Booktious – our new Summer Reading Challenge!
Here’s our brand new, free-to-download, printable card game designed for summer reading challenges! Using a compelling, fun, and addictive format, and simple-to-follow gameplay, our Booktious games will introduce children to new books, provide useful information and highlight high-quality and recently published titles for children, young adults, and teens. Readers will also discover diverse inclusive and lesser-known works as well as soaking up interesting facts about the world of literature. It’s perfect for your summer reading challenge, at home, at school, in libraries, or in book groups.
If you can’t find a summer reading challenge near you, the Booktious card game is an ideal activity to try at home. Chart your child’s progress by keeping a checklist of all the new books they have read and challenge family members to read new and exciting books! The Booktious card game also includes lots of ideas for teachers, librarians, and parents to help expose your children and teens to great new titles over the holiday, or all year round!
All the books featured are available to purchase – as individual titles, class sets, or book packs – using the links in the article below.
Booktious game: picture books edition for 2-7-year-olds
The picture book edition includes an exciting and diverse range of books by Derrick Barnes, Sophie Blackall, Phoebe Wahl, Marie Dorleans, Terry Fan & Eric Fan, Minh Lê, Bob Shea, Mac Barnett, Adam Rex, Jacqueline Woodson, Alice Provensen, Vashti Harrison, Doug Salati, Jonathan Stutzman, Deborah Underwood, Jessie Sima, Jordan Scott, Christy Hale, Dan Yaccarino, Adam Jay Epstein, Chris Van Dusen, Sophie Blackall, Mike Curato, Derick Wilder, Jessica Love, Gideon Sterer, Sarvinder Naberhaus, David Bowles, James Yang, Lemony Snicket, Jon Klassen, Evan Turk, and Daniel Miyares.
Below are download links to the free Booktious reading challenge resources, which include the free picture books edition deck of cards, gameplay instructions, extension activities, and ideas for use in schools, libraries, and at home.
Buy the Booktious picture books for your summer reading challenge
Click the links below if you would like to buy all or some of the books featured in the Booktious card game picture books edition. These links offer the opportunity to buy individual titles, class sets of books, complete packs of all the books, or any other combination you need!
Booktious game: middle-grade edition for 8-12-year-olds
The middle-grade edition includes a range of imaginative, inspiring, and inclusive reads by Katherine Applegate, Catherynne M. Valente, Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Ali Benjamin, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Aisha Saeed, Laurel Snyder, Kat Leyh, Lisa Fipps, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Steve Sheinkin, Donna Barba Higuera, Varian Johnson, Gary Paulsen, Kwame Alexander, Betsy Bird, Ann Hood, Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi, Erin Entrada Kelly, Hope Larson, Angie Thomas, Tae Keller, Kiersten White, Dhonielle Clayton, Phil Stamper, Christina Soontornvat, Lauren Wolk, Meg Medina, Kyle Lukoff, Kate Milford, Nnedi Okorafor, Chris Raschka, and Lisa Graff.
Below are download links to the free Booktious reading challenge resources, which include the free middle-grade edition deck of cards, gameplay instructions, extension activities, and ideas for use in schools, libraries, and at home.
Buy the Booktious middle-grade books for your summer reading challenge
Click the links below if you would like to buy all or some of the books featured in the Booktious card game middle-grade edition. These links offer the opportunity to buy individual titles, class sets of books, complete packs of all the books, or any other combination you need!
Booktious game: YA and Teen edition for 12+ year-olds
The YA and teen edition contains a thought-provoking and inspirational collection of titles by award-winning writers including Jason Reynolds, Shideh Etaat, Karen M. McManus, M. T. Anderson, Laurie Halse Anderson, Daniel Nayeri, Gene Luen Yang, Andrea Rogers, Casey McQuiston, Zoulfa Katouh, Natasha Bowen, Jeff Zentner, E. Lockhart, Jeff VanderMeer, Adam Silvera, Andrew Joseph White, Tiffany D. Jackson, Amie Kaufman, Shaun David Hutchinson, Harmony Becker, Angeline Boulley, Jennifer Dugan, Marie Lu, Colleen AF Venable & Ellen T. Crenshaw, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Aiden Thomas, Isaac Blum, Mildred D. Taylor, Tillie Walden, Frances Hardinge, Laekan Zea Kemp, Anna-Marie McLemore and Philip Pullman.
Below are download links to the free Booktious reading challenge resources, which include the free YA and Teen edition deck of cards, gameplay instructions, extension activities, and ideas for use in schools, libraries, and at home.
Buy the Booktious YA and Teen books for your summer reading challenge
Click the links below if you would like to buy all or some of the books featured in the Booktious card game YA and Teen edition. These links offer the opportunity to buy individual titles, class sets of books, complete packs of all the books, or any other combination you need!
Why summer reading challenges are useful for children’s learning
As the summer months approach, schools, libraries, and parents alike gear up for the annual summer reading challenges. But what makes these challenges so important, how do they benefit children’s learning and character, and how can they improve positivity and a child’s overall outlook on life?
Summer reading challenges are primarily an effective way to encourage children to read widely and explore new genres. Setting goals and – to a limited extent – incentivizing literacy can motivate children to spend more time reading and develop a lifelong love of books. Reading challenges can not only help improve literacy skills, but also broaden the knowledge base, and foster a burgeoning love of learning that could be a bedrock for future opportunities.
But it’s not just improving reading skills. Research has shown that reading fiction as part of a summer reading challenge can have a significant impact on children’s character development, helping to build empathy, resilience, and intelligence. Exposing children to a diverse range of experiences through literature can help them learn to understand and appreciate the perspectives of others, develop empathy and problem-solving skills, and inspire imagination and creativity.
So how can schools, libraries, and parents use effective summer reading challenges to inspire young readers? Providing a hand-picked selection of recommended reading materials, including fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, and audiobooks, is a must. Accommodating a variety of reading interests and levels will help ensure success. Setting achievable goals and providing rewards for meeting those goals can prove to be a powerful motivator.
Interactive summer reading challenges that use games, book clubs, research projects, and sibling and family-shared reading often work best. Children are more likely to be motivated to read widely if there’s a sense of pride and involvement with their reading experiences. Providing a diverse and engaging range of reading materials is the best way for schools, libraries, and parents to help children get permanently hooked on books.
A good dose of holiday reading can also help combat the “summer slide,” where children’s academic skills regress over the summer months and reading challenges can help prevent learning loss and energize children for the upcoming school year. So get your child participating in a reading challenge this summer, and let us know the positive impact it has!
Further reading and sources
- Allington, R.L., McGill-Franzen, A., Camilli, G., Williams, L., Graff, J., Zeig, J., & Nowak, R. (2010). Addressing summer reading setback among economically disadvantaged elementary students. Reading Psychology, 31(5), 411-427. (Found that providing books and support to economically disadvantaged elementary school students during the summer months helped to prevent reading setbacks and improve reading achievement.)
- Kim, J.S. (2016). The effects of summer reading programs on the reading achievement of low-income elementary students. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 21(1), 1-14. (Determined that participation in summer reading programs had a positive impact on the reading achievement of low-income elementary school students.)
- Worthy, J., & Turner, M. (2013). Connecting summer reading experiences to the Common Core State Standards. The Reading Teacher, 66(3), 225-234. (Emphasized the importance of summer reading in helping students meet the Common Core State Standards and highlights the benefits of summer reading in developing critical thinking, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.)
- Krashen, S. (2014). Free voluntary reading: A new research agenda. Language and Literacy Spectrum, 24, 9-19. (Demonstrated the importance of reading for pleasure and highlighted the benefits of providing children with access to a variety of reading materials, including during the summer months.)
- Daisey, D., Daisey, J., & Thomas, G. (2019). Effect of summer reading on reading achievement and motivation of middle school students. Journal of Education and Practice, 10(5), 45-51. (Discovered that participation in a summer reading program had a positive impact on the reading achievement and motivation of middle school students.)