Study Finds Russia, Singapore, and Hong Kong Have the Best Primary School Readers in the World

According to the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), Russia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are the top three countries in the world when it comes to the literacy of primary school students. The study examined the reading skills of over 340,000 children across the world to determine which countries children excel in reading and which are below par.

As RTE reports, the study is carried out every five years and countries around the globe can choose to take part. Interestingly, girls tend to perform better than boys with an average of 19 points between the two genders. Each country is given a score based upon how well pupils do in a reading assessment and the scores are as follows:

Russian Federation – 581
Singapore – 576
Hong Kong SAR – 569
Ireland – 567
Finland – 566
Poland – 565
Northern Ireland – 565
Norway – 559
Chinese Taipei – 559
England – 559
Latvia – 558
Sweden – 555
Hungary – 554
Bulgaria – 552
United States – 549
Lithuania – 548
Italy – 548
Denmark – 547
Macao SAR – 546
Netherlands – 545
Australia – 544
Czech Republic – 543
Canada – 543
Slovenia – 542
Austria – 541
Germany – 537
Kazakhstan – 536
Slovak Republic – 535
Israel – 530
Portugal – 528
Spain – 528
Belgium (FI) – 525
New Zealand – 523
France – 511
Belgium (FR) – 497
Chile – 494
Georgia – 488
Trinidad and Tobago – 479
Azerbaijan – 472
Malta – 452
United Arab Emirates – 450
Bahrain – 446
Qatar – 442
Saudi Arabia – 430
Iran, Islamic Republic of – 428
Oman – 418
Kuwait – 393
Morocco – 358
Egypt – 330
South Africa – 320

As you can see, Poland and Northern Ireland are tied for sixth place, Norway, Chinese Taipei, and England are tied for seventh, Lithuania and Italy are tied for thirteenth, Czech Republic and Canada are tied for eighteenth, and Portugal and Spain are tied for twenty-fifth. The average score for this year’s result is 510.

This study of course only reflects the literary strengths of each country and not the quality of the country’s education system as a whole. It would be interesting to see how each country performed when evaluated on other subjects such as mathematics or science. Regardless, it’s still a good way for each country to see how much improvement is need when it comes to young children’s literacy.

Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ is Barnes and Nobles’ Fastest-Selling Book of 2018

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Released a week ago today, Michelle Obama’s latest book Becoming has become Barnes and Nobles’ fastest-selling book in terms of first week sales. The book has enjoyed the most successful first-week launch of an adult book in over three years and has also surpassed other high profile releases such as Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury and Bob Woodward’s Fear.

As Good Reader reports, the book’s publisher, Penguin Random House, has announced that Becoming sold over 725,000 copies on its first day of release, meaning it’s the publisher’s highest single-day sales of any book this year.
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Doodles, scribbles, and mini works of fine art got many of us through our teen years at school- I personally preferred drawing spiderwebs in the corners of every page- and it seems 18th century teens were not much different!

Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) discovered a young man’s doodles in his own mathematics workbook, and it gives us a fascinating insight into the mind of this erudite and creative teen. As well as laying out his mathematical formulae with precision and clarity, Richard Beale showed us his family dog, street scenes, elegant ships, and… A chicken in trousers.

Let MERL take you on a journey through time into the mind of Richard Beale- honest farm-boy, good mathematician, and excellent doodler.

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The Literary and Film World Pay Tribute to William Goldman

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This week the tragic news of William Goldman’s death reached us, author of the Princess Bride among many other screenplays, adaptations, and novels. We paid tribute to Goldman in this piece and now the literary world has spoken out about the writer’s death.

Across social media well known names spoke out about Goldman, their relationship with him and the ways in which he touched their lives.
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Books are My Bag Readers Awards 2018

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The Books are My Bag Readers Awards are back for a third year, offering their own unique award system. The Awards really are one of a kind, the only book awards curated by bookshops and voted for by booklovers.

This year the award has added a new category for poetry, alongside the seven existing categories. Books are My Bag asked you to vote and you did so in your thousands and the winners are now in for the Books are My Bag Readers Awards, sponsored by National Book Tokens.
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New Teaser Out for New Niantic Wizards Unite Game

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It’s almost a year to the day since we brought you the news that Niantic are working on a Pokemon Go style game for Harry Potter fans. The game, Wizards Unite is promised in 2019 and is a collaboration between Niantic, Inc, Warner Bros and Portkey games.

The game will offer all the AR fun of Pokemon, but instead of catching Pokemon, players will have the chance to unravel a global mystery, cast spells, and encounter Fantastic Beasts and iconic characters along the way. Read More



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