What kids are reading: The book-reading habits of students in American schools; Children, Teens, and Reading

How often are kids reading, and which books are they choosing? Two recent reports took a crack at finding the answers. Renaissance Learning released a comprehensive look at children’s reading habits, providing detailed information on over 9.8 million children and the 318 million books they read during the 2012–13 school year, split by grade and gender—and, in so doing, offering up hints about how the Common Core standards are already impacting the classroom. Aside from pop-culture winners like The Hunger Games (which topped the charts as the most-read book), a tellingly large number of semi-obscure works that were featured in the Common Core Appendix B (a list of text exemplars) are more popular now than they were prior to state adoption of the Core standards. The second report, from Common Sense Media, employs data gathered via large national studies to analyze specific variables that could influence a child’s reading habits. Unfortunately, dramatically fewer children read for pleasure than those surveyed in the past. Nearly a third of seventeen-year-olds read for fun every day in 1984, while that fraction dropped to one-fifth in 2012—and those whonever or hardly ever read for fun grew from one-tenth to over a quarter. If reading for pleasure is on the downswing among youngsters, what they read in school matters more than ever.

Renaissance Learning, What kids are reading: The book-reading habits of students in American schools(Wisconsin Rapids, WI: Renaissance Learning, May 2014).

Common Sense Media, Children, Teens, and Reading (San Francisco, CA: Common Sense Media, May 2014).

 

More By Author