World's largest study of K–12 reading habits analyzes most popular titles, reading data over past 10 years

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (Jan. 25, 2018) – Today Renaissance, the leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics, celebrates the release of the 10th anniversary edition of What Kids Are Reading. Each year, the report offers an important reflection on reading trends in U.S. schools.

What Kids Are Reading: 10 Anniversary Edition includes most-read fiction and nonfiction titles by grade level, using data from 9.4 million K–12 students who read 323 million books and articles during the 2016–2017 school year. The report also features a list of number-one books for the past 10 years for grades 1–12, offering deeper insights into the variation in difficulty and interest level of top titles during this period.

Researchers at Renaissance produce the report by analyzing the data and reading habits from the Renaissance Accelerated Reader platform. What Kids Are Reading delivers a snapshot of the most popular reads in each state and nationally, as well as reading achievement and improvement scores by grade. This year, the report also includes a list of students’ highest-rated book picks in each grade as well as top educator picks for different age groups.

Key findings from the 2018 report:

· Struggling readers who dedicated at least 15 minutes per day to reading practice were able to reduce the achievement gap. Struggling readers who read for 30 minutes or more grew even more, increasing by an average of 15 percentile points during the year.

· Over the last 10 years, the typical student’s reading journey was likely to begin with iconic Dr. Seuss books in first grade, progress to the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by third grade, advance to The Hunger Games in middle school, and top off with Shakespeare in high school.

· Students’ nonfiction reading peaks around grades 4 and 5. According to Renaissance’s data, nonfiction reading has grown about 10 percent or less nationwide since the school year prior to the National Governors Association’s release of new, challenging academic standards in 2010, which stressed the importance of reading varied texts.

· In 2018, Green Eggs and Ham is still a favorite among K–2 students; Diary of a Wimpy Kid books remain quite popular in grades 3–6; The Giver and The Outsiders take the two top spots grades in 7–8; and literary classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Crucible, and Of Mice and Men are among the most-read titles in high school.

To download the full report and view top books by state and grade, please visit:

About Renaissance
Renaissance is the leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics, enabling teachers, curriculum creators, and educators to drive phenomenal student growth. Renaissance’s solutions help educators analyze, customize, and plan personalized learning paths for students, allowing time for what matters—creating energizing learning experiences in the classroom. Founded by parents, upheld by educators, and enriched by data scientists, Renaissance knows that learning is a continual journey, from year to year and for a lifetime. Our data-driven, personalized solutions are currently used in over one-third of U.S. schools and more than 70 countries around the world. For more information, visit




World’s Largest K-12 Reading Survey Identifies Trends, Highlights Best Practices promo image

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Tapping into data collected from nearly 10 million K-12 students who read 346 million books and nonfiction articles last school year, Renaissance® releases its ninth annual What Kids Are Reading report. Researchers at the K-12 learning analytics company produce the report, which provides the comprehensive review of students’ reading habits and achievement. What Kids Are Reading: And How They Grow, 2017 includes most read fiction and nonfiction books by grade level, nonfiction selections by gender, and a sampling of popular reading across the curriculum. The report is an important annual reflection on reading trends in U.S. schools.  

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