My 9 yr old has really just gotten into reading and has just been eating up the first three Harry Potter books. I'm afraid that book 4 and the others will be too dark for her. She's really sensitive. I'm not going to forbid her from reading the others, but I am cautioning her about it and I'd like to have some other books to offer her.
I think she really likes the kind of Cinderella magic stories like HP. She's also enjoyed other fantasy stories where a seemingly ordinary kid turns out to be magical (The Salamander Spell) or gets drawn into a magical world (Dragon Rider). She also loved both Penderwicks books so far. We listened to an audiobook of "The Sister's Club" by Megan McDonald (Judy Moody) and she liked that a lot, too, although it wasn't as meaty as "The Penderwicks". I know she liked a lot of books her teacher read aloud last year like "When You Reach Me" and lots of Roald Dahl.
I'd love to get her hooked on another series that doesn't grow with the reader like HP. I'd like one she can just plow all the way through. She's beyond Magic Treehouse, but I'd love something that had a whole buncha books like that.