I started reading "chapter books" to my grade ones in story time a few weeks ago. Up until then I had read them picture books. Chapter books, where you have to imagine most of the pictures, are a big deal to these six year olds, almost a graduation of sorts. Since then I have seen several of them toting around junior novels (Junie B. Jones series, etc.) that they had persuaded mom and dad to buy for them at the school book fair at the end of November. Most kids can't read them yet but carry them around, almost like status symbols, until evening when the folks at home read a chapter to them.
Yesterday I noticed a John Grisham novel on the desk of one of my sweetest little girls. When I asked her why she had it she replied, "I'm reading it."