Summer is just around the corner — time to inspire kids to explore their world and avoid the summer slide. Help keep them engaged in school and hooked on reading with the 2019 Boys’ Life Say Yes To Reading Contest, sponsored by Nat Geo Kids.

Now in its 32nd year, the contest focuses on youth literacy and provides a great outlet for Scouts to build the habit for a lifetime of reading.

Here’s how it works:

Kids between the ages of 6-17 can write a one-page report titled “The Best Book I Read This Year.” The book can be fiction or nonfiction, but the report has to be in their own words — 500 words tops.

First-place winners in each age category will receive a $100 gift card. Second-place winners will receive a $75 gift card; third-place winners will receive a $50 gift card. Click here to get all the details.

Need some reading inspiration?

Nat Geo is ready to help readers get prepared for the Say Yes To Reading contest with an epic 300-book giveaway.

Those who enter will win either Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret or National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020 to add to their reading list. We will select 300 winners at random at the end of the promotion. The book giveaway ends 11:59:59 p.m. CTD, September 30, 2019. See the Official Rules for complete details. To enter the giveaway now, click here.

Learn more about each book!

The Nebula Secret

Join the adventure and find out why Explorer Academy is the coolest school on the planet in the thrilling new series packed with codebreaking, mystery and cool technology. Here’s the official synopsis:

Adventure, danger and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers. Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world’s leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there’s more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?

Readers can get in on the excitement with puzzles and codes embedded throughout.

Discover more at and 

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the most popular kids’ almanac on the planet and discover fascinating facts and photos about all kinds of subjects — from amazing animals to awesome exploration. Here’s the official synopsis:

It’s the 10th anniversary of the world’s best-selling almanac for kids! This year the Almanac features all-new content, interviews with explorers in each chapter, a special look at what was going on in the world when the first National Geographic Kids Almanac came out 10 years ago, plus the results of the 2019 Almanac Challenge and a new Challenge for kids who want to get involved with helping our planet.

Kids can have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling almanac, packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, conservation and more. There’s a whole chapter full of fun and games, including activities, jokes and comics. Practical reference material, including fast facts and maps of every country, has been fully updated. Homework help on key topics is sprinkled throughout the book.

Discover more at and 

These books provide a great start for the Reading merit badge

Entering the Say Yes To Reading Contest, sponsored by Nat Geo Kids, will put Scouts on the right track for earning the Reading merit badge. Why?

Among the official requirements to earn the Reading merit badge:

Read a book. Keep a log of your reading that includes the title of the book, the pages or chapters read, the date you completed them and your thoughts about what you have read so far. Discuss your reading with your counselor. Using your log as a reference, explain why you chose each book and tell whether you enjoyed it and what it meant to you.

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