It will not have escaped the reader’s attention that almost all the books in these lists are fiction – storybooks. Children like fiction, but they also like non-fiction.

We know that boys in particular are interested in non-fiction. So why is it that so many fiction books are chosen? Is it something to do with the reading preferences of school teachers and librarians, who might tend to encourage pupils to read fiction but not non-fiction? This is likely to result in higher performance by girls, who are known to favour fiction.

Is this a gendered preference, so that the predominantly female primary school teachers and the half of secondary school teachers who are female prefer fiction and are unconsciously promoting fiction at the expense of non-fiction and disadvantaging boys? Of course, Accelerated Reader is neutral on this point, as it offers quizzes on a great many non-fiction books. The tables will be found in Appendix F.