I’ve rounded up FREE literacy resources for parents to get their kids reading. First, I found summer reading programs that your kids can enter to win prizes including free books. Next, I searched for free books — the good kind — and weeded out the weird sites with books that I’ve never heard of. Finally, I found fun literacy activities like book trailers, a site to make your own story book, and a contest to shoot your own 90 second Newbery book movie.
Happy reading this summer! What else do you need to get your kids reading?
p.s. Photos featured are from my Caught in the Act of Reading program. Parents sent me their photos of kids caught reading and I sent them a book.
Summer Reading Programs
Scholastic Summer Reading Home Base for kids, educators, and parents.
The Scholastic Summer Reading program offers kids an exciting, free, and safe summer reading experience, while helping to provide books to kids with limited or no access over the summer, keeping every child reading.
Participation is a fun and easy way for kids to earn free books. They simply read a designated number of books – library books, books borrowed from friends or books bought at Barnes & Noble – write about their favorite part in our Reading Journal, and bring a completed Reading Journal to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Children then choose their free book from the books listed on the Reading Journal and collect their free book from a store near them during July and August.
Jennifer’s son is reading to his grandma and the frog he caught.
Baby Audrie loves to read already!
SYNC is a summer reading program for teens. SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. The program provides two thematically paired audiobooks for checkout each week, for free, to every registered listener, for 14 weeks. That equals out to 28 free books over the course of the program.
Pizza Hut CAMP BOOK IT! Track and reward your kids’ reading for June, July, and August in our digital dashboard. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® from Pizza Hut! We’ll also share fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer! Enroll today!
Chuck E. Cheese. Kids earn 10 points every time they read for two weeks in a row.
Six Flags Read to Succeed. Read to Succeed is a program that encourages students in grades K through 6 to read for fun. Students who complete six hours of recreational reading earn a free ticket to Six Flags! The program is available to teachers and schools at no cost to participate.
Learning Ally. A national not-for-profit organization serving students with learning and visual disabilities has kicked off its “Summer Reading Together” program – a unique initiative designed specifically for students with reading disabilities, such as dyslexia and blindness or visual impairment.
Scholastic Summer Reading Program. From Monday, April 26 to Friday, September 3 kids can participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Program where they will be encouraged to read, celebrate their achievements and help increase access to books for their peers.
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 from the form linked below. And remember, one of the books must be a Read 3 Book (see choices below). 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 to the address below, and you’ll be rewarded with a special prize. 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.*
Your Public Library. Check out your public library’s summer reading program.
FREE (good) Books for Kids
Storyline Online. Videos of really good picture books being read aloud.
Amazon’s Free Kids eBooks. The books listed at Amazon are the top 100 bestsellers, and they’re updated hourly.
UsTyme. 50 classic e-book fairytales like Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and hundreds more. Kids can read independently, side-by-side with a caring adult, or remotely in a live video call using the free ustyme app.
A to Z Kids Stuff. Free Kindle ebooks for children. The books are not well-known picture books but there’s a good assortment of books that will be new to the reader.
eReaderIQ. Free ebooks for kids. This has a good assortment of chapter books, nonfiction picture books, and poetry books. The book selection changes as this site capture popular freebies during the last 24 hours.
Read.gov. Free classic books. Old-timey classic chapter books from the Library of Congress like Jack in the Beanstalk, The Jungle Book, Peter Rabbit, and Robin Hood.
PJ Library. PJ Library sends free Jewish children’s books to families across the world every month. Families with kids ages 6 months through 8 years old with Judaism as part of their lives, are welcome to sign up, regardless of their Jewish background, knowledge, or observance.
Loyal Books. Free audiobooks for kids featuring timeless classics like Black Beauty, Little Women, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Railway Children.
We Give Books is a free website that enables anyone with internet access to put books in the hands of children who don’t have them, simply by reading online.
Reading is Fundamental. Free ebooks and reading lists.
Fun FREE Literacy Activities
Create Your Own Story. A fun and easy-to-use website to create your own storybook.
90 Second Newbery. The 90–Second Newbery Film Festival is an annual video contest in which kid filmmakers create weird movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in about 90 seconds. Make one this summer and enter the 2017 contest in January.
p.s. Related posts:
Summer Reading Lists
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.