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Mystery: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about mystery is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From A House That Once Was to The House in Poplar Wood there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about mystery? Let us know!

Top 10 Books About Mystery

A House That Once Was book
#1
A House That Once Was
Written by Julie Fogliano and 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.

The Truth About My Unbelievable School . . . book
#2
The Truth About My Unbelievable School . . .
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Beware of . . . this school?! Henry is taking his new classmate on a whirlwind tour of their school. Mysterious inventions lurk, the cafeteria requires ninja skills, and some teachers may be monsters! Is this fantastical school to be believed? Or is there an even more outrageous surprise in store? Celebrated international author-illustrator team Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud—the duo behind Junior Library Guild selections I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . and The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer . . . —are back with yet another rollicking tale about truth, lies, and . . . school!

Antoinette book
#3
Antoinette
Written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Raised in a family of talented bulldogs, Antoinette the poodle wonders what makes her special. She gets the chance to prove herself and find what she's good at when puppy Ooh-la-la goes missing"--

Basil of Baker Street book
#4
Basil of Baker Street
Written by Eve Titus and 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?

Two of Everything book
#5
Two of Everything
Written and illustrated by Lily Toy Hong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

Little Fox and the Missing Moon book
#6
Little Fox and the Missing Moon
Written and illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Help Fox solve another simple mystery in this bedtime companion to Apples for Little Fox! The mystery-loving fox from Apples for Little Fox returns with a new case! When Fox dreams that the moon is missing, he and his friends go on a quest to find it and return it to the sky. Teamwork and companionship are highlighted in this simple, inviting mystery that allows readers to follow along. The muted palette and clean design will calm overstimulated children at the end of their busy days.

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning book
#7
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning
Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odor. In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.

A Ghost in the Castle book
#8
A Ghost in the Castle
Written by Jordan Quinn and illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

In the fourteenth fantastical book from The Kingdom of Wrenly series, Prince Lucas and Clara discover there is a ghost haunting the Wrenly Castle. There are things that go bump in the night, even in the well-protected royal palace of Wrenly. Mysterious happenings have set Prince Lucas and his dragon, Ruskin, on edge. Curtains sway next to closed windows, temperatures drop for no reason, and strange lights glow in empty rooms. Lucas and Clara are sure there is a ghost haunting the castle halls. But will they find the ghost before the ghost finds them? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound book
#9
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound
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

Muddle the Magic Puppy Book 4: Rainforest Hide and Seek book
#10
Muddle the Magic Puppy Book 4: Rainforest Hide and Seek
Written by Hayley Daze
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Muddle is a naughty puppy who loves to go on magical adventures with his friends Ruby and Harry. He only has to jump into a puddle for the magic to begin. Ruby and Harry are amazed when Muddle whisks them away to a huge rainforest. But somebody is causing trouble, and for once it's not Muddle! Things keep going missing and Muddle and the children need to find out the reason why!

Books About Mystery and Imagination

A House That Once Was book
#1
A House That Once Was
Written by Julie Fogliano and 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.

A Week Without Tuesday book
#2
A Week Without Tuesday
Written by Angelica Banks and illustrated by Stevie Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A charming adventure full of magic and mystery, set in the land where stories come from. Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding—putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener—the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they'll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn't know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?

Two of Everything book
#3
Two of Everything
Written and illustrated by Lily Toy Hong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Violet and the Mummy Mystery - 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.

  2. Elizabeth and Zenobia - Abandoned by her mother and neglected by her scientist father, timid Elizabeth Murmur has only her fearless friend Zenobia for company. And Zenobia's company can be very trying! When Elizabeth's father takes them to live in his family home, Witheringe House, Zenobia becomes obsessed with finding a ghost in the creepy old mansion and forces Elizabeth to hold séances and wander the rooms at night. With Zenobia's constant pushing, Elizabeth investigates the history of the house and learns that it does hold a terrible secret: Her father's younger sister disappeared from the grounds without a trace years ago. Elizabeth and Zenobia is a wonderfully compelling middle-grade story about friendship, courage, and the power of the imagination.

Want to see more children's books about imagination?

Books About Mystery and School

The Truth About My Unbelievable School . . . book
#1
The Truth About My Unbelievable School . . .
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Beware of . . . this school?! Henry is taking his new classmate on a whirlwind tour of their school. Mysterious inventions lurk, the cafeteria requires ninja skills, and some teachers may be monsters! Is this fantastical school to be believed? Or is there an even more outrageous surprise in store? Celebrated international author-illustrator team Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud—the duo behind Junior Library Guild selections I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . and The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer . . . —are back with yet another rollicking tale about truth, lies, and . . . school!

Evil Spy School book
#2
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.

No Rules: A Friday Barnes Mystery book
#3
No Rules: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt and 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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Under Suspicion: A Friday Barnes Mystery - 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.

  2. Chomp of the Meat-Eating Vegetables - Alexander is used to finding monsters everywhere in Stermont, but now the school is being turned into an icebox by giant meat-eating vegetables--and his friend Rip has gone missing.

  3. Talent Show Tricks - 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?

  4. Girl Detective: A Friday Barnes Mystery - 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?

Want to see more children's books about school?

Books About Mystery and Animals

Little Fox and the Missing Moon book
#1
Little Fox and the Missing Moon
Written and illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Help Fox solve another simple mystery in this bedtime companion to Apples for Little Fox! The mystery-loving fox from Apples for Little Fox returns with a new case! When Fox dreams that the moon is missing, he and his friends go on a quest to find it and return it to the sky. Teamwork and companionship are highlighted in this simple, inviting mystery that allows readers to follow along. The muted palette and clean design will calm overstimulated children at the end of their busy days.

A Piglet Named Mercy book
#2
A Piglet Named Mercy
Written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door. In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive—and the Watsons’ lives will never be the same.

The Giant Jumperee book
#3
The Giant Jumperee
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two of the world’s most celebrated picture book creators, Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury, team up for the first time in this jaunty animal fable for fans of Room on the Broom and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Rabbit arrives home one day to hear a loud voice coming from inside his burrow: “I’m the Giant Jumperee and I’m scary as can be!” shouts the stranger. Rabbit’s friends Cat, Bear, and Elephant come to help, but they’re no match for the mysterious, booming voice. But who is the Giant Jumperee? Find out in this new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? - Kanga and her friends try to discover who ate all of her cookie dough.

  2. Bravelands #4: Shifting Shadows - Set in the African savannah and told from three different animals’ points of view, Bravelands will thrill readers who love Spirit Animals and Wings of Fire, as well as the fans who’ve made Erin Hunter a #1 nationally bestselling phenomenon. A false leader has been destroyed—but Bravelands is still in grave danger. Stinger’s death should have brought peace to the land; but no Great Parent has stepped forward, and now the fate of Bravelands hangs in the balance. With a mysterious threat lurking in their midst, all members of the Great Herd must find the strength to walk the right path or risk the end of Bravelands forever.

  3. Marion and the Secret Letter - 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.

  4. 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?

Want to see more children's books about animals?

Books About Mystery and Detectives

The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound book
#1
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound
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

Everblaze book
#2
Everblaze
Written and 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.

Spy School Secret Service book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Spy School Goes South - 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.

  2. Spy Ski School - Twelve-year-old Ben's unexpected success outside the classroom causes the CIA to activate him for a mission to become friends with Jessica Shang, daughter of a suspected Chinese crime boss.

  3. Bicycle to Treachery: A Miss Mallard Mystery - While on a bicycle trip across Holland, Miss Mallard runs into danger when she unwittingly uncovers a smuggling operation.

  4. Bicycle To Treachery - 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.

Want to see 102 more children's books about mystery and detectives?

How about children's books about detectives?

Books About Mystery and Adventure

The Invention of Hugo Cabret book
#1
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Written by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

Boil Line book
#2
Boil Line
Written by M.J. McIsaac
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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

Rescue in the Rockies book
#3
Rescue in the Rockies
Written and illustrated by Rita Feutl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Janey, fourteen, is spending the holidays in the Rocky Mountains with her grandma and her grandma’s new beau, Charlie, who has brought along his grandson, Max. Mysteriously, Janey finds herself hopping back and forth between different time periods, all in the area of Banff, Alberta. And if that wasn’t enough to spoil a vacation, she also has to deal with Max and his grumpy moods. Eventually she discovers the reason for the time-traveling and for Max’s surliness. Together on one last trip, Max and Janey travel into the past and solve the mystery.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Neverseen - 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.

  2. Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny - In the tradition of Indiana Jones and The Goonies, the next installment of this comedic adventure series sends young Addison and his friends on the run from fortune hunters linked to an ancient Cooke clan curse. Soon after the disappearance of his aunt Delia and uncle Nigel outside the tomb of notorious Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, amateur archeologist Addison Cooke, his sister Molly, and their best friends Raj and Eddie, embark on another globe-trotting adventure. When a mysterious package arrives on Addison's doorstep, criminals and fortune-hunters from around the world are suddenly hunting the Cooke family. Addison and team will travel to London, Paris, Istanbul, and beyond, on the run for their lives to unravel the mystery of the package, find out what really happened to Aunt Delia and Uncle Nigel, and come face-to-face with the terrifying Vrolock Malazar. But Addison and the team find there are dangerous secrets about his aunt and uncle's pasts and hidden truths about the Cooke clan that must be uncovered. Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny is full of nonstop laughs and heart-pounding action, perfect for fans of James Patterson's Treasure Hunters series, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, and Peter Lerangis's Seven Wonders series.

  3. Exile - Tasked with training the magical Alicorn so that it can be revealed to the people of the lost cities as a sign of hope, Sophie is dismayed by a renewal of the dangers she believed were past, forcing her to risk her life for answers. By the author of Let the Sky Fall.

  4. Fairy Chase - With the help of her fintastic friends, Echo investigates whether or not fairies really DO exist in this sparkling Mermaid Tales adventure. Echo is excited when her Aunt Crabella and Uncle Leopold visit, especially since Aunt Crabella always has amazing stories about all of her many ocean travels. But when Aunt Crabella tells Echo about the Hairy Fairy—a fairy that visits mermaids while they sleep and purposely tangles their hair—Echo is all set to catch the fairy in the act. Shelly and Kiki tell Echo that fairies aren’t real, but Aunt Crabella says she believes they are. And what’s the harm in believing? When Echo can’t seem to catch the Hairy Fairy, she becomes determined to figure out if fairies really do exist! She teams up with Shelly and Kiki and makes “Fairy Juice” (via a recipe from Rocky Ridge) in order to go on a fairy hunt on Trident City’s majestic Sperm Whale Mountain. But what will they find on their fairy hunt? Will all of Echo’s magical fairy dreams come true?

Want to see 37 more children's books about mystery and adventure?

How about children's books about adventure?

Books About Mystery and Magic

Winterhouse book
#1
Winterhouse
Written by Ben Guterson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Elizabeth, eleven, spends Christmas break at Winterhouse hotel under strange circumstances, where she discovers that she has magic, and her love of puzzles helps her solve a mystery.

Muddle the Magic Puppy Book 4: Rainforest Hide and Seek book
#2
Muddle the Magic Puppy Book 4: Rainforest Hide and Seek
Written by Hayley Daze
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Muddle is a naughty puppy who loves to go on magical adventures with his friends Ruby and Harry. He only has to jump into a puddle for the magic to begin. Ruby and Harry are amazed when Muddle whisks them away to a huge rainforest. But somebody is causing trouble, and for once it's not Muddle! Things keep going missing and Muddle and the children need to find out the reason why!

The Language of Spells book
#3
The Language of Spells
Written by Garret Weyr and illustrated by Katie Harnett
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Grisha is a dragon in a world that's forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she's perfectly ordinary. They're an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone's forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Vengeance of the Witch Finder - Lewis and Uncle Jonathan have traveled to England to visit family at the Barnavelt Manor, much to Lewis's delight--he hasn't visited family outside of America before! Lewis becomes friends with the housekeeper's son, Bertie, and as the two boys explore the manor's garden maze, Lewis accidentally unleashes demonic forces that summon the ghost of an evil wizard adamant on destroying his entire family.

  2. Nightfall - 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.

  3. Keeper of the Lost Cities - At age 12, Sophie learns that the remarkable abilities that have always made her different from others actually identify her as an elf, and after being brought to Eternalia to hone her skills, she discovers that she has secrets buried in her memory for which some would kill.

  4. Heidi Heckelbeck and the Magic Puppy - In the twentieth Heidi Heckelbeck adventure, Heidi gets in some magic puppy trouble! When Heidi stumbles across a lost puppy at the park, she promises to find the cute critter’s family. Along with Bruce and Lucy, Heidi tries her hardest to solve this mystery. They check the local dog park, visit the vet’s office, and even hang up Found Puppy posters, but they can’t find the owners anywhere. So Heidi decides to use just a teensy-weensy pinch of magic that sets off a mega-gigantic case of magic puppy trouble. Maybe this is why witches only have cats for pets? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

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Books About Mystery and Sleuthing

Basil of Baker Street book
#1
Basil of Baker Street
Written by Eve Titus and 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?

Book Scavenger book
#2
Book Scavenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily's hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library book
#3
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape"--

Honorable Mentions
  1. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective - Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information—it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

  2. Greenglass House - At Greenglass House, a smuggler's inn, 12-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing, but soon guests begin arriving with strange stories about the house, sending Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, on an adventure. Simultaneous eBook.

  3. Lodestar - Dark schemes unfold—and Sophie’s loyalty is pushed to the limit—in this thrilling fifth book in the bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster is back in the Lost Cities—but the Lost Cities have changed. The threat of war hangs heavy over her glittering world, and the Neverseen are wreaking havoc. The lines between friend and enemy have blurred, and Sophie is unsure whom to trust. But when she’s warned that the people she loves most will be the next victims, she knows she has to act. A mysterious symbol could be the key—if only she knew how to translate it. Every new clue seems to lead deeper into her world’s underbelly and the Black Swan aren’t the only ones who have plans. The Neverseen have their own Initiative, and if Sophie doesn’t stop it, they might finally have the ultimate means to control her.

  4. The Hundred-Year Mystery - 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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Books About Mystery and Ghosts

A Ghost in the Castle book
#1
A Ghost in the Castle
Written by Jordan Quinn and illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

In the fourteenth fantastical book from The Kingdom of Wrenly series, Prince Lucas and Clara discover there is a ghost haunting the Wrenly Castle. There are things that go bump in the night, even in the well-protected royal palace of Wrenly. Mysterious happenings have set Prince Lucas and his dragon, Ruskin, on edge. Curtains sway next to closed windows, temperatures drop for no reason, and strange lights glow in empty rooms. Lucas and Clara are sure there is a ghost haunting the castle halls. But will they find the ghost before the ghost finds them? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Midnight Reynolds and the Phantom Circus book
#2
Midnight Reynolds and the Phantom Circus
Written by Catherine Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds is a middle-school student who works undercover for the Agency of Spectral Protection, helping ghosts cross over into the afterlife and saving her town from mishaps involving spectral energy. Now school's out for the summer, and Midnight and her best friend Tabitha just want to have fun. But their plans are interrupted when a mysterious traveling circus and a ghostly ringmaster come to town. As people start getting hurt, Midnight finds herself in the middle of her most deadly mission yet. Someone's stealing spectral energy from the living! Can they be stopped before it's too late?

Griffins Of Castle Cary book
#3
Griffins Of Castle Cary
Written and illustrated by Heather Shumaker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A charming, adventure-filled debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Penderwicks series. Siblings Meg, Will, and Ariel Griffin are off on an adventure! They can’t wait to spend a week visiting their eccentric aunt and her giant, tongue-drooling Newfoundland dog in England. But when they finally arrive, they’re faced with a few local secrets that stir up more than a little trouble. Add in some very peculiar lights, strange new friends, a police chase and some stampeding sheep, and the Griffin kids are in over their heads—literally. Apparently this town has a ghost problem and the three children must race to solve the mystery before the ghosts take something that doesn’t belong to them.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Case of the Crooked Carnival - 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

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Books About Mystery and Sisters

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning book
#1
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning
Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odor. In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.

Annie's Adventures book
#2
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.

The Final Battle... for Now book
#3
The Final Battle... for Now
Written and 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
  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 Mystery and Rescue

The Keepers #4: The Starlit Loom book
#1
The Keepers #4: The Starlit Loom
Written by Ted Sanders
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Don’t miss the epic and heart-pounding conclusion to Ted Sanders’s Keepers series! For centuries, the Keepers and the Wardens have been guarding the mysterious Mothergates, a source of incredible power. But now the Mothergates are dying, and Horace and his fellow Keepers know that the weakened gates may unleash a dangerous force that will consume the world—and destroy everyone in it. While their enemies are willing to take this careless risk, Horace and his friends are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the preservation of the world. With their strongholds destroyed and many of their friends captured, the Keepers’ chance of succeeding hangs by a thread. But all hope is not lost, as a mysterious talisman of power is discovered. It may hold the key to saving the universe . . . if they can unlock its secret in time. This fourth and final book in Ted Sanders’s gripping Keepers series brings Horace and Chloe’s story to a heart-pounding conclusion, where friendships are tested, dangers are faced, and the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery book
#2
Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt and 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?

Kelsey the Spy book
#3
Kelsey the Spy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mia Measures Up - 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!

  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. 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

  4. All the Greys on Greene Street - SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist–and in her neighborhood, that’s normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye. Then everything falls apart. Ollie’s dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she’s not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . . Olympia knows her dad is the key–but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

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Books About Mystery and Science

To Catch a Thief book
#1
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.

A Hint of Hydra book
#2
A Hint of Hydra
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.

The Case of the Barfy Birthday book
#3
The Case of the Barfy Birthday
Written by Michele Torrey and illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Fifth graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey use their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases which involve food poisoning, missing terns, a haunted treehouse, and a pig in a pit.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. 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?

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Books About Mystery and Friendship

Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza book
#1
Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Written by Jill Diamond and 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?

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus book
#2
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Written by Dusti Bowling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Aven Green was born without arms--so when her dad takes a job running a dying western theme park in Arizona, she knows she'll become the center of unwanted attention at her new school. But she bonds with Connor, a classmate with his own disability to conquer. Then they discover a room at the park that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. Can Aven face her fears, solve a mystery, and help her friend, too?

Lost in Hollywood book
#3
Lost in Hollywood
Written and illustrated by Cindy Callaghan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost Kitten - Anna and Banana rescue a stray kitten in the fifth book of this “fast-paced, fun, and funny” (Megan McDonald, bestselling author of the Judy Moody series) illustrated chapter book series about the joys and challenges of elementary school friendships. Anna and Banana have found a kitten! But when Banana accidentally scares the kitten away during their afternoon walk, Anna enlists her two best friends, Sadie and Isabel, for OPERATION CATCH THE KITTEN. Anna can’t image such a tiny kitten living outside all by himself, and she’s determined to find him a good home. But catching a kitten is trickier than Anna thought—kittens are easily scared and very stealthy. Then there’s the problem of finding him a good home. Sadie’s mom has a “No Pets” rule, Isabel’s cat, Mewsic, does not play well with other animals, and Anna’s dad is allergic to cats! Anna and her friends desperately want to help, but will they be able to find the kitten a good home?

  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. Cody and the Heart of a Champion - In Cody’s life, some people keep her on her toes—just like Mother Nature, who is warm one day and snowy the next. Or like Cody’s brother, Wyatt, who has started wearing collared shirts because his girlfriend likes them. Meanwhile, Pearl has begun playing soccer and it’s all she can talk about. Spencer is busy creating a mysterious museum underneath GG’s house and he’s never around to play. And Spencer’s mom doesn’t look any different. . . . Could she really have a baby growing inside her? Maybe the baby is like Cody’s beloved ants, waiting patiently inside the earth for spring to arrive. It seems like everything around Cody is changing—from seasons to friendships—but if she can just navigate it all with her trademark enthusiasm and charm, maybe the most important things will stay the same.

  4. The Daybreak Bond - This thought-provoking sequel to Megan Frazer Blakemore's stunningly imaginative novel, The Firefly Code, gives readers a chance to see our world in a brand new light. Mori and her friends Julia, Benji, and Theo have never seen life beyond the walls of their perfect society, Old Harmonie. That changes when their new friend Ilana is threatened by the rules that are supposed to keep them all safe. They escape together, hoping to find help in Boston with Dr. Agatha Varden, one of Old Harmonie's pioneering founders. But the outside world is nothing like they anticipated. As they face challenges they never expected and encounter a group of kids from the outside, Mori and the others begin to understand the complicated reality of their supposedly perfect community. With the help of these new friends, they just might be able to save Ilana . . . but at what cost?

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Books About Mystery and Teamwork

The Mystery of the Zorse's Mask book
#1
The Mystery of the Zorse's Mask
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?

Dog-Gone Danger book
#2
Dog-Gone Danger
Written and illustrated by Linda Joy Singleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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!

The Secret Mountain book
#3
The Secret Mountain
Written and illustrated by Tom Percival
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Everyone in Tale Town knows that trolls mean trouble, and now Mayor Fitch and his guards have captured a terrifying troll spy—who turns out to be a very un-terrifying troll child! Knowing that the mayor is planning more than capturing spies, Jack, Red and Anansi set out to rescue the troll child and return him to his home in the secret mountain. But as the friends continue their journey they discover that everything they know about Tale Town is about to change…

Honorable Mentions
  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. 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!

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Books About Mystery and Monsters

The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast book
#1
The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast
Written and illustrated by Samantha M. Clark
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home. This gripping adventure will have readers hooked until its jaw-dropping and moving conclusion. Samantha M. Clark’s first novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice.

The Cryptid Keeper book
#2
The Cryptid Keeper
Written by Lija Fisher
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this second book in a monstrously funny middle-grade duology, Clivo Wren continues searching for the immortal cryptid as the evil resistance gets more dangerous. Clivo Wren and the Myth Blasters are back in this concluding high-octane adventure in the Cryptids duology! The search for the immortal cryptid is still on—Clivo is determined to fulfill the mission left to him by his cryptid-catching father. But as the evil resistance grows ever more gnarly, and the creatures themselves grow more dangerous, Clivo and his crew are facing trouble at every turn. It's going to take all they have to keep the immortal cryptid from falling into the wrong hands in this exciting sequel to The Cryptid Catcher.

Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour book
#3
Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour
Written by Kat Shepherd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The supernatural never sleeps in the second book of this spooky middle grade series! Clio has already had one brush with the paranormal, and she’s dead set on making it her last. But her new babysitting job is in a haunted house! At first, Clio’s excited to work at the historical Victorian mansion in town—until doors start closing behind her, objects move on their own, and messages appear from beyond the grave. Clio enlists the help of her three best friends, Tanya, Maggie, and Rebecca, to uncover long-buried secrets from the past. Can Clio face her fear and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Dionysus and the Land of Beasts - Zeus and his friends discover another Olympian who might be able to help in their quest to defeat King Cronus in this Heroes in Training adventure. With a clue from their trusty oracle, Pythia, Zeus and his Olympian friends are off to the “Land of Grapes,” where they discover a festival. The headline act is Dion and the Goat Guys, and Zeus has a funny feeling this Dion guy might be one of them. Athena points out that this Dion guy is the right age, and he’s definitely not acting like a regular kid. Finally, Dion and the Goat Guys take a break, and Zeus and the other Olympians approach him. Zeus informs him that he and the others are Olympians, and they think Dion might be one too. Dion (short for Dionysus, he tells them) starts to brag that he wouldn’t be surprised, because he has awesome talents and magic powers. Before the Olympians can ask him about his powers, some of the crowd members start to throng the Olympians. Are they really Olympians? Are they really going to defeat King Cronus? Dion looks kind of peeved about this, and the next thing the Olympians know, they are in a field somewhere, puzzled and not sure what happened. What kind of magical powers does this Dion kid actually have? And will he be more of a help—or a pain—in their ultimate quest to defeat King Cronus once and for all?

  2. 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?

  3. Bigfoot - The Mattigan kids don't believe in things that go bump in the night. After all, their dad is famous for proving such things are impossible. But, when their long-lost Grandpa Joe shows up with his Mysterious Monsters journal, begging for help, the siblings find themselves drawn into a search for Bigfoot. Along the way, they'll have to deal with meddling babysitters, suspicious psychics, a YouTube disaster, and their furious father. To solve this mystery, Maddie, Max, and Theo must rethink what's possible ― and make lots of peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

  4. Ghoulia and the Mysterious Visitor - One dark and stormy night, Ghoulia’s cousin Dilbert comes to visit her at Crumbling Manor. She’s confused—she didn’t invite him, and it turns out that Dilbert’s a real grouch. He complains about everything! When Ghoulia tries to track down Auntie Departed to find out why she invited Dilbert, she finds that Auntie has vanished. Ghoulia can’t find her. And the doorbell won’t stop ringing. One after another, Ghoulia’s friends arrive—all with the same mysterious invitation in hand. As the gang searches Crumbling Manor for Auntie Departed, one of their own goes missing. Finally, Dilbert inadvertently solves the mystery in the greenhouse when he finds himself face-to-face with the sinister Chatterbox Ivy. Clue meets Little Shop of Horrors in this fun romp, which includes full-color illustrations and kid-friendly activities.

Want to see more children's books about monsters?

Books About Mystery and Outer Space

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha) book
#1
Space Case (Moon Base Alpha)
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"Dashiell Gibson, who lives on Moon Base Alpha, has to solve a murder of one of the moon's most prominent doctors"--

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet book
#2
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
Written by Eleanor Cameron and illustrated by Robert Henneberger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

A mystery man inspires two boys to build a space ship which takes them to the planet of Basidium to help the Mushroom people.

George and the Blue Moon book
#3
George and the Blue Moon
Written by Lucy Hawking, Stephen Hawking and illustrated by Garry Parsons
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

George and Annie are off on another cosmic adventure inspired by the Mars Expedition in the fifth book of the George’s Secret Key series from Stephen and Lucy Hawking. George and his best friend, Annie, have been selected as junior astronauts for a program that trains young people for a future trip to Mars. This is everything they’ve ever wanted—and now they get to be a part of up-to-the minute space discoveries and meet a bunch of new friends who are as fascinated by the universe as they are. But when they arrive at space camp, George and Annie quickly learn that strange things are happening—on Earth as well as up in the skies. Mysterious space missions are happening in secret, and the astronaut training they’re undertaking gets scarier and scarier…

Honorable Mentions
  1. George and the Unbreakable Code - George and Annie are off on another cosmic adventure to figure out why strange things are happening on Earth in the fourth book of the George’s Secret Key series from Stephen and Lucy Hawking. George and his best friend Annie haven’t had any space adventures for a while and they’re missing the excitement. But not for long, because seriously strange things have started happening. Banks are handing out free money, supermarkets aren’t able to charge for their products so people are getting free food, and aircrafts are refusing to fly. It looks like the world’s biggest and best computers have all been hacked. And no one knows why… It’s up to George and Annie to travel further into space than ever before in order to find out what—or who—is behind it.

  2. Gertie Milk and the Great Keeper Rescue - Ever since Gertie Milk arrived on the mysterious island of Skuldark, she's felt like something was missing. According to Kolt, her mentor and fellow Keeper of Lost Things, the island used to be filled with other Keepers. But now Gertie and Kolt are the only two people left (or two and a half, if you count Robot Rabbit Boy, their bumbling but lovable Series 7 Artificial Intelligence Forever Friend) who can return misplaced items throughout time. So when Gertie learns that the missing Keepers have been imprisoned by the Losers, their very evil adversaries, she knows she must make it her mission to rescue the kidnapped Keepers and return them to Skuldark. But that proves more difficult than she'd imagined, since her time-travel missions don't seem to be taking her anywhere near the missing Keepers. And it doesn't help that the Losers have an evil master plan worse than their last evil master plan, and this time the entire future of the universe is at stake. Fueled by more than a few delicious cakes and plenty of Skuldarkian seawater, Gertie, Kolt, and Robot Rabbit Boy must travel through time (and space!) to save their island home and rescue the Keepers who've been lost to history before the Losers manage to capture them all.

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Did you enjoy our mystery book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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