Not too long ago, I picked up a Junie B. Jones book, but I never did read it. I felt ridiculous, reading a first-grade chapter book, even for the purpose of studying the genre.
But I've changed my mind, my interest has been piqued. Last night at my son's parent/teacher conferences, I asked his teacher about introducing him to chapter books. My son is a great reader, but he reads mostly very simple picture books. I figured, if Junie B. Jones is a first grader like him, he should be able to handle the books.
His teacher didn't hesitate to tell me to challenge him, to begin introducing chapter books. But she also questioned the appropriateness of some of the subject matter from the Junie B. series. I can't imagine anything inappropriate in a children's book written for first graders, but I might be wrong. My son attends a very conservative Christian school, so maybe that's why the concern.
Anyway, I plan to test out my copy of Junie B., but, as per his teacher's advice, I also plan to find chapter books of special interest to him -- things like karate and race cars. And books with characters of color, though honestly, I don't think color matters to him...yet.