ERIC Number: ED384864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Nothing in the Middle: What Middle Schoolers Are Reading.
A study examined what kinds of books middle schoolers will read when given the freedom to choose. Subjects were 55 children of middle-class parents enrolled in 2 sections of eighth-grade English at a university laboratory school. Of the original population of 55 students, 7 elected not to have data from their reading included, and records were not available for 12 more students at the time of data compilation after the school year had ended. The teacher had a holistic philosophy and structured her classes along the workshop lines laid out by Nancy Atwell's book "In the Middle." Students kept lists of the books they read and kept reading journals. Results indicated that: (1) the median number of books read during the school year was 13; (2) in descending order, students read books in the genres of teen issues, romance, mystery/suspense, supernatural/horror, fantasy, and science fiction; (3) with a single exception, students who read books in the romance and teen issues genres were girls; (4) fantasy and science fiction books, also with one exception, were read only by boys; (5) girls read two books for every book read by boys; (6) many of the books read by the students were of low literary quality; but (7) the majority of students who read "subliterature" were also the most prolific readers. Findings suggest that adolescents read a great deal of fairly low quality literature, but that this subliterature has the potential to act as a bridge to higher quality reading. (Contains 28 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A