Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Interesting Tidbit from Mugglenet

"Potter's positive impact on kids' reading habits" - from Mugglenet

We've all heard the story of the Harry Potter reader who had no interest in reading before HP came out, but for the first time, a report by Scholastic has quantified the huge impact the books have had on kids' reading attitudes and behaviours. Here are some astounding facts discovered in the survey:

- 51% of HP readers, aged 5-17, say they had not read before for fun

- 65% say they're now doing better in school as a result of their newfound interest in reading

- More boys than girls read the books (57% vs. 51%) (surprising, seeing as more girls than boys visit MuggleNet)

- 62% of boys felt it important to read the books to feel "in" with their friends while only 44% of girls felt the same

- Almost 60% of 9 to 11-year-olds have read the books; 70% are interested in re-reading them

- 63% of 12 to 14-year-olds have read the books; 69% are interested in re-reading them

- 57% of 15 to 17-year-olds have read the books; 60% are interested in re-reading them

This all appears to be a part of the " Kids and Family Reading Report" that Scholastic recently did. I haven't had a chance to read the whole report yet, and don't know what their methodology was (how the interviewees were selected) but these stats are pretty impressive.

It is kind of a neat thing to be alive during a craze for a book series like this. When a new one comes out it is always really an amazing thing to see how enthralled and overawed people become with a book and a character.


Maggie said...

Yay, JK! I always say I wouldn't be a published author if it wasn't for Harry Potter. All my friends kept telling me, you'll never publish a fantasy as your first book (in Canada). Then HP came along and suddenly fantasy wasn't a pariah genre anymore. :)

MadJenny said...

Thank goodness fantasy is back. Some of the best books that have come out in the last few years are fantasy! I've never understood that pre-HP prejudice against fantasy - it seems to me that some of the most enduringly popular children's books are "fantasies" - like "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", and "The Hobbit", and "The Wizard of Oz", and "Peter Pan" (although I read that recently and it is actually somewhat horrifying in its own prejudiced ways). Very strange. And, frankly, a lot of the terribly realistic stuff (especially for teens) that came out in the 80s and early 90s is just depressing and dull - I know because that is when I was a teen and after slogging through a few I couldn't stomach one more book about a teen getting paralyzed in a drunk driving accident while overcoming anorexia and addiction, all while raising her three younger siblings, working 10 jobs and etc. Thank goodness speculative fiction is ok again, and we can all be entertained by knights, fairies, elves, orcs, and the like who tell us more about our own world than any of those dull moralistic books ever can.

Maggie said...

I know exactly what you mean! I used to work in a book store, and we called it 'Grim Lit'. We used to have to import all our good fantasy from the UK.

MadJenny said...

I like that "Grim Lit" that is exactly what it is.