Stealing: Books For Kids

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

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

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

When it comes to children’s stories about stealing, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Clue of the Leaning Chimney to popular sellers like The Sign of the Twisted Candles.

We hope this list of kids books about stealing 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.

Twenty-Four Robbers book
#1
Twenty-Four Robbers
Written and illustrated by Audrey Wood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When twenty-four robbers visit a woman’s cottage she gives them what they ask for, but they keep coming back for more until they are ready to give something to her.

Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Hat Burglar book
#2
Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Hat Burglar
Written by James Preller and illustrated by R.W. Alley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Jigsaw Jones is back! A brand new original mystery, The Case of the Hat Burglar is the newest installment of the Jigsaw Jones chapter book series by James Preller. Someone’s been stealing from the lost and found. But the strangest part of this mystery is what they’ve been stealing. Not mittens, or books, or water bottles—only hats! Just when Jigsaw comes up with a plan to catch this hat burglar in the act, the mystery thief strikes again right under his nose! Will this be the first case Jigsaw and Mila can’t solve? Sure to delight and intrigue young minds in equal measure, this never-before-published mystery chapter book is full of charming illustrations and James Preller’s signature humor and warmth.

The Eleventh Trade book
#3
The Eleventh Trade
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can’t get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

What the Ladybug Heard book
#4
What the Ladybug Heard
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Although much quieter than the farm animals that moo, cluck or oink, a gentle ladybug is instrumental in foiling a plan to steal the farm’s prize-winning cow. By the author of The Gruffalo.

Ratpunzel book
#5
Ratpunzel
Written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“It is Princess Harriet Hamsterbone to the rescue when Heady the hydra’s egg is stolen, but her search leads her to a castle accessible only by a rat with a very long tail”—

  1. What the Ladybug Heard at the Zoo - Ladybug is ready for a vacation! When she flies into the city, the last thing she expects is to run into those no-good robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len. This time, the dastardly duo have their sights set on Monkey Joe, resident of the local zoo—with his help, they hope to break into the Queen’s palace! It will take all the animals, including the Queen’s famous corgis, to put an end to this royal mischief. Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks have done it again in this latest laugh-out-loud romp!

  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. Firestorm! - Twelve-year-old Poppy is an orphan living in a bad neighborhood in Chicago, pick pocketing so that she has a place to sleep at night. Justin’s world couldn’t be more different—his father owns a jewelry store—but when he and Poppy meet, they become fast friends, thanks in part to Justin’s sweet pet goat. Through their friendship, Poppy realizes that she doesn’t want to be a thief anymore and she begins to feel like she may have a place with Justin’s family. But when Justin makes an expensive mistake at his father’s store, Poppy is immediately blamed. In response, she flees . . . right into the Great Chicago Fire. Poppy and Justin must rely on their instincts if they are going to survive the catastrophe. Will anything be left when the fire finally burns out?

  4. Freddie Ramos Stomps the Snow - When a freak spring blizzard buries Starwood Park, Freddie works with Mr. Vaslov to clear the sidewalks using a new invention—Zapato Power snowshoes! But not even the snow can stop a thief from causing trouble in the neighborhood. Can Freddie solve the case, even if it means helping Erika, the Starwood Park bully?

Midnight Reynolds and the Agency of Spectral Protection book
#10
Midnight Reynolds and the Agency of Spectral Protection
Written by Catherine Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds has a huge secret—she’s a spectral protector, someone who helps ghosts cross over into the afterlife. Alongside her best friend Tabitha, Midnight is busy juggling the wilds of middle school with her undercover ghost-hunting job. When mysterious and dangerous robberies start happening in their small town, all signs point to some sort of spectral manipulation, and Midnight’s boss asks her to take over the investigation. Can Midnight find the culprit and stop them before the spectral energy endangers their town? This series has twists and turns galore for budding mystery lovers, all seen through the lens of a lovable and smart heroine. And the positive female friendships and hysterical writing will keep series fans coming back for more.

The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks (Detective Paw of the Law: Time to Read, Level 3) book
#11
The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks (Detective Paw of the Law: Time to Read, Level 3)
Written and illustrated by Dosh Archer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook book
#12
Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook
Written by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! A terrible thing happened to Junie B.! And it’s called—someone took her new black furry mittens! And they kept them! They didn’t even put them in the Lost and Found at school. So when Junie B. finds a wonderful pen on the floor, she should be allowed to keep it, too. Right? That’s fair. Right? Right?

The Sign of the Twisted Candles book
#13
The Sign of the Twisted Candles
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Another exciting mystery begins for the young detective when her friends Bess and George ask her to investigate a rumor that their wealthy great-granduncle, Asa Sidney, is virtually a prisoner in his own mansion. But solving the mystery and befriending Carol Wipple, the sixteen-year-old foster daughter of the caretakers of the old mansion, nearly costs Nancy the friendship of Bess and George. It takes all of Nancy’s sleuthing ability as well as diplomacy to save it.Nancy braves one danger after another to bring to justice the swindlers who are stealing Asa Sidney’s fortune. With only the sign of the twisted candles to guide her, Nancy uncovers hidden treasure and an amazing letter that ends a family feud and brings unexpected happiness to Carol.

Cody and the Rules of Life book
#14
Cody and the Rules of Life
Written by Tricia Springstubb and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Doing the right thing can be hard! When prized possessions start going missing, Cody gets a crash course in the most important rules of all — the rules of life. In Cody’s life, many things are hard to predict. Like why her older brother, Wyatt, is obsessed with his new bicycle called the Cobra, or why her best friend Pearl suddenly wants to trade favorite toys. Pearl says she will trust Cody with Arctic Fox because Cody is a trusty person. But Cody doesn’t want to give up her beloved Gremlin, and she regrets it as soon as she hands him over. When the Cobra goes missing, Cody has to decide for herself who is trusty and who is not. If only she had Gremlin to talk to! Surely Pearl wouldn’t mind if she secretly traded back . . . it’s not stealing if it belonged to you in the first place, right?

  1. The Clue of the Leaning Chimney - Nancy Drew and her friend Bess discover that a rare and valuable Chinese vase has been stolen from the pottery shop of Dick Milton, a cousin of Bess. Dick had borrowed the vase from his Chinese friend, elderly Mr. Soong, and he is determined to repay Mr. Soong for the loss. He tells Nancy that if he can find “the leaning chimney,” he will be on the track of a discovery which will solve his financial problems. Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Can there be any connection between the vase theft – one of a number of similar crimes – and the strange disappearance of the pottery expert Eng Moy and his daughter Lei?

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

  3. Tank & Fizz - When their school bus veers off course while taking the kids from Gravelmuck Elementary on a field trip, monster detectives Tank and Fizz witness a crime that brings them snout to snout with Rockfall Mountain’s oldest monster, the ancient dragon Firebane Drakeclaw. Thieves have stolen the Crown of Peace, which keeps the monster clans of the Dark Depths from fighting, and Tank and Fizz saw the whole thing. Now the detectives must track down the thieves and find the crown or their whole class will become dinner for one very hungry dragon! The Case of Firebane’s Folly is the fourth book in the Tank & Fizz series about two crime-solving monsters living under a mountain.

  4. Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Vanishing Painting - Featuring friendship, school, family, and a diverse community, these early illustrated chapter books from James Preller have it all. It’s the biggest—okay the most stressful—night of the year . . . Parents’ Night! And Geetha Nair’s painting has just gone missing. The stakes are high, but Jigsaw Jones and Mila Yeh have never encountered a mystery they couldn’t solve. Can they track down their friend’s art in time for the most important show of the year? James Preller’s wry, witty, Jigsaw Jones books are once again available to inspire the next generation of young readers, featuring both new titles and classroom classics!

Into the Night to Save the Day! book
#19
Into the Night to Save the Day!
Written and illustrated by Cala Spinner
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Go into the night to save the day with Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko in this 8x8 storybook based on PJ Masks, the hit preschool series airing on Disney Junior!

It’s a Cat-astrophe! When Romeo kidnaps Amaya and Greg and steals their pajamas, it’s up to Catboy to save his friends! But can Catboy do it on his own, or will it take teamwork to save the day?

PJ Masks © Frog Box / Entertainment One UK Limited / Walt Disney EMEA Productions Limited 2014

Gekko Saves Christmas book
#20
Gekko Saves Christmas
Written and illustrated by Maggie Testa
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Gekko must learn how to ride Luna Girl’s Luna Board so he can save Christmas in this sweet board book based on PJ Masks, the hit preschool series airing on Disney Junior! A perfect stocking stuffer for PJ Masks fans. When Luna Girl steals everybody’s Christmas gifts, it’s up to Gekko to ride on her Luna Board and save the presents—and the day! There’s only one problem though—Gekko has never ridden a Luna Board before and he’s scared to try it. Can he overcome his fear in time to save Christmas? PJ Masks © Frog Box / Entertainment One UK Limited / Walt Disney EMEA Productions Limited 2014

The Principal's Underwear Is Missing book
#21
The Principal's Underwear Is Missing
Written by Holly Kowitt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When a shopping bag goes missing from the principal’s office, a sixth-grade “nobody” is recruited by Selfie, the most popular girl in the eighth grade, to help solve the mystery in this contemporary middle grade novel. “Will be appreciated by readers who enjoy mean girl stories, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries series, and other school survival tales.” —School Library Journal When you’re a sixth-grade nobody, the last person you want to accidentally zonk with a volleyball is Sloan “Selfie” St. Clair—the eighth-grade glamour queen of the school. But that’s what happens to Becca Birnbaum, and it only gets worse when she tries to do Selfie a favor. She grabs the wrong shopping bag from the principal’s office—one containing a very personal item. And even that might not be so bad, if only Selfie didn’t immediately lose it. If they don’t get it back ASAP, they’re toast. They try not to panic—until they hear that the Biggest Prank Ever is about to happen. Can the school’s oddest couple stop the disaster of a lifetime? Full of laughs and hijinks, Holly Kowitt’s The Principal’s Underwear is Missing is a delightful, illustrated read about middle school cliques, unexpected friendships, and one hilarious misadventure after the next. Praise for The Principal’s Underwear Is Missing: “In this amusing read with its Wimpy Kid—like line drawings, kids will learn that it’s OK to associate with someone who’s different—you might even have fun. . . . Kowitt’s well-written title gets school social dynamics right and will be appreciated by readers who enjoy mean girl stories, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries series, and other school survival tales.” —School Library Journal “Along with an arresting title and laughs aplenty, this helter-skelter caper features two middle-schoolers who aren’t quite as typecast as they seem. . . . Kowitt’s cartoon insertions supply the romp with punchlines and wry visual commentary.” —Booklist

Rhyme Crime book
#22
Rhyme Crime
Written and illustrated by Jon Burgerman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this buoyant rhyming romp, words have gone mysteriously missing: Who stole Marlow’s happy smile, and replaced it with a crocodile? Who swiped Dingle’s sneeze–aaaaachooo!–and left a stinky cheese? The thief took Tumble’s orange, and switched it with a . . . with a . . . Hey, does anything rhyme with orange? No? Aha! Could this be the rhyming robber’s undoing? Guided by bright, clever artwork, kids are empowered to put the final clues together for themselves to solve this silly rhyme crime, then guess at the name-nabber’s next sneaky move. Splendid, satisfying, inspiring.

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