It worked for my brother. He struggled as a reader until someone put a Hardy Boys book into his hands. I can't say they made him a book lover, but he did read them as fast as he could get them and they did make him a much better reader. I'm not sure he would have been able to manage a Master's degree without them.
I recent reshelved the children's books that I'm keeping for the someday grandchildren and thought I'd share with you the book series that my kids loved.
Hank The Cowdog by John Erickson - smart and funny
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine (and company) - not what I would have chosen but he loved them and I was all for anything that made him want to read
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz - both the boys loved these books but they are certainly too scary for some children
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling - another series the boys both loved;
Mini-him had to have the new books the day they came out and didn't do anything but read until he finished each book.
The Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix - his first foray into dystopian literature
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - witty word play and marvelous characters but there is a lot of darkness to these. We do not recommend the movie, though; what a disappointment!
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynold Naylor - he loved them so much, he made his own dust jackets for them
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey - just plain fun and his introduction to graphic novels
Miss H's Favorites:
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park and Eloise by Kay Thompson - see, Miss H, just because you can sometimes be naughty, doesn't mean we don't still love you!
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish - great fun for kids to see that they aren't the only ones who struggle learning the English language (did you know that Amelia Bedelia was first published in 1963?)
Olivia by Ian Falconer and Madeline by Ludwig Bemelman - Miss H loved reading books where a girl could have adventures and even save the day
Both of my boys still love book series; Mini-him just finished the fifth book in the George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series (a.k.a the Game of Thrones series) and Mini-him is reading Oryx and Crake, the first book in Margaret Atwood's Madd Adamms series.
What series did you love as a child? If you loved them then, do you still find yourself drawn to them?