June 27, 2024

Now in its sixteenth year, our What (and How) Kids Are Reading report uses Accelerated Reader, Star Reading and myON data to look at the book-reading habits of children across the UK, Ireland and internationally. This year, we looked at data from nearly 1.3 million students from the 2022/23 academic year and are thrilled to share our key findings. The full report can be accessed online and data tables are available to download from the UK and International Renaissance websites.

One thing is a certainty every year – and that’s finding Jeff Kinney and Julia Donaldson on the most-read books list! Although, you might be wondering which new and noteworthy titles will capture students’ interests? We see the same authors and titles crop up in the report’s ‘Most Read’ and ‘Most Popular’ lists every year. This is why we created the Quiz Writers’ Choice Awards as an opportunity for us to highlight the books we liked the best, and which showcase diverse narratives from both upcoming and established authors. Last year, we added nearly 2,000 quizzes to Accelerated Reader, so there were a lot of titles to choose from! Take a look at this year’s nominees, if you haven’t already done so – and keep reading to find out who the winners are!

Earlier this month, we hosted our annual awards ceremony to celebrate the launch of the report and to understand the key findings. For the first time since 2021, the event was hosted solely online in a virtual celebration opened by children’s author, Steve Cole, who gave an overview on how comic books impacted him as a young reader and the lasting effects reading as a child has had in his adult years.

We were then delighted to hear from report author, Professor Keith Topping, who talked through the key findings of this year’s report. The full ceremony recording is available to watch back now.

Celebrating the 2024 Quiz Writers’ Choice Awards Winners

Our quiz writing team read and wrote quizzes on a total of 1,321 books in 2023! As the experts in children’s books at Renaissance, they choose their favourite books every year – ones that aren’t necessarily at the top of the most-read lists, but that they think deserved to be recognised. And the winners were…


Primary Fiction Winner

A Flash of Fireflies by Aisha Bushby

Published by Farshore

Middle Years (age 9-13) | AR Quiz: # 243278 | Book Level: 5.8

Aisha said, “This book means a lot to me, I’m so happy this was picked to win the Primary Fiction category by the quiz writing team. I think this award is particularly important as it aims to highlight lesser-known books.”

Secondary Fiction Winner

The Haunting of Tyrese Walker by J.P. Rose

Published by Andersen Press

Middle Years Plus (age 12+) | AR Quiz: # 243885 | Book Level: 5.0

J.P. was thrilled to win the Secondary Fiction Award sharing, “It’s a real honour – I’m so proud,” and going on to thank Andersen Press and her agent, Clare Wallace, for their support.

Primary Non-Fiction Winner

Fourteen Wolves by Catherine Barr, illustrated by Jenni Desmond

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Middle Years (ages 9-13) | AR Quiz: #243577| Book Level: 5.5

In a pre-recorded acceptance video Catherine shared, “I’m happy to hear that we’ve won the Quiz Writers’ Non-Fiction Primary Award. It’s an amazing true story. I worked with scientists and wolf watchers and the park itself to help write this story – it was the most interesting story to research and discover what happened when these wolves were brought back to the park, and how they’ve changed the ecosystem over time and the environment… I look forward to spending more time in schools talking about the story and sharing conversations about ecosystems and conservation, and inspiring young people.”


Secondary Non-Fiction Winner

Amazing Muslims Who Changed the World by Burhana Islam, illustrated by Reya Ahmed, Deema Alawa, Nabi H. Ali, Aaliya Jaleel, Saffa Khan, Aghnia Mardiya

Published by Puffin Books

Middle Years Plus (ages 12+) | AR Quiz: #241708| Book Level: 7.4


Best Series Winner

Interview With… series by Andy Seed, illustrated by Nick East

Published by Welbeck

Middle Years (ages 12+)

Both Andy and Nick were unable to join us live on the day but sent us their thanks in a recorded video, Andy said, “This series I’ve written with Nick East has been an absolute pleasure, to be picked out as the best series is really an honour.”  Whilst Nick told us, “It’s such a privilege to win this award!”


Best Debut Winner

The Book of Secrets by Alex Dunne, illustrated by Shona Shirley

Published by O’Brien Press

Middle Years (ages 9-13) | AR Quiz: #243298| Book Level: 5.3

Excited to receive the award, Alex shared, “I wrote the book for those children who would get lost in daydreams and in books and stories. It means so much for me to have it recognized today!”

Until next year…

As we conclude this year’s What Kids Are Reading annual report launch and award ceremony, we are filled with inspiration and hope. The ceremony not only highlighted the development in children’s reading habits across literature, but also shone a spotlight on the authors who enrich young readers with their stories. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and nominees, whose work continues to make a profound impact on readers everywhere. With the same enthusiasm and commitment to celebrating literary excellence, we look forward to returning next year to honour even more remarkable talents. Until then, let’s keep fostering a love for reading and supporting the many figures that contribute to children’s literature and learning.


We’d love to hear your comments and encourage you to share your thoughts with us @RenLearnUK (on Twitter) using #WKAR24.





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