Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s Summer Reading Challenge

Here’s all you need to know about the annual reading program and kick-off event, plus 6 tips from a librarian.
Children Reading
Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Public Library System (HSPLS)


School’s out, and there are eight weeks of summer ahead. One thing on our break bucket list: the Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s Summer Reading Challenge. This year, you can expect crave-worthy prizes, virtual badges, lucky drawings, weekly activities and of course, an exciting grand prize that both kids and adults can get excited about—four round trip tickets on Alaska Airlines.

Signs-ups are on now, and you can start logging your reading minutes on June 1. The goal? Read at least eight hours within eight weeks. Themed E Heluhelu Kākou: Seeds of Knowledge, the program is free and open to everyone—keiki who aren’t reading yet, children, teens and adults. In fact, you don’t even need a library card to participate.


girl reading in the summer

Photo: Skylar Zilka


How to Sign Up for HSPLS’s Summer Reading Challenge


  • Register with Beanstack online via the app from the Apple App Store (iPhone or iPad) or Google Play (Android devices), or in-person at a library branch. 
  • Read and log your minutes online or via the app. 
  • Visit your local branch for prizes and weekly activities.
  • Cross your fingers you’ll win the lucky drawings and grand prize airline tickets. 


The program runs June 1 through July 31, but don’t worry if you sign up late. You can still collect rewards and earn drawing entries until the last day, while supplies last. In fact, we are loving the sustainable prizes offered this year, including free locally published books, such as Whose Slippers are Those? by Marilyn Kahalewai and Coco Planter Kits to grow your own herbs. 


SEE ALSO:  We Tried It: Storytime at The Library


Storytime at the Library

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Public Library System (HSPLS)


Tips from a Librarian


We connected with the Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s Susan Nakata for some helpful advice.


  1. Do it together. Make the reading challenge a family event, even multi-generational. By modeling the behavior, parents and grandparents can help children become more engaged readers.
  2. Don’t get bogged down. Good news: you only need to log the number of minutes you read. No title or author required.
  3. Make a weekly visit. Create a summer routine to stop at your local branch to refresh your reading material and participate in a weekly keiki activity sheet with a sticker reward.
  4. Attend story time. Guess what? Story time at the library counts towards your reading minutes! Find a weekly story time near you.
  5. Follow your child’s reading interest. Summer reading is about fun and should not be forced. Bring on the bug/truck/unicorn books!
  6. Find a page-turner. Looking for ideas on what to read? Check out these suggested titles, organized by age group.  


SEE ALSO:  6 New and Cool Things You Can Do With Your Library Card Online


Family Reading

Photo: Hawai‘i State Public Library System


Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off Event


In celebration of the program, you’re invited to a party at the Hawai‘i State Library with a children’s story time, keiki hula performance and hands-on activities (with cake and punch, too)! Collect stamps and earn a prize by visiting interactive stations throughout the Hawai‘i State Library, including crafting an origami aloha shirt and meeting a live bearded dragon. Then head out to the front lawn to tie-dye your own book bag to take home!

  • All ages 
  • Free 
  • Saturday, June 3
    • 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Visit interactive stations inside the library
    • 10:30 a.m.: Story time and keiki hula performance
    • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Book bag tie-dyeing and bokashi composting on the front lawn
  • Hawai‘i State Library, 478 South King Street, Downtown
  • librarieshawaii.org


The Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s 2023 Summer Reading Challenge runs from June 1 to July 31 and is free for all ages. Find all the details of the event, get library hours and sign up for a library card at librarieshawaii.org