Summer Reading Challenge

10 Children’s Books to Look Forward to in Spring 2019

10 Children’s Books to Look Forward to in Spring 2019 1000 668 admin


March is reading month, but it’s also the beginning of spring 2019. With spring comes the promise of rainy days, blooming flowers, and, of course, new books! We’ve gone ahead and found ten super exciting children’s books to be released starting March or spring 2019. Who knows, one of these could be your student’s next favorite!

Hiya Moriah

By Victoria Nelson

Release Date: March 10, 2019
Ages 1-10

This is a rhythmic story about Moriah, a girl with special needs, written by preschool teacher and Moriah’s mother, Victoria. Kids will learn how to celebrate uniqueness with Moriah’s brave and silly attitude, and how to make new friends with different abilities. This is truly a children’s book about love and acceptance for all families.


We Are the Gardeners

By Joanna Gaines

Release Date: March 26, 2019
Ages 4-8

This is the first children’s book by HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” host Joanna Gaines. The story describes Gaines and her children’s first attempt at planting a garden together. They face many obstacles along the way –like hungry bunnies — but learn that while trying something new isn’t always easy, it is rewarding!


Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself

By Matthew Gray Gubler

Release Date: April 2, 2019
Age 4-8

This story by Criminal Minds actor/director teaches children to embrace their individuality, especially the “weird” parts! With green skin, three strands of hair, five crooked teeth, and uneven feet, Rumple Buttercup and his imaginary trash friend Candy Corn Carl learn the magic of belonging.


Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal

By Jeff Kinney

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Ages 8-12

Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid will enjoy this new perspective on the series from Greg’s best friend Rowley. Read along as Rowley accounts his experiences and acts as Greg’s biographer, even if it doesn’t exactly go to plan!


Spy School British Invasion

By Stuart Gibbs

Release Date: April 30, 2019
Ages 8-12

In the seventh installment of the New York Times best selling Spy School series, superspy middle schooler Ben Ripley will defeat SPYDER once and for all! In order to do that, though, he and his friends will have to go rogue from the CIA and join forces with agents from across the pond. Will they finally complete their mission? You’ll have to wait until spring 2019 to find out!


You’re Missing It!

By Brady Smith and Tiffani Thiessen

Release Date: April 30, 2019
Ages 3-5

This Hollywood couple uses this charming story as a cautionary tale to remind parents and children to enjoy the time they spend together. A trip to the park with all its sight and sounds has the kids completely enthralled, but the parents are too absorbed by their phones. Something big needs to happen to regain their attention!


Aru Shah and The Song of Death

By Roshani Chokshi

Release Date: April 30, 2019
Ages 8-12

The sequel to Aru Shah and The End of Time is almost here! In this book, Aru is framed when the God of Love’s bow and arrow go missing. To clear her name, she must find them before the next full moon, or else she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld forever! Together with her friends, she must battle demons, traverse unknown realms, and face her enemies, even if they aren’t exactly who she expected!


Shouting at the Rain

By Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Release Date: May 7, 2019
Ages 10-12

The author of New York Times bestseller Fish in a Tree is back. In this story, readers will learn about the importance of perspective and loving the family they have along with main character Delsie. Weather tracking Delsie lives with her grandmother, but can’t help but feel like she wants a “normal” family lately. To make matters worse, a close friend then outgrows her, so Delsie leans on her neighbors and a new friend, Ronan, to help weather the storm.


Just Jaime

By Terri Libenson

Release Date: May 7, 2019
Ages 8-12

Back with another story of middle school drama, national bestselling author Terri Libenson’s latest character Jaime faces trouble when her friends start acting differently. Lately, it seems like Jaime is the odd one out of her group, and it doesn’t seem she can even rely on her best friend Maya anymore. How long will it be until Jaime has no friends at all? You’ll find out this spring 2019!


Jasper & Ollie

By Alex Williams

Release Date: May 28, 2019
Ages 3-7

Two unlikely friends, Jasper the fox and Ollie the sloth, decide to take a trip to the pool. One is go, go, go! While the other is slow, slow, slow. Students will learn to celebrate their differences, and the benefits to living life in the fast lane, but also taking some time to stop and smell the roses.


Your 2018 BrainFreeze Reading List

Your 2018 BrainFreeze Reading List 1100 733 admin

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: students are more likely to finish a book that they choose. Because there are so many books and even more kids to read them, we’ve compiled a reading list of engaging children’s books that your student surely won’t be able to put down!


2-4 Years

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Do You Want to be My Friend? By Erin Carle

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen and Lynn Maslen

Corduroy by Don Freeman

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault

No, David Series by David Shannon

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni

Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven


4-8 Years

Lily Brown’s Paintings by Angela Johnson

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

The Family Book by Todd Parr

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton

Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes by Eric Litwin

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

A New Friend for Sparkle by Amy Young

Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer

The Bad Seed Jory John

POP Classics: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Back to the Future, Home Alone, E.T., The X Files illustrated by Kim Smith

The Major Eights Series by Emilie Pepin

Ready Freddy Series by Abby Klein

I am a Human by Susan Verde

Katie Woo Series by Fran Manushkin

Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing TuTu by Yileya Fields

A Fire Engine for Ruthie by Leslea Newman

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Katie DiCamillo

Anne Arrives by Kallie George

Julian’s World Series by Ann Cameron

Warren & Dragon by Ariel Bernstein

Princess Pulverizer Series by Nancy Krulik

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

The Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey

Brobot by James R. Foley


8-12 Years

The Dog Man Series by Dav Pilkey

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School by Julia Falatko

Daisy Dreamer Series by Holly Anna

Ivy and Bean Series by Annie Barrows

Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome by Monica Brown and Sarai Gonzalez

Dork Diaries Series by Rachel Renee Russell

Riding Freedom by Pam Muñoz Ryan

The Last Kids on Earth Series by Max Brallier

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

Save Me a Seat by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer

Because of WInn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Pippi Longstocking Series by Astrid Lindgren

Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park

Dragon Slayers’ Academy by Kate McMullan

Babymouse Series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Nanny Piggins Series by R.A. Spratt

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

Ending: The Last by Katherine Applegate

Pug Pals: Two’s a Crowd by Flora Ahn

Stanley will Probably be Fine by Sally J. Pia

Lions and Liars by Kate Beasley

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams

2014 Summer Reading Challenge Winners

2014 Summer Reading Challenge Winners 398 236 admin

Congratulations to our 2014 Summer Reading Challenge Winners!  Three young readers have been randomly selected to win an iPod Touch, Kindle and iPod nano.

All summer long, these readers logged their minutes in the ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge.  For every 20 minutes of reading they logged, they earned a raffle ticket into a prize drawing for an iPod Touch and a Kindle.

ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge Readers logged 112,367 minutes this summer and earned a total of 5,631 raffle tickets.

Readers were also challenged to complete a BrainGain question about the books they were reading.  Each BrainGain question earned a raffle ticket into a random drawing for an iPod nano.


This year’s Summer Reading Challenge winners are…

Jordan M. from NY wins the iPod Touch!

Gavin D. from MI wins the Kindle!

National Summer Learning Day Challenge

National Summer Learning Day Challenge 226 200 admin

Read for a chance to win a Kindle on National Summer Learning Day! Log 20 minutes of reading on June 20 at the ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge and earn a raffle ticket for a Kindle drawing celebrating National Summer Learning Day! The ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge is a FREE online, summer-long event. Kids log their reading minutes online and earn raffle tickets for prize drawings, including the ever-popular iPods and Kindles!

In addition to racking up entries for reading minutes, kids can earn bonus raffle tickets by answering BrainGain reading questions. Fun science activities are posted every week for kids to explore and learn all summer long.

A great compliment to the ThinkStretch Summer Learning Program, our summer learning challenge is a terrific way to encourage reluctant readers to keep reading all summer long.

Free Books for Summer 2014!

Free Books for Summer 2014! 300 254 admin

Free books are a summer bonus for keeping up your reading skills.  Log your reading minutes every week in your ThinkStretch workbook and you will also be eligible for a free book at Barnes and Noble, Pottery Barn and a Half Price Books gift card drawing!


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Barnes and Noble Free Book

Simply log your books on the Barnes and Noble reading log and you can earn a free book at any Barnes and Noble.


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Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge

Read books from Pottery Barn’s book list and then visit your local store for your free book!  Plus, earn a reading certificate.


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Half Price Books

Turn in a reading log with 300 minutes and earn an entry into a drawing for a $20 HPB gift card.

NEW! ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge

NEW! ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge 208 246 admin

ThinkStretch is proud to introduce our newest feature for schools and families – the online ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge. Supporting the ThinkStretch Summer Learning book series, the online reading challenge offers another way to engage students and families over the summer time in fun, exploratory summer learning activities.  Logging reading minutes is just the beginning.

Students are challenged to log 20 minutes of reading five days a week over the summer to earn raffle tickets for a prize drawing.  As students create their personal online logins, they can watch their progress and earn raffle tickets along the way.  The raffle tickets enter kids into a prize drawing with large and small rewards – from an iPod to a brain eraser.

BrainGain questions earn even more raffle entries!  Reading comprehension is key to keeping reading skills strong over the summer.  Every time students log reading minutes, they will have the opportunity to answer a BrainGain question.  BrainGain questions range from “Name five words that caught your attention while reading” to “Summarize the story in 3 sentences.”

Entertain Your Brain activities offer hands on science, math, reading and writing exploration.  On each student’s personal challenge page there is a scrolling bar of Entertain Your Brain activities.  With new activities every week, kids and families will have at their fingertips science activities like “homemade silly putty” and “electricity in your mouth.”  Our reading lists ensure that finding the just right book is never a problem.  And our outdoor games and activities keep kids off the couch.

Customized summer reading challenges offer school and student specific reporting on reading minutes and comprehension activities completed.  Our custom option offers you the ability to report on student reading minutes by school, classroom or grade level.  You can also review the answers to the BrainGain questions by student.  In addition, schools can create special prizes and rewards for kids.  From passes to the front of the lunch line to certificates of success for reading milestones achieved, your school can create a program that works best for your student population.  Contact us if you would like to create a custom Entertain Your Brain challenge for your school.

The ThinkStretch Summer Reading Challenge will begin June 1 and end August 31.  Sign up will begin May 1, 2014. 

Summer reading is more fun with friends! Encourage your friends to sign up by sharing this post via social media.