Renaissance Learning Issues 2011 Kids' Reading Trends

Twilight fades to new day for Wimpy Kid, The Lightning Thief

Oct 20, 2010, 08:30 ET from Renaissance Learning, Inc.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Movies based on popular children's books perpetuate the popularity of the titles they're inspired by, heavily influencing what children choose to read. The finding is one of the key reading trends found in the newest edition of What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools, 2011 edition report, released today by Renaissance Learning.



Jeff Kinney's The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief, also released as movies earlier this year, have pushed the titles in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series out of top spots for some grades. Three of the four titles in the Twilight series have also been released as movies, with the theatrical release of the series' third title, Eclipse, in June 2010.

The report also found that contemporary 'classic' titles, such as S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders and Lois Lowry's The Giver have also overtaken last year's list-dominating Twilight titles.

The report is the third edition to highlight student reading trends since it was first released in May 2008. What Kids Are Reading, 2011, provides detailed information about the books kids are actually reading, including lists of the most widely read books for grades 1–12—by all students, by gender, and by low- and high-achieving students. This insight comes from Accelerated Reader (AR) hosted on Renaissance Learning's Real-Time platform, the world's most popular reading software and largest single database of student book-reading behavior, which includes records of more than 6.2 million students from nearly 20,000 schools nationwide.

"We are pleased that the What Kids Are Reading report continues to be a valuable resource to aid students and educators in the process of book selection," said Glenn James, CEO of Renaissance Learning. "Every time a child reads and enjoys a book, another brick is put in place to create a foundation of success, both in the child's academic career and beyond. Reading often leads to reading well, which is a key life skill."  

Teen author Riley Carney, who has written a five-book fantasy series called Reign of the Elements, wrote the introduction to the What Kids Are Reading, 2011 report. The report also features contributions from popular children's authors Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver, Mike Thaler, and Louis Sachar.

To read the full report, visit

About Accelerated Reader

Renaissance Learning, Inc., developed Accelerated Reader software to make the job of managing book reading, often called reading practice, easier, less burdensome, and more reliable. Accelerated Reader is a progress-monitoring system. It helps teachers accurately and efficiently monitor student progress in the quantity and quality (comprehension) of their book reading. Introduced in 1986, Accelerated Reader has become one of the most popular educational software programs. While AR has become increasingly sophisticated over the years, its basic three-step approach has not changed: First, a student reads a book either at school or at home. Next, the student takes a computerized quiz of 5, 10, or 20 items depending on the length of the book. Then, the student and teacher receive immediate feedback and reports detailing books read, number of words read, book reading level, and comprehension (percent correct on the quiz). There are currently quizzes on more than 135,000 books, so students can read and quiz on just about any book available in a school or public library. AR also includes quizzes to assess vocabulary and literacy skills, as well as quizzes on leading reading textbooks and content-area leveled readers.

About Renaissance Learning, Inc.

Renaissance Learning, Inc. is a leading provider of technology-based school improvement and student assessment programs for K12 schools.  Adopted by more than 72,000 schools, Renaissance Learning's tools provide daily formative assessment and periodic progress-monitoring technology to enhance core curriculum, support differentiated instruction, and personalize practice in reading, writing and math. Renaissance Learning products help educators make the practice component of their existing curriculum more effective by providing tools to personalize practice and easily manage the daily activities for students of all levels. As a result, teachers using Renaissance Learning products accelerate learning, get more satisfaction from teaching, and help students achieve higher test scores on state and national tests. Renaissance Learning has seven U.S. locations and subsidiaries in Canada and the United Kingdom.

SOURCE Renaissance Learning, Inc.