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WHAT KIDS ARE READING 2014: New Report Provides List of Most Popular Books Overall and By Gender for Grades 1 Through 12

A new report from Renaissance Reading examines grade-by-grade reading habits of the nation’s students. The report, What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools, includes the top twenty books and the top twenty nonfiction books read overall and by gender for grades one through twelve. It also includes a three-year examination of how exemplars included in the Common Core State Standards have impacted reading trends. The report is based on the reading habits of 9.8 million students from more than 31,000 schools during the 2012–13 school year.

The top-ranked books for each grade level are captured in the chart below. Newer books, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel and The Hunger Games, dominate the top of the charts, but several “classics” fall into the top choices, especially in the high school years.


Top-Ranked Book (Author)


Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss)


Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Doreen Cronin)


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel (Jeff Kinney)


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel (Jeff Kinney)


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel (Jeff Kinney)


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel (Jeff Kinney)


The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)


The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)


The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)


The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)


The Crucible (Arthur Miller)


The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

For example, although the three books in the Hunger Games trilogy occupy three of the top six books for grade 9, so do Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. And among high school seniors, the three Hunger Games books are joined in the top five by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The complete report is available at



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