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Thieves: Books For Kids

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

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about thieves, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Shadow Thieves to popular sellers like The Thief Lord to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Detective Dog.

We hope this list of kids books about thieves 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.

Top 10 Books About Thieves

Baby's First Bank Heist book
#1
Baby's First Bank Heist
Written by Jim Whalley & illustrated by Stephen Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Move over, Bonnie and Clyde, because there’s a new criminal mastermind in town . . . Baby Frank! Baby Frank is dangerously cute, and he’s about to pull off the most daring baby bank heist ever. Why? His parents say that he can’t have a pet—“pets are for older kids,” “be happy with your teddy,” and “they cost too much to keep,” they say. What’s a baby to do . . . ? Rob a bank, of course! You have been warned . . . With eye-catching illustrations from Guardian cartoonist Stephen Collins, this laugh-out-loud rhyming text is Boss Baby meets Mission Impossible.

The Thief Lord book
#2
The Thief Lord
Written by Cornelia Funke & illustrated by Christian Birmingham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The enchanting international bestseller with bonus back matter and a beautiful new cover!

Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord.

Propser and Bo relish their new “family” and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys’ freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

The Detective Dog book
#3
The Detective Dog
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A rollicking rhyming picture book from bestselling author Julia Donaldson about a dog who uses her amazing sense of smell to solve mysteries. When Detective Dog Nell puts her nose to the task, there’s no mystery she can’t solve. Whether she’s tracking the missing shoe of her human, Peter, or locating some lost honeycomb, all Nell has to do is sniff, sniff, sniff and she’s hot on the trail. Besides solving mysteries, there’s something else Nell loves—listening to children read. Every Monday, Peter takes her to school where children tell her stories. One day, Nell and Peter arrive to find that all the books are gone. Who could have taken them? And why? There’s only one dog for the job, and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the thief!

I Am a Thief! book
#4
I Am a Thief!
Written by Abigail Rayner & illustrated by Molly Ruttan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Eliza Jane Murphy—line leader, captain of the worm rescue team—impulsively pockets a sparkly green stone from her classroom’s “Exploring Green” display table, her heart crumples.

My heart stopped singing. My letters went wonky. I was too heavy to swing!

I wanted to put it back . . . But what if someone saw?

But when she discovers that nearly everyone in her family took something once in their lives—from her baby brother and mom, to her nana with her sausage-stealing dog—Eliza overcomes her shame to make things right.

A hilarious and heartfelt story about stealing and finding the courage to do the right thing.

Thieves of Weirdwood book
#5
Thieves of Weirdwood
Written by William Shivering & illustrated by Anna Earley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Artemis Fowl meets The Spiderwick Chronicles in this brand-new middle-grade fantasy series brimming with action, humor, and monsters beyond imagining.

Twelve-year-olds Arthur and Wally are determined to steal their way up the ranks of the notorious Black Feathers gang. With loan sharks chasing after Arthur’s father and Wally’s brother’s hospital bill due, they’re in need of serious cash.

When Arthur spots some wealthy strangers exiting a derelict mansion, he smells an opportunity for a big score. Little do the boys realize, they’ve stumbled upon Weirdwood Manor, the headquarters of a magical order who protect the Balance between the Real and Imaginary worlds. When Kingsport is besieged by nightmarish Imaginary monsters, it’s up to these young thieves to save their city.

Feast of Peas book
#6
Feast of Peas
Written by Kashmira Sheth & illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Hard-working Jiva might not be the only one anticipating a delicious feast of peas from his garden. Every morning, Jiva works in his garden until the sun turns as red as a bride’s sari. He plants peas and beans, potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants and okra in his vegetable patch. When his friend Ruvji admires his plants Jiva sings, Plump peas, sweet peas, Lined- up-in-the-shell peas. Peas to munch, peas to crunch A feast of peas for lunch. But each time Jiva is ready to pick the peas for his feast, they’re already gone. What has happened? From the award-winning author and illustrator team who created Tiger in My Soup, this original story set in India features a deliciously amusing mystery about gardening, anticipation, hard work, and generosity.

The Cherry Thief book
#7
The Cherry Thief
Written & illustrated by Renata Galindo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Chef Armand’s cakes are famous for the delicious red cherries that adorn each one. But when the cherries start disappearing, he sets a trap to catch the thief, with unexpected results! What will he do with the culprit, and is there a long-term solution that will make everyone happy? A charming debut picture book filled with very visual humour.

The  Shadow  Thieves book
#8
The Shadow Thieves
Written & illustrated by Alexandra Ott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Alli must risk everything to save her new family from a rogue organization that is threatening the Thieves Guild’s existence—and the lives of all its members—in this high-stakes sequel to Rules for Thieves.Alli Rosco, former orphan and thief, is free after her disastrous Thieves Guild trial, which left an innocent woman dead while Alli’s partner-in-crime, Beck, fled.Now Alli is getting more than just a fresh start: her long-lost brother, Ronan, has come forward to claim responsibility for her and let her live with him on a trial basis. They try to mend the rift that started when Alli was dropped off at the orphanage while Ronan became a lawyer in Ruhia. But as determined as she is to make things work, Alli can’t seem to stay out of trouble.To make matters worse, Alli finds a surprise guest on her doorstep one night: Beck.He’s on the run and brings news of the Shadow Guild, a rogue organization that is trying to overthrow the current king of the Thieves Guild. Their friends are in real danger. And Beck needs Alli’s help one more time to bring the Shadows down.Once again, Alli is forced to make a hard choice: save her friends, or lose her last chance to have a true family.

Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery book
#9
Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery
Written by A. B. Greenfield & illustrated by Sarah Horne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A smug royal cat turned detective and his dung beetle sidekick are on the case when a precious tomb gets ransacked in the Valley of the Kings.

Ra the Mighty adores his duties as Pharaoh’s cat: naps by the pool and plenty of snacks. Being lazy is so much fun. But when a royal tomb gets robbed, Ra and his hardworking friend Khepri must team up to restore justice. The clues point to a young boy whom Ra admires. Will the Great Detective play favorites, or will he uncover the truth? Mystery awaits!

More than thirty wacky illustrations with fun historical details bring these oddball characters to life, along with a glossary, pronunciation guide, and detailed author’s note about ancient Egypt. Fans of Bad Kitty will love Ra’s witty voice and arrogant antics. Pair with companion, Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective.

Midnight Reynolds and the Phantom Circus book
#10
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?

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Thieves and...

Books About Thieves and Sleuthing

The Thief Lord
Written by Cornelia Funke & illustrated by Christian Birmingham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The enchanting international bestseller with bonus back matter and a beautiful new cover!

Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord.

Propser and Bo relish their new “family” and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys’ freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

The Detective Dog
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A rollicking rhyming picture book from bestselling author Julia Donaldson about a dog who uses her amazing sense of smell to solve mysteries. When Detective Dog Nell puts her nose to the task, there’s no mystery she can’t solve. Whether she’s tracking the missing shoe of her human, Peter, or locating some lost honeycomb, all Nell has to do is sniff, sniff, sniff and she’s hot on the trail. Besides solving mysteries, there’s something else Nell loves—listening to children read. Every Monday, Peter takes her to school where children tell her stories. One day, Nell and Peter arrive to find that all the books are gone. Who could have taken them? And why? There’s only one dog for the job, and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the thief!

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

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery - 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?

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

  3. The Case of the Missing Painting - Someone has broken into the fancy art gallery and stolen a painting! Can Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles discover who took it? Young readers can learn about police procedures and detective work as they follow along with Detective Paw and try to solve the case themselves!

  4. The Haunted Bridge - Mr. Drew is on the trail of an international ring of jewel thieves and asks Nancy to assist him. The trail leads to a summer resort area. Before Nancy has a chance to start work on her father’s case, a golf caddy tells her a frightening tale–in the dense woods nearby is an old wooden footbridge guarded by a ghost! Intrigued by the caddy’s story, Nancy decides to investigate. Several riddles confront the young detective as she attempts to solve the mystery of the haunted bridge and track down a woman suspected of being a key member of the gang of jewel thieves.

Want to see books about sleuthing?

Books About Thieves and Friendship

Thieves of Weirdwood
Written by William Shivering & illustrated by Anna Earley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Artemis Fowl meets The Spiderwick Chronicles in this brand-new middle-grade fantasy series brimming with action, humor, and monsters beyond imagining.

Twelve-year-olds Arthur and Wally are determined to steal their way up the ranks of the notorious Black Feathers gang. With loan sharks chasing after Arthur’s father and Wally’s brother’s hospital bill due, they’re in need of serious cash.

When Arthur spots some wealthy strangers exiting a derelict mansion, he smells an opportunity for a big score. Little do the boys realize, they’ve stumbled upon Weirdwood Manor, the headquarters of a magical order who protect the Balance between the Real and Imaginary worlds. When Kingsport is besieged by nightmarish Imaginary monsters, it’s up to these young thieves to save their city.

Feast of Peas
Written by Kashmira Sheth & illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Hard-working Jiva might not be the only one anticipating a delicious feast of peas from his garden. Every morning, Jiva works in his garden until the sun turns as red as a bride’s sari. He plants peas and beans, potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants and okra in his vegetable patch. When his friend Ruvji admires his plants Jiva sings, Plump peas, sweet peas, Lined- up-in-the-shell peas. Peas to munch, peas to crunch A feast of peas for lunch. But each time Jiva is ready to pick the peas for his feast, they’re already gone. What has happened? From the award-winning author and illustrator team who created Tiger in My Soup, this original story set in India features a deliciously amusing mystery about gardening, anticipation, hard work, and generosity.

The Cherry Thief
Written & illustrated by Renata Galindo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Chef Armand’s cakes are famous for the delicious red cherries that adorn each one. But when the cherries start disappearing, he sets a trap to catch the thief, with unexpected results! What will he do with the culprit, and is there a long-term solution that will make everyone happy? A charming debut picture book filled with very visual humour.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Shadow Thieves - Alli must risk everything to save her new family from a rogue organization that is threatening the Thieves Guild’s existence—and the lives of all its members—in this high-stakes sequel to Rules for Thieves.Alli Rosco, former orphan and thief, is free after her disastrous Thieves Guild trial, which left an innocent woman dead while Alli’s partner-in-crime, Beck, fled.Now Alli is getting more than just a fresh start: her long-lost brother, Ronan, has come forward to claim responsibility for her and let her live with him on a trial basis. They try to mend the rift that started when Alli was dropped off at the orphanage while Ronan became a lawyer in Ruhia. But as determined as she is to make things work, Alli can’t seem to stay out of trouble.To make matters worse, Alli finds a surprise guest on her doorstep one night: Beck.He’s on the run and brings news of the Shadow Guild, a rogue organization that is trying to overthrow the current king of the Thieves Guild. Their friends are in real danger. And Beck needs Alli’s help one more time to bring the Shadows down.Once again, Alli is forced to make a hard choice: save her friends, or lose her last chance to have a true family.

  2. Midnight Reynolds and the Phantom Circus - 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?

  3. The Eleventh Trade - 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Thieves and Family

I Am a Thief!
Written by Abigail Rayner & illustrated by Molly Ruttan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Eliza Jane Murphy—line leader, captain of the worm rescue team—impulsively pockets a sparkly green stone from her classroom’s “Exploring Green” display table, her heart crumples.

My heart stopped singing. My letters went wonky. I was too heavy to swing!

I wanted to put it back . . . But what if someone saw?

But when she discovers that nearly everyone in her family took something once in their lives—from her baby brother and mom, to her nana with her sausage-stealing dog—Eliza overcomes her shame to make things right.

A hilarious and heartfelt story about stealing and finding the courage to do the right thing.

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?"
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Seth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 3-10

The first new series by Lemony Snicket since his global phenomenon, A Series of Unfortunate Events. In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He began asking questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn’t be read. This is the first volume. Lemony Snicket has sold over 60 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 39 languages. His books have been made into a Hollywood movie starring Jim Carrey and in this new series, fans of his best-selling books, young and old, can dive back into the gothic darkness of his murky but humorous world.

Rules for Thieves
Written & illustrated by Alexandra Ott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After twelve-year-old orphan, Alli Rosco, is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Fourth Ruby - Jack and Gwen are back in this dynamic follow-up to The Lost Property Office. It’s been a year since Jack Buckles discovered the Keep beneath Baker Street, an underground tower no Section Thirteen was ever supposed to see; a year since his dad fell into a coma. Nothing has been the same since. Jack’s tracker abilities are on the fritz, Gwen’s not speaking to him and, what’s worse, there’s a pounding voice in his head calling for “the flame.” Then, Jack and Gwen are framed for the theft of a historic crown jewel—the Black Prince’s Ruby, one of three cursed rubies said to bring knowledge, loyalty, and the command of nations to whomever wields them all. Now, they must retrieve the other jewels before the true thief does, or risk unleashing a reign of terror unlike anything history’s ever seen.

  2. Madeline and the Old House in Paris - Madeline and her favorite companion in mischief, Pepito, embark on their wildest adventure yet. When ghostly moans lead them to the attic of the old house in Paris, they discover Felix de La Morte, who has lingered there for hundreds of years, waiting for the return of a certain comet. With the comet due to return the very next day, the poor fellow’s telescope has been stolen by mean Lord Cucuface, and it is up to Madeline and Pepito to get it back. A nighttime trip across Paris, a midnight apparition, and all is happily resolved in time for the three new friends to view the comet on a starry night.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Thieves and Stealing

Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery
Written by A. B. Greenfield & illustrated by Sarah Horne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A smug royal cat turned detective and his dung beetle sidekick are on the case when a precious tomb gets ransacked in the Valley of the Kings.

Ra the Mighty adores his duties as Pharaoh’s cat: naps by the pool and plenty of snacks. Being lazy is so much fun. But when a royal tomb gets robbed, Ra and his hardworking friend Khepri must team up to restore justice. The clues point to a young boy whom Ra admires. Will the Great Detective play favorites, or will he uncover the truth? Mystery awaits!

More than thirty wacky illustrations with fun historical details bring these oddball characters to life, along with a glossary, pronunciation guide, and detailed author’s note about ancient Egypt. Fans of Bad Kitty will love Ra’s witty voice and arrogant antics. Pair with companion, Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective.

What the Ladybug Heard
Written by Julia Donaldson & 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.

What the Ladybug Heard at the Zoo
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Lydia Monks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Bike Like Sergio's - When Ruben, who longs to have a bike like his friend Sergios that his family cannot afford, finds money in a grocery store, he has to make a tough decision about what to do with it.

  2. Scream for Ice Cream - When a local ice cream factory hosts a contest for new flavors, Nancy and the Clue Crew enter, but when a friend’s secret recipe goes missing, Nancy suspects that someone is up to no good.

  3. The Fenway Foul-Up - Cousins Mike and Kate are at Boston’s Fenway Park when the Red Sox’s star hitter discovers that his lucky baseball bat has been stolen.

  4. Tick Tock Terror - Conor loves to climb. So when the crusty old manager of a thrill ride based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” challenges Conor to scale the ride in the dark of night and hide a package at the top, he foolishly accepts. But it isn’t long before he realizes that he is now involved in something far more dangerous. What is in the package, and what does it have to do with Edgar Allan Poe? And why is the town bully so terrified of the old man? The more Conor learns, the deeper in trouble he gets.

Books About Thieves and Action And Adventure

Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians!
Written & illustrated by Gary Northfield
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Julius Zebra is in ancient Egypt on his third madcap adventure. Will he and his friends make it out alive, or will they all end up entombed in a pyramid forever? After being shipwrecked on the shores of Egypt, Julius Zebra can’t believe his luck: he’s been mistaken for a Horse God and given the royal treatment. Preened and pampered, Julius and his friends are treated to a lavish party and ferried down the River Nile. But when hapless antelope Felix accidentally stumbles upon the Tomb of Cleopatra, he steals a gem for his rock collection, unknowingly bringing a pharaoh’s curse down upon the group. With the Egyptians beginning to realize that Julius is not quite what they thought he was, the zebra gladiator and his friends are soon fighting for their lives in a series of hilarious hijinks.

Battle of the Pirate Bands
Written by Michael Anthony Steele & illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Pirates from across the seven seas are gathering for the greatest of pirate competitions. But when the prize trophy is stolen, the Monkey Pirates are framed as the thieves. Can the crew clear their nearly-fearless names? A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts round out this exciting adventure story.

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

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Secret of the Silver Mines - Just when Dylan Maples is settling down after last summer’s trip to Ireland’s Eye, the parental units are at it again—planning another family adventure. Only this time, it’s not a summer vacation, but an extended trip way up north to Cobalt, Ontario, in the middle of a bitter winter. Once a thriving silver mining community, all that’s left of the town’s rich history are the long abandoned mines. A Toronto millionaire has hired Dylan’s dad to retrieve a fortune in silver allegedly stolen from his grandfather back in the early part of the twentieth century. But was the fortune really stolen? And if so, where has it been hidden? The answers to these questions reside with one man—Theobald T. Larocque, Cobalt’s oldest citizen. But no one has seen him in years. And no one seems at all eager to help Dylan’s dad locate him—except, of course, his devoted son Dylan, and Dylan’s newfound friend and accomplice, Wynona Dixon.

  2. The Gray Hunter's Revenge - Frank and Joe investigate a supernatural crime in the seventeenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series. One of the Hardys’ favorite writers, Nathan Foxwood, has recently died in a tragic car accident. Now, the press is swarming his house in Bayport to get the scoop on the novel he completed just before his untimely death. When Joe hears that Nathan’s wife is having a giant estate sale, he drags Frank with him. Who could pass up the opportunity to see inside their favorite author’s home? Nathan’s wife says she wants to get away as quickly as possible; strange things have been happening since their first night there and now her husband is gone and she’s sure the house is haunted. But Nathan’s assistant, Adam, is not so willing to blame it all on the supernatural. Valuable things keep disappearing from the house—why would a ghost need money? Adam recognizes the Hardys’ from an article he read and asks for their help. Of course Frank and Joe Hardy don’t believe in ghosts and are positive they can get to the bottom of all this. But when Adam is mysteriously hurt after spending the night alone in the house, the brothers start to wonder; what is the motive for these crimes if not ghostly revenge? Could these brother detectives be in over their heads?

  3. Theodore Boone - Theodore Boone is back on the case in an all-new adventure! Bestselling author John Grisham delivers a page-turning legal thriller for a new generation of readers. Theo has been worried about his good friend Woody Lambert. Woody is struggling at school and making bad choices. But when Woody is arrested—an unwitting accomplice to armed robbery—Theo knows he is innocent. Racing the clock while Woody sits in jail, Theo will do everything in his power to help his friend and save Woody from an unforgiving system where justice is not equal for all. Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and undisputed master of the modern legal thriller, Theodore Boone’s trials and triumphs will keep readers hooked until the very last page.

  4. The Misfits Club - A group of small-town kids revive their childhood adventure club when they think they’ve snapped a picture of a ghost in this novel.

Books About Thieves and Detectives

The Clue of the Leaning Chimney
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

The Thirteenth Pearl
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy is asked to locate a stolen pearl necklace that is unusual and very valuable. She soon learns that strange and dangerous people are responsible for the theft. They harass her at home and intensify it when she and her father go to Japan, until they finally manage to kidnap Nancy and her friend Ned Nickerson when she returns to River Heights.

Through clever sleuthing, Nancy is able to penetrate the rites of an amazing group of pearl worshippers, some of whose members are far from devout, and she uncovers underhanded dealings of certain employees of World Wide Gems, Inc., a tremendous international jewelry company. Readers will love accompanying Nancy, disguised as a Japanese girl, in this adventure in Tokyo.

Mystery of the brass-bound trunk
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the moment Nancy Drew boards an ocean liner leaving for New York, she becomes involved in a new and dangerous mystery. A man on the pier gestures to someone on board in sign language. BEWARE OF NANCY DREW AND NE, he signals. Who is NE? Can it be Nelda Detweiler, a young woman who shares a cabin with Nancy, Bess, and George? Mystery and intrigue follow the girls across the ocean; but with her usual ingenuity Nancy solves the mystery and defeats her enemies before the ship reaches New York.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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!

  2. The Secret of the Lost Tunnel - Difficult assignments are nothing new to the Hardy boys and this one that takes them to the Deep South is particularly challenging. Their mission: to vindicate a long-dead Confederate general, disgraced during the Civil War because he was accused of stealing hidden gold belonging to a bank. Skillfully avoiding booby traps and flying bullets, the boys persevere in their perilous quest. The arduous search is full of surprises that will thrill all fans of the Hardy boys.

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