Learning and assessment provider, Renaissance Learning, have released their 15th annual ‘What Kids Are Reading Report’, documenting reading trends among UAE students. The study of over 25,500 pupils across the UAE shows that the average book difficulty is a little lower than last year, but remains higher than the UK, while reading comprehension scores remained the same from the previous year, and similar to those in the UK.
Favourite Books and Authors
Readers can vote for their favourite books once they’ve finished reading. This year Jeff Kinney topped the list of most popular books with Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Four of the top ten spots were taken by Kinney with other titles from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. J.K Rowling had three Harry Potter titles in the top ten, with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone bagging the second spot. Also in the top ten were the same two Roald Dahl titles as last year – Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as one entry from Dav Pilkey at number nine with Dog Man.
In the list of top 20 most popular books in UAE schools, Jeff Kinney knocked J.K Rowling off the top spot this year, with ten books in the list compared to her five.
Renaissance is able to offer an unrivalled view of the reading habits and attitudes of almost 1.3 million students worldwide, by drawing on data from Star Reading, Accelerated Reader and myON, as well as additional insights from the National Literary Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey.
Joan Mill, Group Managing Director of Renaissance International said ‘’Looking back over the previous editions, some trends emerge – notably the importance of giving students at every stage of their education not only time to read, but time to read for pleasure. It is interesting to see how attitudes towards books and reading have dipped compared to the lockdown periods – perhaps because it allowed children more time to read?’’
Alison Tarrant, CEO of School Library Association said ‘’ The annual What Kids Are Reading report always provides interesting insights and this year is no different. The backdrop of the educational landscape has remained challenging, with high levels of absences, a cost-of-living crisis, and an unsettled workforce.
Renaissance is able to offer an unrivalled view of the reading habits and attitudes of almost 1.3 million students worldwide
‘’I would encourage schools to read this report and reflect on their reading culture; where are the areas which can be strengthened? Who are the reading role models for each cohort of pupils? Are all the staff community involved? When is reading aloud happening and why? What messages about reading are going home? Answering these questions will be a solid starting point to ensure that every child experiences a reading culture which allows them to reap all the benefits of reading for pleasure and maximise their long-term outcomes.’’