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Boys 'choose easier books than girls'

1st March 2010

New research has shown boys are reading just as much as girls - but they choose less challenging books.

A study carried out by Professor Keith Topping of the University of Dundee's school of education looked at the reading habits of 100,000 children and revealed marked differences in the type of literature they prefer, reports the Independent.

Professor Topping commented: 'Boys are clearly reading nearly as much as girls, a finding that may surprise some onlookers. But boys are tending to read easier books than girls.'

The research showed that differences in reading material become strongest between the ages of 13 and 16, as the favourite book of girls in this group is Stephenie Meyer's Twilight - which is classed as being more challenging than The Dark Never Hides by Peter Lancett, the boys' preferred work.

However, it was also noted that both sexes tend to choose books which are below their reading ability after the age of 11 and Professor Topping called on schools to do more to push children to tackle difficult novels.

Last month, a National Literacy Trust poll of 1,530 nine to 14-year-olds showed that just 42 per cent of boys and 48 per cent of girls read more than one fiction book a month.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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