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2023 Summer Reading Challenge

It's the Red Balloon Bookshop 2023 Summer Reading Challenge!

Starting June 4, Stop by the store to pick up a summer reading worksheet.

Summer Reading Rules

As you read, fill in each square with the title of a book that matches the category. Each box should have a different title, so if a book matches multiple categories, just pick which one you want to use it for.

When you complete a bingo, stop by the store to show us your worksheet and pick up your prizes! A bingo counts as any four consecutive squares (diagonals count). You can also wait to turn in your bingo sheet until you have completed all of the challenges, including the blackout. Fill out the summer reading reflection questions on the second sheet to claim your blackout prize!

Throughout the summer, we'll have various fun happenings which will make for great opportunities to come pick up your prizes and celebrate! They include:

  • Grand Old Day: June 4
  • Bookmark Art Contest Workshop: June 15 @ 3-5pm
  • Find Waldo Party: July 31 @ 4:00pm
  • Theater in the Parking Lot: August 17 @ 6:30pm

The Summer Reading Challenge officially begins on June 4, 2023, which is the earliest you can turn in your sheet for a prize. It will end on Labor Day, September 4, 2023. All bingo sheets must be turned in by that date to be eligible for prizes.


Summer Reading Prizes:

Youth Prize:
Bingo: A visit to the Red Balloon treasure chest for a special prize!

Blackout: A Red Balloon prize pack that includes coupons to Grand Avenue businesses including a coupon to Red Balloon Bookshop, and an exclusive Summer Reading sticker!

Adult Prize:
Blackout: Your choice of a free advance reader's copy (ARC) of a book and a chance to win a $30 Red Balloon gift card!

Participating Grand Avenue businesses include:

Grand Ole CreameryMischief Toy StoreNothing Bundt Cakes

Show these stores your support and thank them for being a part of Summer Reading! Each store's logo links to its website.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose which books to read?
We encourage finding books by queer, disabled, and/or BIPOC authors; otherwise it’s up to you! Having trouble with a particular category or age group? Visit our book suggestions page for ideas! (Note that this is different from our Red Balloon Summer Reading Recommendations.)

Who can participate in the reading challenge?
Anyone! If you’re reading independently, boxes should be filled in with books you’ve ready by yourself. If you’re still learning to read, fill in boxes with books you’ve read with a family member or friend. 

Should books be fiction or nonfiction?
All categories can be filled by either except “read a biography or autobiography."

What counts as a Red Balloon recommendation?
Great question! Visit this year's list of Red Balloon Recommendations at this link.

Do audiobooks count? What about graphic novels?
Yes and yes! Books can be in any format to qualify, as long as they match the other criteria. We recommend for audiobooks that support indie bookstores like us!

Can I use the same book for multiple boxes?
Nope! The goal is to read lots of books you might not read otherwise, so each box needs to be filled with its own book title.

I have more questions!
You can contact us at and we'll get back to you with answers as soon as we can.