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Choose your own adventure, feed your mind, and explore your community with the Summer Challenge!

We’ve got summer programs for all ages, and prizes to help encourage kids to keep reading and learning over the summer.

Reading even a few books can prevent the “summer slide,” where students lose reading skills and have to relearn them in the fall. For adults, reading has been shown to reduce stress and improve long-term memory. We even have a program for little ones, with activities that get them ready to read and succeed when they reach kindergarten!


Playing is simple: complete challenges and earn badges, which earn you prizes along the way. You get a prize just for signing up–kids 3-18 get a day pass to Rutherford Pool and adults get a bookmark. Sign up at any library desk or online.

The Summer Challenge incorporates all sorts of learning experiences and is great to play together as a family. There are three kinds of challenges:

READ: Read anything you want! Mysteries, thrillers, comic books, fanfiction, romance novels, audiobooks–it’s all fair game. Listening to audiobooks or hearing someone else read aloud counts too. Get a badge for each book you read. When you reach six books, kids and teens get a free book and an Aubree’s personal pizza.

LEARN: Whether you’re programming robots, digging in the garden, attending an author visit, or finding the Bookmobile at a community event, the library has tons of free programs where you can learn and engage in something new. Collect a secret code at each library program and earn a badge.

EXPLORE: Learning happens everywhere. Complete missions around town, like finding a historic marker or a Little Free Library, and look for codes everywhere–at your favorite local businesses and even on the bus. Some challenges have special prizes attached, like a set of tickets to Thunder Over Michigan!

How to play

  1. Sign up: Ask at any library in-person or sign up online 
  2. Read, Learn, and Explore: Earn a badge each time you read a book, attend a library program, or try a community challenge.
  3. Win Prizes: Earn a prize when you sign up and when you read six books. Each badge you earn also gets you a chance to win a grand prize basket of your choice. All badges must be recorded online or handed in at a library desk by August 31.


Join Us at Kickoff!

On Saturday, June 15, all YDL locations will hold Summer Challenge Kickoff parties with food, outdoor games, and a prize for those who sign up.