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Book Suggestions for "Advanced" 7-8 years old girls?

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Hi guys!  I have one niece who turned 7 two days ago and two nieces who turn 8 on Friday.  I want to get them books for their birthdays.  Any suggestions for books girls might like?  I was thinking maybe the Little House On The Prairie set, or Judy Blume set, but this might be really outdated and maybe there is something better out there?  My sister says the 8 years olds are at a 5th grade reading level.  Help!

The Great Illustrated Classics were a favorite of mine at that age (my first one of those was Moby wingadingdingy, but I highly doubt that would be a good first pick), as were the Encyclopedia Brown books. Also, the Bunnicula books are hilarious and sweet.

My daughter loves Encyclopedia Brown, the Goddess Girls, and the Dork Diaries.

Oooh, I LOVED Encyclopedia Brown! What do people think about Dickens?  Too advanced?

Thanks weeblewobble - I haven't heard of the last two, but if they like Encyclopedia Brown I bet those would be great!


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