Report reveals British schoolchildren’s reading habits

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A new report has been published which looks at the book reading habits of pupils in British schools.

The report, entitled “What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Pupils in British Schools 2010”, includes reading records of almost 100,000 children, aged between five and 16 years, in 664 schools who read over 1,189,396 books.

Findings from the report show that the gap between gender differences in reading is starting to close with boys progressively reading as much as girls, although boys are revealed to be reading books at a much lower level than girls as they get older.

The report also concluded that high-achieving children, defined as reading two years above their real age, are not challenging themselves enough when it comes to reading. High-achievers are tending to opt for easier books from Year 5 onwards, resulting in children entering secondary school possessing lower reading ages than they should.

Many of the authors who were at the top of everyone’s reading list during the last analysis in 2008 have dropped significantly in popularity; JK Rowling is one such author. Authors at the top of the list of favourites for the 2010 report include Roald Dahl and Roderick Hunt, with newcomer Stephanie Meyer proving popular with older children. 

Dirk Foch, managing director of Renaissance Learning, said: “This report paints an accurate picture of what British children are reading for pleasure.  Therefore the books featured in this publication should be present in every school library, dare I say it, in every child’s home.”

The report also looks at the top 20 most popular titles, and respective book difficulty rating for each Year group. Contributing authors include, Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne and Dan Freedman, World Book Day Coordinator Cathy Scholfield and a foreword written by Sir Cyril Taylor CBE.