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Spies: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about spies?

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

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. 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.

When it comes to children’s stories about spies, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Power Play to popular sellers like Liar & Spy.

We hope this list of kids books about spies 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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InvestiGators
Written by John Patrick Green
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Perfect for fans of Dog Man! This goofy graphic novel series follows the super spy alligator duo the InvestiGators as they travel through the sewers and fight the forces of evil.

Meet the InvestiGators. With their gadgets, know-how, and super-fast transportation system (they flush themselves down toilets to speed through the sewers!), Mango and Brash are the scourge of the super-villain landscape! As vest-wearing employees of the Special Undercover Investigation Teams, they solve all kinds of mysteries and frequently butt heads with their archnemesis: a former agent known as Crackerdile.

Riddled with puns, potty humor, absurdism, and hilarious twists, InvestiGators is the perfect series for Dog Man fans looking for their next great read! It’s kid-friendly comics at their best.

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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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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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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.

The Secret of the Shadow Bandit book
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Trapped! book
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Heidi Heckelbeck and the Snoopy Spy book
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Spy Camp book
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  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Heidi Heckelbeck and the Snoopy Spy - In the twenty-third Heidi Heckelbeck adventure, Heidi discovers a snoopy spy in her house! Heidi’s little brother, Henry, has turned into a snoopy, little spy and it is driving her crazy! He spies when her friends are over at their house. He spies on the school bus. He even spies on the playground! But when he almost tells one of Heidi’s secrets to Melanie Maplethorpe, it’s time to catch a spy! Will Heidi cast the perfect spell to stop her bothersome brother, or will her magic spill the biggest, Heidi secret ever? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  • 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.

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Kelsey the Spy
Written by Linda Joy Singleton
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.

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Power Play
Written & illustrated by Beth McMullen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

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

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The Secret Mountain
Written & 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…

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The Girl with the Dragon Heart
Written by Stephanie Burgis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Silke knows how to stay out of trouble. And when your best friend is a dragon-turned-hot-tempered-girl, trouble is always right around the corner. Although Silke has found a home at The Chocolate Heart as a waitress and master promoter, nothing fills the void of her past. Years ago, her parents disappeared while traveling through the mysterious fairy land, Elfenwald. One day, the Crown Princess personally asks her to spy on the Elfenwald royal family who are visiting the kingdom for the first time. In return, Silke will have the home she’s always wanted—the secure palace. But when Silke discovers the royal visitors’ true intentions, she’ll need all her wits to save her city from destruction.

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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.

Mrs. Cooney Is Loony! book
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Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian book
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City Spies book
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George Washington's Spy: A Time Travel Adventure book
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  • Mrs. Cooney Is Loony! - With more than 12 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! In this seventh book in the My Weird School series, A.J. has his first crush! And it’s on the school nurse, Mrs. Cooney. She is the most beautiful and nicest lady in the history of the world. But are her charms just a cover for her secret identity as an international spy? Will A.J.’s love for Mrs. Cooney win out over his love for America? Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!

  • Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian - A super-secret operative saves the world from a diabolical threat through her ability to brandish just the right book at just the right time in this delightfully silly superhero tale illustated by Eisner Award-winner and Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol. When an evil genius has a diabolical plan to destroy every book on the planet, who has the tome-toting page power to thwart his dastardly scheme? Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian! She’s got the gadgets. She’s got the disguises. And she’s always got the right book at the right time. It’s a good thing, too, because Lyric McKerrigan is the world’s last hope! Jacob Sager Weinstein and Vera Brosgol introduce a smart and crafty heroine who is part comic-book hero, part reader extraordinaire, and wholly awesome.

  • City Spies - In this thrilling new series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies—perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls. Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI5 agency. Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t. Before she knows what she’s doing, Sarah is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school’s computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain…all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team. No one said saving the world was easy…

  • George Washington's Spy: A Time Travel Adventure - This historic time-travel fantasy is a riveting sequel to a bestselling classic. Ten-year-old Matt Carlton and six friends are accidentally swept back in time—to Boston in 1776! The British now occupy the city, and redcoat guards are everywhere! While the boys are being held captive by a den of Patriot spies, the girls have been taken in by a wealthy Tory family. The pox is rampant; danger lies around every corner—and there’s no hope for returning home to their own time. How will these seven children survive? Readers will relish the nonstop action and humorous dialogue in this riveting sequel to Woodruff’s bestselling novel, GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SOCKS.

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Charlotte Spies for Justice
Written by Nikki Shannon Smith & illustrated by Alessia Trunfio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In 1864 twelve-year-old former slave Charlotte is lucky enough to live on a plantation near Richmond, Virginia, owned by a Miss Van Lew, who hates slavery, and when Charlotte overhears a conversation she realizes that her mistress is gathering information and passing it on to the Union army; Charlotte is eager to help, (especially since her own cousin, Mary, is involved) but her enthusiasm may endanger them all—or help free 400 Union soldiers who are being moved from Richmond further south.

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Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh & illustrated by Sarah Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The thrilling true story of the female spy who helped save the American Revolution

Anna Smith Strong (1790–1812) was a fearless woman who acted as a spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Recruited by Washington’s spymaster, Major Benjamin Tallmadge, she joined the Culper Ring, a group of American spies. General Washington placed a huge amount of trust in his spies, and Anna helped pass him important messages at a great risk to herself and her family. One of her cleverer devices was to hang laundry on the line in a planned fashion so that other spies could read the “message.” Had she been discovered by the British, she would have faced jail or execution. Thrilling and dramatic, Anna Strong tells the story of how one brave woman helped change the course of American history. The book includes an author’s note, a bibliography, an index, and a spy code so kids can get involved in the action.

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Spies, Lies, and Disguise
Written by Jennifer Swanson & illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

In the late 1930s, times were desperate. The world found itself at war again, less than twenty years after the first World War had ended. No one could quite believe it. The leaders of every country involved were left with no choice. They had to try to end the war as fast as possible, using whatever means they could.

That meant coming up with secret operations meant to deceive, deflect, and confuse their enemies. Poison the cattle that the Germans eat? Deliberately float a corpse dressed as a spy across the water to have it wash up on Germany’s shore? These were all real tactics attempted with the ultimate goal of defeating Hitler. Readers will be captivated by the classified and covert efforts made by each side as they tried to gain the upper hand and win the war.

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The Great Spy Showdown
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The Boxcar Children are putting their sleuthing skills to the test in a spy competition. Can you help them take the top prize? In this interactive, choose-your-path mystery, readers will help the Aldens make decisions that will either lead them to victory or blow their cover.

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Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls
Written & illustrated by Beth McMullen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

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.

Sophia's War book
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The Secret of the Caves #7 book
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Spy Penguins book
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Hardy Boys 46: The Secret Agent on Flight 101 book
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  • Sophia's War - In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own. Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this “nail-biting thriller” (Publishers Weekly) that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.

  • The Secret of the Caves #7 - 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 Secret of the Caves, the seventh book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy discover the secret of the Honeycomb Caves while searching for a missing professor. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!

  • 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!

  • Hardy Boys 46: The Secret Agent on Flight 101 - Rarely do magicians reveal their professional secrets. Consequently Frank and Joe Hardy are amazed when a well-known magician, the Incredible Hexton, offers to reveal the secret of his “Vanishing Man Act” and invited Mr. Hardy to be the subject. When their detective father fails to reappear, his sons are convinced that something sinister is afoot, despite Hexton’s insistence that Mr. Hardy is playing a joke on them. While desperately searching for their father, Frank and Joe find themselves working with SKOOL, a U.S. organization of secret agents pitted against UGLI, an international ring of spies stealing government secrets domestically and internationally. The young detective’s gripping adventures culminate in a dramatic climax when they unmask the secret agent on Flight 101.

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Liar & Spy
Written & illustrated by Rebecca Stead
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

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Spy Toys: Out of Control
Written by Mark Powers & illustrated by Tim Wesson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fresh from the success of their first mission, our heroes the Spy Toys – Dan the Snugaliffic Cuddlestar Bear, Arabella the Loadsasmiles Sunshine Doll and Flax the custom-made police robot rabbit – are ready for their next task. This time, the secret code that controls every Snaztacular Ultrafun toy has been stolen and all over the world toys are revolting and turning against the children who own them. Can Arabella disguise herself as a super-sweet little doll in order to spy on the daughter of Snaztacular’s top scientist? Can Dan and Flax chase down Jade the Jigsaw, the puzzling prime suspect for the robbery? And can they save the day before the mind-controlled toys forget what it means to play nice? Featuring hilarious illustrations throughout, this hilarious book has reluctant reader appeal written all over it.

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Modo
Written by Arthur Slade & illustrated by Christopher Steininger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Modo, who first made his appearance in The Hunchback Assignments, is a young, disfigured spy trained to be the ultimate secret agent. Not only is Modo brilliant and strong, but he also has a special ability: he can temporarily take on the appearance of other people. While on holiday, Modo and fellow spy Octavia Milkweed find themselves in Ember’s End. Created by the slightly mad scientific genius Dr. Ebenezer Ember, this is no ordinary wild-west town. It is surrounded by an energy field that prevents gunpowder from firing, and messages are sent via pneumatic tubes. There are also rumors that before Dr. Ember died, he built a weapon so powerful it could end all wars. With the local sheriff recently deceased, the two travelers are suddenly put in charge of Ember’s End law enforcement.

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