. ;-)

  2. says

    These are great ideas! I have a 3 and 4 year old that will appreciate them!! :)

    Stumbled you for Stumble Thursday.
    Angela from

    • says

      We’ve been doing it since my girls were that age and younger too!

      BTW, your recipe is insane! In a good way–I made homemade Texas-style french toast sticks from homemade bread and my girls can never get enough, but yours…holy cow!

    • says

      Hi Kristin.
      Thanks for your kind words. I stumbled your sad post well before I even listed mine…so sad :-(
      Hope you enjoy these reading programs with your kids this summer!


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