professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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Wolf in sheep's clothing

When the headline for the infographic blares: WHAT KIDS ARE READING 2013, of course I pay some attention. I always love to see lists of books kids love. Imagine, then, my dismay, when the headline sent me here: http://doc.renlearn.com/KMNet/R0056497EC2FA9E3.pdf.

Yes, to the Renaissance Leaning site. Once again, this company is purporting to tell us all what kids are reading based on thneir exhaustive research (yes, that is sarcasm). For the fifth year, this company thinks they know what kids are reading based on their own data. According to their infographic, then, here is what we can learn:

1. Each student in the US read an average of 32.9 books.
2. The average elementary school student read 41 books containing approximately 5000 per book. For middle school, the number read on the average was 13.1 averaging 33K words; in high school kids read an average of fewer than 6 books a year with word counts of 52K on the average.
3. A lot of kids are reading CCSS Exemplar texts (I guess).

Now, here is what you do not get from this company's infographic that I want to know as well:

1. How many books (and of what length) does the average adult read a year?
2. How does this data (from AR) jive with data from PW and NYT Bestseller lists?
3. How widespread is the use of AR that the company feels its "research" results are accurate? Did they reach beyond their RR schools? If so, what was their sample size?

Here are some links to other lists of best-selling books (which I assume are being read, but maybe not):

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/53007-the-bestselling-books-of-2012-so-far.html

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/55383-the-bestselling-books-of-2012.html

Here is PW's list of books sold for kids:



1. The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3). Rick Riordan. Disney-Hyperion (1,425,754).

2. The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid). Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (1,401,799).

3. The Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles #3). Rick Riordan. Disney-Hyperion (783,180)

4. Tales From a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (Dork Diaries #4). Rachel Renée Russell. S&S/Aladdin (727,660)

5. Insurgent. Veronica Roth. HarperCollins/Tegen (615,411)

6. Tales From a Not So Smart Miss Know-It-All (Dork Diaries #5). Rachel Renée Russell. S&S/Aladdin (607,929)


7. Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts. Little, Brown/Patterson Young Readers (498,894)

8. Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff.) (Junie B., First Grader #28). Barbara Park, illus. by Denise Brunkus. Random House

9. Hidden. P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. St. Martin’s Griffin (428,469)

10. “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” (All the Wrong Questions #1). Lemony Snicket, illus. by Seth. Little, Brown (383,274)


And here is the list from AMAZON:

1. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

2. The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

4. The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

6. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

7. While it Lasts by Abbi Glines

8. The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

9. Wonder by R. J. Palacio

10. Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure by James Patterson


So, what conclusions might I draw from the infographic from Reading Renaissance? I would advise drawing very little.
Tags: bestsellers, faux reports, information, massaging numbers
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