Secondary pupils say their favourite book is Zoella’s Girl Online, although Jeff Kinney dominates the top 10 of most read books in schools, according to a new survey.
For Renaissance Learning’s annual study into British children’s reading habits, the educational software company surveyed 725,369 children who used its reading comprehension software at school over the 2014/2015 academic year. The findings revealed that Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (Penguin Children’s) was voted for as the most popular book, followed by The Maze Runner by James Dashner and then The House of Hades by Rick Riordan.
However, the books teens voted for as their favourites did not reflect which books were most read.
Jeff Kinney dominated the list of “most read” list, with seven of his Wimpy Kid books (Penguin Children’s) charting in the top 10, along with Gangsta Granny by David Walliams (HarperCollins Children’s Books), The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Penguin Children’s).
Kinney also featured strongly in the most read books in primary school, accounting for four of the most read books. David Walliams also wrote four, whilst Dahl was responsible for two.
However, when asked what their favourite books were, J K Rowling featured strongly, with five of her books listed amongst the most popular top 10, along with titles by Suzanne Collins and Zoe Sugg.
The 2016 ‘What Kids Are Reading’ report was compiled for Renaissance Learning by Keith Topping, professor of educational and social research at Dundee University.
Topping said: “This year’s findings reveal that, strikingly, children read their favourite books at a much higher level of difficulty and with a greater level of comprehension than those recommended to them. Clearly, this suggests a way of responding to the problem of insufficient challenge which is particularly prevalent in the secondary years. Instead of recommending books to children, teachers, librarians and parents should be finding ways to enable children to recommend books to each other.”
James Bell, director of professional services at Renaissance Learning, added: “What Kids are Reading serves as a true reflection of what kids really love to read, not just what we think they love to read."