NEW STUDY FINDS THAT THE HARRY POTTER SERIES HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON KIDS’ READING AND THEIR SCHOOL WORK
Harry Potter Books Work Magic, Particularly Among Boys
Paperback Edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Released Today
New data from The Kids and Family Reading Report™, released today by Yankelovich, a leader in consumer trends tracking and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, quantifies for the first time the impact that the Harry Potter series has had on kids’ reading attitudes and behaviors. According to the study, both kids and their parents credit the popular books with getting more kids to read for fun and with helping kids do better in school. Just over half (51%) of Harry Potter readers ages 5-17 years old say they did not read books for fun before they started reading Harry Potter, but now they do, and 65% say they have been doing better in school since they started reading the series. Parents see an even greater impact. The vast majority of parents (89%) say that reading Harry Potter has helped their child enjoy reading more, and 76% say that reading Harry Potter has helped their child do better in school.
The findings also show that Harry Potter books have had a significant impact on the reading attitudes and behaviors of boys. More boys than girls have read Harry Potter (57% vs. 51%), and a greater number of boys than girls say that they did not read books for fun before Harry Potter (61% vs. 41%). More boys than girls say that it was important for them to read Harry Potter so that they would feel “in” with their friends (63% vs. 44%).
Previously released results from The Kids and Family Reading Report™, a national survey of the reading attitudes and behaviors of children ages 5-17 and their parents, found that there is a significant falloff in children’s reading frequency after age eight. Yet, according to the Harry Potter section of the survey, the average age kids say they start reading the series is age nine and they continue to read and re-read the books as they mature. Nearly 60% of kids ages 9-11 years old have read the books, and 70% say they are interested in reading or re-reading them; 63% of kids ages 12-14 have read the books and 69% are interested in reading/re-reading them; and 57% of 15-17 year olds have read the books and 60% say they are interested in reading/re-reading them.
“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 study confirms that interest in reading Harry Potter crosses generations. Half of all parents say they too are Harry Potter readers.
And what will kids do after they read the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series? Nearly one in five Harry Potter readers can’t seem to face the end of the series, saying they don’t really believe it will be over. Half of all Harry Potter readers say they are going to look for a new series. One in three will re-read the Harry Potter books and 27% say they are going to look for the next book by J.K. Rowling.
“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.”
The paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the series, is available on July 25, 2006.
The Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report ™ and additional Harry Potter findings are available online at www.scholastic.com/readingreport.
The Kids and Family Reading Report is a national survey of 1000 individuals -- 500 children ages 5 to 17 years old and one parent or primary guardian per child. Interviews took place through mall-intercepts in 25 major cities across the country from January 16 through February 8, 2006. The survey was designed and analyzed by the staffs at Scholastic and Yankelovich. Quotas for race, gender and child age group were established to ensure ample base sizes for analysis purposes. The margin of error is ± 4.5 percentage points.
About Yankelovich, Inc.
Yankelovich delivers measurable breakthroughs in marketing productivity for its clients. For over 30 years, the Yankelovich MONITOR has tracked and forecasted consumer value and lifestyle trends. Since, 1987, the company has conducted the Youth MONITOR study focusing on kids aged 6-17 and their parents – research that provides an attitudinal picture of the family dynamic. Custom research at Yankelovich is carried out through TSC, a division of Yankelovich. Analysis linking research findings involving lifestyle choices or buying behavior to database solutions is provided by Insights Integration Solutions.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company's Internet site, www.scholastic.com.