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Beach, Read! Best Summer Reading Programs 2022

Ashlie Swicker


Ashlie (she/her) is an educator, librarian, and writer. She is committed to diversifying the reading lives of her students and supporting fat acceptance as it intersects with other women’s issues. She's also perpetually striving to learn more about how she can use her many privileges to support marginalized groups. Interests include learning how to roller skate with her local roller derby team, buying more books than she'll ever read, hiking with her husband and sons, and making lists to avoid real work. You can find her on Instagram (@ashlieelizabeth), Twitter (@mygirlsimple) or at her website,

Why do you need a list of the best summer reading programs 2022 has to offer? Maybe you have kids who are about to leave school for the summer. Perhaps you’re starting up a reading habit with some small ones who haven’t even begun school yet. It might even be a case of wanting a summer reading challenge for yourself! No matter the reason for your search, you’re going to find the best summer reading programs for 2022 below.

Summer is a season traditionally associated with vacation and unscheduled afternoons. Summer reading programs capitalize on this carefree feeling to associate reading and fun. While some programs provide challenges and prompts, others will reward reading within certain parameters by awarding prizes. The most important push, however, is the one that gets people excited about reading. Whether you lean towards gushy romances, prefer audiobooks, or get lost in gorgeous graphic novels, it’s important to understand what makes you want to keep reading. A message crucial to embrance during summer reading challenges: it’s all worth your time, and it all counts.

Local Summer Reading Programs

Now that you’re secure in your reading choices, let’s discuss ways to find the best summer reading programs of 2022 locally. The obvious spots are local schools and libraries. Most school districts will have some sort of program in place for students of all ages. Whether you have school aged children or not, a simple search on your local school district’s website will often lead to targeted book lists and recording sheets. The real heavy hitter for local summer reading programs is the public library. Almost all public libraries will have a program in place for children’s summer reading, but many have expanded to include adult summer reading challenges, which is frankly so fun. My local library passes out a bingo board with challenges and a bingo dauber. Thank you for including me, this is fabulous!

Virtual Summer Reading Programs

If you’re looking to move beyond your local confines, here are some national programs that incentivize reading during the summer months, or in some cases, year-round!

  1. Camp BOOK IT! We have to start here because BOOK IT! has been a staple of the reading incentive programs for decades. Pizza Hut has brought it back and it’s amazing.
  2. Scholastic Summer Reading Program Scholastic is another classic reading company for kids. This year the summer program includes a virtual platform called Home Base with author interviews, games, and more!
  3. Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program B&N has kept this basic journal-style program for years. Kids can read and record 8 books to earn some free books of their own!
  4. Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays If you live in the New England area, this chain of movie theaters vaguely requests a “book report” in return for free admission to kids’ movie every Wednesday.
  5. BPL Future Readers Club Boston Public Library runs this club especially for the youngest readers, helping families track progress with the goal of reading 1000 books before kindergarten!
  6. Sync Free Audiobook Program For three months, teens can get two thematically paired audiobooks every week using the Sora app. Weekly themes like “Pulse Pounders,” “Crime and Crime Again,” and “People We Meet on the Way,” look amazing!
  7. Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards Ten days of reading equals ten Chuck E. Cheese play points with this reading program calendar.
  8. Reading Is Fundamental Summer Program Reading is Fundamental provides summer reading ideas for students in grades K-6, including book lists, activity sheets, and monthly reading calendars.
  9. Portland Sea Dogs Slugger’s Reading Challenge A minor league team in Maine offers kids a free ticket to a game and a waterpark for batting 1000 in their summer reading! It’s a good idea to check out local sports teams once the summer rolls around — they’ll often have some sort of academic incentive program for kids!
  10. Department of Defense Summer Reading Program Military families worldwide can join this reading program for ability to track and access to reading resources.
  11. Summer Reading Challenge for Adults This simple challenge offers a loose prompt for the months of June, July, and August. Fun and achievable!
  12. Listening Challenge Audiobooks are for every age, but it’s fun that this challenge is geared towards adult readers. There are 24 tasks to stretch out over a year, or you could super push yourself to read straight through the summer.
  13. Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge Can’t talk about challenges without mentioning Read Harder. While this challenge runs year round, you could craft your own summer version by picking a few tasks that fit right into your summer months. There is a Goodreads group for moral support!

Hopefully you’ve found at least a few programs to pique your interest! Don’t forget to read something you love!