In our house we usually read a story at lunch time. My kids are usually slow eaters and so once I finish my food I read a story from The Friend or another worthwhile book or magazine. (also saves me from falling into the pattern of eating my lunch at the computer while I work...not good!)
I've noticed something interesting. I can't say that the stories in The Friend have always struck me as being extremely well-written. However, they sure seem to keep my kid's attention. Today we read a story about a girl who had typical problems with her big brother (he'd boss her around and make her do stuff for him) but one day at school he comes to her rescue when some kids are picking on her. Peirce wanted me to read it again and again (I really wasn't interested in reading it again). We had quite an interesting conversation, mostly initiated by him, about the story.
I was thinking about it later and I wondered if the reason they are so captivated by these stories actually doesn't have that much to do with the stories, but the spirit they feel when we read and discuss them.
I'll have to pay more attention to the response I get from different kinds of stories we read.....things that make you go hmmmm......