Summer Reading 2016

Summer Reading Challenge | Weekly Programs | Special Events | School Summer Reading Lists



This summer, we challenge readers of all ages to try new kinds of reading!  Pick up a READ card at any location starting June 20 and make a path from the starting line to the finish line by reading books that match the choices on the READ card racetrack.

Examples of choices on the READ card include: read a book by your favorite author, read a book with “game” in the title, read a biography of a famous athlete, or listen to an audiobook.

When you’ve made a path from the starting line to the finish line, you can hand in your READ card to receive an instant prize and be entered in the grand prize raffle!  As soon as you finish one READ card, you can start a new one.

To encourage you to read all summer, we offer additional prizes and opportunities if you hand in a READ card between Aug 1 and Aug 12, whether it’s your first READ card or one of multiple READ cards you complete this summer.


Raffle prizes include:

Remember, you can come into any Cranston Public Library starting June 20 to pick up a READ card!  You can also drop in during a kick-off at the Central Library on Monday, June 20, 4:30-7:00 PM or Wednesday, June 22, 2:30-4 PM.
Young people who sign up for the summer reading challenge are eligible to have their fines waived!  Please fill out this form after you have picked up your READ card from any Cranston Public Library.  (We can only waive overdue fines, not charges for lost items, and the library card must belong to the young person who signed up.)


Here's a brief overview of summer programs that occur weekly.  For more information about ages and registration or ticketing requirements, please check out the event calendar or current flyers.
2:30 PM: Special Performers @ Auburn
6:30 PM: Special Performers @ Central
10 AM: Kick-off to Kindergarten @ Central
10:30 AM: 1, 2, 3 Read with Me @ Auburn
11 AM - 5 PM: Drop-in Crafts @ Knightsville
2:30 PM: Teen Tuesdays @ Central

10 AM: Book Babies @ Central
10:30 AM: Early Readers Read with Me @ Auburn
2:30 PM: Teen Workshops (locations vary)
6:00 PM: Reading Buddies @ Central

10:30 AM: 1, 2, 3 Play with Me @ William Hall
10:30 AM: Storytime for 2s & 3s @ Central
2:30 PM: Performers & Programs @ William Hall
3:00 PM: Talespinners @ Central
10:30 AM: 1, 2, 3 Move with Me @ Oak Lawn
2:30 PM: Special Performers @ Oak Lawn

In addition to our weekly programs, we offer many special events that occur only a few times each summer.  This is not a complete list, so please see the event calendar or current flyers for more programs.  However, here are some special events that go along with our theme of sports, competition and fitness: 

Ping-pong Smackdown

Learn the basic rules of ping-pong, play for fun, and finish with an (optional) smackdown elimination competition! Each library's champ will have the opportunity to compete for the title of Cranston Library Ping-Pong Champ at the Central Library on August 2nd, and everyone can come cheer on the competitors. Program is for young people entering Grade 5 and up. All equipment will be provided. Registration is encouraged but not required. Contact your library to find out if the ping-pong tables and paddles are available for practice or free play at other times.

  • Auburn Smackdown: July 5, 2:30-4:30 PM
  • Central Smackdown: July 12, 2:30-4:30 PM
  • Knightsville Smackdown: July 19, 2:30-4:30 PM
  • Hall Smackdown: July 26, 2:30-4:30 PM
  • Tournament of Champions: August 2, 3:30-4:30 PM @ Central

The winners of each individual library’s Smackdown will play for the title of Cranston Library Ping-pong Champ. Spectators are welcome. Refreshments will be served. Come at 2:30 to participate in the Chocolate Olympics, too!


Zumba Kids! @ Oak Lawn* | Ages 7-11 | July 12-Aug 3, 3 PM

Grab your friends and move like no one is watching! Zumba Kids is the dance-fitness party where we play it loud and rock with friends to our own rules! Registration is required and will begin June 21st. This class is taught by a licensed Zumba instructor.

Bike Maintenance 101 @ Central | Grades 6 & up (adults, too!) | July 12, 6 PM

Learn some bike maintenance skills from Providece Recycle-a-Bike! This class will cover the ABC Quick Check which should be performed before any bike ride, as well as a few cost-saving maintenance skills, like greasing your chain and adjusting your brake pads. Registration is encouraged by not required. Bring your bike! The first 12 people will receive a patch kit to keep.


Fantastic Book Club: Fun and Games Edition @ Central* | Grades 4-7 | July 13 & Aug 10, 4-5 PM

Explore stories of competition, games, and sports. Be prepared for a lively discussion! The July title is The Boys Start the War by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Plan to read the book before the program. Copies of each month's selected book will be available at the Youth Services Desk. Registration is required.

Get in the Game Mini Comic Con @ Central | All ages | Friday, July 15, 2:30-4:30 PM

Have fun playing a variety of super hero and movie-themed games for small prizes, get your photo taken with a superhero, and watch our 3D printer in action as it prints game pieces and superhero logos. Visit all our booths and have your card stamped to be eligible for our prize drawing. This event is open to teens and their families.

Stuffed Animal Sleepover @ Knightsville* | All ages (recommended for ages 4-7) | July 15, 7 PM

Listen to stories, do activities, and then your stuffed animals will sleep over at the library! Come back on Saturday morning between 9 and 10 AM to pick up your stuffed animals and to hear about how they spent their night in the library. Registration is required.

Quidditch Tournaments @ William Hall*

  • Grades 4-8: Tuesday, Aug 2, 5:30-7:30 PM
  • Grades 9-12: Wednesday, Aug 3, 5:30-7:30 PM

Calling all witches and wizards! Join us for a Quidditch Tournament. No need to have your Hogwarts letter—this program is open to grades 4-8 on August 2 and grades 9-12 on August 3. Door Prizes, snacks and more. Please wear sneakers or closed-toed shoes. Registration is required. Sorting will occur right before the match.


The school librarians of the Cranston Public Schools select titles for these recommended reading lists. For information about assignments, as well as additional reading required for AP English classes, please see the Cranston Public Schools's summer reading page.

Elementary School

Middle School


High School



If you would like the Cranston Public Library to add your school's reading list to this page, please email a file or link to  We would like to make this page as comprehensive as possible, but we do not always receive updated information directly from schools, so please confirm the details of summer reading assignments with your educational institution.

Bayview Lower School Bayview Middle School Bayview Upper School
Bishop Hendricken Gordon School Immaculate Conception
La Salle Academy The Lincoln School Jewish Community Day School
Moses Brown School Mount Saint Charles Academy Providence Schools
The Prout School St. George's School Saint Raphael Academy
St. Rocco School St. Pius V School The Weeler School


The summer reading program is made possible by funding from the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Our local sponsors include Cranston Public Library Association, Friends of the Cranston Public Library, BankNewport, Collette Foundation, Bob's Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation, Pawtucket Credit Union Charitable Foundation, Cranston Municipal Employees Credit Union.

Local businesses that provided coupons or gift certificates as incentives include B.Good, Launch Trampoline Park, New Balance, Panera Bread, and Pinkberry.