Reading Suggestions for Kids and Teens

Ideas for K-3 Kids

Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective: Bad Bugs are My Business by David Biedrzycki. After being mugged, Scratch Murphy the flea asks Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective, for help in finding who stole money from his Six Legs Amusement Park.

The ABC Mystery by Doug Cushman. An alphabetical list of people, objects, and clues leads Inspector McGroom to a stolen work of art.

Aunt Eater Loves a Mystery by Doug Cushman. Aunt Eater loves mystery stories so much that she sees mysterious adventures wherever she looks.

Dirk Bones and the Mystery of the Haunted House by Doug Cushman . “Daily Tombs” newspaper reporter Dirk Bones, investigates when a ghost family fears they are being haunted.

Mystery at the Club Sandwich by Doug Cushman. When Lola, famous singer at the Club Sandwich, loses her lucky marbles, detective Nick Trunk, lover of peanut butter, takes the case.

The Mystery of Eatum Hall by John Kelly.  The Pork-Fowlers are invited to spend a weekend of gourmet dining at a spooky castle where Mr. Hunter, is anxious to “meat” them.

Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie’s Missing Brain by Scott Nash. When Duckie loses his brain and can no longer tell stories to the other toys, Tuff Fluff the private investigator must solve the case.

Cat Tails by Pam Scheunemann. Pam, Silky and Angel, feline detectives assigned to Pooch Patrol, investigate a rumor that the Bowser Bunch dog pack is planning to take over Purrsville.

Detective LaRue: Letters from the Investigation by Mark Teague. While on vacation, Mrs. LaRue receives letters from her dog Ike who has been falsely accused of harming the neighbor’s cats and is trying to clear his name.

Tough Cookie by David Wisniewski. When his friend Chips is snatched and chewed, Tough Cookie sets out to stop Fingers.

Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase by Bruce Whatley. Detective Donut and his partner, Mouse, set out to find Professor Drake who has mysteriously disappeared.

The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse: From the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye by Bruce Hale. When hired by a classmate to find her missing brother, Chet Gecko uncovers a plot involving a Gila monster’s revenge on the football team.

Sly the Sleuth and the Food Mysteries by Donna Jo Napoli. Sly uses her detective skills to help her friends solve the case of something fishy, something cooking, and something seedy.

Horrible Harry and the Dead Letters by Suzy Kline. Harry and Doug investigate when special bookmarks disappear while their class is busy studying poetry and running their own post office.

Are you in grades 4-6? Read these!

Gilda Joyce Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison. The summer before ninth grade, Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter and his daughter, where she uses her psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of the mansion’s boarded-up tower.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. When strange and seemingly unrelated events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin. Winston and his sister Katie find themselves involved in a dangerous mystery involving a hidden ring. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text.

Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements. Ted Hammond, the only sixth grader in his small Nebraska town, loves a good mystery, but the one that has Ted’s full attention at the moment is about that face. The face he sees in the upper window of the Andersons’ house as he rides past on his paper route. The Andersons moved away two years ago, and their old farmhouse is empty, boarded up tight. At least, it’s supposed to be.

Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer. Twelve-year-old private investigator Fletcher Moon, nicknamed “Half Moon” because of his shortness, must track down a conspiracy or be framed for a crime he did not commit.

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer. In 2194 in Zimbabwe, General Matsika’s three children are kidnapped and put to work in a plastic mine while three mutant detectives use their special powers to search for them.

The Falcon’s Maltezer by Anthony Horowitz. After his older brother, a fledgling private detective, agrees to safeguard a package for a dwarf who does not live long, thirteen-year-old Nick tries to solve the mystery while also trying to stay one step ahead of an assortment of thugs.

Hannah West in Deep Water: A Mystery by Linda Johns. Pre-teen sleuth Hannah West investigates an environmental   mystery while staying in a houseboat on Seattle’s Lake Washington.

The Art Teacher’s Vanishing Masterpiece by David Keane. When a valuable painting is stolen from a local art museum, fourth-grade super-sleuth Joe Sherlock investigates, aided by his sister, Hailey.

The Mystery of Biltmore House by Carole Marsh. Set at America’s largest private house, readers learn about the Victorian era when electricity and other “newfangled” things kids take for granted today first came to be. Napoleon, the Vanderbilts, and some of America’s greatest writers figure into the plot, as does natural resource conservation.

Intriguing Choices for Grades 7-12

Behind the Curtain: An Echo Falls Mystery by Peter Abrahams. Sherlock Holmes fan and eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill is kidnapped while investigating a steroid ring  in which her brother seems to be involved. Will she find her kidnapper?

Heist Society by Ally Carter. A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save Kat Bishop’s father, an international art thief, from a vengeful man.

Change Up: Mystery at the World Series by John Feinstein. While covering baseball’s World Series, teenage sports reporters Stevie and Susan Carol investigate a rookie pitcher whose evasive answers reveal more than a few contradictions in his life story.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe. While vacationing with her family in Las Vegas, Jasmine stumbles upon a  murder mystery that she attempts to solve with the help of her friends.

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Katherine Jenks. Fifteen-year-old vampire Nina has been stuck for fifty-one years in a boring support group for vampires. Nothing exciting has ever happened to them–until one of them is murdered and the others must try to solve the crime.

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kristin Miller. Life becomes more interesting for Ananka, when she discovers an underground room in the park across from her New York City apartment and meets a mysterious girl called Kiki Strike who claims that she, too, wants to explore the subterranean world.

Black Taxi by James Moloney. When Rosie agrees to take care of her grandfather’s car while he is in jail, she gets more than she bargained for, including being thrust into the middle of a jewel heist and being attracted to a dangerous boy.

Finding Lubchenko by Michael Simmons. When his father is framed for murder and bioterrorism, high-school junior Evan, using clues from a stolen laptop, travels from Seattle to Paris with two friends to find the real culprit.

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer. While Enola Holmes endeavors to save her friend Lady Cecily Alistair from an unwelcome arranged marriage, she meets with some  assistance from her older brother, Sherlock.

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld. Hunter Braque, a New York City teenager who is paid by corporations to spot what is “cool,” combines his analytical skills with girlfriend Jen’s creative talents to find a missing person and thwart a conspiracy directed at the heart of consumer culture.


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