How difficult are your child's books? | Portsmouth High School

How difficult are your child’s books?

Renaissance UK carried out research into the level of difficulty of children’s and young people’s books and allocated a rating from 0 (lowest) to 13 (highest) having scanned 33,000 books. 

It probably comes as no surprise that Gulliver’s Travels scored the highest at 13.5 and No, Sid, No! by Kate Scott was amongst the lowest with a rating of 0.2. The Harry Potter series starts at 4 rising to 7 as the writing gets more sophisticated. The Roger Hargreaves’s Mr Greedy is harder than some Roald Dahl’s books.

Children should be encouraged to read challenging texts and this study highlights there are books that are harder to read than others. However, I am a great believer in encouraging children to read and the problem with studies like this is that it is easy to become fixated on reading quality rather than quantity. Getting children to read for pleasure, especially as they get older, can be quite a challenge. Reading for its own sake is to be encouraged including that of the news media, for example, newspapers which can be online.

However, encouraging a reluctant reader is more difficult than it would seem. As a school we are developing reading initiatives such as the reading fortnight when each day we dedicate time for everyone to read. The Reading Room, now Rosemary’s Room fund raising campaign is another example. We have a parent and child book club for Years 5-7. As adults we should demonstrate good behaviours by “being caught reading” which is a campaign at Nottingham High School GDST.