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Treasure Hunts: Books For Kids

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

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

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 treasure hunts, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Stink and the Shark Sleepover to popular sellers like Book Scavenger to some of our favorite hidden gems like Catch That Cookie!.

We hope this list of kids books about treasure hunts 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.

Catch That Cookie!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Solve the riddles to find the runaway gingerbread men in this funny and magical cookie hunt!

Marshall knows one thing for sure, despite what all the stories say: Gingerbread men cannot run. Cookies are for eating, and he can’t wait to eat his after spending all morning baking them with his class. But when it’s time to take the gingerbread men out of the oven . . . they’re gone! Now, to find those rogue cookies, Marshall and his class have to solve a series of rhyming clues. And Marshall just might have to rethink his stance on magic. Catch That Cookie! is an imaginative mystery, deliciously illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner David Small. It’s sure to inspire a new classroom tradition . . . and maybe even a few new believers!

Marion and the Secret Letter
Written by Callie Barkley & illustrated by Tracy Bishop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Taking a turn caring for the class pet hamster, Marion is devastated when the hamster goes missing and she receives an anonymous letter in her locker with clues leading to a mysterious scavenger hunt.

Wish Upon a Sleepover
Written & illustrated by Suzanne Selfors
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Five misfits. One magical wish.

Bestselling author Suzanne Selfors brings heart and humor to this middle grade novel about a group of misfits who find true friendship where they least expect it. Leilani dreams of being friends with the most popular girls in her class―the Haileys―who are always throwing awesome themed sleepovers. She devises a master plan: throw her own sleepover of the century and invite them!

When Tutu, her grandmother, accidentally mails Leilani’s invitations to the DO NOT INVITE list, the best sleepover in the history of the world becomes the worst. Instead of the Haileys, the only guests are the three kids Leilani definitely did not want to show up: the neighbor who never speaks, the girl who draws mean pictures of her, and her farting older cousin. At least her best friend August will be there.

Leilani and her guests decide to make Tutu’s recipe for Sleepover Soup, which requires each of them to collect one ingredient that has significant meaning in their lives. They embark on a scavenger hunt that reveals unexpected surprises. What Leilani finds is not what she wanted, but it might just be even better.

An Imprint Book

“Big-hearted, fast-paced, and funny.” ―Kim Baker, author of Pickle

“Equal parts heartbreaking, hopeful and hilarious. It’s impossible not to cheer for these unlikely heroes” ―Sara Nickerson, author of The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me

“Anyone who’s ever felt different from the crowd will relish this story of kids who find the magic of being their own unique selves―together.” ―Sundee T. Frazier, author of the Coretta Scott King Award-winner Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything In It and the Cleo Edison Oliver series

“Huzzah for Suzanne Selfors! By turns humorous and poignant, this terrific book was impossible to put down.” ―Suzanne Williams, coauthor of the Goddess

The Unbreakable Code (The Book Scavenger series)
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Could books hidden through the Book Scavenger game be linked to an arsonist’s web of destruction? Find out in the New York Times-bestselling second book in the action packed Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman.

The Unbreakable Code
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Could books hidden through Book Scavenger be linked to an arsonist’s web of destruction? Find out in Book 2 of Jennifer Bertman’s Book Scavenger series. Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there’s the coded note he drops at a book event. Then they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What’s most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers a fire. As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can’t ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist. The clock is ticking as the fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime. A Christy Ottaviano Book

  • Book Scavenger - 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.

  • Stink and the Shark Sleepover - Shark-tastic! Stink gets to sleep with the fishes after his parents win an aquarium sleepover. But wait — what’s that lurking beyond the KEEP OUT sign? When Stink’s parents win tickets for the whole family to sleep over at the aquarium (along with Stink’s two best friends), it sounds like a science freak’s dream come true. Stink loves the sea-creature scavenger hunt (Bat ray! Brain coral!), the jellyfish light show, and the shiver of sand tiger sharks with razor-sharp teeth. And of course Stink is nuts about gross stuff, but after some spooky stories around the virtual campfire, can he manage to fall asleep thinking about the eating habits of the vampire squid? Especially Bloody Mary, the mutant, glowing Frankensquid that’s supposed to be on the prowl?

  • April Fool, Phyllis! - It might be April Fools’ Day, but Punxsutawney Phyllis knows that winter isn’t over yet. Her infallible instincts tell her that a blizzard is brewing. Too bad no one will believe her. Luckily Phyllis uses a combination of common sense and uncommon abilities to lead the April Fools’ Day treasure hunters back to safety when the storm comes on quickly. Once again Phyllis gets the last laugh in this buoyant holiday tale.

  • Sleepover at the Museum - During Mason’s birthday sleepover at the natural history museum, friends enjoy a scavenger hunt but Mason has a hard time choosing the gallery in which they will sleep. Includes facts about museums and a list of notable museums that allow sleepovers.

The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo
Written by Laura Murray & illustrated by Mike Lowery
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Is there anything more fun than a class trip to the zoo? The Gingerbread Man and his classmates don’t think so, and they get to solve riddles on a WILD scavenger hunt. They meet giraffes, monkeys, and even a fox (especially scary for a Gingerbread Man!).

But a zoo full of critters is a tricky place for a tasty cookie—even a very fast one—and the Gingerbread Man ends up separated from his friends. He needs to solve all of the riddles to catch up with his class and help someone else who is lost.

I’ll be a detective. I know that I can! I’ll solve all these clues. I’m the Gingerbread Man!

Animals galore and a trail of clues make the Gingerbread Man’s latest adventure his wildest one yet.

Treasure
Written by Mireille Messier & illustrated by Irene Luxbacher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When two siblings go on a treasure hunt, they aren’t sure exactly what kind of treasure they are looking for. What they do know is that treasures are shiny, mysterious and precious. And that all the really good treasures are hidden!

As they explore the forest, their curiosity pays off when they find the biggest, shiniest, most mysterious and precious treasure hidden just over a hill.

Told exclusively in dialogue, this beautifully illustrated picture book exudes a sense of wonder at the natural world and emphasizes the magical qualities of looking through a child’s eye.

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