Summer Reading Clubs in Lake County

As the school year comes to a close, chances are you are busy planning your summer calendar – swim lessons, camp, visits to the beach. Don’t forget to pencil in time for your kids to participate in their local summer reading club. These fun programs help foster a love of reading in your children while providing numerous other benefits, such as improved literacy and listening skills, longer attention spans, and more sophisticated vocabularies.

summer reading clubs

Many summer reading clubs are open to kids of all ages, and some have adult programs, too. If your child isn’t reading yet, she can still participate by being read to by a parent, sibling or caregiver. Many summer reading clubs offer special incentives or prizes for completing the program or reading a certain number of books.

Here is a selection of summer reading clubs in Lake County that are sure to delight your little bookworms.

Library Summer Reading Clubs

Cook Memorial Public Library District
701 Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills | (847) 362-2330
413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 362-2330
June 1 – July 31
The Cook Memorial Public Library District’s summer reading club is available for bookworms of all ages, from babies to adults. Participants who compete reading logs can participate in special activities and earn prizes.


Deerfield Public Library
920 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield | (847) 945-3311
Starts June 11
Keep your kids’ brains engaged this summer with the Deerfield Public Library’s Read for the Win Summer Reading Program! Visit the library on June 11 to sign up and participate in the summer reading fun. There will be a photo booth, face painting, a caricature artist, games, and more! The library will also have cool sign-up giveaways (while supplies last), and fun prizes for our summer readers who complete the program (all ages welcome). 


Ela Area Public Library
275 Mohawk Trail, Lake Zurich | (847) 438-3433
June 1 – July 31
The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Program is Ride ‘Em, Cowboy! Kids who saddle up with a good book can come to the library to collect prizes through Sunday, July 31. Adults who participate will have a chance to win an iPad Mini. Logs are available in the One Book, One Reading Community booklet and at the Information Desk.


Freemont Public Library
1170 N. Midlothian Rd., Mundelein | (847) 566-8702
June 12 – July 24
Kids from birth through grade 5 can participate in the library’s Summer Library Club. This year’s theme is Exercise Your Mind: Read! To sign up, go to the Summer Library Club table in the Youth Services Department.


Grayslake Area Public Library District
100 Library Ln., Grayslake | (847) 223-5313
Read for the Win!
June 4 – July 31
The Grayslake Public Library summer reading club is open to both kids and adults. Complete 30 days of reading and win a variety of prizes. On Saturday, June 4, the library will host a fun-filled kick-off event with face painting, a craft table, games, a balloon artist, and a performance by Grammy nominated entertainer Dave Rudolph. There are even fun activities for adults, such as a sidewalk chalk competition, a coloring mural, opportunities to design your own book jackets and a fortune teller!


Lake Bluff Public Library
123 E Scranton Ave, Lake Bluff | (847) 234-2540
Explore the Galaxy @ Your Library
June 4 – July 30
There are three levels to Lake Bluff Public Library’s Summer Reading Club: PADAWAN – Read to Me, For children ages 2 through 7 years who do not read independently;  JEDI KNIGHT – Middle Reader, for independent readers through grade 5; and JEDI MASTER – Young Adult, for readers entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. All young adult participants who finish the program will receive a raffle ticket for a special drawing to be held at the end of the Summer Reading Club, and all participants will receive a prize upon checking in at the children’s desk after they have completed a book.

Upon completion of the program, each child can choose a paperback book for their final prize. Each child in the Summer Reading Club will receive one penny to donate to the Adler Planetarium for each book they read and will be entered into a drawing to win two Family All-Access Passes (4 people per pass).

Adults can join the fun too – adult participants who return a completed reading log by August 31 will earn two free pre-publication books and will have a chance to win other great prizes in our raffles.

Adults, kids, and all other earthlings are invited to launch off the Summer Reading Club with a rocket launch on Saturday, June 4 on the Village Green in Lake Bluff. Bring an empty 2-liter bottle to the library to design and decorate your rocket from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The rockets will be launched on the Village Green to using the power of science.


Vernon Area Public Library District
300 Olde Half Day Rd., Lincolnshire | (847) 634-3650
Summer Library Club 2016 – Library Olympics
Starts June 4
Kids in grades K-5 can participate in a number of fun “library Olympic events,” such as the Speed Reading Challenge, Book Chariot Races, Book Discus, Speed Checkout Challenge, and Julia Gulia in the Relay Race. After completing five Olympic tasks, kids can come to the library to collect prizes, including free books.


Wauconda Area Library
801 N.Main St., Wauconda | (847) 526-6225
Begins May 30
This summer the Wauconda Area Library is putting a “zippy” new spin on its traditional summer reading club. The library is inviting readers of all ages to add to its interactive community art project inside the library. For every two books checked out, participants will receive a colorful zip-tie. Participants will add their zip-ties to whimsical trees in the library’s Read Around Town display, creating a forest of color celebrating our growing community of readers. The interactive display will also feature shared book recommendations and reading experiences, in addition to “get caught reading” photos.

The library van will be visiting locations throughout the library district with fun prizes, games, storytelling, and more. For more information on how to sign up, stop by the library or visit


Warren-Newport Public Library
224 N. O’Plaine Rd., Gurnee | (847) 244-5150
June 11 – July 30

Kids of all ages – and adults, too – can read to win a variety of prizes. Babies can win a board book and rubber ducky, and older kids can win food coupons and paperback books. All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a grand prize. You may register in person or online; to register online, go to and look for Summer Reading. Keep track of your reading online. If you also want a paper log, stop in the library starting June 11, after you register online. Everyone who registers online June 10 will be entered into an early bird drawing for a $25 gift card.

All are invited to a special summer reading kick-off event on Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m. Ballet Folklórico will take the audience on a ride of regional dances from Mexico, introducing fascinating folklore and ceremonial rituals.

Waukegan Public Library
800 N. Baldwin, Waukegan | (847) 263-8077
June 11 – August 7
Readers of all ages are invited to participate in this summer’s reading club. Stop by the library for more details.


Zion-Benton Public Library
2400 Gabriel Ave., Zion | (847) 872-4680
June 4 – August 13
This summer, the Zion-Benton Public Library challenges everyone to read at least 1,000 minutes in 10 weeks (approximately 15 minutes each day). Kids, teens, and adults will earn a prize for every 100 minutes read and will have chances to win grand prizes. This year’s theme is Read for the Win. The library is partnering with the Zion Park District for its 70th anniversary to bring participants a variety of fun and free activities to promote health and active lifestyles. Reading minutes can be logged online using Beanstack.

Kids reading a book in summer garden. Children study. Boy and girl play in school yard. Preschool friends playing and learning. Siblings doing homework. Kindergarten kid and toddler read books.

Other Reading Clubs

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge – Be a Reading Superhero
May 9 – Sept. 9, 2016
Log as many reading minutes as you possibly can this summer to earn virtual prizes and be entered into sweepstakes to win awesome prizes from Klutz. Scholastic also has a parent site with summer book lists and printable resources, such as a summer reading pledge, reading log and certificate of achievement.


Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon
720 Hawthorne Center, Vernon Hills | (847) 247-1157
20600 N. Rand Rd, Deer Park | (847) 438-7444
728 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield | (847) 914-9293

May 17 – Sept. 6
Kids in grades 1 through 6 can earn a free book at their local Barnes & Noble! The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon Opening Ceremony will be held on June 4 at 11 a.m. at your local store. Kids who complete a summer reading journal earn a free book, enjoy fun-filled activities, may cast a ballot for their favorite book hero, and earn a gold, silver or bronze medal.


Chuck E. Cheese’s1512 Nations Drive, Gurnee | (847) 249-1120
700 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Vernon Hills | (847) 327-9122
Kids who read every day for two weeks and complete a reading log (available here) get 10 free tokens. (Food purchase is required.)



Voracious Meatheads Reading Rewards
955 Rockland Ave., Lake Bluff | (847) 457-1122
500 N. Hough St., Barrington | (847) 637-0040
Kids 13 years and under who read five books can be rewarded once every 30 days with (1) FREE Lil’ Meathead burger*. Reward requires a completed form (available here) with a parent signature.


Sylvan Book Adventure
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, return to the site to take a quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes. Sylvan also publishes a summer reading list.


Sync Summer Reading Program for Teens
May 5 – August 17
SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens ages 13 or older. SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week based on themes. Titles are delivered through the OverDrive app.


Which summer reading programs will your family be participating in this year? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

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About Laura Otto 28 Articles
Laura Otto is an associate professor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in journalism, writing for new media and creative writing. She lives in Vernon Hills with her husband, Matt, and three kids: Cole (19), Maya (7) and Shane (4). When she isn’t grading papers or scrubbing crayon off the walls, she can be found playing Downton Abbey trivia games on Facebook or doodling all over her kids’ homework.

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