A new report has revealed how the number of books read by children in the UK and Ireland jumped by a quarter over the last two school years.
The 2023 What Kids Are Reading report demonstrates how there has been a jump in the amount of children across the UK and Ireland who are reading books.
This significant development, according to the researchers, discovered how social media trends such as BookTok on TikTok have assisted children in their increased reading.
However, it wasn’t all positive, and the researchers also found there was a slump in difficulty transferring to secondary school in all regions.
What is the What Kids Are Reading Report? – 15 years on the go
The positive result comes as What Kids Are Reading releases its 15th annual report. It is the world’s largest annual study of K-12 student reading habits.
Renaissance, who published the report, stated the report was published “with the same goal we have every year: proving inspiration to kids searching for that next great read”.
This new year report will act once again as another valuable resource for teachers and those in education and will assist in enacting strategies to continue improving reading skills and comprehension.
The 2023 Report – what it looked at
The What Kinds Are Reading 2023 Report looked at almost 1.3 million pupils across the UK and Ireland. It was carried out by Renaissance and analysed by Professor Keith Topping of the University of Dundee.
The study found that these pupils read a total of 27,265,657 books in the 2021-22 academic year, a jump of 24% compared to the amount read during the 2020-21 year.
The most popular authors in the UK are Jeff Kinney and David Walliams when it comes to primary schools, while in secondary schools, Kinney takes the top spot. He is followed again by Walliams and then J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books.
Difficulties uncovered in the report – still progress to be made
Despite the increase in the number of books read, there were still some difficulties uncovered in the research.
It found how average book difficulty arose as pupils became older, but this was not in proportion to the rate at which pupils should have been improving in reading.
Dr Christina Clark of the National Literacy Trust stated, “It is clear that much more must be done to support children and young people with the lowest levels of reading enjoyment”.
Professor Topping also stated, “Over this long period [15 years], we have seen a repeated decline in reading comprehension from primary to secondary pupils.
“To help tackle this, secondary pupils need to be encouraged to read books of increased difficulty, more appropriate to their age”. For more, check out our article on motivational books for students this year.