Why I hate the Accelerated Reader Program

Recently, a mother came up to the desk with her third-grade daughter.  The daughter had selected a book about horses that she seemed very eager to read.  The mother asked me if it was on the Accelerated Reader list.  It was not.  “Well,” she said, “there’s no point in my daughter reading this book if she can’t get points for it.” The child was then made to put the book back on the shelf.  Need I say more…

Author: Allie

I was a Children's Librarian for 8 years and worked in Administration for several more. I love blogging about books, information, and other library related topics. Most of my blogs are book reviews.

52 thoughts on “Why I hate the Accelerated Reader Program”

  1. That is when that parent should try to get that book added to the AR book list. I am active in my school in trying to get that done. It is not hard. If the child is interested in reading, then give them something to read.

  2. Don’t EVEN get me started!! I am an elementary school media center specialist at a school where AR is OUT OF CONTROL, especially in the 1st and 6th grades.

    Most of the 6th graders will not even look at a book that doesn’t have a test with it, or if it isn’t in their reading level. They say it’s a “waste of time!!” Some have gotten hooked on a series of books and won’t be able to read, say, the third in the series, because it’s .1 of a point off of their reading level!

    Teachers are using AR incorrectly and giving reading grades based on points. What ever happened to good, old-fashioned book reports??

    Frustrating, to say the least!

    1. totally agree Donna!!!!i’m a teacher at Wayland Bonds Elementary and i think the should have limit for example they should not let a 6th grader read a kindergarten book but i think that the can dabble some times and ar goals make me angry all they do is tell kids that they need to read to be smart well thats not always the case so therefor ar is stupid

      1. I ma sixth grader and I hate AR. Our teacher makes us get a certain number of points at a certain level on a semester. If we fail to achieve that., we get an F in reading and lose recess. I am really into tern dsytopian novels and was reading divergent but am not allowed to finish it because it isn’t a sixth grade level.

        1. I totally sympathize with you. AR may have had good intentions, but teachers use it in horrible ways. Whatever happened to reading for fun? Divergent is an awesome book. My son who is in 11th grade just read it and its sequel Insurgent. If you are reading books at a high school level then they should count toward your points. As a librarian who wants young people to love reading, I become very frustrated when the joy gets taken away and replaced my insignificant numbers and levels. Most adult books (like John Grisham novels) rate at a 5th grade level on the AR scale. To me, that fact alone speaks volumes about the problems with this program. Imagine if an adult walked into the library and was told that the book they had chosen from the shelf was not the right level, and they were not allowed to check it out. That adult would be furious. So why is it okay for us to do this to kids? I don’t understand it, but I hope you’ll keep reading those dystopian novels that you enjoy. Don’t let that joy of reading be taken away. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate and value your input!

  3. AR took the fun out of reading for my son. In return, now he has one more thing to stress about–reaching that goal. And the goal is a moving target, if he succeeds, the bar goes higher! If he doesn’t succeed, then he is punished. Yes, punished… you have to realize that to a forth grader, not getting a reward equals being punished. I used to read to my son every night from the time he was born. Now my wife says not to, that he has to read to himself. Stupid, stupid, AR. I truly hate it. That company turned something wonderful and fun and turned it into a contest. We have enough competitiveness in sports. We don’t have to spoil reading in the same way. Geez. What can a parent do? Wake up people and smell the mortification.

  4. The company is not at fault, the teachers in all the above scenarios are for implementing AR incorrectly. I am a reading coach that sees all sorts of behaviors some good, many bad. Did you know every child should have multiple reading levels or ZPD’s? Did you know no child should ever be told no to reading a book? As a school that has achieved Master school 5 years in a row, we celebrate AR. Sometimes teachers take a good thing (like getting points) and make students get a certain amount each week or they can’t talk at lunch or something just as insane. This is the teacher abusing AR. Just like the parent thinking he cannot read to his son-shameful. It is when teachers try to make a program “better” instead of using it to motivate that children “vote” by not reading.

  5. Hi. I am a school librarian at a school in the UK. we have just had a demo and sales presentation on Accelerated Reader and were quite interested but are now having reservations after doing a bit of research on teachers and librarian’s feelings about it. Would be interested in any comments, or suggestions about how to improve reading in a school. We are ages 14-19, not sure how that equates to your grade system.

    1. Cool, that’s pretty interesting that Accelerated Reader is making it overseas, but not in a good way. and I think the UK is really cool, but as a student in the 9th grade, and in International baccalaureate, I greatly despise AR. I used to love to read, but since going through 9 years of AR, I have found that I have lost my love of reading, and not because I’m too lazy to pick up a book, it’s because I think of reading a new book or re-reading one of my favorites, and I just make an “Ugh” sound. AR has drained me of my love to read, from always being pushed all the time to read and make my goal, then when I get finished with my goal in the last week, when it’s too late to read another book, I find myself literally .1 point away from my goal, and don’t even get to go on the reward trip to Carrowinds/Six flags or whatever it was. It just makes me want to scream when I hear the story of “Oh, I couldn’t read it, because it was above my level.” With the slower or lower grade kids when I tutor at an k-5 school, or “I wanted to read it, but it was below my level.” with the advanced or upper grade kids. Teachers overemphasize on the point levels, there should be a way to meet in the middle with fun vs. points and reading levels.

  6. I have a son in middle school and one in elementary school. Many times books my kids want to read are not on the list. Yes they can be added. However that’s only if and when they have 20-25 other tests to add and sometimes only if the school librarian wants to add it. My son in elementary school has a teacher who has given him a goal of 46 points this term based on a complicated formula of days available at 45min per day earning 3.5 per week. What? My middle schooler has a goal of 28. I am very upset with AR. It is applied subjectively by each school and teacher. It has truly taken the joy out of reading and elevated the stress level in our home.

  7. If our school or district had purchased AR online which gives them access to all the AR test available, not just what each school has ordered, it would be much less frustrating. Many times a new book has an AR test but it takes a long time for the schools to batch enough requests to order it. Or the series has AR tests but the school isn’t carrying it. I could see the potential if it was administered without all the limitations. Most books have an AR test but access is the problem and so far neither of my kids schools will allow the parents to purchase the tests.

  8. First, it is not always the teachers who are responsible. In my case it is a Nazi principal who makes life hard for the rest of us. Second, as the librarian, it is not always within my power to order tests because they cost money and I have to have money to get the test. Occassionally, I have parents who donate money to get a test and when that happens I order the test immediately. We do not use the program above the fifth grade level and my kids who graduate from the elementary to the middle school ( I do both libraries) are thrilled to be able to take any book they want and read it. My grandson throws a fit every night (third grader) because he is forced to read a book so he can take a test on it. Strangely enough, parents are not allowed to stop by the school and read with their kids after hours and take a test. (No testing after 3 pm. Why? Because we don’t want them to help their kids! These are the administrations rules, not the teachers or the librarians. So, please do not place all the blame on us, we would love to see a change, or just dump AR altogether!
    To the UK school…DON’T DO IT! It deprives you of reading for pleasure. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and have yet to meet a librarian who doesn’t say the same.

  9. My son started AR in first grade, he loved it. His reading level jumped like 4 levels. He received 144 points in 1st grade. He changed schools and he was so excited, but they go by number of books, not points. So he has stayed ahead in number of books and points, but he said he set a “personal” goal to get to 150 points and he was almost at his goal and no one even knew. Not even his teacher. I asked her if she could say something to him, and she refused, saying he hadn’t done anything that any other child hadn’t done. My son had read about 100 books and had 170 points. The other students had read about 60 books and had lower than 40 points. I honestly don;t think she understands points. He really wanted her to be proud. He was really trying to maintain his reading level and stay ahead on the number of books. The whole thing discouraged him, he went from being so proud, to feeling as if he had accomplished nothing.

  10. I transferred about eleven months ago from a private school to public school. I love my new school in general but i hate Ar. And I thought I hated a simple reading log , but at lease i got to reader i felt and i had unlimited time to finish the book. And also you a certain amount of time to reach your. I’m also a slow reader and I personally miss reading whatever I wanted and this AR brings your grade down too. And finally I think this may of ruined reading or at lease the pleasure too.

  11. I’m a student in 7th grade and I hate AR. Its just an easier way for book reports or study guides. Some of the questions on the tests are real dumb too. I took a test for Where The Red Fern Grows today and there were two questions that were correct, but only one of them was correct. It said like “Billy saw two redhounds in a magazine” and “there were dogs for sale in the back of the magazine”. According to the book, there were two red hounds in the back of the magazine for sale. Some of the questions don’t even really matter and are just trick questions to prevent you from getting an A+ in the AR class and get a lower grade, hurting your GPA. Bring the book reports, etc back!

  12. Here we are almost exactly one year later and still lamenting the AR program. My oldest son is reading The Hunger Games series. I was interested in the book and read the series. The plot was exciting, the characters complex, it was fast paced, everything I love in a good book. I read the whole series myself I got so hooked after the first book! Guess what? I apparently am a dolt! The series is barely at fifth grade level. Hahaha! My 6th grader and 8th grader are barely allowed to read this series according to the program. Ha! The library only has the first two books anyway and this is the kicker…I’d like to know what 5th grader should be encouraged to or can really grasp the significance of a series that has social and political themes, murder, alcoholism, drug addiction and graphic themes of war. So it goes, a series that makes Stephen King look like a school boy rated for 5th graders. You just have to shake your head and wonder.

  13. im an 8th grader and i dont really care about AR. I just read what i can and if i dont reach 25pts then it sucks for me. I dont understand why people make such a big deal about it.It doesnt even really affect your grade, i get like what 10pts and i still get an A in language arts.

  14. Hi I would just like to say that I just finished Stephen King’s book Cell and decided just for the heck of it, to look up the A.R Level (I gave up on A.R in 6th grade when it became extra-credit).. When i saw the level I gave up my faith in all testing involved. This intense, heart-wrenching, gruesome, and gory book that involved adult content and sexual references at some points was rated for fifth graders to read! This book not only was vastly inappropriate but was also written at a very comprehensive level and includes words that I had to look up (even when i’m an advanced eighth grader…I am involved in Gifted and Duke TiP along with a score of over 1700 on the SAT’s). This content was thoroughly undershot on its content and, in my opinion, is a mid-high school level book. Not a children’s story to educate about pandemics and travesty sweeping the nation in the blink of an eye…

    Thank for your time,

    Michael

  15. I am a middle school student who loved reading until AR. AR, is not so much a comprehension test as it is a speed reading test. Although I’m an advanced reader and an honor student, I am a cautious reader who re-reads in order to memorize all the details and really put myself in the book. Many kids can speed-read, and manage to pass the test, but I take my time, and enjoy the book, causing me to struggle to reach the minimum goal of 45 points per quarter. Also, because the test questions are so insanely detailed, I spend all of my reading time, just worrying that I won’t pass the test, and being paranoid that I’m missing a detail. I don’t like AR, but I think that it could possibly be a little bit more likable if you could read books of your interest, regardless of the reading level. Also, if you could choose a goal that is manageable, and that you can feel good about, instead of a goal that is easy for speed-readers to achieve. (I wish I could make a goal that is at my level, and not selected by the teachers. Because I’m in honors english, there are kids who get hundreds of points in 2 months, but like I said… I, and many others, are careful readers who spend the whole book worrying about passing the test.

    Thank you for Reading.

  16. I am in the 6th grade and I hate AR. I am in an honors language arts class and I have to get twice as many points as any other class (30 points in 9 weeks). I am I very slow reader and I barely have anytime to read. I have basketball practice everyday but Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, and my parents are divorced so I’m at my dads on the weekends. Well a couple weeks ago a boy in my class stole my library book and I can’t get it back. Now the library won’t let my get any new books until I return the one that he stole. So I can’t get points if I have no books to read. Now my language arts grade is an 86% but it would be a 97% if it wasn’t because of AR. My mom is very angry about this and feels the same way about AR as I do. She thinks that just because a kid is a slow reader it doesn’t make them stupid!

    1. This is to you…Don’t do “THAT” AR it’s stupid if you dont get the points who cares, you teacher asks why you didnt get you points tell her “Becuase, I hate AR, and all the books I have read aren’t AR thats why”

  17. Why can’t parents see through the AR program? I am a school librarian without an AR program and I love it! Kids actually check out books to read and discuss with others. AR has teachers,parents,principals and others fooled. AR does not increase comprehension. The tests do not ask higher thinking questions, therefore students who may have a trillion points really don’t comprehend other than simple knowledge questions according to Bloom’s taxonomy. Wake up people….this is why our children are failing

  18. I’m a 7th grader.
    When I was younger, I liked AR. But the older I get, the more competitive it becomes. I agree with “Teresa”. The girl at my school who has over 1,00 points, only understands about 60% of what she’s reading. I tried talking to her about books that we have both read, and she acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about that. “I don’t remember that part,” she says.
    Also, the people who get a lot of points, are the people who have no lives! I have, church, tennis, band, chorus…
    So, basically, AR is a way to get people to read books really fast, barely understand them, and then feel smug about themselves when they get hundreds of points. It’s disgusting!

  19. AR is in England now; horrible, horrible. My son loves books, but many that he reads are home are long and take time to complete. They are above his level at school and too long for the school to let him read, for what appears to be a quick-fix points programme. He hates it, I hate it. I have refused to particpate in it. He reads what he wants at home (well, within limits of ability/appropriateness of course). At school, he keeps taking the test and scoring 100%, but he is skimming, not enjoying. Stupid, stupid programme.

  20. My son is a first grader and has SPD. Reading is very hard for him and now because if AR it adds more stress. He has a hard enough time with the required work needed to pass and now he is sressed because he doesnt have enough point for the special party at the end of the yr. He is technically being punished for having a hard time reading. I absolutely hate to read now as an adult because I was forced to do AR as a child.

  21. We have had Accelerated Reader in our school since October last year and it has taken off brilliantly. It has encouraged a huge number of students who would never visit the LRC in their lives to come in through our doors and discover the pleasures of reading. Yes, there is some element of competition involved but in my opinion this just pushed students further and has them trying books which they would not normally read. When comparing class data we have actually found that our lower band English groups are actually having the most success and our Learning Support Department are very much on board with the programme, encouraging those students who find reading challenging. We do not just push accelerated reading books onto our students. Any LRC who does this is not implementing the scheme properly as there is no reason at all for students not to still read just for the sake of pleasure whether there is an A/R level on the book or not. We certainly don’t have a “designated” area for A/R books, they are all still on the shelves within the fiction areas, they are just clearly labelled so students can make their own judgements whether they want to read a book with a quiz or a book just for pleasure!

    1. No one likes AR they act like they do so they don’t get in troble. These kids are forced to read books that they probly don’t even like. The ones they like, NOT AR, i hate you ar hate you

  22. I am an Elementary school librarian and we use Scholastic’s Reading Counts! program (it is the same thing as Accelerated Reader, different name.) During my second year, it is dawning on me that these book quizzing programs are a joke. They absolutely do not test reading comprehension, any one can pick answers out of a book and earn points. My top point earner this year in third grade has taken 455 quizzes, failed over 200 of them, yet the school rewards her for her points. Students,teachers and parents are obsessed with it. However, these programs do not foster learning or reading skills, they are simply a waste of time. Also, students are not allowed to check out books that do not have Reading Counts quizzes. Therefore these books get tossed aside no matter how good they are. Why doesn’t anyone notice how horrible this is?

    1. You’re right. I don’t think schools should even have AR or any type of computer-related book quizes. Just read the book for pleasure, but you can’t anymore becuase of this, if there was no AR or Book Quizes why can’t a teacher just trust the student

  23. I just finished colledge resently and this A.R. point stystem sucks, when I was in 5th grade our class was the only class that had to get point (20 pts to be exact) in 4th grade we were the only class that did ar, 3 grade only class, second grade only class, 6 grade only class (I was a high ability student in Honor programs) In highschool 50 pts a grading period, in middle school 35 pts a grading period, colledge non
    I HATE AR SO MUCH WHY NOT USE BOOK REPORTS OR ACTUALLY BUY EVERY SINGLE TEST THAT COMES OUT FOR EVERY BOOK BEUCASE I DIDNT EVEN TOUCH A BOOK THAT WASNT AR BEUCASE I WAS ALWAYS RUSHED TO GET THE POINTS IN I HATE YOU AR HATE YOU

  24. The only thing I hate about AR is the reading level. What I personally do with my daughter is after a few chapters I will ask her to tell me what the books about and what has happened so far. This helps me make sure she is comprehending the book. I don’t try to rush her to read, she does it at her own speed. One of her favorite authors is Rick Riordan. She read The Red Pyramid, Throne of Fire, Lost Hero, and Son of Neptune. If you don’t know those books range about 17 points each with over 110,000 words each. Now the way I was able to manage not to rush her and still be able to meet her goal. I would basically divide the book throughout the whole week Monday- sunday. So if book has 455 pages, 455\7=65 pages per day that she would have to read. That actually made her not stress so much. She met her goal of 1,000,000 words and was able to participate in the schools millionaire reading program field trip. I would be lying if I say it hasn’t helped my daughter improve her fluency. Since she read so many books. She actually has been reading faster than she was before I started pushing her to read more. To get her started I also allowed her to check out audiobooks from the public library online. That definitely also helped me do that little push to encourage her to read.

  25. I remember AR in elementary and junior high. I hated reading :/ because of that program!!!

  26. There are good and bad points about AR, just like every other topic. At my school, AR is available but not forced. The students have to check out at least one AR book each week, but their other books can be whatever they wish. I think the key is motivation, encouragement and recognition and not punishing or pushing the students with impossible, stressful goals.

  27. I have two children in 5th grade this year. We have always done AR. It was something we somewhat enjoyed, however if we didnt meet our goal it was no big deal. We didn’t stress over it. This year is completely different. The teachers have set goals and if my children meet their goal the average for the quarter is a grade for each week. Meaning if their average is 80% they will have 9 grades that are an 80. However if my children do not meet their goal it is 9 ZEROS. That means that my child will fail reading with an F. My children who have a 90 in reading based on everything they’ve done thus far in class will end up with a 36% on their report card because of not meeting their AR goal. Please tell me I am not the only one who thinks this is absurd! And is clearly setting my children up for failure. There is nothing good that will come from this!! Am I really going to have to switch schools because of AR?

  28. I have a child in High School now that went through the program when he was in elementary school and I had forgotten how much I HATE the program. I am watching my daughter, who is in 2nd grade lose her love of reading and it breaks my heart! I don’t know how much of it is the actual program or the teachers use of it that is causing our stress. My daughter’s reading tested as advanced beyond her current grade level at the beginning of the year so I know that the stress being put on her by her teacher isn’t to improve her reading skills. Is there some sort of reward the teacher gets for cramming as many tests as possible down her students throats? I actually got an angry note from her last night informing me that she had caught my daughter reading a non-AR book during their reading time!

  29. I grew up with the AR program. I also hated the program. All the books I wanted to read were not in the AR list. So I was forced to read books that I didn’t want to. Then reading became nothing but a chore and a burden to me. I would always test above reading level, by 6th grade I was reading at a 12th grade level. Luckily, the teachers only wanted us to get a certain amount of points to be able to participate in extra activities and field trips. So the AR program was not being included in my English grade, thank goodness.

    Now my son, who is in the 4th grade has been introduced into the AR program this year. Of course the books on the list, that are his level, are ones that he has no interest in reading whatsoever. So this is like me in school all over again.

    I am a Network Admin and I do a lot of reading now, mainly Microsoft Articles to help troubleshoot computers and networking issues. The last time I picked up a book to read, was in High-school when I was required to do a book report. Since then I have had absolutely no interest in reading at all. I have a strong feeling that my Son is headed down the same road because of this program.

    I agree with previous posts, what ever happened to doing book reports?

  30. I am another parent that hates the way the AR progrom is conducted. Our school principal “requires” all students to read enough books and take the test so that they end up with 10 points each 6 weeks. Which is added to the child’s list of grades for that 6 weeks and averaged in with those grades and if they don’t read any books then they get a 0 added in with the grades. I understand reading is wonderful but I don’t think this program was designed to be ran in this manner. What happened to POSITIVE reinforcement? For example get 10 points each 6 weeks get a snack, toy, ect. My daugther is in the 7th grade and her English grade on her report card this 6 weeks was a 61 (F) because she didn’t read any books and got a 0 averaged in with her grades. Before the 0 she had a 83 (C) and in her other classes she has A’s and B’s. So that 0 brought her grade from a C to a F. Does anyone know who I can contact to maybe stop this type of thing from happening to my child along with other children?

  31. I like AR when it’s not abused, and the problem is not always the teachers’ faults. We are told that they have to get AR points. Do folks REALLY think that we want one more thing on our plates? We, or at least I, don’t sit around thinking of ways to stress my kids out. I have a pacing guide (also set by those higher than me) that I have to follow along with a bunch of other tasks. Parents need to open their mouths and advocate for what they do OR do not want for their children. If enough parents become vocal at the appropriate levels, I’m sure the powers that be will have to listen and act accordingly.

  32. I am in the 5th grade and I really hate the AR Program. Most books in my level or up are the ones that seem extremely boring. It controls what you read, and takes the fun out of reading.
    I wanted to read one book so bad that I read it, took a quiz on it, and it brought down my level from a 5th grade level to a 4th grade level.
    I can’t read most Roald Dahl books, I can’t read Stargirl, Goosebumps, most Dork Diaries books, Judy Moody, Rick Riordan books, and other popular books.
    The only series I can read that is above my reading level, (My teacher wants me to challenge myself.) Is Harry Potter, which I’m happy about.
    At least winter break is close, and I can read whatever I want.

  33. The AR program is very frustrating for myself and my daughter. She is currently in the 10th grade and her school still requires her to read AR books. They are required to read AR books for 20 minutes during class time and 20 minutes outside of class each day. Once they have completed their goals (set forth by the teacher), they are still only allowed to read AR books to count towards their in class reading time as well as their outside reading requirement. The AR program is currently 30% of their grade. My daughter’s reading range is from 5.6-13.0. My daughter approached the teacher about the possibility of her reading a book outside of the AR program once she was finished with her points/goals and the teacher told her “no”, not unless you read it on your own time. Unfortunately, the average reading level of a book in our library is 5.5. On top of the fact that they must continue to read AR books, if the students do not receive a minimum of 85% on their AR test, they are required to write a 5 page book report on the next book. If my daughter is capable of reading college level material, how is reading books written at a 5th grade level helpful to her?

    1. I have had more comments on this post than any post I’ve written before or since. Apparently, many people are frustrated by AR as am I. I think it started out with good intentions, but too many teachers have turned it into a chore or an assignment. It’s sad. Reading should be encouraged as an enjoyable activity. But, by the time most kids reach Middle School, they have been turned against it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  34. I am a sixth grader and have 301 reading counts poinys points because I had a compitition with a boy to who had the most points I also did it in fifth.grade and read majority of tje books in our school libarary so I have to go to the public library to keep the compition going anf I have gotten really tired but the kid dropped out of the compition because he said I was to competitive beut we are really good frienfs

    1. Thanks for your comments. I think it is cool that you enjoyed a healthy competition with your friend and read so many books. Even though you tired of the competition, I hope you never tire of reading. There are so many wonderful books out there just waiting for you to discover them. I’m also glad that you and your competitor remain really good friends. I appreciate you dropping by my website and sharing your thoughts. Happy reading!

  35. I’ve been combing the Internet, going back and forth between Amazon and ARBookfind.com for over two hours now trying to find a book for my 5th grader to read. Because he has to read a certain level and achieve a certain point goal, the options are limited. The ARbookfind site does not allow you to search by point value and doesn’t have comparable descriptions and ratings as Amazon. Yet when we find an interesting book on Amazon, it’s too low of a reading level or point value. It’s an excruciating and stressful process to find a suitable AR book for my son.

    Whatever happened to book reports? Book reports would allow teachers to assess the child’s absorption of the content and work on their writing skills. There is so little writing in elementary school these days; it’s absolutely ridiculous and it’s not setting our kids up for success. Book reports would be more work for teachers and students, but the benefits are far beyond those of computerized AR testing. AND the kids may actually ENJOY reading, because they can read anything they want, rather than being cornered into a censored list. (Well, maybe not censored per say, but why on earth should kids be restricted to reading “approved” books?!) I’m thoroughly fed up and disgusted with AR and the lack of writing book reports.

  36. I wish they could just do book reports. In 3rd grade to prepare for 5th grade AR, my teacher had a program called Read It! which I really kind of liked. You read ANY book, and then wrote a book report on it. I loved it.

    Fast forward to 5th grade. AR is here to deal with. It counts for as much as 15% of my grade in language arts. I want to read another book in a series called Mistborn (great book series, I highly reccomend it). Not in the AR list, so I couldnt get points, making me ticked off. This happened again with the Percy Jackson series, except this time with AR level. I ended up reading the Wheel of Time series, which I greatly enjoy. Fortunately, AR had not killed my passion for recreational reading, but it doesnt mean I like it.

    I could make an hours long anti-AR rant, but I wont.

  37. Im a 5th grader that loved to read until AR. What the company basically did was turned reading from fun to get 15 points every 6 weeks or so. I don’t really like the idea of AR thrashing the good juicy part of a book into competition and difficulty. I have 44 or 47 points for the year and your support to get 30 every 2 months. For most children the have getting a C,D or F in reading or English-Language arts. A C,D OR F. If I’m going to read I’m gonna choose MY own reading pace AT THE LEVEL I WANT TO READ, it is also outrageous that I have a reading level OF 4th grade to 8th GRADE. EXCPECTING A 10 YEAR OLD BOY TO GET AROUND 100 POINTS EVERY 6 or 7 MONTH IS RETARDED. I will no longer stand for the AR program if they excpect me to read 3 YEARS ABOVE MY TYPICAL READING LEVEL. INSANITY. If I ever have children of my own in 5th grade I will give them the option to read for AR points or just for plain fun. I don’t care any of my classmates have 8th or 9th grade reading levels NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO GET 100 POINTS OF READING EVERY 6-7 MONTHS.

  38. I am a student at a school in which I will not name, and I think it is really horrible to see a program ruin the fun of reading. I personally love to read nonfictions (mostly biographies) but they only give 0.5 to 1 point. I’m a bit of a slow reader, so when I have to reach a certain amount of points in 9 weeks, I can’t. So far, I have read 5 books. I only have 2.5 points. Our librarian encourages us to read short 0.5 point books so we can read when we don’t have anything to read, but I can’t find one that is on my reading level. So, I’m stuck with books that are barely worth reading, waiting for time to pass by as I read worthless books.

    1. Bryan, boys in particular are big fans of non-fiction, a category of reading that is equally valid (some might argue more valid) as fiction. Yet teachers rarely include non-fiction on recommended reading lists, and AR apparently doesn’t spend much time on them either. If you don’t absolutely need these points for a grade, then stop reading the “worthless” books, and read the books you want as slowly as you need. Savor each and every word, and if you really like it, read it again.

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