Our Most Popular Stories in 2021

By The Editors of Scope
December 9, 2021

The tallies are in! Did your favorite make the list?

10. The Beast of Loch Ness
Coming in tenth place is this fascinating nonfiction article that takes readers on a wild adventure in search of the famous Loch Ness monster.


9. Malala the Powerful
Malala Yousafzai’s crusade for girls’ education is one of our all-time favorite articles, so we’re not surprised it made the top 10. Students are sure to be inspired by Malala’s incredible story. 


8. The Lost Ship
Our eighth-place winner is this gripping World War II story of the sinking of the Indianapolis, the captain who was unfairly blamed, and the middle schooler who helped to clear his name.


7. From Fear to Hope
In seventh place is a touching story that offers lessons and hope for what we are facing today with the Covid-19 pandemic. Author Lauren Tarshis shares her grandmother’s stories of what it was like to grow up during the polio outbreaks of the 1920s and ’30s.


6. Are Video Games a Sport?
It’s no surprise that this is our most popular debate of the year. This engaging piece asks whether it’s time to call video games—which have professional teams, star players, and millions of fans—a sport.


5. The Tornado That Changed America
Rounding out the top five is this riveting narrative nonfiction told through the eyes of an 11-year-old who survived the Tri-State Tornado in 1925, the deadliest single tornado strike in U.S. history.

4. Rescue at the Water’s Edge
Our fourth most popular piece of the year is the remarkable true story of the heroic boaters who brought thousands of people to safety on September 11, 2001.


3. Why Are We Soooooo Tired?
Third place goes to our paired texts about sleep. A nonfiction article about why teens aren’t getting enough sleep and what they can do about it is paired with an infographic about sleep. 


2. Sneaker Nation
The runner-up is our paired text about sneakers. A nonfiction article about the fascinating history of sneakers is paired with an interview with a sneaker designer. 


1. Searching for the Titanic
And the number one most popular story of 2021 is . . .“Searching for the Titanic”! This gripping nonfiction article tells the story of how explorer Robert Ballard discovered the wreck of the Titanic some 73 years after it met its tragic fate.

Credits: The Beast of Loch Ness: Illustration by Gary Hanna; Malala the Powerful: Louise Kennerley/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images; The Lost Ship: Illustration by Randy Pollak; From Fear to Hope: Science Lab/Alamy Stock Photo (background); Left to right: The March of Dimes Foundation; Bettmann/Getty Images; American Photo Archive/Alamy Stock Photo; Are Video Games a Sport?: Illustration by James Yamasaki; The Tornado that Changed America: iStockPhoto/Getty Images (tornado); Rescue at the Water’s Edge: Courtesy of Reinauer Crew; Why Are We So Tired?: Pollyana Ventura/Getty Images (top left); RubberBall Productions/Getty images (top right); Asier Romero/Shutterstock.com (bottom left); Shift Drive/Shutterstock.com (bottom right); JDawnlnk/Getty Images (emojis); Sneaker Nation: Courtesy of Nike (middle sneakers); Courtesy of Puma.com/MEGA TheMegaAgency.com/ Newscom (right white sneaker); Shutterstock.com (all other images); Searching for the Titantic: IanDagnall Computing/Alamy Stock Photo

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