Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Are Kids Reading?

Our media clerk shared this study with us this week.  I thought it was kind of interesting.  They show the top 20 books kids read last year, based on the AR tests they took.  Now, I won't talk (again) about how I am not a fan of AR (and thus how this is not the MOST credible source of what books kids are reading) but I can't find another way to determine what books are being read the most by kiddos. . .

Anyway. . .

If you want to check out what books kids are reading by grade level, here you go. Let me know if you think it matches up with what your kids like to read.  It seems to be pretty true for my third graders last year, but my first graders this year are so high that it was way off for them. 


  1. Actually, I would prefer that you spend *more* time writing about your distaste for the whole AR nonsense, at least as it relates to your topic of gifted ed.

    Our daughter, an 8-year old in 4th, read 1.5 million words in the first quarter, amassing 200+ points @ 90% accuracy and RL 6.2. She was responding to the teacher's ridiculously constant raising of the bar simply because he didn't want my daughter to reach her goal. The goal was initially set to 50 points or so based on figures from last year, and as soon as our daughter was within reach, the bar was raised... over and over. And the teacher does this to any student who dares to reach a goal.

    We let her run up the score just to prove a point and then obtained a waiver from he having to participate in AR any more for this year.

    It is a travesty for the gifted readers, as it too often emphasizes quantity, when for these kids, quantity is not the issue. They need to learn to savor, discuss & contemplate... not burn through to answer 10-20 doltish questions per book.

    The AR report in your link should have explored statistics that examined how many kids -- at every level -- resorted to picking the easiest, shortest books they could get their hands on just to run up their own numbers. Our daughter figured this out very early on, and whenever she did poorly on a longer, more complicated novel, she'd rip through a series of relatively simpleton books in order to boost her average back up.

    Simply ridiculous.

  2. Hi There Anonymous,

    I previously posted on AR this past summer. I will change the original post to include the back link.

    That is exactly the issue that I had with AR, and why I mentioned above that I am not a fan. Another problem my class always runs into is that the books on the list are outdated. Their are very few fantasy and science fiction books, which gifted students love. In addition, they do not include many books in a series, which are other choices for my students.

    I understand the goal of AR, and think it is fine as a supplemental tool. It was just never intended to be used in the way that most teachers use it now.

    I am glad that our Gifted Coordinator does not support the program and that I don't have to either!

  3. Hi. I came upon your website (and the post "What Are Kids Reading?") when I Googled "fantasy science fiction 'gifted kids.'" I am curious whether gifted children and adults have a greater interest in the fantasy and science fiction genres than does the general population. Has this topic ever been researched? Thanks.


I love to hear your feedback! This website is intended to be a welcoming and safe space for parents and advocates of the gifted. All wholesome and encouraging questions are invited, as well as questions or concerns relating to gifted topics.