The Summer Reading Program Through Barnes & Noble Starts Soon

If your kids love reading and you love free books (honestly, who doesn’t?), here’s an important seasonal PSA: the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program is about to start. Just like those days when you read your little heart out to earn a free Pizza Hut pizza, Barnes and Noble offers a pretty great prize for kiddos who complete their summer reading list: a new book!

Whether you’re looking for the perfect colorful picture book for big kids or learning new ways to teach boundaries to little kids, the hunt for the right book to teach a lesson or share some empathy is always a valid pursuit — especially for bookworms. And all kids, even reluctant readers, enjoy earning a prize.

So, how does the program work? When does it run? Below, you’ll find the details you need for a lovely, literary summer.

How does the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program work?

There are a few stipulations, so let’s start with the most important: The program is only available to first- through sixth-grade kids. Next, to earn their free book, your child must read and journal eight books on Barnes and Noble’s official Summer Reading pamphlet, which you can pick up at literally any B&N. The book they earn is from a company-approved selection, but it’s a pretty hefty selection.

“Wait, they want my kid to read and write? It’ll never happen!” Take a deep breath. You can help your child fill out their “journal,” although it’s obviously good to hold them accountable for their work as they age. Plus, the journal doesn’t require a complete play-by-play of each book. For every book your kid reads, there are precisely two small lines to fill out — Barnes and Noble only wants to know the title/author of the book and a note about your child’s favorite part. It can be as simple as “When Pete sees his grandma” or “When Anne breaks the slate over Gilbert Blythe’s head.”

When does the program start?

The program runs July 1 through Aug. 31. That gives your kiddo a book-a-week timeline to hit the required quota, plus a little wiggle room for filling out the journal and getting it turned in at your local B&N in time.

What books can kids choose from?

The books available as your reader’s prize vary by grade level, with almost a dozen to choose from in each level.

Grades 1 & 2

  • The Bad Guys (B&N Exclusive Edition)(The Bad Guys #1) by Aaron Blabey
  • Band Camp! 1: All Together Now by Brian “Smitty” Smith
  • The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children #1) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Dr. Seuss Graphic Novel: Cat Out of Water (A Cat in the Hat Story) by Art Baltazar
  • Emma McKenna, Full Out (The Kids in Mrs. Z’s Class #1) by Kate Messner
  • The Good Egg and the Talent Show by Jory John
  • Hombre Perro: Cumbres Maternales (Dog Man: Mothering Heights) by Dav Pilkey
  • Little Olympians 1: Zeus, God of Thunder by A.I. Newton
  • Mirror Magic (Star Friends) by Linda Chapman
  • The Princess in Black and the Prince in Pink by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
  • Scuba-Cat (Pete the Cat)(My First I Can Read Series) by James Dean

Grades 3 & 4

  • The Area 51 Files by Julie Buxbaum
  • Big Nate Goes Bananas! by Lincoln Peirce
  • The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
  • Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior: An Unofficial Minecraft Adventure (#1) by Cube Kid
  • The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett & Shawn Harris
  • Laugh-Out-Loud: The Joke-a-Day Book: A Year of Laughs by Rob Elliott
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  • ¿Quién fue Frida Kahlo? by Sarah Fabiny
  • The Tail of Emily Windsnap (Tail of Emily Windsnap #1) by Liz Kessler
  • What Are the Summer Olympics? by Gail Herman
  • Worst Broommate Ever! (Middle School and Other Disasters) by Wanda Coven

Grades 5 & 6

  • 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones: A Graphic Novel (39 Clues Graphic Novel #1) by Rick Riordan & Ethan Young
  • Amari and the Night Brothers (The Supernatural Investigations Series #1) by B. B. Alston
  • Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
  • Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova
  • Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd
  • Jawbreaker by Christina Wyman
  • Matt Sprouts and the Curse of the Ten Broken Toes by Matthew Eicheldinger
  • Minecraft: The Crash: An Official Minecraft Novel by Tracey Baptiste
  • The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane (Black Hollow Lane #1) by Julia Nobel
  • One Dead Spy (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #1) by Nathan Hale
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Ungifted by Gordon Korman
  • A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Yo, Naomi León (Becoming Naomi León) by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Pick up an official brochure at your local Barnes and Noble or print it out at home. Then head to your local library, if you’re avoiding spending money, to pick up your books. (PS: They’re most likely also having a summer reading program!)

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