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Does Reading Make You Smarter?

Does reading make you smarter? Science says it does. A study shows that “children who can read well by the age of seven are more intelligent in later years. Youngsters who have a good reading ability at primary school perform better in their teens in IQ tests for abstract thinking, general cognition and pattern finding, according to a new study. The results suggest that learning to read at an early age has ramifications far beyond simple literacy” (

In an article from, author Dan Hurley talks about how reading comics helped him with his reading in elementary school. He went from being a “slow learner” to straight A student within the next three years. “Later in my teens,” Hurley said. “I took a college admissions course in the US, and scored the equivalent of 136 on an IQ test.”

Hurley spent three years interviewing psychologists and neuroscientists around the world studying the effects of reading on intelligence.  By the end of his research, he was convinced that “reading and intelligence have a relationship so close as to be symbiotic.”

Fun Fact: Students perform about 20 points higher on IQ tests than they did in the early 20th century. This changed happened after schools increased emphasis on critical reading and writing skills.

Aren’t sure what to read? Here are some recommendations from your English teachers:


Ms. Edelen:                                              

  • The Girl On The Train

By: Paula Hawkins

  • Room

By: Emma Donoghue

  • The Kite Runner

By: Khaled Hosseini

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

By: Khaled Hosseini

Mr. Tatum:

  • Breakfast of Champions

By: Kurt Vonnegut

  • East of Eden

By: John Steinbeck

  • Anything written by David Foster Wallace
  • Anything by Hunter Thompson