I also read through several of the Hardy Boys “mysteries”. I realize now that the writing was hackneyed and cliched, but I sure as heck read them.
There’s another series that figured much more prominently in my early childhood, but I’ll be damned if I can recall the name of the hero. He was a kid like Johnny Quest, who got into a different exotic adventure in every book. He was a scientific wunderkind and went to Mars and all kinds of stuff. It was very pulpy, but I can’t remember the kid’s name, so I can’t find an image.
The reason I remember reading those books so well aside from the, you know, basic facts of title, protagonist and author, is because of the setting. My dad was working on his PhD at the University of Kansas, and he’d often bring me with him to the library. I had two methods of entertaining myself: getting in the elevator and pushing all the buttons (this was stopped fairly early on), and finding books to read. Once I found this now-nameless series, I was never bored again.