2014 Summer Reading Program

In 2013, we offered our first summer reading program, and we were thrilled with the response we got. Over 400 kids signed up, nearly 250 completed the minimum reading, and over 100 kids reached the contest goals. Many parents (and students) commented that they enjoyed the reading list and appreciated that the prizes were based on merit. So, we want to do it again!

Every year, half a bajillion local libraries offer incentive-based programs designed to get kids reading during the summer. While the aim is a good one, we (and others) are often frustrated with the quality of literature available. Our goal is to help raise the bar.

As a result, we are happy to offer our own recommended reading list. The Outside of a Dog Book List offers 50+ titles for each grade. Full of genuine classics and family favorites, it doesn't promote a liberal agenda, cater to the lowest common denominator, or present books designed to make anyone look smart. It's a list meant simply to open the wide doors of reading to kids turned off by more standard fare, to help kindle a love of reading.

From the feedback we received last year, we've digitally updated Outside of a Dog for 2014. We've added a read-aloud section for preschool & kindergartners, adjusted a few grade level suggestions, removed a few books and added others, and even offer some suggested fiction & non-fiction for adults. We've focused on adding more "girl-friendly" books, and more lesser-known titles. Plus, we've incorporated links to tons of resources scattered throughout our (admittedly overwhelming) website.

Who Can Do It? Any student grades 1-12. Younger students may also enroll, but the kids must read the books themselves. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE LOCAL. You can download the free booklist via pdf, and your book logs can be completed online.

Cost: $5 per participant. If you sign up online, please include each child's name and grade in the order comments (we'll be calling if you don't!). You are under no obligation to buy a single book from us, but we will email a coupon code to registrants early in July.

The booklist is free, but you can also purchase a printed copy of last year's version of Outside of a Dog ($3 each—sales of this will help fund the prizes).

  • Read at least five books from Outside of a Dog (grade level or above).
    Each participant who does that will receive one $5 gift certificate to Exodus and one entry into the grand prize drawing.
  • Keep reading, and you'll have more chances to win.
    Each book read beyond the first five nets you an additional entry to the grand prize drawing, but...
  • Additional books must be from our website and be grade appropriate.
    Your student's digital booklog will verify that the book is on the site and appropriate for their grade level. If you read a book that does not register and think we should list it, please let us know by July 31 so we can decide whether to include it.
  • Kids must READ the books themselves.
    Audio books and read-alouds, while wonderful things, are not the same experience. We realize this doesn't allow some younger kids to participate—but they can when they can read! If you need an exception for special circumstances, please call.
  • High school students must read two non-fiction titles.
    The other three are up to them.
  • The books must beUNABRIDGED.
    No exceptions.
  • Record your reading!
    Each registrant will receive access to a digital book log. Please record the titles you read and rate the books there. Everything posted from June 1st to August 31 will count towards final numbers. If you can't access it, download the printable book log, fill that out and submit it by mail or in person before August 31.
  • Parents: PLEASE confirm your students actually read the books!

Everyone who reads 5 books from their grade level will receive a $5 gift certificate to Exodus. Local kids will also get a prize from the Clackamas Old Spaghetti Factory.

Grades 1-6

  • Read 25 books and get a $10 certificate to Exodus.
  • There will be one $50 grand prize for most books read.

Grades 7-12

  • Read 5000 pages and get a $15 certificate to Exodus
  • There will be one $50 grand prize for most pages read.

There will be one $75 grand prize random drawing
This will include all participants who have read the five book minimum or more (other grand prize winners are ineligible).

We are currently funding all the gift certificates, but we would love help! If you would like to help sponsor gift certificates or donate other prizes, please give us a call. Sponsors will receive advertising in the reading program emails. If you have questions, please give us a call at 503-655-1951.