What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools

While online booksellers offer lists of bestselling children's books, and libraries collect circulation data, Renaissance Learning, Inc., has just released a groundbreaking report about the books American students are actually reading -- cover to cover. The first of its kind, What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools compiles lists of the top 20 books students read in 2007 by grade, gender, U.S. region, and reading achievement level.

Among the report's key findings:

-- Students are still reading the classics. Even with recently published books dominating best-seller lists for weeks and months at a time, the classics have a strong representation in the report's most-read lists. In fact, the top read book overall in grades 9-12 was Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. And other classics, including S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, and Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham consistently topped several of the various grade-level lists.

-- Lists of frequently read books include very few nonfiction titles. Notably missing from the lists of top 20 most-read books by U.S. students are nonfiction or historical works, critical to rounding out the repertoire of a well-read student.

Four award-winning authors whose books frequent the most-read lists contributed essays to What Kids Are Reading: Mary Pope Osborne, S.E. Hinton, Daniel Handler, and Christopher Paul Curtis.

To read the full report, visit http://www.renlearn.com/whatkidsarereading.

Renaissance Learning's unique perspective into the books students are reading comes from the Accelerated Reader (AR) database, which, for last year alone, included 78 million book reading records of more than 3 million students in grades 1-12 at more than 9,800 schools nationwide. The Accelerated Reader software, which helps teachers accurately and efficiently monitor student book reading, and other Renaissance Learning reading programs are in use at 63,000 U.S. schools.