The top books Renaissance quiz writers read in 2016

By Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist

Ever wonder who writes the reading comprehension quizzes in Renaissance Accelerated Reader® and Renaissance Accelerated Reader 360®? With more than 180,000 quizzes available and new books published every day, we have an amazing team that reads new books each week and writes quizzes. We asked a few of the Renaissance quiz writers about their favorite books that they read and wrote quizzes for in 2016.


Hands down, it’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down. All the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are fabulous. Kids love them and there is humor that adults will find hilarious. I like to think that by writing a quiz, I am sharing a book with a student. When I write a question, I envision a kid thinking, ‘Yeah, that was a great (or funny/sad/exciting) event in the book.’” – Barb


“I write quizzes for a lot of middle-school-level science books, and it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have to say that it is my genre. The pictures are often amazing, and I’m able to keep up with all the new developments in areas like genetics and climate change. I think it’s a fun and positive way to inspire kids about science and to improve scientific literacy, which is good for all of us!” – Christine


My favorite books are the ones whose ideas can be found across various mediums because I enjoy comparing different ways of telling the same story. For example, The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead television series are all based on literature/graphic novels, for which I have read and created quizzes. On the flipside, the Legos and Transformers series of graphic novels are spin-offs of toys and movies. Sometimes I even check out sites like Deviant Art to see artists’ renditions of characters or settings just to get yet another side of the story, especially since I do so much work with the fantasy genre. The books I read inspire some amazing art.” – Shannon


“I have read many, many Stephen King books during my years as a quiz writer and I have not been a big fan of his ‘supernatural’ stuff, but Finders Keepers is a straightforward novel with no weird special effects that is very enjoyable. It’s a sequel to King’s previous book, Mr. Mercedes, and it features some of the same characters, but you don’t need to read the first book to understand and enjoy this one. One caution: as with most Stephen King books, Finders Keepers is filled with profanity, raw language, graphic violence, and adult situations. Overall, the best part about being a quiz writer is reading books that I probably would not have chosen to read on my own but that I have found to be a surprising treat. It’s an adventure to come in to the office every week and discover my next assignment.” – Steve


“One of my favorite books I’ve read and written a quiz for this year was Maxi’s Secrets for the way it presented friendships and for its sad but beautiful ending. The best part about writing quizzes is knowing that what you’re doing is making a difference for so many kids and helping them become better readers. My granddaughter uses Accelerated Reader in school, and she was thrilled to learn that I write those quizzes!” – Pat

What were your students’ favorite books this year? Let us know in the comments! To see a complete list of the books available in Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Reader 360, check out

Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist
Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist
Ken Stoflet is the communications specialist at Renaissance. He has been with the company since 2015 and can be found crafting anything from a press release to a tweet. In his spare time, Ken enjoys spending time with his friends, lifting, and making trips to the Frozen Tundra to cheer on the Green Bay Packers.


  1. Francine Canarios says:

    The Amulet series is a huge success this year. All of the graphic novels are very popular.

  2. Renee Graham says:

    The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

  3. Carly says:

    Sarafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty has been a favorite amongst our 4th grade students.

  4. P R says:

    The Serafina series of books by Beatty have been very popular due to the fact that they are based in Biltmore House which is in Asheville which is in NC and our home state.

    The graphic novels are also popular with the boys.

    Other top series in my class were: Who was….?, Harry Potter, Diary of Wimpy Kid

  5. Rita Platt says:

    The Amulet Series, Owl Diaries, and American/Michigan Chillers.

  6. Christina says:

    I survived series, Pax and Wimpy kid!

  7. Meredith says:

    Definitely Diary of a Wimpy Kid books!

  8. Emily Carlisi says:

    By far the most popular books: Fly Guy, I Spy Fly Guy, Buzz Boy and Fly Guy………

  9. David Keech says:

    I see many students bringing books to math class in case they have time to read, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see how many are reading Rick Riordan books and Stephen King novels.

  10. Dvawn Maza says:

    My students are enjoying William Joyce’s books!

  11. Carmen Garza says:

    P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. Have three copies…all checked out and several people waiting for it!

  12. Melissa Robles says:

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been a huge success in my library this year.

  13. Virginia says:

    My children love the Series of Books about Fudge.

  14. Sarah Swanzy says:

    My students have enjoyed the Key Hunters series this year.

  15. Katie Williams says:

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate books

  16. Fatima Peters says:

    The Anulet and Bone Series have been extremely popular in the graphic novel section.

  17. Ruth Duncan says:

    My students are enjoying the I Survived steries. We discuss historical fiction and how it relates to us today.

  18. Elizabeth Straley says:

    Some of my students’ fiction favorites are H.I.V.E, A Mango-Shaped Space, all of the Michael Vey books, The Giver, Witch & Wizard series (or basically anything by James Patterson). Some of the top non-fiction selections are The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates; Gifted Hands; The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Courage and Compassion; She Said Yes; I am Malala.

  19. JoDell Warren says:

    My students love the variety of quizzes. Some like the Rainbow Magic books, where many of the boys like the graphic novels.

  20. Virginia Travis says:

    My kids like the Magic Tree House series.

  21. Charlotte Patterson says:

    My younger students LOVE anything by Mo Willems, especially “Elephant and Piggie” (I do, too!). They also love Fly Guy books and the Blast Off! non-fiction books. First and second graders love to read about animals, machines, etc., so I’m thankful for these. My 2-5 grade students love Wimpy Kid, I Survived, Rick Riordan, Magic Tree House, and My Weird School series. They also love books about pets and history. Some of the boys are into books about WWII and ancient civilizations.

  22. Pam McBride says:

    I am a Title I reading teacher at a 5-8 Middle School. There are several books that my students-in all the grades really enjoy. I recommend the following: An Elephant in the Garden, White Fur Flying, Just a Dog, The Chocolate Touch, The Iron Giant, and Max (about the war dog). For the holidays, all the students loved the books, The True Gift, and The House Without a Christmas Tree!

  23. Dawn says:

    Bone, amulet, diary of wimpy kid (all titles) smile, sisters, drama big nate, bad kitty…i never have these books on the shelf its usually as one kid is returning it the other is with them to check it out.
    Which is very exciting that they still prefer having a book in hand instead of reading it on an eletronic device…our day is nearing because of electronics taking ultimately over.

  24. Becky Thomas says:

    The Rangers Apprentice series, The Red Queen series and The Glass Throne series are the biggest hits this year in our middle school library/

  25. Charles DeLaSalle says:

    My students love the My Weird School Series, Amulet series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Dork Diaries Series, Puppy Place books, I Survive as well as the Puppy Place books. The new book by Tim Green “Kid Owner” has been flying of the shelf.

  26. Laurie says:

    Can anyone suggest good books for high school boys? They don’t want to read so it’s a challenge to get a book in their hands.

  27. Sharon White says:

    Since we are in Illinois and our school does the Bluestem and Rebecca Caudill award books, we really encourage them to read the books and take AR quizzes on them. Many of the teachers in our school do a book report with the AR Quiz as part of the assignment, and many give additional incentives to those participating in the AR program.

  28. John says:

    My 2nd grade boys are liking the Bad Kitty series books this year while the girls like the Owl Diaries series. When they become more proficient, the boys tend to go to Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the girls to Dork Diaries.