Not too long ago, on the DorothyL listserv there was quite a lengthy discussion about the first mystery stories people had read (presumably as children).
A lot of authors and books were called out. The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins were all popular choices. Agatha Christie drew big.
When I was a child, I don't remember specifically concentrating on any particular "genre." All I wanted to read were good books. And, like many readers, I loved finding a new (prolific) author or a new (long-running) series. Some of my favorite characters/books/authors included Homer Price, several Beverly Cleary series, the Freddy the Pig series, Encyclopedia Brown (Donald J. Sobol just released another one not too long ago!), the Edward Eager Magic books, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler*, A Wrinkle in Time, and the Tom Swift series, just to name a few.
Perhaps my favorite books were those in the Danny Dunn series, written by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams. In them, Danny (along with loyal friends Irene and Joe) would get mixed up with some contraption his mentor, Professor Bullfinch, had invented. Then they'd have to save the world--literally. As a kid, how could you resist books with titles like these?**
Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint
Danny Dunn on a Desert Island
Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine
Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine
Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor
Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave
Danny Dunn and the Heat Ray
Danny Dunn, Time Traveler
Danny Dunn and the Automatic House
Danny Dunn and the Voice from Space
Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine
Danny Dunn and the Swamp Monster
Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy
Danny Dunn, Scientific Detective
Danny Dunn and the Universal Glue
Any other Danny Dunn fans out there?
These books (and more, many more) helped foster my lifelong love of reading.***
What were some of the books you read as a kid?
*Don't remember if I liked the book, or just the title.
**List courtesy of Biblomania
***I'm sure the Danny Dunn books also appealed to the engineer in me, and I created my share of basement inventions, though I never could quite perfect the homework machine. I wonder if it's too late to work on a Novel Writing Machine.