Yes, it seems that 6th grade is the perfect time for "The Alchemyst" series. Last year I tried reading the first couple of chapters to the 4th graders, but very late in the school year (figuring that they would be 5th graders in just 3 months anyway). There was just too much they couldn't follow, and the teachers and I decided we should look for another book or series for 5th grade.
If you have any suggestions for books at 5th grade level that could be read aloud for about half an hour per day, I'd appreciate the info. I've been out of 5th grade a bit longer than you have, I believe
and I'm not completely familiar with most of the genre.