Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Top kids books

A company called Renaissance Learning surveyed 3 million children to find out what they are reading, the Post reports. The story quotes some analysts that notes that the children prefer classics and that non-fiction rarely makes the list.

I would think that non-fiction is relatively specialized and it is a rare book that will rise to the top overall. On the other hand I have a hard time remembering non-fiction books I read as a child. Today, I (slightly) prefer nonfiction over fiction, but as a youngster it was mostly fiction. I am not sure if this is a demand or a supply issue. I tend to think it is a supply problem as writing for this age group has to be hard, and will probably leads to howls of protest from some interest group or other.

Here are the lists for each grade level.


Anonymous said...

I think you're probably right on about the lack of a specific NF title sticking with kids. As someone who shelves the kids' NF at the library though, I can assure you that when I tidy the section up at the end of the day, it's destroyed, which means it was heavily used. Maybe if they asked kids about "dinosaur books" or stuff like that NF would have had a better showing.

In an interesting side note, children often seem much more enthusiastic about NF when they talk to me at the reference desk--they ask, follow me to the shelves, and immediately start yanking titles off the shelves. For whatever weird reason they don't often seem that pumped about fiction, except if it's one specific title they really wanted and couldn't find. Just my experience. Thanks for the link to this study.

Tripp said...

I bet you are right. If you ask kids about dinosaurs or airplanes or frogs or whichever subject it would have to come up higher.

When we go to the library and I ask what the kids want, they ask for dinosaurs, space, atlases, guidebooks or whatever creature is popular that week. So they are similar to the kids showing up at your desk.