CSLP Summer Reading Champion

2024 Summer Reading Champion

In honor of the 80th Birthday of Smokey Bear, CSLP has partnered with the USDA Forest Service to appoint Smokey as the 2024 Summer Reading Champion. Many libraries across the US are engaging their communities using the Smokey Bear Readding Challenge this year, with materials provided by USDA Forest Service. The Smokey Bear Reading Challenge Toolkit is free and available to all libraries online. As Summer Reading Champion, Smokey will be be providing a #SmokeyBearReads campaign that will include the launch of social media challenge for the public to post pictures of themselves reading with Smokey in their favorite “adventurous” spot, and short PSAs of people reading with Smokey, as well as a couple of videos featuring Forest Service officers reading with Smokey. CSLP is thrilled to be able to team-up with such a famous figure for the 2024 Summer Reading Champion, and we look forward to hearing from our libraries on how they engage their communities using Smokey Bear.

I am thrilled to be partnering with the CSLP to encourage summer reading! What a wonderful way to celebrate my 80th birthday. “Adventure Begins At Your Library” is a wonderful testament to all the great resources libraries have. Celebrate my birthday by visiting your library to learn about wildfire prevention, forests, and natural resources.

Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest-running public service advertising campaign is U.S. history, educating generations of Americans about their role in preventing human-caused wildfires. As one of the world’s most recognizable characters, Smokey’s image is protected by U.S. federal law and is administered by the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. This year is Smokey’s 80th birthday and his message is as relevant today as it was in 1994. Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.

2023 Summer Reading Champion
Jenna Bush Hager

I’m so excited to be partnering with CSLP to promote summer reading! I come from a long line of book lovers (my mom was a librarian!). Summer nights, cuddled up with my mom or grandmothers and a book are some of my most precious memories. I can’t wait to encourage other kids to do the same– to dig into the pages of their first chapter book, get lost in a picture book or pick up their first earlier reader and let their imaginations take them away!

All Together Now is a beautiful testament to what I hope books can do for us all: connect and encourage acceptance of many different types of people.

I’m so happy that Read With Jenna Jr and CSLP are partnering for the summer to encourage kids to check out a book and start reading! I’m honored to be this year’s Reading Champion and promise to encourage library visits and beach reading, all summer long!

As we read “All Together Now” this summer, I know we can help shape strong, empathetic young readers!!


Please print this list and display in your libraries:

Check out the Read with Jenna Summer Reading List

2021 Summer Reading Champion

Guide Dogs for the Blind’s VP of Outreach, Admissions, and Alumni Theresa Stern and yellow Labrador Retriever guide dog Wills!

Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind has been creating partnerships between people, dogs, and communities. With exceptional client services and a robust network of instructors, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, they prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired from throughout the United States and Canada.

All of the services for their clients are provided free of charge, including personalized training and extensive post-graduation support, plus financial assistance for veterinary care, if needed. Their work is made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers; they receive no government funding.

For more information visit: https://www.guidedogs.com/

2020 Summer Reading Champion
Carmen Agra Deedy

2019 National Summer Reading Champions

Dr. Kjell Lindgren

NASA Astronaut
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Lindy Elkin-Tanton

Planetary Scientist and Professor
Arizona State University

Dr. Seth Shostak

Senior Astronomer
SETI Institute

Dr. Michelle Thaller

Assistant Director, Communications
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Erin Teagan


Arika Egan

Graduate Student Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences
University of Colorado Boulder

2018 National Summer Reading Champion

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is a Grammy winning, internationally touring, purple velvet tuxedo wearing family funk phenomenon. Combining the positive, primal power of hip hop with the surreal storytelling of science fiction, 23 Skidoo has concocted a potent potion that wows family crowds across the planet.

The ingredients of his magic spells include reverence for the boundless mind states of young children, respect for the culture and DNA of hip hop, funk and soul music, and a deep belief in the power of the imagination to change the world in positive ways, both personal and universal.

If you can imagine a band with Jim Henson on guitar, Shel Silverstein on bass and PIXAR as the lead vocalist, you’ve pretty much got it. And if George Clinton and Q Tip stopped by the party, that might clarify things even more. Basically, if Dr. Seuss and Dr. Dre had a baby, it would be the music of Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.

2017 National Summer Reading Champion

Kwame Alexander

Photo credit: Donnie Biggs

Kwame Alexander, 2017 National Summer Reading Champion, is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including BOOKED and THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include SURF’S UP, a picture book, and HE SAID SHE SAID, a YA novel.

A regular speaker at schools and conferences, he travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Each year, Alexander leads a delegation of writers, educators, and activists to Ghana, as part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded that builds libraries and provides literacy professional development for teachers.

2016 National Summer Reading Champion

Kate DiCamillo

International Bestseller
U.S. National Ambassador For Young People’s Literature
Two-Time Newbery Medal Winner

Dear Readers,

When I was a kid, I lived in a small town in central Florida called Clermont. I loved all of Clermont: I loved the lakes and the hills and the small downtown. But my very favorite thing about Clermont was Cooper Memorial Library. It was an old house filled with books, and one of the librarians there, Miss Alice said to me one day that I was a “True Reader,” and because of that there was no limit on the number of books that I could check out and take home.

That library was a magical place for me – a place of possibility, safety, and promise.

My greatest hope is that each of you has the chance to feel the same way about your own library. This summer, public libraries around the country are offering summer reading programs. If you haven’t signed up yet, stop by your local library and put your name down. There will be games and prizes and all sorts of activities, but most of all, there will be stories – more stories than you can possibly imagine.

The theme this summer is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” At the library you can find books that will encourage you to stay active in the world. And getting there can be an activity, too. I used to ride my bike to the public library in the summertime. Find ways to challenge yourself and set goals at your local library.

So sign up for the summer reading program and discover the magic of your own library. Through stories, you can enter a new world and connect with others in your school, in your family, and across the country who are also reading. And when someone asks you what you did with your summer, you can proudly show them your reading log and tell them all about the great stories you experienced and all the heroes you met.

Happy reading,

Kate DiCamillo

Check out Kate DiCamillo’s Top 10 Reasons to read this summer! To download the 8 x 11 flyer please click on the image.

Check out Kate DiCamillo’s Top 10 Reasons to read this summer! To download the 11 x 17 flyer please click on the image.

Check out Kate DiCamillo’s Recommended Reading List for Summer 2016! To Download the 8 x 11 flyer please click on the image.

To download the SPANISH 8 x 11 flyer please click on the image below.

To download the SPANISH 11 x 17 flyer please click on the image below.