Every year, the children’s library runs a Summer Reading Game that features activities, crafts, and prizes for kids as they select and read books over the summer holiday. The benefits of summer reading are clear. National research finds that students who participate in library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those who did not participate. Our Summer Reading Game provides a fun and rewarding way to keep reading skills sharp while inspiring literacy and life-long learning.
Log in to your summer reading account here (or click the picture above).
Get a free book just for registering! Sign up for our summer reading game and keep track of your minutes read, play mini-games, complete special challenge missions, and customize the look of your very own personal avatar. 1 minute = 1 point and the challenges are worth a variety of points. After earning 1,000 points over the summer participants win another free book!
Frequently Asked Questions about our Summer Reading Game
Who can play the summer reading game?
All ages. The Summer Reading Game is open to children age 5 to 14. Children aged 13 and up (or entering grades 7-12) can participate in our Teen Summer Reading Game. Children entering grade 6 in the fall may choose which game, children’s or teens’, they would like to participate in. Children under age 5 can participate in our Preschool Summer Reading Game (use the same link as the children’s game to register and track pre-literacy activities to earn points).
I participated last year or earlier. Should I make a new username?
No. You must use the same username in our ReadSquared system. Making duplicate accounts causes problems for the library, so do not make a new one if you signed up in any previous year. If you are not sure if you have a ReadSquared account already or do not remember your username, call the library at (203) 453-8282 and we will update it. If you remember your username but not your password, use the link on the login page to have it emailed to you. If you do not receive an email, check your spam folder. If you do not remember your username or email address, call the library. If you do remember both your username and password, log in using the link above. You will be asked to enroll in this year’s program and update your information.
I did not participate in any previous years. How do I sign up?
Click the picture above and then click, “Register” to create a new account. For detailed instructions, click here .
How does it work? (ages 5 – 14)
1. Beginning on June 20, children ages 5 and up can log in to ReadSquared to enroll in our 2023 Summer Reading Game. You get a free book just for signing up, so make sure to stop by the library to pick up your gift after you register (check in with staff at the children’s desk).
2. You must register with us to get credit for the minutes you read and challenges you complete all summer. You may do this online, or by phone.
3. Readers will be keeping track of minutes and completing challenges to earn points on their account. 1 minute = 1 point. Missions and activities are worth a variety of points. Some require submitting photos or typing answers into the computer, so read the missions carefully. Missions are fun but optional activities to enhance summer learning.
4. As you log your minutes online, also keep track of the titles of the books you read. Your teachers will want this information when school starts.
5. Once you reach 1,000 points, you have completed the game and earned another free book! Check in at the children’s desk anytime we’re open to pick out your prize!
6. You may print out your reading log or copy down your titles and total minutes to show your teacher once school starts.
7. The Summer Reading Game ends on September 11th.
How does it work? (under age 5)
1. Beginning on June 20, children under age 5 can log in to ReadSquared to enroll in our 2023 Summer Reading Game following the instructions above. You get a free book just for signing up, so make sure to stop by the library to pick up your gift after you register (check in with staff at the children’s desk).
2. You must register with us to get credit for the books you read and challenges you complete all summer. You may do this online, or by phone.
3. Grown-ups will be keeping track of books that are read to their child and completing pre-literacy challenges to earn points on their account. 1 picture book = 10 points. Missions and activities are worth a variety of points. Some require submitting photos or typing answers into the computer, so read the missions carefully. Missions are fun but optional activities to enhance summer learning and get your child ready to read.
4. Once you reach 700 points, you have completed the game and earned another free book! Check in at the children’s desk anytime we’re open to pick out your prize.
5. The Summer Reading Game ends on September 11th.
How does it work? (age 13 & up)
Students entering grades 7-12 should sign up for the teen summer reading game, which has a different theme and rules. If you are entering grade 6 you can choose either the children’s summer reading game or the teen summer reading game. If you choose to sign up for the children’s program, follow the steps above. If you choose to sign up for the Teen Summer Reading Game, rather than the children’s one, please call the library and ask at the reference desk upstairs for full details and to sign up. More information on the teen summer reading game online here.
What counts for reading minutes?
Any book you read counts. Try to pick a “just right” book – one that is just right for you in terms of reading level and fun! Any book counts–fiction, non-fiction, e-books, audiobooks, graphic novels, any genre of books. If you read a book to complete an optional challenge, you may also include that book as part of your minutes for the regular portion of the game. If you read a book aloud to a younger sibling or family member, this also counts. If you are reading a book that is much higher-level than you typically read, feel free to read some easier books to balance it out. Magazines also count, but please try to pick one that is “just right” like a book in terms of reading level.
Why minutes instead of books?
Minutes are the most fair measure of tracking reading across such a wide range of grade levels and reading abilities. In the past, we have counted books, and other summer reading challenges across the state and country still do. Teachers still want numbers of books when you get back to school. While there is nothing wrong with keeping track of how many books you read, we feel that minutes read is the most equitable way to do our summer reading game. Younger children can read dozens of picture books in the time it takes older children to read only a few chapter books. Does this mean that the older child has done less reading over the summer? No. We felt like the structure of the past summer reading games was penalizing older children or those who chose to read higher level books. We would like to recognize and reward readers of all levels equally for their efforts to keep reading over the summer.
Is there a paper or in-person option?
No. Everything is online. You may come to the library to pick out your prizes, or to register, but there are no paper options and no in-person finisher displays. Children will get both a virtual and physical finisher certificate once they reach the requisite # of points to complete the game. If you would rather your child not have screen time (or they are in the pre-reader game and too young to log things themselves) and still participate in the game, you may create your own paper logging system and you be the one to log in to the summer reading game account and log the minutes/books/challenges. You can print out from your summer reading account or copy by hand the list of books you logged over the summer to give your child’s teacher in the fall. There are events and programs that happen in-person at the library over the summer which may encourage reading or have to do with this year’s theme. These events are optional activities that do not have any impact on participation in the summer reading game. Access the calendar of children’s events here.
Do I have to do the challenges in order?
No. Complete the challenges in any order that you please.
Can I do the challenges more than once?
You will only get credit for challenges one time. You may do them as many times as you like for fun, but you will only earn points for completing challenges once.
What about other summer reading games?
If you participate in the governor’s summer reading challenge, a summer reading program at your summer camp, your favorite bookstore, restaurant, church, or other business or organization, that time read also counts for us. You still have to sign up with us at the library, and you still have to log your minutes and activities online with us using ReadSquared, to get credit and earn your free book. You must physically show up at the library to pick out your prizes. We will not be mailing any books or certificates.
I still have questions.
If you have any questions about the summer reading game or made a mistake entering information into your online Read Squared account, just call the library children’s department at (203) 453-8282 or come in and we’ll fix it for you.