The Massachusetts Book Award list has great chapter books that include Newbery winners with a range of books from 3rd grade through 8th grade.
My nine-year-old daughter picks her favorite chapter books of 2011 and she cautions her peers, “I think that every book is boring in the beginning. Maybe the second or third chapter is when it starts getting good. Just keep reading.”
I love to find books that excite reluctant readers. The key is to find that magic intersection that marries your child’s just-right level with content that matches their interest and a layout that is visually appealing (small chunks of text broken by pictures, larger font size, etc.). Alas, this is a moving target. I have an actual person that I select these books for, my youngest son’s best friend’s older brother who is a 4th grader with my oldest. My mom friends have had success with these books for their reluctant boy readers and suggests you try them. If you want to purchase a book, click on the image of the book to buy at Amazon.com.
I found it so interesting the wide range of interests and levels of newly minted 6th graders. They are reading everything from adult literature to fantasy adventure to Karl Sagan non-fiction. I guess it goes to show you that the middle school kid is everywhere on the spectrum from adult-like to still child-like.