Summer Reading Game

logo official wideLog in to your summer reading account here (or click the picture above).

Sign up for our summer reading game and get a free book to jumpstart the fun!  An extra element is an optional online game component where readers can keep track of their minutes read, unlock mini-games to play, complete optional special challenges for an additional prize, and customize the look of their very own astronaut character.  After reading300 minutes over the summer participants may put their names up on our bulletin board for all to see.

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 can participate in our Teen Summer Reading Game.  Children entering grades 7 and 8 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.

I participated last year.  Should I make a new username?

Yes.  We are using a different system than last year to track summer reading, so everyone needs to make a new username and password on the new Read Squared website.

How does it work? (ages 5 – 14)

1. Beginning the day school gets out, Friday, June 14, children ages 5 and up can pick up a Reading Record in the Children’s Department or download it here.
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, by phone, or in person.
3.  Pick out a free book just for signing up!  If you register outside the library, just ask at the children’s desk next time you come in.  Free books are first-come-first-serve, while supplies last, so don’t wait!
4. Write your name on the Reading Record.  You keep track of the minutes you’ve read in the Record in 15-minute segments.
5. Sign up for the optional online game portion of our summer reading game, called Read Squared, either in person or on our website.  You may keep track of minutes you read, challenges you complete, unlock mini-games to play, and customize your astronaut character.
6.  Complete optional challenges from your Reading Record to unlock secret codes online.  Complete all the challenges for a special prize.
7.  After you’ve read 300 minutes, bring your log to the library and show it to children’s room staff to get a game piece with your name on it and a summer reading sticker on it.  Put it on the lobby bulletin board, for all to see.
8.  You have completed the game after reading 300 minutes.  Ask for a Final Certificate, then play again and pick up another Reading Record.  You get an additional sticker for your game piece for every 300 minutes read.
9.  The Summer Reading Game ends on August 29th, the day school begins.
10.  Take your Reading Record(s) to school this fall to show your teacher.

How does it work? (under age 5)

1  June 14th is when the summer reading game starts.
2.  Sign up at the library and pick up your reading record, or sign up online and download & print your reading record here.
3.  Get your free book for signing up.  Free books are first-come-first-serve, while supplies last.
4.  For every book read to you you get to color in one picture on the front of your reading record.  For every pre-literacy activity completed, you get to color in one picture on the reverse side of your reading record.
5.  When you have completed 10 activities (at least 5 of them books) bring your reading record back to the children’s room to show us, then get a game piece with your name on it to put up on the library’s bulletin board for all to see.  You have completed the game after completing 10 pre-literacy activities (at least 5 of them books).  Ask for a Final Certificate, then play again and pick up another Reading Record or finish all activities on your first one.  You get an additional sticker for your game piece for every 10 books read or activities completed.
6.  August 29th is when the summer reading game ends.

How does it work? (age 13 & up)

If you are entering grades 7 or 8 and 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, you must sign up at the library.  You get a free book when you sign up and then you get a reading record to keep track of how many minutes you read and what activities you complete to earn points.  Please come to 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.  Magazines may count for optional challenges, but do not count towards reading 300 minutes.  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 300 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.

Why minutes instead of books?

Minutes are the most fair measure of reading tracking 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.  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 going forward.  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.

Do I have to keep track in two places, online and on paper?

No.  You may choose which method suits you better, or do both.  The online portion is completely optional, but does make the game more fun, because you can unlock mini space games to play the more minutes you read.  Many teachers will ask for your summer reading log in September.  You may hand in your paper log from the library or you may print out your reading record from your Read Squared account.  You do not need a paper log to keep track of your 300 minutes and get your game piece on the wall.  However, you do need a paper log to keep track of your optional challenges, as we give out stickers for each challenge completed, and you only get secret codes after completing two challenges.  There is currently no way to keep track of which challenges you have completed in your online profile.

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, and get an additional sticker to keep for yourself, but you will only get the prize for completing all 12 challenges once.

How do I sign up for the online portion of the game?

When you sign up by phone or at the library, you will be asked certain required information, like name, age, school, etc., and at this time you will also be asked to create a username and password for use on the Read Squared program.  Parental permission is required to gain full access to the online game portion, so parents must provide an email address.
If you sign up online, you enter your age first.  Then you will have to provide your parent’s email address as well as some other information, such as your name and school, and then create a username and password (each at least 5 characters long).  After that, you can start logging your minutes and secret codes as you complete them to unlock mini-games and achievements.

What events count as library events?

Any event that is presented at the library and on the library’s calendar of events.  To see a list of all events offered for children over the summer, follow the calendar links to the right, or download the flyer here.

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 count for us.  You still have to sign up with us at the library to receive your free book, and you have to show us how many minutes you read, whether you use our reading log or theirs, to get credit for your books and get your game piece on the wall.  You still must use our reading log to keep track of optional challenges to get your extra prize, even if you keep track of your minutes with some other method.

This looks different than last year’s online game.  Why?  What does this mean for me?

The Connecticut State Library’s contract with our previous vendor Wandoo Reader expired and they elected to go with Read Squared this year instead.  Read Squared offers many additional features, like mini-games that can be unlocked as you progress, and is still very fun and easy to use.  What this means is that you will need to create a new username and password when you sign up for Read Squared and you won’t have access to your Wandoo Reader information from previous years.  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.