Staff Picks

It Is A Mystery

Some of our favorite mystery stories for school-age children.

Children's Services Staff

Younger Elementary

Cam Jansen and the Secret Service Mystery     Cam Jansen and the Secret Service Mystery    
David A. Adler
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Adler)
Cam Jansen series: book 26

Cam and her friend Danny help solve the mystery of a stolen necklace when the governor comes to visit their school for the dedication of the new library.

It Came from Beneath the Bed!: Tales from the House of Bunnicula     It Came from Beneath the Bed!: Tales from the House of Bunnicula    
James Howe
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Howe)

In this early chapter book spin-off from the Bunnicula series, Harold the dog gives willing advice to a young dachshund named Howie, who saves the world from a science experiment gone awry.

Meg Mackintosh and the Mystery in the Locked Library: A Solve-It-Yourself Mystery     Meg Mackintosh and the Mystery in the Locked Library: A Solve-It-Yourself Mystery    
Lucinda Landon
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Lan)
A Solve-it-yourself mystery; book 5

Meg investigates the theft of a rare book from a locked library. The reader is challenged to solve the mystery before Meg, using clues in both text and illustrations.

The Absent Author     The Absent Author    
Ron Roy
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Roy)
A to Z mysteries: book 1

Dink Duncan and his two friends investigate the apparent kidnapping of famous mystery author Wallis Wallace. First in the A to Z Mysteries series.

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy     The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy    
Dori Hillestad Butler
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Butler)

While searching for his mysteriously lost human family, Buddy the dog is adopted by another family and helps solve the mystery of their missing boy. First in the series: The Buddy Files.

The Case of the Groaning Ghost     The Case of the Groaning Ghost    
James Preller
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Preller)
Jigsaw Jones mystery: book 32

Jigsaw Jones investigates when his arch-nemesis, Bobby Solofsky, sets up his own ghost-busting business, thus stealing cases from Jigsaw and Mila's mystery-solving business. Part of the Jigsaw Jones series.

The Haunted Toolshed     The Haunted Toolshed    
David Keane
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Keane)
Joe Sherlock: book 1

A super-sleuth fourth grader solves the case of a neighbor's haunted toolshed. First in the Joe Sherlock series.

Older Elementary

Bunnicula : A Rabbit-tale of Mystery     Bunnicula : A Rabbit-tale of Mystery    
Deborah and James Howe
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Howe)

Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire. Look for more Bunnicula titles.

Chasing Vermeer     Chasing Vermeer    
Blue Balliett
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Balliet)

When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal. Follow further adventures of these young detectives in The Wright 3 and The Calder Game.

Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files     Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files    
Simon Cheshire
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Cheshir)
Saxby Smart, private detective: book 1

Saxby Smart - the best detective in elementary school -- invites you to peek inside his notebook and use your reasoning skills to help solve three mysteries. Look for other titles in the series: Saxby Smart, Private Detective.

Double or Die: A James Bond Adventure     Double or Die: A James Bond Adventure    
Charlie Higson
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Higson)
Young Bond: book 3

Teenage James has 48 hours to rescue a kidnapped professor and to keep a powerful weapon from falling into the wrong hands. Look for others in the series.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective     Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective    
Donald J. Sobol
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Sobol)
America's Sherlock Holmes in sneakers: book 1

A watermelon stabbing...a trapeze artist's inheritance...and an eyewitness who's legally blind! These are just some of the mysteries that Encyclopedia Brown solves by using his famous encyclopedic brain. Crack the cases along with him. The answer to all the mysteries are found in the back!

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler     From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler    
E. L. Konigsburg
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Konigsb)

A young girl runs away with her brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The two unravel a mystery behind a famous sculpture.

Half Moon Investigations     Half Moon Investigations    
Eoin Colfer
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Colfer)

When Fletcher Moon, the youngest detective in the world, is framed for a crime he did not commit, he must team up with the unlikeliest of allies, run from the authorities, and solve the case within twelve hours to clear his name.

Maze of Bones     Maze of Bones    
Rick Riordan
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Thirty Rio)
39 clues: book 1

Dan and Amy Cahill are given the choice of receiving a million dollars or uncovering the 39 clues hidden around the world that will lead to the source of the family's power, but by taking on the clues, they end up in a dangerous race against their own family. First in the 39 Clues series.

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat     Ottoline and the Yellow Cat    
Chris Riddell
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Riddell)

A string of daring burglaries has taken place in BigCity, and precious lapdogs are disappearing. Who is behind this crime wave? Ottoline Brown and her best friend are on the case! Look for more Ottoline titles.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief     Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief    
Wendelin Van Draanen
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Vandraa)
Sammy Keyes: book 1

Thirteen-year-old Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother.

Scat     Scat    
Carl Hiaasen
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Hiaasen)

Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Floridawildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing. You might also enjoy other mysteries by this author, such as Hoot and Flush.

Shakespeare's Secret     Shakespeare's Secret    
Elise Broach
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Br)

Named after a character in a Shakespeare play, misfit sixth-grader Hero becomes interested in exploring this unusual connection.

The Case of the Missing Marquess     The Case of the Missing Marquess    
Nancy Springer
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Springe)
An Enola Holmes mystery: book 1

Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to Londonin disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother. First in the Enola Holmes Mystery series.

The Eye of the Crow     The Eye of the Crow    
Shane Peacock
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Peacock)
Boy Sherlock Holmes: book 1

A woman is found stabbed to death in London. A young boy is drawn to the scene to investigate the murder and becomes a suspect himself. The sequel is Death in the Air.

The Falcon's Malteser: A Diamond brothers mystery     The Falcon's Malteser: A Diamond brothers mystery    
Anthony Horowitz
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Horowit)
A Diamond Brothers mystery: book 1

After his older brother, a fledgling private detective, agrees to safeguard a package for a dwarf who does not live long, thirteen-year-old Nick scampers to solve the mystery while also trying to stay one step ahead of an assortment of thugs. First in the Diamond Brothers Mystery series.

The London Eye Mystery     The London Eye Mystery    
Siobhan Dowd
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Dowd)

When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.

The Postman Always Brings Mice     The Postman Always Brings Mice    
Holm & Hamel
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Holm)
Stink files: book 1

A dashing British feline spy is dismayed to find himself stranded in New Jersey and adopted by a typical suburban family, until he puts his skills to good use for his new human. First in the Stink Files series.

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen     The Puzzling World of Winston Breen    
Eric Berlin
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Berlin)

Puzzle-crazy, twelve-year-old Winston and his ten-year-old sister Katie find themselves involved in a dangerous mystery involving a hidden ring. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text. You might also enjoy the sequel, The Potato Chip Puzzles.

The Secret of the Old Clock     The Secret of the Old Clock    
Carolyn Keene
    (Juvenile Classics - J Keene)
Nancy Drew mystery stories

Meet Nancy Drew, the most famous girl detective, in the first book of this classic mystery series. In this mystery, Nancy uses her keen mind to find a missing will.

The Tower Treasure     The Tower Treasure    
Franklin W. Dixon
    (Juvenile Classics - J Dix)
Hardy boys mystery stories: book 1

Meet the world famous Hardy Boys in this first installment of the classic mystery series. In this mystery the Hardy boys make an astonishing discovery after a dying criminal confesses that his loot has been stashed "in the tower."

The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery     The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery    
Doreen Cronin
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Cronin)
J.J. Tully mysteries: book 1

A hard-bitten former search-and-rescue dog helps solve a complicated missing chicken case. See also: The Legend of Diamond Lil.

The Westing Game     The Westing Game    
Ellen Raskin
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Raskin)

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

Vanishing Acts: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery     Vanishing Acts: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery    
Leslie Margolis
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Margoli)
Maggie Brooklyn mysteries: book 2

Seventh-grader Maggie strives to track down the disappearance of cool celebrity Seth Ryan and discover who is behind a string of dog eggings at the local dog run, while also dealing with issues involving her twin brother, and several friends. See also: Girl's Best Friend.