What kids are reading: a report

What Kids Are Reading Cover

This report is worth a read — it is a look by Renaissance Learning at books that kids have been reading in 2008-2009 school year (based on data from Accelerated Reading programs, so just keep that in mind).

Here is the PDF of the report

Looking at the sixth grade list, some fiction titles jump out:

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (plus all of her other books)
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulson
  • A variety of Lemony Snicket books
  • And more

Neat and in time for anyone wanting to buy a book gift for a young person.

Peace (in the pages),

  1. Your parentheses speak volumes. I believe Renaissance Learning, and Accelerated Reader are denying students their freedom to choose books that interest them and make reading a dreaded chore. Just yesterday I was in a room full of 6th through 8th graders who weren’t interested in reading. They already had their AR points, why should they? These same kids have been reading books they are completely disinterested in just to get points. The numbers say that boys in particular enjoy reading non-fiction, but most libraries have small collections and most of those books don’t have AR tests. Books in my own classroom library are ignored if our school hasn’t purchased the test. It’s going to take a miracle to get AR kids interested in reading for pleasure. AR has killed that for them. It’s a tradgedy. I think I’ve just found my first subject for my middle schoolers to debate!

    • AR is used in some grades in our school but I have refused it for sixth grade. What I find is that the kids come up with little comprehension or critical thinking skills when it comes to reading and understanding books. Thanks for your comment and for the passion.

  2. Definitely agree with the comments on AR. In addition to not getting at higher level thinking, it often “takes up” a computer in the elementary grades. In other words, teacher won’t run iMovie, Garageband, the internet on a brand new computer because it’s the “AR computer.” But, I do think the above list is representative of what I see students reading these days.

  3. I wonder if there is any data on books kids are reading or or at least requesting when they don’t have a limited selection. That’s the list I would like to choose gift books from. Even the Barnes & Nobel site only tells you what books adults have purchased – not what books were requested by kids. My 10 yo nephew was passionate about the Wimpy Kids books but there are only a few titles in that series. I can’t wait until he can get into the Gary Paulsen books, so much character building goes on in them. I loved reading his reflection piece in the attached pdf.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *