I'm gonna keep it short and simply ask three little questions. Plunging right in:
1. What initially interests a middle grader in a book? (title? cover? genre? jacket description? a recommendation? something else?)
2. What keeps them interested if they decide to read it? (characters? plot? suspense? identifying with the storyline? all of these? something else?)
3. What makes them interested enough to say, "I LOVED THAT BOOK!" when they finish reading?
These questions have the ring of a beginning, middle, and end. Sorta like a book. Well, whaddya know. Anyway, I realize these questions have as many answers as there are book readers in the world, but I'm just looking for viewpoints because they are all so interesting. Tell me yours, if you're so inclined.