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Reader Report Quantifies Potter's Impact on Kids, Parents, Reading

Posted by: Melissa
July 25, 2006, 02:30 PM

American publishers of the Harry Potter books, Scholastic, has published results of a study today that shows that the Harry Potter series has a positive impact on kids' reading and their school work, particularly among boys.

“While the overwhelming success of Harry Potter is undeniable, this study quantifies for the first time the impact children and parents believe the series has had on helping kids to read and learn and indicates that the right book can even lure older kids to stay engaged with reading” stated Dr. Hal Quinley from Yankelovich. “The Harry Potter series is exactly the kind of book that helps parents and kids stay connected and enjoy reading together.”

The Kids and Family Reading Report, released by Yankelovich, a consumer trends and tracking company, has quantified for the first time the impact Harry Potter has had on kids' reading attitudes and behaviors, according to a release. More than 50 percent of Harry Potter readers ages 5-17 say that they didn't read for fun before HP, and 65 percent say they have been doing better in school since starting to read the series. Furthermore, 89 percent of parents say that reading HP has helped their child enjoy reading, and 76 percent say reading HP has helped their child do better in school.

The study also shows that more boys than girls have read Harry Potter, and a larger number of boys than girls didn't read for fun before HP. While 63 percent of boys say it was important to read HP to fit in with their friends, only 44 percent of girls said the same.

Nearly 60 percent of kids aged 9-11 have read the books, and 70 percent say they are interested in reading or re-reading them, while 63 percent of kids ages 12-14 have read the books and 69 percent are interested in reading or re-reading them.

When the Harry Potter books are finished, said half of the survey's respondents, kids will be on the lookout for a new series. One in three will re-read. Aboout 27 percent will look for JKR's next book.

“Only once in a lifetime does a children’s literary phenomenon like Harry Potter come along,” stated Lisa Holton, President, Scholastic Book Fairs and Trade Publishing. “Harry Potter has become part of our culture, and what it has done so magically is to prove that even in the digital age, well-written books are and will remain a great source of enjoyment and enrichment for adult and young readers.”

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