Degree Name

Master of Education


Centre for Studies in Literacy


Literature is a part of children's heritage and invaluable for enjoyment and learning.

This study investigated the characteristics of literature that appealed to children in year 3 at one school, as an aid to introducing them to further literary reading.

Using a Naturalistic Research Paradigm involving participant observation, interview, discussion and written response, these children were employed as co-researchers. They were found to be very vocal about their reading preferences and an abundance of appropriate data was collected .

Books were found to have external as well as internal appeal, with presentation being a major factor in choice of an unfamiliar book. Peer and adult recommendation also influenced book choice as well as interest topics and previous enjoyment of similar books.

The children demanded action, challenging vocabulary with humour and happy endings in the books they selected. Many other factors also influenced enjoyment in reading, combining to give these children a love of literature and an eagerness to pursue their reading.