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The Best Thrillers And Suspense Kids Books

Looking for the best thrillers and suspense books?
The Bone Snatcher
Written & illustrated by Charlotte Salter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Sophie Seacove is a storyteller. She tells stories of what the world would be like if madness hadn’t taken over. If her parents hadn’t sold her off as a servant to pay for their passage out of London. If she wasn’t now trapped in a decaying mansion filled with creepy people and surrounded by ravenous sea monsters. The mansion has plenty of stories, too: About fantastical machines, and the tragic inventor who created them. About his highly suspicious death. And about the Monster Box, a mysterious object hidden in the house that just might hold the key to escaping this horrible place—and to reuniting Sophie with her family. But not everyone wants Sophie to have the Monster Box, and as she gets closer to finding it, she finds herself unspooling years-old secrets—and dodging dangerous attacks. Sophie needs to use her brains, her brawn, and her unbreakable nature if she wants to make it off this wretched island…and live to tell this story.

Stolen Identity
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When someone is out to frame Frank and Joe for the theft of an original Sherlock Holmes manuscript, they use a group of skateboarders as sources of information in their attempt to clear their names.

The Watcher
Written by Joan Hiatt Harlow
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After Wendy is kidnapped, the only way she can survive World War II Germany is with the help of a special dog and the family she never knew she had in this historically accurate, standalone companion to Shadows on the Sea that Kirkus Reviews calls “a stimulating blend of suspense and history.” 1942. Berlin, Germany. How did Wendy end up in such a place? Just a few months ago, she was enjoying her time in Maine, supporting the American war effort. But she was kidnapped, then betrayed by her own mother, who is actually a Nazi spy. As a new Berliner—and now a German—Wendy is expected to speak in a language she’s never known and support a cause she doesn’t believe in. There are allies, though, among the Germans. Allies who have been watching over Wendy since she arrived. And Wendy, along with her new German shepherd puppy, must confront them. If only she can find them. Her life depends on it.

The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy’s classmate, Willa, is convinced something is terribly wrong with her friend Izzy. Nancy and her friends must try to figure out why Izzy is acting strangely after visiting a haunted house. Is Izzy possessed by the ghost of Heliotrope Lane?

The Professor and the Puzzle
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy and her friends are on an epic quest to discover the identity of a treacherous Greek scholar in this fifteenth book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to the classic mystery series. Nancy, Bess, and George are excited to attend Oracle College’s annual Greek mythology themed gala. But the festive spirit turns troubled when a student falls from the balcony mid-speech. Nancy’s investigations quickly reveal this was a case of collegiate sabotage. Can she find the campus menace before someone else gets hurt?

  • The Frightful Ride of Michael Mcmichael - Bonny Becker and Mark Fearing join forces for a deliciously spooky story — with a twist ending that’ll leave readers hungry for more. When the Thirteen bus pulls up one dreary, stormy evening, something about it doesn’t seem quite right. The driver grins down with a mouthful of long, white teeth, and there’s barely any room to sit, but Michael McMichael is bringing his gran something very dear, so he gets on board despite his misgivings. But as they travel on and the rest of the passengers get off, Michael realizes there’s nothing normal about this bus — and the driver is getting creepier by the minute. Best-selling author Bonny Becker’s cleverly rhyming text will chill and thrill readers alongside Mark Fearing’s wonderfully funny illustrations, making this book perfect for Halloween story times — and lovers of things that go bump in the night.

  • Boil Line - Camp Clearwater is home to best friends Nate, Owen and Mercy. They practically grew up on the Starling River. But the summer they turn sixteen an incident forces the camp to close its doors. Mike Elliot, the river guide who taught the teens everything they know, is lost to the rapids. A tragic accident, everyone agrees. Except for Nate. Mike was the best kayaker he’d ever met. The smartest. The safest. He respected and loved the river, and as far as Nate is concerned, the river loved Mike back. If his instructor was pulled under by the Starling, then Nate is sure foul play was involved. To find the truth, Nate must face his greatest fears as he retraces Mike’s final run through the Black Hole, the most treacherous waters on the Starling.

  • The Beast - Nico, Opal, and their friends just survived their worst nightmares literally come-to-life. But when a deadlier threat surfaces, they realize they can’t control the Darkdeep, an ancient whirlpool that turns fears into reality. It’s more powerful than they could have imagined. Left with only one option, the group must uncover the Darkdeep’s origins, as well as those of that freaky Thing in a Jar. But getting answers won’t be easy, thanks to a YouTube series intent on finding its own creature feature star. As the series closes in, everything’s at stake. Loyalties are put to the test as the friends struggle to guard their secrets, defeat their enemies, and save themselves and all they love. From bestselling duo Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs, this chilling series sequel is perfect for fans of Stranger Things.

  • The Darkdeep - When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland into Still Cove’s icy waters, Tyler, Emma, and Opal rush to his rescue—and discover a mysterious island. Though the island appears uninhabited, the kids know something about it is not right. And then they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat filled with curiosities, a dark secret churning in its depths. As the group delves into this new clubhouse, their lives intertwine in weird, dangerous ways. Something ancient has awakened . . . and it can detect not only their dreams, but also their darkest imaginings. Can they face the shadowy secrets lurking within their own hearts? Told from two alternating POVs, this pulse-racing tale starts a thrilling series about friendship and believing in yourself—and each other.

"Shouldn't You Be in School?"
Written & illustrated by Lemony Snicket
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Do you smell smoke? In the third book in the All the Wrong Questions series, young apprentice Lemony Snicket is investigating a case of arson but soon finds himself enveloped in the ever-increasing mystery that haunts the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea. Who is setting the fires? What secrets are hidden in the Department of Education? Why are so many schoolchildren in danger? Is it all the work of the notorious villain Hangfire? How could you even ask that? What kind of education have you had? Maybe you should be in school… Lemony Snicket is the enigmatic author of the internationally bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events. Praise for Who Could That Be at This Hour?: ‘Charming, clever and enormously enjoyable’ Guardian ‘Wonderfully eccentric and addictive … Just beautiful writing’ Observer ‘Better than ever’ Independent ‘A dazzlingly clever, funny and literary concoction’ Irish Times

City Spies
Written by James Ponti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this thrilling new series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies—perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI5 agency.

Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t.

Before she knows what she’s doing, Sarah is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school’s computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain…all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team.

No one said saving the world was easy…

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