Rockstar Rick Riordan worries that the appearance of The Lightning Thief on r-e-q-u-i-r-e-d summer reading lists could take the fun out of reading the book. I understand his concern. So many of my kids loved Holes until they HAD to read it as LITERATURE during the school year.
Hopefully, summer reading lists require a lighter touch and no hunting for similes, no character analysis, no long discourses on Theme or Voice. This can be the book that makes kids think, "hey, this summer reading thing is fun!"
I like the Texas Bluebonnet list because it offers books I would never ordinarily pick-up to read. When I first saw the Texas Bluebonnet List for 2006-2007, I predicted the Robert Sabuda Dinosaur book would win the hearts of Texas school children. That glorious pop-up book is just so enticing--that is IF libraries will get over their fear of damage and provide it to their kids.
The award is voted on by the children of Texas, grades 3-6 in January. In recent years, it seems like the book that appeals the most to 3rd graders wins the award because they vote in large numbers.
Novels take more time to read and teachers often cannot fit them in as easily as read-alouds so the kids have more exposure to the picture books on the list. The last novel to win was Because of Winn-Dixie in 2002.
However, based on the reaction I receive to my read-alouds of The Lightning Thief, I am changing my bet. Percy Jackson could sweep the vote.
I know, I know--it should not be a contest--all the books are winners. I'm rooting for Percy.