At the end of last year, Learnalytics (powered by Renaissance Learning) released their report titled What Kids Are Reading, 2016.

The report was based on data from 9.8 million students in 31,327 schools during the 2014-15 school year. Among its interesting interactive features is one that allows you to see the most popular books read by students in each grade level last year. It also provides the “ATOS level” of each book, which judges reading approximate reading level—by grade—based upon number of words per sentence, number of characters in each word, and the difficulty of the words. (Thus, a recommended text for 9th graders would have an ATOS level of at least 9.0.)

Below are the 20 most popular books among high school seniors for the 2014-15 school year. As you can see, there’s a mix between popular books and books that were most likely assigned for school. The books assigned for school typically have a higher ATOS level than those read for leisure. 

One cannot also help but notice that today’s youth apparently have a predilection for dystopian literature. 


1) The Fault in Our Stars, John Green (ATOS 5.5)


2) Divergent, Veronica Roth (ATOS 4.8)


3) Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (ATOS 12.0+)


4) Macbeth, William Shakespeare (ATOS 10.9)


5) The Maze Runner, James Dashner (ATOS 5.3)


6) The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (ATOS 5.3)


7) If I Stay, Gayle Forman (ATOS 5.3)


8) Insurgent, Veronica Roth (ATOS 5.0)


9) Animal Farm, George Orwell (ATOS 7.3)


10) Looking for Alaska, John Green (ATOS 5.8)


11) Night, Elie Wiesel (ATOS 4.8)


12) Lord of the Flies, William Golding (ATOS 5.0)


13) Hamlet, William Shakespeare (ATOS 10.5)


14) Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck (ATOS 4.5)


15) 1984, George Orwell (ATOS 8.9)


16) The Giver, Lois Lowry (ATOS 5.7)


17) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins (ATOS 5.3)


18) The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (ATOS 7.3)


19) Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (ATOS 5.3)


20) The Scorch Trials, James Dashner (ATOS 5.0)


Mic also put together the following graphic based on the report that shows the “Most Read Book by High School Seniors in Each State”: