Roald Dahl and Jeff Kinney are the books most read by UK school pupils in the approaching 3,000 schools that participate in Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader scheme.
Accelerated Reader is software that tracks pupils’ reading habits. Children take a quiz that evaluates their reading ability then log all the books they read onto the system.
Renaissance Learning evaluated data of what 580,309 children in 2,757 primary and secondary schools, and found that Roald Dahl, David Walliams and Jeff Kinney are the most read authors.
The most read book in primaries was Dahl’s The Twits, followed by Fantastic Mr Fox, also by Dahl. Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, take third and fourth position, respectively, then Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine is the fifth most read book. Both Dahl and Kinney are published by Penguin.
Walliams (HarperCollins Children’s Books) has six books in the list of books most read in primary schools – Gangsta Granny (number 7), Billionaire Boy (11), Demon Dentist (13), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (16), Mr. Stink (19) and The Boy in the Dress (20). The only author apart from Dahl, Kinney and Walliams tomake the top 20 is Julia Donaldson, whose book The Gruffalo came in at number 17.
However, the children taking part in the scheme were also asked to vote for their favourite titles and Walliams’ Demon Dentist was rated the most popular, followed by Everything’s Amazing (Sort Of) by Liz Pichon (Scholastic) in second place, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling (Bloomsbury Children’s) in third.
Titles by Jacqueline Wilson, Suzanne Collins and Michael Morpurgo also make the top 20 of most popular books in primary schools.
Renaissance Learning also looked at the data about the books most read in secondary schools and found that Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days are respectively the three books most read by secondary pupils who take part in the Accelerated Reader scheme.
Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (Scholastic) is the fourth most read book but further Wimpy Kid books come in at fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth places.
In the poll of secondary pupils’ favourite books, The Fault in our Stars by John Green (Penguin) came first, followed by Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) then Divergent by Veronica Roth (HarperCollins Children’s Books).
“UK pupils’ most popular book choices fall into two distinct categories – either epic, dystopian fantasies… or irreverent, larger than life anti-hero comedies,” said Renaissance Learning. “While the primary chart top 20 are split down the middle – featuring equal amounts of comedy and fantasy – by secondary schools, the ‘most popular’ chart almost exclusively features darker conflicts from an epic fantasy genre.”