When we visited my brother & family, they gave kiddo a belated birthday present of three books in the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary: Ramona the Pest, Ramona and her Father, and Ramona Quimby Age 8. I had been trying to encourage kiddo to try reading chapter books, but it took my sister-in-law saying "They were my favourite books when I was your age" to convince her. She tucked into the first one before we were out of the driveway and kept updating us along the drive. By the time we got to the ferry, she announced "I'm on page 27 already!"
Now she's reading it frequently and the other night read past her bedtime. I had noticed before she went to bed that she was on page 48; later when I checked on her, the bookmark was at page 72. The next morning I asked her how long she had stayed up reading, and she fessed up that she stayed up almost 3/4 hour. Oh well, there's far worse things she could be doing -- I'm quite pleased to see her sitting around, reading.
I'm thinking of encouraging her to read Michael Bond's Olga da Polga series when she's through with Ramona... I seem to remember enjoying those when I was younger. Plus, kiddo loves stories about hamsters and Olga da Polga is a guinea pig, which is pretty close.