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Life, Law & Libros

Discussion: Scholastic Reading Report

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Recently, Scholastic released the 5th edition of its "Kids and Family Reading Report," a national survey on the state of kids and reading. There are five subsections with some pretty cool numbers, and they have great infographics available for download, too.

I highly recommend checking out the whole report because it goes into detail and breaks things down by age group and the nerd in me loved it, but two of the sections that really caught my attention are...

What Makes Frequent Readers:

There are a lot of elements here with strong correlations to frequent readers, but the top 3 for kids 6-17 are:

1. Rate themselves highly as enjoying reading
2. Strongly believe reading for fun is important
3. Have parents who are frequent readers

I love this summation because it clearly illustrates something I strongly believe: kids read more when it is highly valued. When reading regularly is a priority and something you care about doing, you do more of it. And the more you read, the better you get, and the more enjoyable it is. :)


What Kids Want in Books:
The infographic for this was only in pdf form, so I'll summarize. :P

When reading for fun, kids 6-17 say they want books that:
70% - Make me laugh
54% - Let me use my imagination
48% - Tell a made-up story
43% - Have characters I wish I could be like because they're smart, strong or brave
43% - Teach me something new
41% - Have a mystery or problem to solve

If you get a chance to check out the age group breakdowns on this part, it's really interesting how tastes change as kids get older.

One last thing that caught my eye, especially in light of the recent We Need Diverse Books campaign, was the following:

Things Kids Look for When Picking Out Books to Read for Fun:
Are about things I experience in my life
6-8yo: 22%
9-11yo: 23%
12-14yo: 26%
15-17yo: 30%

Have characters that look like me
6-8yo: 24%
9-11yo: 17%
12-14yo: 13%
15-17yo: 15%

The first category (things I experience in my life) doesn't really surprise me. I think a lot of us like to get away from our lives when we read for fun. The second category (having characters that look like me) I found very interesting.

I have mixed feelings about We Need Diverse Books focusing on "POC" as a diverse qualifier because it invites a fixation on race and/or skin color (which veers into murky territory for me of defining and/or separating/categorizing people according to their skin color), and it doesn't necessarily equate with a "diverse" experience per other determining factors (e.g., socio-economic status, culture, religion, politics, geographic location, etc.)

I found it very interesting, both that 43% of kids ages 6-17 want books with characters they want to be like because they're smart, strong or brave, and that relatively low percentages purposely look for books with characters that look like them. There are a lot of different conclusions we can draw from these numbers, but I still find the numbers interesting.

Okay, I'm done with my reading stats geek fest now. :) But I'd love to hear what you guys think of the results! Are there are any numbers that surprised you? Any that didn't?

4 comments :

  1. Nope. Not surprised by this data at all! But I guess that comes with working with children's lit :D

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    1. Haha, yes, that makes sense. You've probably seen the practices and heard the comments that go into these studies firsthand. :)

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  2. I loved this! I definitely agree, parents that read and show and instill value in reading are more apt to have kids who love to read.

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    1. Exactly! If you tell your kids reading is important, but never sit down with a book, what are they going to think?

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