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Detectives: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about detectives?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to detectives. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about detectives.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about detectives, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Mystery Ranch to popular sellers like The Thief Lord to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Tower Treasure.

We hope this list of kids books about detectives can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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Top 10 Books About Detectives

#1
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A House That Once Was
Written by Julie Fogliano & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
The dynamic duo of Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning author Julie Fogliano and Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Lane Smith team up to tell a delightful story about a boy and a girl who explore an abandoned house and imagine who might have lived there in A House That Once Was. Deep in the woods is a house just a house that once was but now isn’t a home. Who lived in that house? Who walked down its hallways? Why did they leave it, and where did they go? Two children set off to find the answers, piecing together clues found, books left behind, forgotten photos, discarded toys, and creating their own vision of those who came before.
#2
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The Thief Lord
Written by Cornelia Funke & illustrated by Christian Birmingham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The enchanting international bestseller with bonus back matter and a beautiful new cover! Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord. Propser and Bo relish their new "family" and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys' freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.
#3
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The Detective Dog
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
A rollicking rhyming picture book from bestselling author Julia Donaldson about a dog who uses her amazing sense of smell to solve mysteries. When Detective Dog Nell puts her nose to the task, there's no mystery she can't solve. Whether she's tracking the missing shoe of her human, Peter, or locating some lost honeycomb, all Nell has to do is sniff, sniff, sniff and she's hot on the trail. Besides solving mysteries, there's something else Nell loves—listening to children read. Every Monday, Peter takes her to school where children tell her stories. One day, Nell and Peter arrive to find that all the books are gone. Who could have taken them? And why? There's only one dog for the job, and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the thief!
#4
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Sloth Slept on
Written & illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Who's that sleeping in our tree? When a group of kids finds an animal happily napping in their backyard, they set out to discover what it is and where it belongs. As they search and search--never noticing the posters and articles about a sloth that's fled the zoo--they finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature. When sloth wakes up, it's in for a BIG surprise!
#5
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Russell and the Lost Treasure
Written & illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Russell the sheep is determined to find the Lost Treasure of Frogsbottom. Equipped with his Super-Duper Treasure Seeker, Russell searches high and low, up and down, and in and out. Nothing! Finally, Russell finds an old chest! Could it be? Discover how Russell finds the most valuable treasure of all.
#6
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The Tower Treasure
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The Hardy Boys series, first published in 1927, has sold more than 70 million copies! Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won't want to miss! In The Tower Treasure, the first book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy work together to solve a high-stakes jewel heist. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who's new to the series!
#7
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Basil of Baker Street
Written by Eve Titus & illustrated by Paul Galdone
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Named one of “13 Detective Book Series You Obsessed over as a Kid” by Buzzfeed.com and the inspiration for a hit Disney film, the masterful Great Mouse Detective series is now available to a whole new generation of readers! Basil—the famous sleuth of mousedom—lives in the cellar of Sherlock Holmes’s house. A devoted admirer of the great detective, he has learned his craft by listening at the feet of Holmes himself. But will it be enough to help Basil solve his most baffling mystery yet? The Mystery of the Missing Twins is one of the strangest cases in Basil’s career. With only a few crumbs of clues with which to find answers, how is he ever going to figure out where Angela and Agatha are being kept—and, of course, who mouse-napped them! Will Basil’s mouse sleuthing skills be up to the task of finding the twins before it’s too late?
#8
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The Great Shelby Holmes
Written by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
**Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes and black & white illustrations throughout, in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.** Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She's nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen--always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes. When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that's eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn't sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that'll take both their talents to crack.
#9
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Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The first in a new middle-grade mystery series, in Andi Unexpected, twelve-year-old Andi Boggs, discovers evidence of her forgotten namesake, a missing relative, which leads her into a family mystery rooted in the Great Depression.
#10
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Famous Mistakes
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Nancy and her friends are out to find a comedian’s saboteur in this seventeenth book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to the classic mystery series. Nancy’s boyfriend, Ned, has recently started his own podcast called NedTalks and he just got his big break. Up and coming comedian Brady Owens has agreed to sit down for an interview. And this isn’t just any interview; it’s the first interview Brady has given since a video of him lashing out at an audience member went viral. Now people are protesting his shows and calling him violent. Nancy agrees to help out with the technical stuff so Ned can focus on the hard-hitting questions. But when they go to meet the interviewee they find Brady’s hotel room trashed—and no comedian in sight. Luckily, they find Brady unhurt and nothing of monetary value is missing from the room. Only his notebook of new material is gone. Brady says he knows it’s the people who’ve seen the video of him yelling. They think he’s dangerous and doesn’t deserve a platform. He wishes it would all blow over. Nancy disagrees with Brady. She thinks he should apologize to the crowd and admit that he crossed a line. But she recognizes a person in need of help when she sees one and agrees to get to the bottom of this sabotage anyway. Complex social media charts, undercover outfits, and intense button study send Nancy, Bess, George, and Ned on a wild ride through River Heights to uncover the truth. But nothing is what it seems in this game of comedic timing. Can Nancy find the culprit before it’s too late?
Table of Contents
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Books About Detectives and Dogs

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The Detective Dog
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
A rollicking rhyming picture book from bestselling author Julia Donaldson about a dog who uses her amazing sense of smell to solve mysteries. When Detective Dog Nell puts her nose to the task, there's no mystery she can't solve. Whether she's tracking the missing shoe of her human, Peter, or locating some lost honeycomb, all Nell has to do is sniff, sniff, sniff and she's hot on the trail. Besides solving mysteries, there's something else Nell loves—listening to children read. Every Monday, Peter takes her to school where children tell her stories. One day, Nell and Peter arrive to find that all the books are gone. Who could have taken them? And why? There's only one dog for the job, and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the thief!
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The Great Shelby Holmes
Written by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
**Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes and black & white illustrations throughout, in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.** Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She's nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen--always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes. When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that's eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn't sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that'll take both their talents to crack.
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To Catch a Thief
Written by Mandy Hartley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
In the first book of the DNA Detectives series Annabelle and Harry's pet dog, Milly goes missing. After putting up posters and waiting on their parents they don't know what to do. But when a number of their friend's pets also vanish the children think the perpetrator is their next door neighbour and set out to prove it.
Honorable Mentions
Dog-Gone Danger book
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Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Stolen Poodle book
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Binny Bewitched book
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The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks (Detective Paw of the Law: Time to Read, Level 3) book
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  1. Dog-Gone Danger - When Kelsey and her friends find an abandoned pug puppy, it looks like another case for the Curious Cat Spy Club. But shortly thereafter, Kelsey’s mother goes missing—possibly in the line of duty as an Animal Control officer—and it’s up to the CCSC to discover what happened. As they search for Kelsey’s mom, they start to wonder if her disappearance is somehow linked to the puppy they found. The fifth book in the Curious Cat Spy Club series is filled with twists and turns and, of course, tons of animal adventures!

  2. Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Stolen Poodle - Book 2 in the Marty Frye young chapter book mystery series by bestselling author-illustrator team Janet Tashjian and Laurie Keller In this new collection of mysteries from bestselling author-illustrator team Janet Tashjian and Laurie Keller, everyone’s favorite poet detective is back in action. When the school nurse’s equipment is stolen, Marty tracks it down. When special candy disappears from the store, Marty finds the culprit. And most importantly, when a friend’s poodle goes missing, Marty comes to the rescue. But can he still manage to make up rhymes while he solves new crimes? The poet detective continues to make up rhymes and solve new crimes, in this second book in the illustrated Marty Frye, Private Eye series for young readers. A Christy Ottaviano book Titles in the Marty Frye, Private Eye series: Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Missing Action Figure Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Stolen Poodle More from Janet Tashjian: The Einstein the Class Hamster series: Einstein the Class Hamster Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show Einstein the Class Hamster Saves the Library The Sticker Girl series: Sticker Girl Sticker Girl Rules the School The My Life series: My Life as a Book My Life as a Stuntboy My Life as a Cartoonist My Life as a Joke My Life as a Gamer My Life as a Ninja My Life as a Youtuber More from Laurie Keller: The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut: Arnie, the Doughnut Invasion of the Ufonuts The Spinny Icky Showdown The Scrambled States of America: The Scrambled States of America The Scrambled States of America Talent Show Do Unto Otters Open Wide Grandpa Gazillion’s Number Yard Birdy’s Smile Book Toys! Fooled You!

  3. Binny Bewitched - When Binny finds some money left behind at an ATM—and then loses it—she unleashes an adventure full of “funny, poignant chaos” (The Wall Street Journal).Binny Cornwallis is not a thief. Or is she? In one greedy moment, she snatches some bills left behind at an ATM. After all it’s her mother’s birthday, and just think of what she could do with some cash in her never-quite-enough-money household. But of course she has to hide the money—she can’t explain it. And in her tiny house, every hiding place is in danger of discovery. After a few tries, Binny hides it so well she can’t find it again, even after she decides to give it back!Now, Binny must team up with her best enemy Gareth, who sets out to play detective and figure out who might have taken the money. Meanwhile the next-door neighbor is doing odd things like presenting Binny with a little doll that looks just like her—with her hand in her pocket, just as Binny’s was when she pocketed the cash. Is the witchy neighbor woman putting a spell on Binny?There’s plenty more going on, as Binny’s older sister Clem has a secret of her own, and her little brother James is having a kung fu clash with his best friend. Mayhem,love, and laughter run wild in this new hilarious Binny adventure.

  4. The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks (Detective Paw of the Law: Time to Read, Level 3) - Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles reunite for The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks! Vinnie “The Crash” McClaren’s drumsticks disappear right before the Battle of the Bands! Can Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles find the culprit before the show? Young readers can learn about police procedures and detective work as they follow along with Detective Paw and try to solve the case themselves!

Want to see books about dogs?

Books About Detectives and Animals

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Sloth Slept on
Written & illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Who's that sleeping in our tree? When a group of kids finds an animal happily napping in their backyard, they set out to discover what it is and where it belongs. As they search and search--never noticing the posters and articles about a sloth that's fled the zoo--they finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature. When sloth wakes up, it's in for a BIG surprise!
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Peekaboo! in the Jungle!
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Peekaboo! Who's hiding in the jungle? Lift the flap to find out!Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills – and simply joining in!
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Lion Down
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident sleuth when a lion is falsely accused of killing a distinguished dog in the latest novel in New York Times bestselling author Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series. For once, operations at the enormous zoo/theme park appear to be running smoothly (except for the occasional herring-related mishap in the penguin exhibit) and Teddy Fitzroy is finally able to give detective work a rest. But then a local lion is accused of killing a famous dog—and the dog’s owner, an inflammatory radio host, goes on a crusade to have the cat declared a nuisance so it can be hunted. But it looks like the lion might have been framed, and a renegade animal activist wants Teddy and Summer to help prove it. Soon, Teddy finds himself wrapped up in the middle of his most bizarre, hilarious, and dangerous case yet.
Honorable Mentions
Tales of Sasha 10: A Mystery Message book
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The Case of the Mossy Lake Monster book
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The Sea Turtle Mystery book
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Mystery of the Ivory Charm book
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  1. Tales of Sasha 10: A Mystery Message - In book ten of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha must solve a riddle to discover the contents of a special message! When flying horses from the Royal Guard arrive in Crystal Cove to deliver a message for Sasha, she can’t imagine what it could be! But in order to open it, Sasha must first solve a riddle, which requires her to find the petals of rare and different colored flowers. Will Sasha be able to solve the puzzle to reveal what the mystery message is all about?

  2. The Case of the Mossy Lake Monster - Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases involving a hungry cat, endangered penguins, a fish-stealing monster, and a dirty election. Includes a section of scientific experiments and activities.

  3. The Sea Turtle Mystery - The Aldens are spending spring break on a beach, but they aren’t just soaking up the sun. They’re protecting an endangered species! Their job is to mark sea turtle nests so the eggs can be moved to a safe place to hatch, but someone is digging up the eggs without permission. Can the Boxcar Children figure out what’s going on and help save the sea turtles?

  4. Mystery of the Ivory Charm - What secret life-giving power does the exquisite ivory elephant charm contain? Can the trinket really protect its wearer from all harm? Nancy Drew finds out when the owner of the Bengleton Wild-Animal Show asks her to investigate one of the performers who may be involved in some mysterious illegal scheme.The girl detective’s assignment becomes complicated when the elephant trainer’s young assistant, Rishi, seeks refuge at the Drew home from his cruel foster father, Rai.While following clues to help the boy find his real father, Nancy learns about an eerie abandoned house. She is harassed by its strange owner, Anita Allison, and the fiendish Rai. How Nancy uses the ivory charm, reunites a maharaja with his son, and brings the evildoers to justice will mystify readers from beginning to end.

Books About Detectives and Culture

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The Thief Lord
Written by Cornelia Funke & illustrated by Christian Birmingham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The enchanting international bestseller with bonus back matter and a beautiful new cover! Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord. Propser and Bo relish their new "family" and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys' freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.
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Bicycle To Treachery
Written & illustrated by Robert Quackenbush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
World-famous duck-tective Miss Mallard unravels a dangerous smuggling operation in this engaging Aladdin QUIX mystery. Miss Mallard runs into danger when she unwittingly uncovers a smuggling operation while on a bicycle trip across Holland.
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Dark Days
Written by James Ponti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Molly Bigelow and her Omega team have been banned from investigating Marek Blackwell and his plans for New York City. But when they discover that Blackwell is raising money for a zombie army they have to act. But will they be in time?
Honorable Mentions
Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth book
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Kat Wolfe Investigates book
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Violet and the Hidden Treasure book
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Madeline and the Cats of Rome book
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  1. Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth - The second heartfelt story of friendship and sisterhood in this charming new chapter book series, starring a Japanese-American girl! It’s a big weekend for Jasmine Toguchi! She’s excited to celebrate Girl’s Day—a Japanese holiday honoring women and girls—with her sister, mother, and best friend, Linnie. On Friday after school, Linnie comes over to plan their outfits for the Girl’s Day celebrations. And Jasmine’s neighbor, Mrs. Reese, lets them search through her old clothes for the perfect accessories. But the clothes are in her dark garage, which is kind of scary. And Linnie decides to go home early, which is kind of weird. And Jasmine’s big sister, Sophie, doesn’t seem to want to join in the Girl’s Day fun this year, which is kind of confusing. WHAT is going on? As her big weekend plans start to unravel, Jasmine must use her sleuthing skills to spot the clues around her—and within herself. Then maybe, just maybe, she can put everything back in order before Girl’s Day is over!

  2. Kat Wolfe Investigates - When twelve-year-old Kat Wolfe starts a pet-sitting agency, she soon finds herself unraveling a mystery, in this first book of a new middle-grade series from award-winning author Lauren St. John. After a break-in at their London home, Kat Wolfe and her veterinarian mum decide it’s time to move to the country. Dr. Wolfe’s new job on England’s Jurassic Coast comes with a condition: They have to adopt Tiny, a huge Savannah who resists Kat’s best attempts at cat whispering. Kat starts a pet-sitting agency to make pocket money, but then the owner of her first client, an Amazon parrot, vanishes from his gadget-filled mansion. Only one person shares Kat’s conviction that he’s the victim of foul play: Harper Lamb, an American girl laid up with two broken legs thanks to her racehorse. Kat and Harper team up, but what starts out as mystery-solving fun turns deadly for the duo. When all clues point to a nearby army base, can they count on their unruly animal friends to save the day—and their lives?

  3. Violet and the Hidden Treasure - Meet Violet Remy-Robinson, an amateur Sherlock Holmes in the making in this captivating new series, perfect for fans of Chris Riddell and Robin Stevens’s Wells & Wong mysteries.

  4. Madeline and the Cats of Rome - The Paris skies are gray, so Miss Clavel and the twelve little girls are leaving for brighter weather? spring in Rome. Rome has wonderful sights to see and delicious things to eat, but Madeline also finds an unexpected adventure, involving a thief, a chase, and many, many cats. The first all-new Madeline book in close to fifty years combines a lively story with luminous gouache and watercolor illustrations. Beloved Madeline returns, as brave and irrepressible as ever!

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Detectives and Brothers

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The Tower Treasure
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The Hardy Boys series, first published in 1927, has sold more than 70 million copies! Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won't want to miss! In The Tower Treasure, the first book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy work together to solve a high-stakes jewel heist. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who's new to the series!
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The Time Warp Wonder
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Detective brothers Frank and Joe work to debunk a time travel machine in the eighth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series. Bayport Elementary is almost ready for the annual science fair—it’s all down to the final touches. Frank and Joe have collaborated on a detective helmet. It’s the perfect lie detector—just place it on a suspect’s head and the bells and whistles will tell you when they’re lying. But not everyone is as prepared for the big fair. Their good friend Phil has designed a time machine he calls the Time Warp Wonder. He just needs to figure out how it works first… Phil uses Chet’s hamster as a test subject. And the machine really does make the hamster disappear from the cafeteria! It’s just that Phil isn’t sure where the hamster went or how to get him back. Frank and Joe are not so sure the hamster went back in time. They have a feeling their Clue Book will be more help to Chet’s hamster than Phil’s calculations. But the brothers start questioning their instincts when they receive pictures of the hamster in different time periods; dressed as caveman with the dinosaurs, suited up in armor in the middle ages, in a top hat watching Abe Lincoln give a speech. Could Chet’s hamster really be traveling though time? It’s up to the Hardy Boys—and you—to find out!
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Disappearance
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
It’s a case of hidden identities for brother detectives Frank and Joe in the in the eighteenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series. The Hardy brothers and Frank’s new girlfriend, Jones, are attending a local comic book convention on the shore. They meet up with Jones’s friend Harper, a fellow comics super fan, on the boardwalk outside the convention. The four of them spend hours running from booth to booth and end the perfect day with pizza at Harper’s short-term rental apartment. Things don’t stay so perfect, though. On the way home, Jones realizes she switched phones with Harper by accident and she is getting some really scary texts. When they show up at the apartment the next day, they find it totally destroyed and Harper is missing. Frank and Joe start digging into their new friend’s life, hoping to find out where she might have gone, but the more they find out about her, the more mysterious she becomes. Can Frank and Joe find this secretive character? Or has she disappeared forever?
Honorable Mentions
The House in Poplar Wood book
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Hunting for Hidden Gold #5 book
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Treasure on Superstition Mountain book
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  1. The House in Poplar Wood - Haunted Mansion meets Stranger Things ★ “A smart, thrilling mystery” -Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ “Magical elements, evocative, intelligent writing, and ever-ratcheting suspense.”-Kirkus Reviews, starred review “The foreboding atmosphere perfectly matches the dark mystery and high stakes confronting the middle-schoolers.” –Booklist For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, Lee and his mother have served Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement. But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the murder of local girl Essie Hasting, she’ll help them break the Agreement. The more the three investigate, however, the more they realize that something’s gone terribly wrong in their town. Death is on the loose, and if history repeats itself, Essie’s might not be the last murder in Poplar Wood. Simultaneously heartwarming and delightfully spooky, The House in Poplar Wood is a story about a boy’s desire to be free, a girl’s desire to make a difference, and a family’s desire to be together again.

  2. Hunting for Hidden Gold #5 - The Hardy Boys series, first published in 1927, has sold more than 70 million copies! Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss! In Hunting for Hidden Gold, the fifth book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy pursue a notorious gang responsible for a payroll robbery. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!

  3. Treasure on Superstition Mountain - Returning to Superstition Mountain, the Barker brothers, along with their friend Delilah, soon find themselves entangled in more danger and mystery as they uncover a real treasure.

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Books About Detectives and Spies

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Spy School Secret Service
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thirteen-year-old Ben Ripley is assigned to protect the president from an assassination attempt in his first solo mission, but he may be in over his head.
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The Pocket Guide to Spy Stuff
Written & illustrated by Bart King
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-14
A humorous look at the world of espionage with fun activities that will jump-start your training as a world-class spy. A handy and newly relevant guide to spies and spy craft for youngsters interested in all things espionage. It includes background and tips on how to be a spy, as well as strange-but-true stories of real spies and their unbelievable missions. This pocket-sized compendium covers all facets of the spy game, including chapters on disguises, surveillance, lie detecting, eavesdropping, misinformation, handling secrets, and high-tech spy gear. Part of the Pocket Guide Series. Bart King taught middle school for many years. He's written 28 books, including The Big Book of Girl Stuff, The Big Book of Boy Stuff, The Big Book of Superheroes, The Big Book of Gross Stuff, and Bart's King-Sized Book of Fun.
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Evil Spy School
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Recruited into an evil spy organization after being expelled from the CIA's spy school, 12-year-old Ben works as an unofficial undercover agent while mastering bad-guy techniques and investigating clues about an imminent plot. Simultaneous eBook.
Honorable Mentions
The Secret of the Shadow Bandit book
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Trapped! book
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Spy Camp book
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Kelsey the Spy book
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  1. The Secret of the Shadow Bandit - Kelsey’s dad has a new job and that means a new house—on the same property as a castle! Kelsey, Becca, and Leo can’t wait to explore, but what they find might lead to their most intricate case yet. How are an abandoned tree house, a wad of cash, a missing heirloom, and a mysterious creature roaming the grounds all connected? The Curious Cat Spy Club is determined to find out!

  2. Trapped! - Florian Bates—the only kid on the FBI Director’s speed dial and several international criminals’ most wanted lists—must save his friend from being framed for a crime he didn’t commit in this hilarious third novel in the Framed! series. Middle school is hard. Solving cases for the FBI is even harder. Doing both at the same time, well that’s just crazy. But that doesn’t stop Florian Bates! Along with his best friend, and Watson to his Sherlock, Margaret, Florian’s making the case that kids can do anything. When Florian and Margaret’s FBI supervisor, Marcus Rivers, is accused of a crime, it’s up to this mystery solving duo to jump into action and clear his name, because Marcus is more than their boss—he’s family. The case involves one of Marcus’s first investigations for the FBI and a Russian spy ring. However, when the spy they are chasing learns what they’re up to, the tables are turned, and Marcus finds himself implicated in a variety of crimes, including theft, corruption, and espionage. For Florian and Margaret, it just got personal. They’re going to catch the spy and clear Marcus’s name…even if they have to break into (and out of) the Library of Congress to do it.

  3. Spy Camp - As almost 13-year-old Ben, a student at the CIA’s academy for future intelligence agents, prepares to go to spy summer camp, he receives a death threat from the evil organization SPYDER.

  4. Kelsey the Spy - Kelsey can’t resist collecting secrets in her spy notebook—just like her hero, Harriet the Spy. When she learns Leo has been hiding something from the group, she writes his secret in her notebook as well. But Kelsey accidentally brings her Notebook of Secrets to school and loses it. Everything she’s collected about classmates, friends, and family could be released into the world! When she receives a ransom note, she tries to solve the mystery on her own but soon realizes she needs everyone in the CCSC to rescue the notebook, help a homesick 130-year-old Aldabra tortoise, and unmask a thief. A surprise ending changes Kelsey’s life in a way she never imagined.

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Books About Detectives and Adventure And Adventurers

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Neverseen
Written by Shannon Messenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Sophie battles the rebels—and recovers dark memories from her past—in this jaw-dropping fourth book in the bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster is on the run—but at least she's not alone. Her closest friends from the Lost Cities have gone with her to join the Black Swan. They still have doubts about the shadowy organization, but the only way to find answers is to start working with them. And as they settle into their new lives, they uncover secrets bigger than anything they’d imagined. But their enemies are far from done, and unleash a terrifying plague that threatens the safety of an entire species. Sophie and her friends fight with everything they have—with new allies joining them—but every choice has consequences. And trusting the wrong person could prove deadly. In this game-changing fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must question everything to find a truth that will either save her world—or shatter it.
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Spy School Goes South
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Ben is taken to Mexico by his nemesis in the hopes that he’ll finally be able to take down SPYDER in this latest addition to the New York Times bestselling Spy School series. Thirteen-year-old Ben Ripley has been caught in the snares of SPYDER more than once and knows well enough to be suspicious of anything that seems too good to be true—despite needing special tutoring in advanced survival techniques. So when Murray Hill finally breaks his silence with an offer to hand over the SPYDER elite, Ben knows that there must be something going on. But his hesitation doesn’t stop the assignment. The Mission: Follow Murray Hill to an undisclosed location with no one else but Erica Hale to identify SPYDER leadership. Once found, contact the CIA to sweep in and finish the job. DO NOT CONTACT SPYDER DIRECTLY. However, as Ben suspected, nothing goes as planned, and what should be an easy mission quickly turns deadly. Now, Ben and Erica will have to face rogue agents, trained killers, and even very hungry crocodiles in a race against the clock to find out what SPYDER is up to this time—and thwart their evil plans.
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Hermes and the Horse with Wings
Written by Tracey West & illustrated by Craig Phillips and Tracey West
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Zeus and the Olympians are tasked with finding a magical horse in this Heroes in Training adventure. When Zeus meets a young boy named Hermes, he claims to have their next quest from Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi. But he wants something for the information: Zeus must hand over the winged sandals he took from Perseus after their last battle. What he doesn’t know is that Perseus had stolen those sandals from someone…Hermes! Could those sandals be another magical object? When Hermes starts to fly, Zeus knows they have found another Olympian for their group—and Hermes lets Zeus know their next adventure will be to “find the force that sings.” Since Pythia never tells them exactly the right words (her glasses tend to get a little foggy), they figure out that they are supposed to find “the horse with wings.” With the help of a reluctant Hermes and another new boy named Ron, the Olympians are off in search of a winged horse­—with a few surprises along the way!
Honorable Mentions
Zeus and the Dreadful Dragon book
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Return of the Forgotten book
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Power Play book
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Microsaurs: Follow that Tiny-Dactyl book
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  1. Zeus and the Dreadful Dragon - Zeus and his friends try to free Briar, Kottos, and Gyes from Tartarus so they can finally beat Cronus once and for all in this Heroes in Training adventure. The fourteen Olympians and Ron are headed toward Olympus. Ron is telling them the rumors that the Titans have all escaped Tartarus and are gearing up with Cronus for a final battle with the Olympians. When they reach the sea, Oceanus attacks them by surprise. They are almost washed away by a tidal wave when mysterious woman appears and saves them. It is Gaia, the wife of Uranus—and grandmother to Zeus and most of the Olympians. Gaia is on the side of the Olympians, partly because she believes that they will be better for the planet than Cronus, but also because she is angry with her son. He has imprisoned his three brothers: Briar, Kottos, and Gyes. She says if the Olympians free them from Tartarus, they will help the Olympians defeat Cronus. But can the three brothers be trusted? And can the Olympians defeat Cronus once and for all?

  2. Return of the Forgotten - Felina the cat queen may be gone, but the subway tunnels of Atlantia are still dangerous to all rodents who dwell within the twists and turns. Pup and his spider companion Hacklemesh are lurking in the shadows… Hopper is determined to reach out to his brother-gone-bad, to see if he can talk some sense into the young rodent. But then Hope, the youngest of Zucker and Firren’s new litter, goes missing, and all signs point to Pup as culprit.

  3. Power Play - Abby and the rest of her friends go international as they embark on their first “official” Center mission in this second book in the Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls series

  4. Microsaurs: Follow that Tiny-Dactyl - Danny and Lin never say no to adventure, so when Danny’s spy camera captures a tiny dinosaur crashing into Lin’s helmet during her skateboarding tryouts they know they have to investigate. But even they weren’t prepared for a secret laboratory filled with amazing inventions (including the Shrink-a-Fier and the Expand-o-matic 2) and astonishing discoveries (Triceratops are NOT fond of the color red!). Who knew that tracking one tiny pterodactyl would open up such a giant world of adventure with the Microsaurs!?!

Books About Detectives and Social Themes

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Everblaze
Written & illustrated by Shannon Messenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Sophie uncovers shocking secrets—and faces treacherous new enemies—in this electrifying third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster is ready to fight back. Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again. But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes. In this nail-biting third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must fight the flames of rebellion, before they destroy everyone and everything she loves.
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What Are You Waiting For?
Written by Scott Menchin & illustrated by Matt Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8
A badger finds his rabbit friend outside waiting for something and giving badger clues and guesses to figure out they are waiting to see the moon appear.
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Pigeon P.I.
Written & illustrated by Meg McLaren
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
This clever and engaging picture book is a delightful and witty first look at the "noir" detective genre for young readers. A pigeon private investigator emerges from retirement to track down a birdnapper with the help of his feathered friends. A cute chick reports the crime and makes herself useful enough to become a partner in the detective agency, which by the end of the book is back in business. Includes comical directions for doing detective work.
Honorable Mentions
Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P. I. , Book 2) book
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Outfoxed book
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Tortoise And The Scare book
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  1. Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P. I. , Book 2) - Middle-school detectives Howard Wallace and Ivy Mason are itching for a juicy case—but when they’re forced to prove that uber-bully Carl Dean didn’t pugnap the school mascot, they’re not thrilled. Now Howard and Ivy have to play nice with Carl, dodge a snoopy reporter, and deal with Howard’s worst enemy, Miles Fletcher. Can Howard handle these complications and still be there for Ivy when her life is turned upside down?

  2. Outfoxed - Harold is unlike any other fox. He hates eating chicken, for one thing. He much prefers reading detective novels. When Harold’s father challenges him to catch a chicken as part of his initiation into adulthood, Harold is faced with a dilemma—should he obey his father and endanger the chicken’s life, or do what his heart tells him is right? The latest title from award-winning illustrator Claudia Boldt, Outfoxed introduces a smart, independent-minded character in Harold the fox and is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

  3. Tortoise And The Scare - Help Nancy and her friends find a missing tortoise in the eleventh book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. Nancy, Bess, and George have been looking forward to their school trip to the Wildlife Refuge for weeks. They’ve been studying all the different animals they’ll see there—pygmy hedgehogs, scarlet macaws, and ball pythons. Nancy is most excited to see the sixty-year-old tortoise—that hard-shelled creature is older than her dad. But when her class reaches the enclosure they find out the tortoise is on the loose! Nancy and her friends are on the case. Can they save the day before the class trip is over? Or will this sneaky reptile outsmart them all?

Books About Detectives and Treasure

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Russell and the Lost Treasure
Written & illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Russell the sheep is determined to find the Lost Treasure of Frogsbottom. Equipped with his Super-Duper Treasure Seeker, Russell searches high and low, up and down, and in and out. Nothing! Finally, Russell finds an old chest! Could it be? Discover how Russell finds the most valuable treasure of all.
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Violet and the Mummy Mystery
Written by Harriet Whitehorn & illustrated by Becka Moor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-8
Join amateur Sherlock Holmes, Violet Remy-Robinson as she tries to track down a stolen mummy in this novel that’s part of a delightful detective series that’s perfect for fans of Robin Stevens’s Wells & Wong mysteries!When Violet’s cousin Agnes and her Aunt Mathilde arrive from Cairo, Violet is delighted. Aunt Mathilde is a professor of Ancient Egyptology and has discovered a mummy that may be the key to revealing the secret location of Queen Nefertiti’s tomb. Violet can’t wait to find out more! So when the precious mummy is stolen from the British Museum, it’s a disaster. Who has managed to pull off this crime right under the security guards’ noses and where is the mummy now? It’s up to Violet and the gang to save the day!Beautifully designed and filled with gorgeous two-color illustrations throughout, everyone is bound to fall in love with Violet and the colorful characters that make up her world.
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Secret of Shadow Ranch #5
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Nancy is looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch, but she soon finds herself involved in solving a baffling mystery.
Honorable Mentions
The Secret of Mirror Bay book
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The Quest of the Missing Map book
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The Secret of the Forgotten City book
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The Shore Road Mystery book
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  1. The Secret of Mirror Bay - Aunt Eloise Drew invited Nancy and her friends to Mirror Bay Bide-a-Wee cabin near Cooperstown, New York, for a visit and a chance to solve the mystery of the woman who glides across the water. Upon their arrival, Nancy becomes mixed up in a vacation hoax and is nearly arrested for fraud. On the wooded mountain near the cabin further exciting events await Nancy and the other girls. In the deep forest, a weird luminescent green sorcerer appears who threatens to cast an evil spell on anyone investigating his strange activities. In a dangerous twist of circumstances Nancy finds that solving one mystery helps to solve another. What happens when the young detective and her friends uncover a cleverly concealed criminal operation?

  2. The Quest of the Missing Map - Prompted by the concerns of a young child, Nancy investigates a small studio on the Chatham estate. She discovers that there is a connection between the mysterious occurrences at Ship Cottage and her search for a treasure island. With only half of a map, Nancy sets out to find the man who possess the rest of the map that will pinpoint the location of buried treasure. Constantly beset by danger and intrigue, Nancy courageously outwits her enemies and solves one of the most challenging cases in her career as a teenage investigator.

  3. The Secret of the Forgotten City - Gold! There are rumors that long ago a treasure was hidden in a city now buried under the Nevada desert. Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold. Before she starts, the young sleuth receives an ancient stone table with petroglyphs on it. With this amazing clue, however, come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure. One harrowing adventure after another besets Nancy, Bess, George, Ned, Burt, and Dave in 102-degree temperatures as they pursue Nancy’s hunches above and below ground. They are assisted by a fine woman and a young geology student, but both are unwilling participants in a strange plot. In the end Nancy and Ned nearly lose their lives, just after she has discovered the priceless hidden treasure of gold.

  4. The Shore Road Mystery - When the Hardy Boys eagerly agree to assist their friend Jack Dodd and his father in locating a family treasure, the two young detectives are unaware of the baffling complications that will arise. Deadly road traps, aerial ambush, a spider man and a suspect who carries a menacing cane harass the young detectives as they seek the triple solution to this perplexing and exciting mystery.

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Books About Detectives and Multicultural

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The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound
Written by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face their spookiest case yet--a haunting! Now infamous in their Harlem neighborhood for solving the most difficult mysteries, super sleuths Shelby Holmes and John Watson stumble into their creepiest case yet. Residents of a local apartment building are hearing scary noises at night, like screams, scratching, and an unearthly dog's howl. It can't be a ghost . . . Can it? Well, Shelby Holmes doesn't believe in ghosts, and she plans to prove they don't exist! But Watson can't help but wonder if there are more supernatural forces at work--especially after he and Shelby hear rumors that the building's previous owner, Hugo Baskerville, and his loyal hound haunt the premises. If Shelby and Watson want to find out who (or what!) is behind the spookiness, they'll have to prove they're not afraid of ghosts--by surviving an overnight Halloween stakeout! Elizabeth Eulberg's charming middle-grade take on Sherlock Holmes continues in this retelling of The Hound of the Baskervilles that reunites readers with the charming detective pairing of Shelby and Watson. Don't miss the rest of the Great Shelby Holmes series: The Great Shelby Holmes The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound
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Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Written by Jill Diamond & illustrated by Lesley Vamos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
BFFs Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl are busy preparing for the Bicentennial Bonanza, their city’s two-hundredth birthday bash! And this year, the party will take place in their beloved neighborhood of El Corazón. With a baking contest, talent show, and a new gazebo planned, the community can’t wait to celebrate the founders (and historical BFFs), Diego Soto and Giles Wonderwood. But when Vice-Mayor Andy Argyle claims the festivities belong to Verde Valley, using a mysterious diary as evidence, Lou Lou and Pea smell trouble. Will the friends be able to uncover the secrets of their city’s founding, and bring the Bonanza back to El Corazón?
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Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery
Written by Jill Diamond & illustrated by Lesley Vamos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Two best friends with a flair for adventure use their gardening and art skills to catch a criminal during Día de los Muertos, in the first book of the Lou Lou and Pea series! Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl have been best friends since first grade. Every Friday afternoon, they get together in Lou Lou's backyard garden for their PSPP (Post-School Pre-Parents) tea party. They chat about school, discuss Pea's latest fashions, and plot the weekend's activities. But all plans go out the window when a series of small crimes crop up around El Corazón, their quaint and quirky neighborhood, right before the Día de Los Muertos procession. First, Pea's cousin's quinceañera dress is tragically ruined. Then Lou Lou's beloved camellia bush, Pinky, suffers a serious blow. And that's just the beginning! When clues start to appear in El Corazón's outdoor murals, the best friends join forces, using Lou Lou's floral expertise and Pea's artistic genius to solve the mysteries. Accented by Lesley Vamos's spirited black-and-white illustrations, Jill Diamond's debut is a delightful introduction to two very creative best friends and their unforgettable adventures! Backmatter includes a recipe, crafting activity, and glossary of Spanish terms. "Lou Lou and Pea are likable heroines and the cast of multicultural characters and Latino-themed festivities broaden the accessibility. . . . This is a pleasant, breezy friendship tale for middle grade readers who also enjoy a light mystery." —School Library Journal
Honorable Mentions
The Curious Cat Spy Club book
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Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Bear Scare book
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The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case book
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Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants book
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  1. The Curious Cat Spy Club - No one at school knows that Kelsey, Becca, and Leo are secretly friends. They have nothing in common—until they rescue three kittens and form a club to help animals through volunteering, spying, and solving mysteries. In the first book of this series, Kelsey helps catch a runaway zorse (horse + zebra) with the help of another girl from school named Becca. The two are walking home when they happen upon a litter of kittens trapped in a dumpster and Leo Polanski is the only person around who can help get them out. The three unlikely friends decide to work together to help solve animal crimes with their secret club!

  2. Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Bear Scare - Featuring friendship, school, family, and a diverse community, these early illustrated chapter books from James Preller have it all. Is there a bear loose in the woods by Jigsaw Jones’ town? For once this second-grade detective and his partner Mila Yeh might be out of their depth! One way or another, these too young sleuths will get to the bottom of who, or what, is growling and snapping in those woods. James Preller’s wry, witty, Jigsaw Jones books are once again available to inspire the next generation of young readers, featuring both new titles and classroom classics!

  3. The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case - Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson tackle their trickiest case yet—going undercover . . . as figure skaters! Being friends with a super sleuth isn’t easy, especially when she’s nine years old, four feet tall, and full of attitude. But for eleven-year-old John Watson, being friends with Shelby Holmes is just the adventure he’s looking for. After Watson’s online journal chronicling his and Shelby’s case-closing abilities attracts the attention of a newspaper reporter, the pair becomes a small “media sensation” in their Harlem neighborhood. So it’s no surprise (at least, to Shelby!) when the article lands them a new client—a figure skating coach whose star athlete, Jordan Nelson, is receiving strange, threatening messages, written entirely in code. There’s no one better to crack the cipher than dynamic duo Shelby and Watson! But to gather information, Shelby decides that they’ll have to go undercover . . . as an award-winning pair skating team. Can they use the laws of physics and their acting skills to maintain their covers and figure out who’s sending Jordan such strange messages before it’s too late?

  4. Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants - In Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants, Ada must rely on her curious mind, her brave spirit, and her best pals Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck to solve a mystery in her own backyard. Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she’s off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?

Books About Detectives and Magic

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Nightfall
Written by Shannon Messenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A New York Times bestselling series A USA TODAY bestselling series A California Young Reader Medal–winning series Sophie and her friends face battles unlike anything they’ve seen before in this thrilling sixth book of the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster is struggling. Grieving. Scrambling. But she knows one thing: she will not be defeated. The Neverseen have had their victories—but the battle is far from over. It’s time to change tactics. Make sacrifices. Reexamine everything. Maybe even time for Sophie to trust her enemies. All paths lead to Nightfall—an ominous door to an even more ominous place—and Sophie and her friends strike a dangerous bargain to get there. But nothing can prepare them for what they discover. The problems they’re facing stretch deep into their history. And with time running out, and mistakes catching up with them, Sophie and her allies must join forces in ways they never have before. In this spectacular sixth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must uncover the truth about the Lost Cities’ insidious past, before it repeats itself and changes reality.
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A Hint of Hydra
Written by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thirteen-year-old chef Lailu Loganberry must stop a war between the elves and scientists in this follow-up to A Dash of Dragon, which Kirkus Reviews calls “a recipe for success.” It’s the Week of Masks, a festival held to chase away evil spirits. But Lailu doesn’t have time to worry about demons. She has bigger fish to fry—or rather, griffons, now that she’s been asked to prepare a mystical feast for the king’s executioner, Lord Elister. Unfortunately Lailu’s meal is overshadowed by the scientists’ latest invention: automatons, human-shaped machines that will respond to their masters’ every order. Most people are excited by the possibilities, but the mechanical men leave Lailu with a bad taste in her mouth. Even worse, the elves still blame the scientists for the attacks on them weeks ago, and Lailu worries that the elves might be cooking up revenge. So when she and her sorta-rival-turned-almost-friend Greg stumble across the body of a scientist, the elves are the prime suspects. With help from Greg, her best friend Hannah, and the sneaky, winking spy Ryon, Lailu has to discover the truth behind the murder, and soon—because hostilities between the elves and the scientists are about to boil over faster than hydra stew. And just ask any chef: war is bad for business.
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A Box of Bones
Written by Marina Cohen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
Twelve-year-old Kallie despises nonsense. She believes there’s a rational explanation for everything, despite the good-natured prodding of her Grandpa Jess, who takes her to frivolous wastes of time like their town’s local Festival of Fools. There, Kallie meets a faceless man (must be some kind of mask) who gives her a strange wooden puzzle box (must be some kind of gimmick). Intrigued despite herself, Kallie sets to work on unlocking its secrets and...lets something out. From here Kallie’s life begins to entangle with another world, a world where Liah, a young bone carver, journeys with her master to sell wares to a wicked Queen. The sights, sounds, smells, and spells of Liah’s world are beginning to leak into Kallie’s, and if Kallie can’t decipher the meaning of her own story, “the end” might be far from happy.
Honorable Mentions
The Magic Looking Glass book
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Potion Problems book
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Pop Goes the Bubble Trouble book
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Tales of Sasha 9: The Disappearing History book
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  1. The Magic Looking Glass - Meet Jack and his talking chicken Betsy, Red, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and a host of other Little Legendsas they have fantastic new adventures!Get to know your favorite fairytale characters like never before in this magical new book series. A cutting has been stolen from the magical Story Tree, and it’s up to twins Hansel and Gretel to get it back. With the help of their new friend Wolfie, they find a secret fortress in the forest and a Magic Looking Glass that promises to help them. But things are not always what they seem! Can Wolfie and the twins save the day, or will the Magic Look Glass have the last laugh?

  2. Potion Problems - Kelly Quinn and her friends must figure out a way to save a beloved local store and find their infamous Secret Recipe Book, which has gone missing in this sequel to Just Add Magic (the inspiration for the family-friendly TV series)! Kelly Quinn and her best friends, Darbie and Hannah, are having the worst day ever! Their Secret Recipe Book accidentally gets included in frenemy, Charlotte’s used book drive. Not good. As if that’s not enough, the girls find out that their cooking program is on the chopping block at school, thanks to big budget cuts. Kelly & Company decide to take matters into their own hands and apply for famous TV chef Felice Foudini’s Recipe Challenge. The prize? $10,000 and webisodes on Felice’s site. With the Book and the special ingredients from their beloved mentor, Senora Perez’s, store LaCucina, the girls are sure to win. But when they turn to Senora Perez, for help, they discover La Cucina is in danger of closing! Then Kelly gets a mysterious delivery—a package with the missing Secret Recipe Book with a note: “From KE.” KE is one of the Book’s authors, but who is KE exactly? It’s up to Kelly, Darbie, and Hannah to get to the bottom of the mystery, save the cooking program, and help Senora P. keep her store!

  3. Pop Goes the Bubble Trouble - When bubble creatures start disappearing from the World of Make-Believe, Daisy and Posey are on the case in this eighth Daisy Dreamer chapter book! When Posey spots the quarter vending machines with plastic bubbles filled with tiny toys at Daisy’s local store, he tries to talk to them. But when they don’t answer, Daisy explains that the bubbles are just toys in the real world. So Posey invites Daisy to the World of Make-Believe, where, of course, there’s an entire world inside of those machines! Bubble creatures happily live in their plastic capsules, but it turns out there’s a tiny problem. A giant has been “borrowing” those bubble friends! Can Daisy and Posey save those bubbles before they go pop? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Daisy Dreamer chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  4. Tales of Sasha 9: The Disappearing History - In book nine of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha has to figure out what to do when the recorded history of the flying horses disappears! The History Day celebration is coming up in Crystal Cove, and Sasha has to pick her favorite story to read aloud. But when she unrolls the magical fabrics with the flying horse history on them, she discovers that all the words have disappeared! Can Sasha figure out what happened and find a way to return the stories to the fabrics in time for the celebration?

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Books About Detectives and Sisters

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Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The first in a new middle-grade mystery series, in Andi Unexpected, twelve-year-old Andi Boggs, discovers evidence of her forgotten namesake, a missing relative, which leads her into a family mystery rooted in the Great Depression.
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Annie's Adventures
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
On New Year's Eve, the octuplets Huit--Annie, Durinda, Georgia, Jackie, Marcia, Petal, Rebecca, and Zinnia--discover that their parents are missing, and then uncover a mysterious note instructing them that each must find her power and her gift if they want to know what happened to their parents. Simultaneous.
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The Final Battle... for Now
Written & illustrated by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
The Huit octuplets, each of whom has now discovered her power and received her gift, finally learn where their parents are, but before they can attempt a rescue they must face the Other Eights and a very scary aunt.
Honorable Mentions
Zinnia's Zaniness book
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Durinda's Dangers book
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Petal's Problems book
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The Sisters Eight Book 7: Rebecca's Rashness book
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  1. Zinnia's Zaniness - With the arrival of August, Zinnia, the youngest of the Huit octuplets, eagerly anticipates getting her power and gift, both of which hold big surprises that are revealed to the sisters on their 8th birthday, in the penultimate episode of the Sisters Eight saga. Simultaneous.

  2. Durinda's Dangers - One month after their parents’ disappearance, the third-grade Huit octuplets deal with a malfunctioning refrigerator and try to win the love of the only boy in their class at Valentine’s Day, while Dorinda discovers her special power and gift. Simultaneous.

  3. Petal's Problems - During the month of June, Petal, one of the eight Huit octuplets, gets her power, which she uses to great advantage when Crazy Aunt Serena tries to kidnap Rebecca and throw her off the Eiffel Tower while the rest of the family attends a wedding.

  4. The Sisters Eight Book 7: Rebecca's Rashness - When Rebecca demonstrates superhuman strength she brings unwanted publicity to the Huit octuplets, but much greater danger is in store when she acquires the power to shoot fire from her fingertips.

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Books About Detectives and Boarding Schools

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No Rules: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt & illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In the fourth book of the Friday Barnes Mystery series, can Friday Barnes prove Ian's innocence, find the Highcrest Academy prankster, and save her school? If it involves running, then probably no, but if not . . . Friday's on the case!
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Under Suspicion: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt & illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Friday Barnes, girl detective, is... under arrest?! Getting arrested was the last thing Friday expected after solving the swamp-yeti mystery at her boarding school. But she better clear her name fast! She’s got new cases to investigate, like a scandalous quiche bake-off, a decades old mystery buried in her school’s backyard, and why the new boy, Christopher, is being so nice to her. More adventures and intrigue ensue in Under Suspicion: A Friday Barnes Mystery, the second book in the illustrated Friday Barnes mystery series, starring a genius detective with the brains (and social skills) of Sherlock Holmes.
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Girl Detective: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt & illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Imagine if Sherlock Holmes was an eleven-year-old girl! When Friday Barnes, girl genius, solves a bank robbery, she uses the reward money to send herself to Highcrest Academy, the most exclusive boarding school in the country—and discovers it's a hotbed of crime! Soon she's investigating everything from disappearing homework to the terrifying Yeti haunting the school swamp. But the biggest mystery yet is Ian Wainscott, the handsomest (and most arrogant) boy in school who inexplicably hates her. Will the homework be found? Can they ever track down the Yeti? And why is Ian out to ruin her?
Honorable Mentions
Lock and Key: The Final Step book
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Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls book
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  1. Lock and Key: The Final Step - The New York Times bestselling author of the Peter and the Starcatchers and Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson, brings us the thrilling conclusion to the Lock and Key trilogy. Before James Moriarty and his sister Moria enrolled in Baskerville Academy, they were inseparable—as close to best friends as a brother and sister could be. But since setting foot on the boarding school’s campus, James has been different. At Baskerville, he’s become cunning, deceptive, ruthless, sometimes reckless. And now that his roommate Sherlock Holmes has been expelled, there’s no one left to help Moira figure out what’s going on with her brother or to uncover the connection between a recent string of deaths. To Moria, it seems obvious that someone has it out for the Moriarty family. First their father and then their family driver and now their legal guardian—clearly something is afoot. But to get the answers they need, they’ll first have to deal with an incriminating photograph, secret safe houses, and powerful enemies. It’s a highly original and satisfying take on the Sherlock Holmes series as only master of suspense Ridley Pearson could envision.

  2. Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls - Twelve-year-old Abigail’s shocked to discover her elite boarding school is really a cover for a huge spy ring, and must undergo Spy Training 101 in order to save her mother—who happens to be the spy ring’s top agent.

Books About Detectives and Thieves

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The Cherry Thief
Written & illustrated by Renata Galindo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Chef Armand's cakes are famous for the delicious red cherries that adorn each one. But when the cherries start disappearing, he sets a trap to catch the thief, with unexpected results! What will he do with the culprit, and is there a long-term solution that will make everyone happy? A charming debut picture book filled with very visual humour.
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Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt & illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The mystery hits close to home when Friday learns her mother has been kidnapped. But she's distracted by other happenings at school: a new VIP student (a Norwegian princess!) has just arrived and a master thief called the Pimpernel is causing chaos across campus. Can Friday crack the case of her missing mother, reign in a royal brat, and unmask the elusive Pimpernel?
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The Haunted Bridge
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Mr. Drew is on the trail of an international ring of jewel thieves and asks Nancy to assist him. The trail leads to a summer resort area. Before Nancy has a chance to start work on her father’s case, a golf caddy tells her a frightening tale–in the dense woods nearby is an old wooden footbridge guarded by a ghost! Intrigued by the caddy’s story, Nancy decides to investigate. Several riddles confront the young detective as she attempts to solve the mystery of the haunted bridge and track down a woman suspected of being a key member of the gang of jewel thieves.
Honorable Mentions
Mystery of the brass-bound trunk book
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Spy Penguins book
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  1. Mystery of the brass-bound trunk - From the moment Nancy Drew boards an ocean liner leaving for New York, she becomes involved in a new and dangerous mystery. A man on the pier gestures to someone on board in sign language. BEWARE OF NANCY DREW AND NE, he signals. Who is NE? Can it be Nelda Detweiler, a young woman who shares a cabin with Nancy, Bess, and George? Mystery and intrigue follow the girls across the ocean; but with her usual ingenuity Nancy solves the mystery and defeats her enemies before the ship reaches New York.

  2. Spy Penguins - Two young adventure-loving and gadget-obsessed penguins dream of joining the FBI (Frosty Bureau of Investigation) in Sam Hay’s hilarious new illustrated chapter book series, Spy Penguins. Adventure-loving penguin Jackson dreams of being a secret agent like his Uncle Bryn, who works for the Frosty Bureau of Investigation. Jackson and his gadget-inventing best friend Quigley might officially be too young to join the FBI, but they aren’t going to let that stop them! They just need to come up with the right plan to prove that they are worthy. But when one of Q’s inventions goes dangerously wrong, Jackson suddenly finds himself dropped right in the middle off an FBI stakeout. There’s fishy business afoot at the city’s aquarium; rare fish are vanishing and not even the FBI can work out what’s going on. It’s up to Jackson and Quigley to solve the crime!

Books About Detectives and Rescues And Rescuing

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The Mystery of the Zorse's Mask
Written by Linda Joy Singleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
When a mysterious stranger claims to own Becca’s beloved zorse, Zed, something seems suspicious. Besides, if this person is Zed’s real owner, the Curious Cat Spy Club fears he might be responsible for abusing Zed in the past. Kelsey, Becca, and Leo are determined to uncover the truth before they have to give Zed away. But when a daring rescue attempt puts Kelsey in danger, does the CCSC have enough spy skills to save her or are they in over their heads?
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Mia Measures Up
Written & illustrated by Coco Simon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Mia is being cyber-bullied, and she’s determined to find out who is responsible in the latest addition to the Cupcake Diaries series. Mia is upset when her parents tell her she’s too young to go to a concert without adult supervision. She’s old enough to help run a cupcake business! Why can’t her parents see that she’s also responsible enough to do whatever she wants? And just when she’s reached a compromise with her parents (her older brother Dan will go to the concert with her), Mia finds out she’s being cyber-bullied on social media. It’s the Cupcake Club to the rescue as they all help Mia solve her online bullying mystery!
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Ellie Steps Up to the Plate
Written by Callie Barkley & illustrated by Tracy Bishop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
When Ellie joins a softball team, she quickly realizes that the sport is harder than it looks! Is she meant only for the stage, not the field? And what happens when Ellie goes in search of a stray ball in the nearby and finds an injured baby deer? Illustrations.
Honorable Mentions
The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match book
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Mission Defrostable book
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Password to Larkspur Lane book
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The Clue in the Old Album book
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  1. The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match - Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face a culprit who might be able to do the impossible—outsmart Shelby. Eleven-year-old John Watson never expected his first friend in his new Harlem neighborhood to be Shelby Holmes, a nine-year-old, four-foot-tall supersleuth whose incredible smarts are outweighed only by her big attitude. But it turns out that solving mysteries with Shelby is just the adventure that aspiring writer John needs. On John’s very first day of school in New York, Shelby deduces that their new science teacher, Mr. Crosby, is in trouble. But as Shelby and John dig deeper to expose the truth, they discover there might be someone unexpected involved . . . Someone determined to outsmart Shelby Holmes. Can Shelby and John uncover the truth before the case goes from puzzling to downright dangerous? Don’t miss the rest of the Great Shelby Holmes series: The Great Shelby Holmes The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case

  2. Mission Defrostable - Our favorite breakfast food friends are back and all bready for their next adventure! Can they save the fridge before all the food is iced? It’s mission . . . defrostable. “And now with the two of you out of the fold, I’ve got my revenge and I’m serving it cold!” Brrr! There’s a frost in the fridge—and it’s hardened Pudding Pond and frozen Yogurt Falls. Agent Asparagus is on the case, and she begs Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast to join her superspy team. But when the enemy snatches Asparagus, Pancake and French Toast have only one dough man to turn to for help: the evil Baron von Waffle! Will he help them save the fridge . . . or are they doomed to become frozen food?

  3. Password to Larkspur Lane - Blue bells will be singing horses! This strange message, attached to the leg of a wounded homing pigeon, involves Nancy Drew in a dangerous mission. Somewhere an elderly woman is being held prisoner in a mansion, and Nancy is determined to find and free her. Meanwhile, the young detective’s close friend, Helen, begs her to solve a second mystery. Helen’s grandparents, the Cornings, are frightened by a sinister wheel of blue fire that appears after dark in the woods outside their home at lonely Sylvan Lake. When Nancy discovers the significance of the eerie signal, she also learns that her two mysteries are connected.

  4. The Clue in the Old Album - Nancy Drew witnesses a purse snatching and runs after the thief. She rescues the purse, but not its contents, then is asked by the owner, a doll collector, to do some detective work. Readers will enjoy Nancy’s clever ways of finding all she seeks, and bringing happiness to a misunderstood child and her lonely grandmother.

Books About Detectives and Lost And Found Possessions

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Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?
Written by Karen Beaumont & illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Kanga and her friends try to discover who ate all of her cookie dough.
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Hamster Holmes, A Bit Stumped
Written by Albin Sadar & illustrated by Valerio Fabbretti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Hamster Holmes and his firefly sidekick, Dr. Watt, solve a colorful new mystery in this Level 2 Ready-to-Read story perfect for beginning readers! Hamster Holmes and his firefly sidekick, Dr. Watt, have a new case…and for the first time, Hamster Holmes is stumped. It all began when an owl named Rufus Feathers started to design a new tile patio for his house, and the yellow tiles went missing. The hardest part of this case? There is only one clue! Will this be the case that finally stumps Hamster Holmes and Dr. Watt?
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Marion and the Secret Letter
Written by Callie Barkley & illustrated by Tracy Bishop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Taking a turn caring for the class pet hamster, Marion is devastated when the hamster goes missing and she receives an anonymous letter in her locker with clues leading to a mysterious scavenger hunt.
Honorable Mentions
Lost in Hollywood book
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Sam the Man & the Secret Detective Club Plan book
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Worth a Thousand Words book
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Nancy Drew 41: The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes book
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  1. Lost in Hollywood - When Ginger Carlson’s aunt finds herself in financial trouble, Ginger’s entire family and her best friend head to Hollywood to help find the missing money.

  2. Sam the Man & the Secret Detective Club Plan - Sam Graham is a mystery man. But when there are no mysteries to solve, Sam comes up with a plan to find one in this hilarious fourth chapter book in the Sam the Man series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam Graham loves solving mysteries. After successfully solving the mystery of Annabelle’s lost sock, Sam decides to make mystery-solving his main hobby (after tending the chickens, of course). He recruits his best friend Gavin and a couple of their classmates for a detective club, and together they’re ready for any mystery that comes their way. There’s a problem though…there are no cases to solve! So, Sam comes up with a plan: They’ll take the most interesting things in the lost and found and try to find out who lost what. But who could a locked box, a very long stuffed snake, and a red jacket belong to? And how will Sam and his friends find them? And…why does that jacket smell so bad?!?

  3. Worth a Thousand Words - Ever since Tillie Green’s car accident left her with a severe limp, she’s kept herself hidden behind her camera. Through the lens, she watches her family and classmates, spotting the small details and secret glances that tell a much bigger story than what people usually see. Students call her “Lost and Found,” because her camera knows when you last had your headphones. Tillie is good at finding things, but she isn’t prepared for Jake’s request: to find his father. In a matter of days, Tillie goes from silent observer to one half of a detective duo, searching the college-town community for clues to explain Jake’s dad’s disappearance. When the truth isn’t what Jake wants it to be, and taking photographs starts exposing people’s secrets, Tillie has to decide what (and who) is truly important to her.

  4. Nancy Drew 41: The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes - Warnings not to go to Scotland can’t stop Nancy Drew from setting out on a thrill-packed mystery adventure. Undaunted by the vicious threats, the young detective – with her father and her two close friends – goes to visit her great-grandmother at an imposing estate in the Scottish Highlands, and to solve the mystery of a missing family heirloom. And there is another mystery to be solved: the fate of flocks of stolen sheep. Baffling clues challenge Nancy’s powers of deduction: a note written in the ancient Gaelic language, a deserted houseboat on Loch Lomond, a sinister red-bearded stranger in Edinburgh, eerie whistling noises in the Highlands. Startling discoveries in an old castle and in the ruins of a prehistoric fortress, lead Nancy closer to finding the solution to both mysteries.

Books About Detectives and Girls And Women

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Famous Mistakes
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Nancy and her friends are out to find a comedian’s saboteur in this seventeenth book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to the classic mystery series. Nancy’s boyfriend, Ned, has recently started his own podcast called NedTalks and he just got his big break. Up and coming comedian Brady Owens has agreed to sit down for an interview. And this isn’t just any interview; it’s the first interview Brady has given since a video of him lashing out at an audience member went viral. Now people are protesting his shows and calling him violent. Nancy agrees to help out with the technical stuff so Ned can focus on the hard-hitting questions. But when they go to meet the interviewee they find Brady’s hotel room trashed—and no comedian in sight. Luckily, they find Brady unhurt and nothing of monetary value is missing from the room. Only his notebook of new material is gone. Brady says he knows it’s the people who’ve seen the video of him yelling. They think he’s dangerous and doesn’t deserve a platform. He wishes it would all blow over. Nancy disagrees with Brady. She thinks he should apologize to the crowd and admit that he crossed a line. But she recognizes a person in need of help when she sees one and agrees to get to the bottom of this sabotage anyway. Complex social media charts, undercover outfits, and intense button study send Nancy, Bess, George, and Ned on a wild ride through River Heights to uncover the truth. But nothing is what it seems in this game of comedic timing. Can Nancy find the culprit before it’s too late?
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Marcia's Madness
Written by Lauren Baratz-Logsted & illustrated by Lisa K. Weber
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Questions! Questions! Questions! The Sisters Eight have so many questions and so few answers! Luckily, one more month means they'll get a few answers. Marcia's month is about to begin. You remember Marcia, right? The sensible one? The one who would never do anything . . . crazy?
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Nancy Drew 21: The Secret in the Old Attic
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Nancy Drew races against time to unravel the clues in a dead man’s letters. If she succeeds, Philip March and his little granddaughter can be saved from financial ruin. Following obscure clues, Nancy undertakes a search for some unpublished musical manuscripts which she believes are hidden in the dark, cluttered attic of the rundown March mansion. But someone else wants them enough to put many frightening obstacles in Nancy’s way. Will she outwit a trio of ruthless thieves and solves the Marches’ problems?
Honorable Mentions
The Clue in the Diary #7 book
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The Clue in the Crossword Cipher book
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The Secret of Red Gate Farm #6 book
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The Spider Sapphire Mystery book
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  1. The Clue in the Diary #7 - A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who’s new to the series! This is a stunning new edition of an old favourite, The Clue in the Diary, the seventh book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It’s the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years - Nancy must figure out the connection between a mysterious diary and a suspicious house fire. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss!

  2. The Clue in the Crossword Cipher - Lovely young Carla Ponce, who lives in Peru, invites Nancy and her friends Bess and George to visit her and solve her “monkey mystery,” which promises to lead to a fabulous treasure. A clue is carved on an intriguing wooden plaque that is so old, most of the crossword cipher is obliterated. When a notorious gang headed by El Gato (the Cat) steals the priceless relic, Nancy’s hopes of solving the mystery are almost shattered. But the daring young detective’s ability to think fast and act quickly results in the recovery of the plaque. Nancy’s determined efforts to decode the crossword decipher take her to the magnificent, awe-inspiring Incan ruins at Cuzco and Machu Pichu. Through clever deductions, perseverance, and dangerous adventures, Nancy and her friends help to capture a ring of vicious smugglers and go on to make an astounding archaeological discovery.

  3. The Secret of Red Gate Farm #6 - A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who’s new to the series! This is a stunning new edition of an old favourite, The Secret of Red Gate Farm, the sixth book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It’s the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years - Nancy and her friends must unravel the secrets of a mysterious conspiracy and track down a ring of counterfeiters. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss!

  4. The Spider Sapphire Mystery - Thrilling, dangerous adventures confront Nancy Drew while on a safari in East Africa with a group of American college students. Excitement runs high as the teen-age detective delves into the theft of a fabulous sapphire formed by nature millions of years ago. The mystery starts in Nancy’s home town. Her lawyer father’s client, Floyd Ramsay, who fashions beautiful and unusual synthetic gems, is accused of stealing the magnificent spider sapphire and exhibiting it as his own creation. Mr. Ramsay’s enemies blackmail him and by their vicious acts try to deter Nancy from going on the safari. Readers will join Nancy as she uncovers a nefarious scheme and solves the strange disappearance of an injured jungle guide.

Books About Detectives and Orphans

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The Hundred-Year Mystery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
The Boxcar Children stumble across a 100-year-old time capsule with a mysterious journal inside. It contains clues that lead the children around Greenfield and through the history books in search of a lost treasure. But questions remain. Who wrote the journal? And after 100 years, will there be enough evidence to find the hidden treasure?
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Wormwood Mire
Written & illustrated by Judith Rossell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
This spine-tingling sequel to Withering-by-Sea sees Stella sent away to the moldering old family estate, where she discovers two odd cousins—and a mystery. Eleven-year-old Stella Montgomery has always wondered about her family. What happened to her mother? And could she have a long-lost sister somewhere? Stella’s awful Aunts refuse to tell her anything, and now they have sent her away to the old family home at Wormwood Mire, where she must live with two strange cousins and their governess. But dark secrets slither and skulk within overgrown grounds of the house, and Stella must be brave if she’s to find out who—or what—she really is…
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The Doughnut Whodunit
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
A hip new doughnut shop known for its bizarre recipes is opening up in Greenfield. At first, the owners of the other doughnut shop in town, Delilah’s, aren’t worried. Their shop has been a fixture downtown since just after World War II. But when the new shop starts making doughnuts that look just like some of Delilah’s greatest hits, the Boxcar Children must figure out if it’s just a coincidence or if someone from the new shop is stealing Delilah’s recipes.
Honorable Mentions
Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children: Time to Read, Level 2) book
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Mystery Ranch book
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  1. Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children: Time to Read, Level 2) - The Aldens spend the summer on Grandfather’s island! Joe, the island’s friendly handyman, helps them with anything they need, but as the children continue to explore their summer home, they realize there is more to the island—and to their new friend—than meets the eye. Adapted from the feature film of the same name, this early reader allows children to step into reading with a Boxcar Children classic.

  2. Mystery Ranch - Eccentric Aunt Jane needs help on her ranch. The Aldens overturn a plot against her.

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Books About Detectives and Stealing

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Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Hat Burglar
Written by James Preller & illustrated by R.W. Alley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Jigsaw Jones is back! A brand new original mystery, The Case of the Hat Burglar is the newest installment of the Jigsaw Jones chapter book series by James Preller. Someone’s been stealing from the lost and found. But the strangest part of this mystery is what they’ve been stealing. Not mittens, or books, or water bottles—only hats! Just when Jigsaw comes up with a plan to catch this hat burglar in the act, the mystery thief strikes again right under his nose! Will this be the first case Jigsaw and Mila can’t solve? Sure to delight and intrigue young minds in equal measure, this never-before-published mystery chapter book is full of charming illustrations and James Preller's signature humor and warmth.
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Framed!
Written & illustrated by James Ponti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In Washington, D.C., twelve-year-old Florian Bates, a consulting detective for the FBI, and his best friend Margaret help thwart the biggest art heist in United States history.
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The Case of the Missing Painting
Written & illustrated by Dosh Archer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Someone has broken into the fancy art gallery and stolen a painting! Can Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles discover who took it? Young readers can learn about police procedures and detective work as they follow along with Detective Paw and try to solve the case themselves!
Honorable Mentions
The Clue of the Leaning Chimney book
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Nancy Drew 25: The Ghost of Blackwood Hall book
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The Thirteenth Pearl book
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The Strange Message in the Parchment book
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  1. The Clue of the Leaning Chimney - Nancy Drew and her friend Bess discover that a rare and valuable Chinese vase has been stolen from the pottery shop of Dick Milton, a cousin of Bess. Dick had borrowed the vase from his Chinese friend, elderly Mr. Soong, and he is determined to repay Mr. Soong for the loss. He tells Nancy that if he can find “the leaning chimney,” he will be on the track of a discovery which will solve his financial problems. Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Can there be any connection between the vase theft – one of a number of similar crimes – and the strange disappearance of the pottery expert Eng Moy and his daughter Lei?

  2. Nancy Drew 25: The Ghost of Blackwood Hall - When Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy Drew’s help in recovering her stolen jewelry, the search for the thieves takes the teen-age detective and her friends Bess and George to the colorful French Quarter of New Orleans. But the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney, and two young women who are being victimized by so-called spirits. How can Nancy fight these unseen perpetrators of a cruel hoax? And how can she help the gullible victims when the spirits warn them not to have anything to do with Nancy?

  3. The Thirteenth Pearl - Nancy is asked to locate a stolen pearl necklace that is unusual and very valuable. She soon learns that strange and dangerous people are responsible for the theft. They harass her at home and intensify it when she and her father go to Japan, until they finally manage to kidnap Nancy and her friend Ned Nickerson when she returns to River Heights. Through clever sleuthing, Nancy is able to penetrate the rites of an amazing group of pearl worshippers, some of whose members are far from devout, and she uncovers underhanded dealings of certain employees of World Wide Gems, Inc., a tremendous international jewelry company. Readers will love accompanying Nancy, disguised as a Japanese girl, in this adventure in Tokyo.

  4. The Strange Message in the Parchment - A sheep farmer receives a mysterious telephone call shortly after he buys a series of pictures painted on parchment. “Decipher the message in the parchment and right a great wrong,” the voice says. Puzzled, the owner asks Nancy to help. With Junie, his daughter, Nancy tracks down a kidnapper and a group of extortionists. Is there a connection between the message in the parchment and a boy artist on another farm? And who is responsible for the atmosphere of fear in the neighborhood? After several harrowing experiences, Nancy begins to tighten the net around a ruthless villain and calls on the assistance of her friends Ned, Burt, Dave, Bess and George to bring his nefarious scheme to a dead end.

Books About Detectives and Ghosts

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Stairway to Doom: A Miss Mallard Mystery
Written & illustrated by Robert Quackenbush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
As one of thirteen guests invited to historic Duckinbill Castle to hear the will of her late great-aunt, Miss Mallard finds that other guests have disappeared overnight and it is up to her to solve the mystery.
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The Case of the Crooked Carnival
Written by Michele Torrey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases involving a crooked carnival barker, a mysterious ghost, an alien plant species invading wildlife habitats and a wobbly bridge. Original.
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Midnight Reynolds and the Agency of Spectral Protection
Written by Catherine Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds has a huge secret—she’s a spectral protector, someone who helps ghosts cross over into the afterlife. Alongside her best friend Tabitha, Midnight is busy juggling the wilds of middle school with her undercover ghost-hunting job. When mysterious and dangerous robberies start happening in their small town, all signs point to some sort of spectral manipulation, and Midnight’s boss asks her to take over the investigation. Can Midnight find the culprit and stop them before the spectral energy endangers their town? This series has twists and turns galore for budding mystery lovers, all seen through the lens of a lovable and smart heroine. And the positive female friendships and hysterical writing will keep series fans coming back for more.
Honorable Mentions
Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book) book
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The Case of the Graveyard Ghost book
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Revenge of Superstition Mountain book
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Babysitting Nightmares: The Twilight Curse book
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  1. Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book) - Help Nancy and her friends find the truth behind a haunted theater in the tenth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. The hit TV show Twinkle Little Stars is coming to River Heights to audition contestants for their upcoming Halloween show. They’ll choose talented kids from all over the country to compete for prizes. Nancy, Bess, and George are dressing up as witches and are planning to create a special potion onstage for the judges. The recently renovated Heights Theatre has opened its doors for the auditions. The old theatre had been abandoned for fifty years but is now restored to its original beauty. But on the day of the auditions, everything seems to go wrong; the girls’ cauldron over bubbles, a werewolf mask makes its owner sneeze, spider webs fall on the dancers. That’s when the clue crew learns the Heights Theatre is rumored to be haunted—people say ghosts are the reason it stayed empty for so long. But Nancy knows better than to believe in ghosts. She’s sure that the culprit is of the human variety. Then Bess sees monsters dancing around a piano playing on its own—the keys moving but no is playing it. Could the rumors be true? Is the Heights Theatre really haunted? It’s up to the clue crew—and you—to find out!

  2. The Case of the Graveyard Ghost - Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, who are now in fifth grade, continue to combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases, involving a noisy laundry chute, a ruined flower show, and a ghost.

  3. Revenge of Superstition Mountain - In the third and final book in this action-packed trilogy, the Barker brothers and their good friend Delilah secretly climb up to Superstition Mountain one last time. There are still mysteries to solve—is the creepy librarian really the ghost of Julia Thomas from a century before? What was their uncle Hank’s role in discovering the gold mine? Can they still get into the gold mine after the avalanche that nearly crushed them? Does their cat, Josie, have mysterious powers? And, most of all, who is trying to kill them?

  4. Babysitting Nightmares: The Twilight Curse - The Baby-Sitters Club meets Goosebumps in the third book of this series about a group of girls who face down supernatural threats on their babysitting gigs. Anchored by a strong friendship between smart, savvy girls, this fun adventure story is filled with “safe scary” jump scares that will appeal to contemporary readers as well as fans of mysteries. When the town’s old movie palace is converted into a theater, Maggie is thrilled to get a job helping with the first production. She may just be babysitting the director’s kids, but Maggie is determined to learn everything she can about acting. Unfortunately, a devilish ghoul seems to have other plans for the performance! It’s up to Maggie and her three best friends to vanquish the threat in time for opening night.

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Books About Detectives and School

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Talent Show Tricks
Written & illustrated by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Detective brothers Frank and Joe must figure out who is sabotaging their school talent show in the fourth book in an all-new, interactive Hardy Boys chapter book mystery series. Frank and Joe Hardy are excited to compete in the annual Bayport Elementary Talent Show. Frank is going to work behind the scenes, and Joe wants to show off his sweet juggling skills. But during the first rehearsal, strange things start to happen—their friend’s trumpet is filled with bubbles, someone’s backing track is switched to croaking frogs, and a strategically placed batch of hair dye gives one of their classmates a bad hair day to remember. Can Frank and Joe figure out how to stop the pranks before the curtain falls early on the show?
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Spy School
Written & illustrated by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA's highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school.
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Jackie's Jokes
Written & illustrated by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
April Fools' Day is long and hard for the third-grade Huit octuplets, but it is nothing compared to the challenges of Tax Day, through which Jackie discovers her special power and gift and learns more about their parents' mysterious disappearance. Simultaneous.
Honorable Mentions
Georgia's Greatness book
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The Real McCoys book
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Judy Moody and Friends: Judy Moody, Tooth Fairy book
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The Scarlet Slipper Mystery book
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  1. Georgia's Greatness - As the Huit octuplets prepare for a St. Patrick’s Day parade, Georgia discovers her powers and uncovers the substitute teacher’s secret.

  2. The Real McCoys - The first book in an illustrated middle-grade series in which a precocious detective solves mysteries with her super-smart little brother. Her name’s Moxie. Moxie McCoy. Bold, opinionated, and haplessly self-confident, the world’s greatest fourth-grade detective faces her biggest challenge! When someone kidnaps beloved school mascot Eddie the Owl, Moxie is on the case—but she’s forced to fly solo now that her best friend (and crime-solving partner) has moved away. Moxie must interview her classmates—both as potential new best friends and as possible suspects. She finds clues and points fingers but can’t save the owl on her own. Enter Moxie’s little brother, Milton. Quiet, cautious, and boring as a butter knife, he’s a good listener. Can the Real McCoys form an unlikely alliance and solve the crime of the century?

  3. Judy Moody and Friends: Judy Moody, Tooth Fairy - By popular demand, Judy Moody herself steps into the spotlight in a story that is sure to have kids grinning — and believing. Judy and her friends are on the playground when Jessica Finch overhears a fifth-grader talking. What!? There’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy? Can that big kid be right? Luckily, Judy Moody is on the case! All she needs is one loose tooth, a semi-reluctant little brother, a bathtub, a string, a toy motorboat, and . . . open wide, Stink! But what if the real Tooth Fairy is a no-show? Judy Moody fans will happily sink their teeth into this cavity-free caper full of surprises — and a little bit of magic.

  4. The Scarlet Slipper Mystery - Nancy meets Helene and Henri Fontaine, refugees from Centorvia who run a dancing school in River Heights. Strange circumstances have brought the brother and sister to the United States. When they receive an anonymous note threatening their lives, Nancy offers her help, but she encounters nothing but puzzles. Are the Fontaines involved with the Centrovian underground? Have they been threatened by their own countrymen? When the Fontaines disappear, Nancy and her friends pursue the trail, even though danger lurks around every corner.

Books About Detectives and Missing Persons

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Fabio The World's Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo
Written by Laura James & illustrated by Emily Fox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
This hilarious, brightly illustrated chapter book starring Fabio the flamingo detective and his sidekick Gilbert the giraffe is perfect for fans of CatStronauts and The Bad Guys. In a small town on the banks of Lake Laloozee lives the world's greatest flamingo detective. His name is Fabio. He's not tall or strong, but slight and pink. And he's very, very clever. When Fabio and his giraffe associate Gilbert drop in to the Hotel Royale for a relaxing glass of lemonade (pink, naturally), Fabio is persuaded to judge the hotel's talent contest. But when the most promising contestant--Julia the jazz-singing hippopotamus--goes missing, Fabio must put his thinking cap back on and solve the mystery! Don't miss these other books from Laura James! The Pug series Captain Pug Cowboy Pug Safari Pug
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The Unforgetable Guinevere St. Clair
Written & illustrated by Amy Makechnie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A ten-year-old girl is determined to find her missing neighbor, but the answers lead her to places and people she never expected—and maybe even one she’s been running away from —in this gorgeous debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.
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The Sign of the Twisted Candles
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Another exciting mystery begins for the young detective when her friends Bess and George ask her to investigate a rumor that their wealthy great-granduncle, Asa Sidney, is virtually a prisoner in his own mansion. But solving the mystery and befriending Carol Wipple, the sixteen-year-old foster daughter of the caretakers of the old mansion, nearly costs Nancy the friendship of Bess and George. It takes all of Nancy’s sleuthing ability as well as diplomacy to save it.Nancy braves one danger after another to bring to justice the swindlers who are stealing Asa Sidney’s fortune. With only the sign of the twisted candles to guide her, Nancy uncovers hidden treasure and an amazing letter that ends a family feud and brings unexpected happiness to Carol.
Honorable Mentions
Bear Country book
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Fishin': Impossible book
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The Moonstone Castle Mystery book
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The Mysterious Mannequin book
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  1. Bear Country - The Chicken Squad is back for their sixth (mis)adventure, and this time there’s a headless bear on the loose and the Chicken Squad’s beloved Barbara has gone missing! A “lip-bitingly funny” (School Library Journal) chapter book from the bestselling author of Click, Clack, Moo and Cyclone. It’s fall in the backyard, and though the weather is cooling down, the crime solving business is still hot. When the Chicken Squad’s neighbor Anna McClanahanahan comes looking for her missing hamster one morning, it’s an easy case to solve (Ziggy always takes a stroll from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m.). The Chicken Squad is now ready to settle in for a relaxing day of knitting—that is, until Ziggy points out that Barbara, the Chicken Squad’s caretaker—the one who FEEDS THEM!!—is missing! And not only that, but there have been sightings of a headless bear in the neighborhood! Will the Chicken Squad be able to save their beloved Barbara and get some breakfast? Or will this case be too much to bear?

  2. Fishin': Impossible - Harry does some deep sea detective work while investigating the fishy disappearance of his worst enemy in this eighth Shark School (mis)adventure. Harry Hammer’s all-time favorite TV show is Mike Hammerhead, Shark Detective. The fin-tastic detective never fails to solve under-the-sea ‘who-dunnits’ and now Harry has found himself in similar water when he investigates the disappearance of his worst enemy Rick Reef. Has his nemesis gone missing or gone fishing?!

  3. The Moonstone Castle Mystery - When Nancy Drew receives a valuable moonstone as a gift from an unknown person, she is amazed and puzzled. But it is only the first of several startling events in this complex mystery that challenge the ingenuity of the pretty sleuth. Why are the Bowens – a missionary couple who recently returned to the United States – having so much trouble finding their missing seventeen-year-old granddaughter, Joanie Horton? Nancy and her friends travel to Deep River, the town where the young Jonie lived. From the motel where Nancy and her friends stay, they can see an intriguing castlelike structure with a drawbridge. Gossipy Mrs. Hemstead at the village tearoom insists that Moonstone Castle is haunted. Curious, the three girls attempt to explore the abandoned castle, but an ominous voice warns them away. Other strange happenings in Deep River convince Nancy that there is a connection between Moonstone Castle and the mysterious moonstone gift. But what is the significance? And where does the baffling disappearance of Joanie Horton fit into the intricate puzzle?

  4. The Mysterious Mannequin - The strange disappearance of a young Turkish client of Mr. Drew’s and the gift of an Oriental rug with a coded message woven into its decorative border start Nancy on a difficult search for a missing mannequin. What happened to the attractive figure that Farouk Tahmasp used in the display window of this rug shop? Who is trying to keep Nancy from finding it – and why? Tracking down the intricate trail of clues takes Nancy and her friends Bess and George, Ned, Burt, and Dave to Turkey. Their sleuthing leads them to the Grand Bazaar in the exotic city of Istanbul, where Bess mysteriously disappears. Suspense mounts when Nancy encounters a vengeful enemy at an ancient underground reservoir. Events move swiftly as Nancy and her friends try to solve this challenging mystery!

Books About Detectives and Thieves, Robbers, And Outlaws

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Fabio The World's Greatest Flamingo Detective: Mystery on the Ostrich Express
Written & illustrated by Laura James
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
This vibrant, fun illustrated chapter book follows a clever flamingo sleuth and is perfect for fans of CatStronauts and The Bad Guys. In a small town on the banks of Lake Laloozee lives the world’s greatest flamingo detective. His name is Fabio. He’s not tall or strong, but slight and pink. And he’s very, very clever. It's the middle of the summer, so Fabio and his associate Gilbert are looking forward to a relaxing vacation—taking a journey on the fastest train in the world, the Ostrich Express! But just after the conductor calls, “All aboard!”, a very expensive ruby necklace disappears without a trace. And Fabio can never stay away from a whodunit. . . Can Fabio and Gilbert use their snooping skills to solve the case before the train reaches its destination? This delightful 2-color illustrated chapter book from Laura James, author of the critically acclaimed Pug series, will have animal lovers and would-be detectives laughing out loud.
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While the Clock Ticked
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A banker who has been receiving threatening notes enlists the help of the Hardy boys. Before long, the young sleuths find themselves entangled in the investigation of a notorious band of thieves.
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Hunting for Hidden Gold
Written & illustrated by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Timber wolves, a Rocky Mountain blizzard, and a mine cave-in are only a few of the perils Frank and Joe Hardy encounter during their search for the principal members of a notorious gang responsible for a payroll robbery. Clue by clue, Frank and Joe cleverly fit into place the scattered pieces of this dangerous puzzle and come up with the astonishing solution.
Honorable Mentions
The Missing Chums book
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The Secret of the Caves book
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  1. The Missing Chums - Not only is the local bank robbed, but two of the Hardy boys’ pals mysteriously disappear after a masquerade party. Are the events related? How the Hardy boys use all their courage and skill to outwit the criminals provides an exciting climax to one of the most baffling mysteries the young detectives have ever encountered.

  2. The Secret of the Caves - Triggered by the disappearance of a brilliant young professor, this mystery takes the Hardy boys first to Kenworthy College, where they find a puzzling message on an examination paper. But then, a new clue is unearthed that sends the young detectives to the Honeycomb Caves. After many dangerous encounters, Frank and Joe discover a powerful searchlight in one of the craggy caverns along the seacoast. In the brilliant white glare of the searchlight, the startling secret of the caves is dramatically revealed.

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