Literacy Research

Bookelicious feeds kids’ passion for reading. Our professionally curated collection of great books, plus our AI-driven, behavior-based recommendation engine, make it easy for kids to find books they love. It’s like a personal librarian in your pocket!

Two thirds of fourth graders in the United States read below grade level;i for children living in poverty, that number jumps to 80%.ii Students who cannot read at a modestly skilled level by 4th grade are much less likely to graduate from high school.iii They will face significantly higher rates of poverty, unemployment and homelessness, and a much greater likelihood of incarceration, than their peers,iv while costing our society approximately $300,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity.v Moreover, struggling readers are more likely to avoid reading, thereby losing opportunities to develop crucial skills like critical thinking and empathy.

More time reading books increases vocabulary, fluency and A student who reads more than 30 minutes a day from kindergarten through high school will have read 250 times as many words as a student who reads less than 15 minutes a day: a 12-million-word divide that yields ~12,000 additional vocabulary words.vii But children won’t read unless motivated to do so.

At Bookelicious, our core competency is matching readers with books they truly want to read. Decades of research have identified three key levers of reading motivation: high-interest books, well-suited to a child’s reading skill, and personally chosen by the reader from a wide selection of relevant titles. We integrate these levers with the expert knowledge of educators and reviewers, an artificial intelligence-driven, behavior-based recommendation engine, and a fun, highly personalized online experience to promote successful, engaged reading.


i The Condition of Education 2013, and Early Reading Proficiency in the United States – The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

ii Hernandez, D. J. (2012). Double jeopardy: How third grade reading skills and poverty influence high school graduation. Retrieved from KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={8E2B6F93-75C6-4AA6-8C6E-CE88945980A9}; National Center for Education Statistics, 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress. For fourth-graders not proficient in reading, low income is defined as those eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, which is 185 percent of poverty (

iii Only 4% of proficient third-grade readers fail to graduate high school, as compared with 16% of third-graders who are reading below a proficient level. See Hernandez, Donald J. 2011. Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation: New York, NY; Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters, a Kids Count Special Report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation (2010); Early Warning Confirmed, a Research Update on Third Grade Learning (2013).

iv More than 82% of people who are incarcerated are also high-school dropouts. See; https://; homelessness- reaches-all-time-high-growth-in-numbers-of-unaccompanied-youth-most-marked.

v Fiester, L. (2010). Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. A KIDS COUNT Special Report. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, p.6;

vi Anderson, R., Wilson, P., & Fielding, L. (1988), Growth in reading and how children spend their time outside of school, Reading Research Quarterly, 23(3) 285-303; Cunningham, A.E., and Stanovich, K.E. (2001), What Reading Does for the Mind, Journal of Direct Instruction, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 137–149; and Moss, B., and Young, T. (2010), Creating Lifelong Readers through Independent Reading, International Reading Association, p. 9, et. seq.

vii Mason, J.M., Stahl, S. A. , Au, K. H. , & Herman, P. A. (2003). Reading: Children’s Developing Knowledge of Words. In J. Flood, D. Lapp, J. R. Squire, & J. M. Jensen (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts (2nd ed., pp. 914-930). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Renaissance Learning. (2016). What kids are reading: and how they grow. Wisconsin Rapids, WI.