2013 Summer Reading Programs

We are a couple of weeks into summer vacation. Are your kids bored yet? Have you run out of summer-y fun things to do? We have hit up our local library once each week since school has been out for storytimes, crafts, summer reading incentives and even some fun with trucks! It’s not too late to get the kids enrolled in summer reading programs happening all over the greater Austin area. Be sure to check out your library’s calendar as there are many events that you won’t want to miss including live music, puppeteers, crafts and more. Best of all, the events and programs are FREE!

Thanks to Leigh Ann and Heidi from Free Fun in Austin for allowing me to use their list!


  • Half Price Books — The Feed Your Brain program offers $5 in Back to School Bucks to kids who have read a total of 300 minutes in a month’s time, logged on a reading log. Parents may read to kids who are still learning. One Top Reader from each age group will win a $20 Half Price Books gift card. To find a store near you, visit the HPB website.
  • BookPeople – BookPeople’s summer reading program, Give Me Summer! Give Me Books!, lets kids in grades K-8 complete a six book challenge and claim a reward. Visit the store to pick up a summer reading bookmark for your age level. 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 before school starts. To participate, choose at least three paperbacks from the list of recommended books and up to three books of your own choosing -for a total of 6 great books- to read over the summer. Click on these links to see the complete list of summer reading picks for your age group: GRADES K-2, GRADES 3-5, GRADES 6-8. Bring back your filled out bookmark, making sure to note your name, age, and school before turning it in, by August 17, 2013. The schools with the most Summer Reading Stars will be eligible for an additional reward!


  • Austin Public Library — Take the SRP 13 challenge! The Summer Reading Programs for youth and for adults will run from June 6 – August 24. Special events happen June 17 through July 27. There’s something for everyone from toddlers to teens: mysteries to solve, magnet science fun, marionettes, puppets, tap dance, live raptors, local music, cowboys vs. ninjas, stories, arts and crafts, a DIY clothing swap, cosplay and a glow-in-the-dark dance party! Register online or at the library.
  • Wells Branch Community Library — The Summer Reading Program runs from June 1 – August 10. Logs must be turned in by 6 p.m. on August 9. Picture Book Level (all ages), 25 books per log. Track how many picture books your child reads, or you read with your child throughout the summer to earn prizes and raffle tickets for grand prizes. Chapter Book Level (ages 5-10), 500 pages per log. Track how many pages you read throughout the summer to earn prizes and raffle tickets for grand prizes. Tweens & Teens (ages 10+), 500 pages per log. Track how many pages you read throughout the summer to earn prizes and raffle tickets for grand prizes. Adults (ages 18+), 500 pages per log. Track how many pages you read throughout the summer to earn prizes and raffle tickets for grand prizes. Grand prizes will be awarded at the Movie in the Park event on August 10. There will also be various events and activities at the library all summer long. Visit the library calendar for more information.
  • Laura’s Library and Westbank Library — We have 8 weeks of special activities along with the Level Up Reading Challenge! The Level Up Reading Challenge is for everyone! Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends: ready, set, start reading just for fun! Our reading logs this summer have five levels on them. So how do you complete a level? Choose from the following ways: Read five books & tell us about the titles; Read five hours; Read 500 pages. Or, you can choose to do a combination!When you have completed a level, bring your reading log to the Information Desk at either library & show the librarian.  S/he will: stamp your reading log! Give you a sticky note; write your name on it! Show you where to post your sticky note with other player’s so that you can Level Up! Everyone who participates is eligible for prizes, no matter your age or reading level.  All kids and teens will receive prizes; teens and adults will be entered into raffles!
  • Bee Cave Public Library — “Dive into Summer-Read.” The 2013 Summer Reading Program will run from June 1 – July 27.  Programs for kids, teens, and adults. Read books, win prizes, enjoy performances, craft days, and more.  (4000 Galleria Parkway, Bee Cave)
  • Round Rock Public Library — “Dig into Reading!” The 2013 Summer Reading Program invites you to visit the library frequently and to make reading a daily habit. Let’s see how many days you can read at least 20 minutes between June 5 and Aug. 5. The library will have prizes for readers who hit 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 days–and two special challenges for readers who want go beyond the 20-minute per day minimum. There will also be a full schedule of performers, movies, and other special programs to pique your interests throughout the program, and all of the print and digital materials you can imagine to follow your curiosity wherever it may lead. (216 E Main Ave, Round Rock)
  • Cedar Park Public Library — The Library’s Summer Reading Clubs run from June 10 – August 2 and are open to all ages. To participate in the Summer Reading Club, simply sign up at the Cedar Park Public Library and receive a reading log. For each 10 minutes of reading (or listening to) a Cedar Park Public Library book, the participant marks off one symbol on their reading log. With every 200 minutes read kids earn 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. For adults, every 400 minutes read gets an entry form for a drawing prize from a local merchant. (550 Discovery Blvd, Cedar Park)Advertisement
  • Pflugerville Public Library - “Dig Into Reading!” Pick up your summer reading log and earn incentives weekly. You must complete at least one book or magazine per week. Incentives are available until July 27th.  The program is available for kids, teens and adults. There are special events all summer long as part of the summer reading program. (1008 West Pfluger Street, Pflugerville)
  • Georgetown Public Library – “Dig Into Reading!” The Summer Reading Club is a self-paced program in which children set their own goals, choose their levels of reading, and keep records of either the books they read (or that are read to them) or the amount of time they spend reading (or are read to) each day. Grand prize is an iPad mini. Register online or at the library. The library also has a Teen Summer Reading Program available. Teens that read for a total of 15 hours between June 5 and July 31 will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win an iPad mini. (402 W. 8th St, Georgetown)
  • Hutto Public Library – “Dig Into Reading!” Kids can enroll at the library and receive a Title Log, a Time Log, and a bookmark. Children can bring their logs to the library once a week to get them stamped and receive the incentive for the week. At the end of the program (July 27) every participant will receive a certificate and a final prize. Special incentives: Read 5 books and get a free ticket to the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Read 8 Books and receive a free book from Barnes and Noble. Families can also join in for fun performances from Lucas Miller, Bonzo Crunch and more. All Friday performances take place at the Hutto Bible Church next door to the library. (205 West St., Hutto)

Online Programs

  • Scholastic Summer Challenge — 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! Visit the website to register and see what world landmark the reading scale is up to. Educators can pre-register their students, track their progress, and compete with schools around the world. The school with the most minutes will win a visit from Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey.
  • 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.
  • New York Times Summer Reading Contest — Each week from June 14 to August 16, teenagers age 13 to 19 years old are invited to choose any piece (article, photo, video) in The New York Times and write to tell us why it interested them, whether they loved or hated it. They will choose a weekly winner to feature.


  • Chuck E. Cheese’s — Download a Reading Rewards Chart (they have many different ones to choose from and it is a year-round program), read every day for two weeks and redeem your chart for 10 free tokens. The only catch is that this is not totally free. You must purchase food to get these “free” tokens. Take it or leave it…. at least they have air conditioning!
  • H.E.Buddy Summer Reading Club — Pick up or download a form, log ten books, mail the form in to get a cool prize. What kid doesn’t like getting a prize in the mail? (Yes, the Reading Club address in the pdf still says “2011” in the title.  It hasn’t been updated in 2 years.)
  • Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge — From May 16 – August 26, families are invited to read along with Pottery Barn at their weekly story times. Kids receive a free book after completing the list of recommended titles.

 Photo courtesy of Austin Public Library

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

1 Comment on 2013 Summer Reading Programs

  1. We did the library and HEB ones last year, but managed to lose the form for the library until after the date to bring it in. I did get the HEB one in the mail and Peo got her t-shirt which is good, but this year she asked to be left to read and not have to document it. I’ll take less work as a win. :)

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