BRGS has been conducting its own Big Read survey since September. Starting with the Big Read top 100 books, the first round of voting saw BRGS produce its own top 21 books. The second round of voting saw these reduced to the top ten (in alphabetical order by author):

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  • Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer
  • The BFG – Roald Dahl
  • Winnie the Pooh – A. A. Milne
  • His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
  • Holes – Louis Sachar
  • Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkein
  • The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkein
  • Girls In Love – Jaqueline Wilson

As you might expect, the BRGS top ten included more children’s books than the BBC’s top 21, but Lord of the Rings and The Hitchhiker’s Guide have been just as popular as in the national Big Read Poll.

So, what was BRGS’s most popular book? The final voting definitely reflected the age and gender of the majority of those voting on the site, but there was a clear winner with more than double the number of votes of the second placed book, and it remains a classic of children’s literature:


The top three:

1st Winnie the Pooh – A. A. Milne
2nd Girls in Love – Jaqueline Wilson
3rd The Lord of the Rings / His Dark Materials / Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (equal third).

Lord of the Rings Research Project

In twenty countries across the world, researchers are collaborating in a study of audience responses to the film. We will be finding out about people's enjoyment of it, but also about the disappointments and frustrations that some people feel. And in particular we will be exploring what this 'fantasy story' means to this whole generations of film-goers and readers of the books.

Where is Middle-earth? What does it mean to people today?

We ourselves admire The Lord of the Rings. We know the books, and like many other people we were excited when we heard that they were being made into a trilogy of films. For many, it has been a remarkable set of films. But in what way remarkable? What is so powerful about it, for you? From reading reviews, seeing discussions, hearing conversations, we know that people have some pretty different ideas. Some people have loved all three movies. Some people had reservations. Some were disappointed. Some even disliked them. We want to understand why. This isn't only for fans. Some people prefer the books. Some people find it all overrated. And so on. Whatever your views on the film, we want to hear them.

This will be the biggest audience study ever undertaken. And at its centre is a web questionnaire that anyone can fill in. We are expecting over 100,000 responses from across the world. Here's the web address:

Big Read "Lord of the Rings" poster.

Have you seen them around the school? If you haven't, or you have, and want to have a look again, click on the button below and download 800 x 590 image of this poster (689 KB).