Mystery novels help young readers develop their powers of observation and problem solving skills. Obviously, you can’t go wrong with classic mystery series such as The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys or Encyclopedia Brown. I always enjoyed explaining to my sons the meaning of words like “jalopy” and why the detectives didn’t have cell phones or computers. Many of these books have been updated or reissued and new books in modern settings have been added. In honor of our May mystery issue, I’ve selected a few other mysteries to help spark their natural curiosity.
Hermilen the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey. Hermelin lives in the attic of a house and uses an old typewriter to send anonymous messages to the humans who live there. When Hermelin discovers that a number of items have gone missing in the neighborhood, he decides to find the missing items. How will people react when they learn their friendly neighborhood detective is a little white mouse? Kids can use clues to find the missing items and discover whodunit. For Preschool to Grade 3
Something's Eating The Garden by Pam Fries. Vegetables are more fun to eat when you get to help Papa grow them in his garden. What happens when someone or something starts eating them before Papa can pick them? Kids will enjoy the simple rhymes and colorful illustrations of the parade of animal suspects. For Preschool to Grade 3
Young Cam Jansen and the Pizza Shop Mystery by David A. Adler. Cam’s jacket disappears at the pizza shop and she must use her amazing memory to retrace her steps and solve this mystery. Book 6 in the Young Cam Jansen Series – for ages 6-8 (grades 1-3)
Clubhouse Mysteries Book Series by Sharon M. Draper. Join Ziggy, Rashawn, Jerome and Rico as they solve mysteries and help their community. After the boys build a clubhouse, they devise a secret code, have meetings and attempt to bury secret treasure only to discover some old bones in their first mystery. Readers will enjoy learning about history, science and caring as the boys explore an old tunnel from the Underground Railroad, dream about space travel and learn lessons about helping animals and people in need in this book series. For ages 8-12 (grades 3-7)
The North Hollywood Detective Club by Mike Mains. The Case of the Hollywood Art Heist is the first book in this series about two eight grade boys, Jeffrey and Pablo, who become teenaged super sleuths. Good clean fun with g-rated language and situations. Jeffrey and Pablo are hired by their classmate Marisol after her brother is arrested for allegedly stealing a valuable piece of art. Boys and girls will both enjoy the twists and turns as Jeffrey ad Pablo’s investigation leads to a famous tattoo parlor, a glamorous television star and a 20 year old mystery. For ages 10 and up
The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson Book 1) by Caroline B. Cooney. Janie Johnson is a typical 15 year old girl, but one morning during breakfast her world changes forever. While eating her cereal, Janie checks out the face of a missing girl on the milk carton in front of her. The face of the three year old girl who disappeared at a New Jersey mall 12 years earlier is eerily familiar and undeniable the longer she looks. She’s that girl! When your parents might not be your parents and you might not be who you think you are, what do you do? For ages 12 and up