A special thanks to Badgerdog’s Summer Book Crush for partnering with us to present a list of 2016 Summer Reading Programs in Austin and beyond. Keep your kids excited about reading all summer long with these great programs!
Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.
Summer Reading Programs: Camp
Austin Public Library Friends Foundation’s Badgerdog Summer Book Crush
August 1-5 from 9 a.m. to noon | The Khabele School, 801 Rio Grande St., Austin
This year, young readers explore the novel “The Thing About Jellyfish” (a National Book Award finalist) by Ali Benjamin. Campers read the novel before the program begins, then spend five days with a professional writer taking the story apart, playing around in its pages, and creating new work based on the book. The program is designed to foster close reading skills, critical thinking, and creativity. For rising 4th-6th graders, August 1-5 from 9 a.m. to noon at The Khabele School (801 Rio Grande St.). Registration fee: $150.
For more information and to register, visit the Badgerdog Summer Book Crush website.
Summer Reading Programs: Bookstore
Barnes & Noble
Kick-off June 4 at 11 a.m. | Arboretum, Lakeline Crossing, La Frontera, Sunset Valley Village, Hill Country Galleria
Kids in grades 1 through 6 can read to earn a free book from Barnes & Noble! The Summer Reading Triathlon Opening Ceremony will be held on June 4th at 11 a.m. at local Barnes & Noble locations. Kids can pick up summer reading journals, enjoy fun-filled activities, and cast a ballot for their favorite book hero and place to win a Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal at the Opening Ceremony. You can also download a journal here.
End of the school year | 603 N. Lamar, Austin
Give me summer! Give me books! BookPeople believes that there is nothing better to do on a lazy summer day than to dig into a great book. And that’s why their new motto is Carpe Librum! They say: Seize the summer, and seize the book! In this spirit, they’re happy to once again offer a free summer reading program for all young readers entering grades K-8. How to get started: Come to BookPeople to pick up a summer reading bookmark for your age level. (Bookmarks will be available by the end of the school year.) You are going to want to hang on to this because it’s also your reading tracking form that you’re going to use all summer and turn back in to us before school starts. What you get to read: BookPeople has put together a great list of six recommended paperbacks per age group. You get to choose at least three of these recommended books and up to three books of your own choosing –for a total of six great books– to read over the summer. Click on the following links to see the complete list of summer reading picks for your age group. Grades K-2; Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8. How to complete the challenge: Just bring back your filled out bookmark to BookPeople any time during the summer and you can add your name to the Wall of Summer Reading Stars! You’ll also receive your prize, a BookPeople gift certificate!
Half Price Books
Kick-off June 5 at 2 p.m. | Locations vary
Local stores will have a special event on Sunday, June 5 at 2 p.m. to kick off the FEED YOUR BRAIN® Summer Reading Program. Kids of all ages are invited for the Biggest Storytime of the Summer, and to celebrate reading and family literacy with this nationwide read-in event. Kids from preschool through high school can earn Bookworm Bucks by reading 15 minutes a day. (Grown-ups may read aloud to kids who are still learning.) Use the reading log, add up your minutes, and have a parent or guardian initial each week. Once you’ve reached 300 or more minutes, bring your log to your local HPB to claim your Bookworm Bucks.
Summer Reading Programs: Library
Austin Public Library
Kick-off June 5 at 2 p.m. | Locations vary
It’s that time again! The Austin Public Library is your free ticket to a summer full of reading and loads of fun activities this June through August. All Library programs are free and open to the public. Here’s a list of the upcoming summer reading programs events taking place at various APL branches. Click here for your printable reading log.
Cedar Park Public Library
Kick-off June 6 & 7 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Cedar Park Public Library, 550 Discovery Blvd, Cedar Park
The Cedar Park Public Library, in conjunction with the Texas State Library, is proud to present the 2016 Summer Reading Clubs: “On Your Mark, Get Set… Read!” for kids, “Get in the Game” for teens, and “Exercise Your Mind” for adults. The Library’s Summer Reading Clubs run from June 6th to July 29th and are open to all ages. The programs begin on June 6th with a Scholastic Book Fair, sponsored by the Friends of the Cedar Park Public Library. The book fair will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 6th and 7th, with special guest Clifford the Big Red Dog who will be available for visits and photographs from 10:00 a.m. to noon during the Book Fair. Also on June 6th, the Library will hold a Touch-A-Truck event from 10 a.m. to noon, so kids can explore some awesome City trucks, like a fire engine and construction vehicles. This year, the Summer Reading Club is all online! Register here and begin logging your minutes on June 6th! For every 200 minutes they read, kids can come into the library to claim their prize pack with a colored cut-out to display in the library’s window and special incentive awards and coupons! Teen prizes are earned for every 300 minutes read. Audio books, newspapers and magazines from the library also count for minutes. Adults are encouraged to participate, too. For every 400 minutes read, an entry form for a drawing prize is earned.
Georgetown Public Library
Kick-off June 7 at 10:30 a.m. | Georgetown Public Library, 402 W 8th St, Georgetown
The Summer Reading Club is a self-paced program in which children choose their reading level and keep records of the amount of time they spend reading (or are read to) each day. The Summer Reading Club is open to kids ages 0-11. You may register for the Summer Reading Club during the kickoff on June 7th, or you may do so online or the next time you come to the library. There will be a dedicated Reading Club computer in the Children’s Room during June and July so that you can record the books you read. The last day to enter time on the reading log is midnight on Saturday, July 23, 2016. The grand prize is an iPad mini. The winner will be announced at the finale. The more you read, the more chances you’ll have to win! Register online to keep track of your reading this summer and receive a cool pair of sunglasses (while supplies last) and an entry into the grand prize drawing. For every 5 hours of reading, you get an entry into the grand prize drawing. For every 5 hours of reading, add a trading card with your name to the Wall of Super Readers.
Lake Travis Community Library
Kick-off June 4 from 10:30 a.m. – noon | 1938 Lohmans Crossing Rd, Austin
The 2016 Summer Reading Program will begin with a kick-off party on Saturday, June 4th from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The event will feature the Tiny Tails to You baby animal petting zoo, children’s music by Mr. Will, and lots of fun crafts and treats! Pick up your summer reading log at the event and read, read, read! Top readers will win prizes from local businesses like Learning Express Toy Store, HEB, and Sonic. See the June calendar for program details.
Laura’s Library/A Magical Experience at Westbank Libraries
Now through July 29th | 9411 Bee Cave Road, Austin
Join a summer full of magic at Westbank Libraries. Programs run through July 29. Click here for a printable calendar. Read for fun all Summer. Grab a reading log at the Information Desk at either library and learn about prizes for all ages! Click here for a printable reading log. Weekly Ways to Win: Stop by each week and participate in a fun activity for a chance to win a variety of prizes including books, gift cards, & more. Fun for all ages, even adults!
Liberty Hill Public Library
Now – August 11 | 355 Loop 332, PO Box 217, Liberty Hill
Participate in the library’s Summer Reading Program now through August 11 for your chance to win one of 60+ prizes!
Pflugerville Public Library Maker Pfest
Kick-off June 4 from 2-5 p.m. | Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 West Pfluger Street, Pflugerville
Explore the new Pfab Lab to kick off the summer reading program! Enjoy demos and experience hands-on activities at Maker Pfest! The library will have featured guests showcasing their skills and staff will be on hand to help attendees with craft projects. The festival is free and all ages are welcome to attend.
Round Rock Public Library
Kick-off June 8 at 10 a.m. | 216 E Main Ave, Round Rock
The summer reading kick-off party will be on June 8 at 10 a.m. at the Main Street Prete Plaza in downtown Round Rock. Joe McDermott will perform a free outdoor concert.
Wells Branch Public Library
June 4 – August 13 | 15001 Wells Port Drive, Austin
Track your reading online! This year, Summer Reading is going digital. Log in to earn points & digital badges, unlock games, win prizes, and earn raffle entries! Click to get started.
Summer Reading Programs: Online
Scholastic Summer Challenge
Kick-off July 10 | BookPeople, 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin
Kids from birth to age 12 can log their reading minutes, earn prizes, and take part in an attempt to read for the world record! The program runs May 9 to September 9. Visit the website to register for this free program. The Scholastic Summer Reading Bus will be coming to BookPeople and hosting a reading festival for families with kids ages 0–12.
PBS Kids Summer Reading Camp
DIY Summer Reading Camp from pbskids.org and education.com. Hold your own reading camp for 10 weeks. Each week has a different theme with topics like bugs, heroes, and more!
Junie B. Jones Reading Club
Receive monthly updates about new books, fun printables like holiday cards, Junie B. games and activities, special events, sweepstakes, and more! Click here to see a sample newsletter.
Book Adventure by Sylvan
Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Register here.
New York Times Summer Reading Contest
Students ages 13-19 may participate in this contest every Friday from June 17 – August 19. Students answer the questions: “What interested you most in The Times this week? Why?” Anyone 13 to 19 years old from anywhere in the world can post an answer any week until Friday, Aug. 26, and contestants can choose from any Times article, essay, video, interactive or photograph published in 2016, on any topic they like. Every Tuesday starting July 5 the winners will be announced from a previous week and their writing will be published on the blog. More details and tips are on this PDF.
Pizza Hut’s Book It Summer Reading Challenge
Beat the “summer slide” and keep kids reading throughout the summer months with Pizza Hut’s free summer printables such as book lists and activities.
Chuck E Cheese’s Reading Rewards Program
Download a Reading Rewards Chart, have kids read every day for two weeks, and redeem the chart for 10 free tokens. You must purchase food to get the free tokens. Or, you can choose the bookmark program. Kids can receive 5 Chuck E. Cheese’s tokens for each book they read.
H-E-Buddy Summer Reading Club
H‑E‑Buddy is ready for summer fun and summer jamming, so it’s time to kick off our H‑E‑Buddy Summer Reading Club. All you have to do is read ten books and record them on your reading log. Each time you log a book, have an adult initial by the title so you get credit for reading. Once the log is complete, mail the form in, and you’ll be rewarded with a special t‑shirt. You have until October 1 to get in ten good reads. Texas summers are made for adventures, and some of the best adventures you find are in books, so find a stack of books and start exploring. Must be postmarked by October 1st, 2016. The H‑E‑Buddy Summer Reading Club is intended solely for children who are residents of Texas and between the ages of 3‑12.