Magic Tree House (except DD thought it was scary)
Some of the Little House books
I'm looking forward to some of the other suggestions.
Yes, "Mio My Son" is a great choice for kids who like books with some danger and excitement. Some 5 year olds might find it too scary, but my kids were fine with books like that at that age. Ronia the Robber's Daughter and The Brothers Lionheart are great, too and would be fine for some (but not all) 5 year olds.
I'm going to put in another vote for the Magic Tree House series - what I love about them is they have both a boy and a girl hero who work together as equals. There is lots of magic, adventure, and true historic information and really well written stories.
I find so many kids books now are marketed and written directly to try to appeal to either girls or boys, but not both, which drives me nuts! The Fairy series was ok but really formulaic and boring after a few books, my daughter found, although they do seem to appeal a lot to 5 year old girls just starting to read- there aren't enough pictures imo but some.
My kids are really sensitive to books that are either too emotional or too scary, so we are saving Charlotte's Web and the Narnia series for when they are a little older.
My 8 year old daughter can't get enough of the Thea Stilton and Geronimo Stilton books, lots of adventure, good role models both male and female, not too scary and really good factual info included as well.
Mamas, you are awesome!
We started on Beverly Clearly with Ralph S. Mouse, but only read the first book before moving onto Ramona. My daughter adores her, and we're nearly finished "Ramona the Pest" (second book). The issue with chapter length appears to have been limited to EB White because we read at least one chapter a night (but usually two, and as many as four with her prompting). I'm so excited to start in on some of the others that have been suggested; especially those that I haven't read myself!
See you later, Berenstain Bears....you are dead to me.
If she likes Ramona, try Ivy & Bean, and Clementine and maybe Judy Moody. My dd2 loved Ivy & Bean when she was Kindy aged. She also loved Junie B Jones, but Mama did not so the deal was she could read those to herself or listen to the audio books by herself.
So many good books already listed! Some that I didn't see mentioned already that my 4 and 6 year old daughters love:
The complete series of Anna Hibiscus chapter books by Atinuke (Also by the same author, The Number One Car Spotter books) These are fabulous books set in Africa, about a little girl who has a Canadian mother and an African father. Super good stories that besides being interesting and fun, also teach about African culture.
Twig by Elizabeth Orton Jones We've read it multiple times already!
Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Brisley
The Chronicles of Narnia
James Herriot's Treasury for Children