Grade 4 students compared their top 10 books with students at the International School of Bangkok. I created a Google doc for students to survey and put the link to it on the Follett Home Page. Students logged on and voted for their 10 three books. There was a total of 150 students. We discussed what influences us when choosing books for the enjoyment of reading. Students said they were influenced by the cover, summary on the back, title, series, subheading for nonfiction, genre, reviews, author, artwork, recommendations. They discovered that students in Bangkok choose books in the same way such as the blurb, book covers appealing, series, recommendations (from various people), and popularity.
I took the top 10 books and created another survey where 4th graders ranked their favorite books. They discovered that new book releases or movies based on books had a big impact on people's top 10 book choices. Diary of a Wimpy Kid had just released Cabin Fever, Big Nate had a new release, and so did the Heroe's of Olympus and Warriors. ISB had more graphic novels on their top 10 and Roald Dahl books.
One thing I would do differently is make sure there were no holiday breaks when doing this project. It got a little stretched out because of Christmas and Chinese New Year. It might be nice to do it at the end of the year to get students excited about summer reading.