What do high school students flock to when they choose their “outside reading?” To Kill A Mockingbird holds a top slot in 9th and 10th grades, with The Crucible and Macbeth pulling ahead in 11th and 12th grades, according to a survey of students’ choices in a popular reading program.
To Kill A Mockingbird and titles in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series still grab most of the spotlight in middle school, but so do Lois Lowry’s The Giver and S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, says the annual survey by Renaissance Learning. The study is drawn from the reading habits of the 9.8 million students who participated in Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader 360 program in the 2014-15 school year.
It also finds, however, that students are reading books and articles that fall short of their grade levels. On average, 12th graders chose books at a 7th grade level of difficulty. Ninth graders chose books at a 5th grade difficulty level. Only 19 percent of the books seniors chose exceed the 9th grade level of difficulty.