The library and education worlds have been astir for the past couple weeks about a report from Accelerated Reader company Renaissance Learning entitled “What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools.” The report analyzes AR program data for the 2010-11 school year and shows the number of books and words that students in grades 1 to 12 read on average during that school year, as well as the average reading level of the 40 most commonly read books in each grade.
Hub blogger Becky O’Neil provided some fantastic commentary on this report in a post earlier this month called “Leveling Up and Keeping Score: High School Students Reading at 5th-Grade Levels, Report Says.” The biggest headline in her post, as well as in most of the news coverage of the report, is that the level of books students are reading plateaus after 5th grade. Students advance on grade level up to 5th grade, and then after that, the books that they most commonly read remain at just above the 5th grade level through 12th grade.
Yet this report is heavy with other numbers that are just as interesting, in particular the number of books and words that students are reading on average in each grade, as well as the gender differences between boys and girls when it comes to reading.
What follows are a series of graphs depicting these reading trends according to the data in the Renaissance Learning Report.