Exploring Mysteries!

June 22, 2021

Except for the Kindergarten edition, all of the reading challenges include books from the mystery genre (with an option in older grades to substitute with dystopian books -I'll save that for another discussion, though). Mystery stories prompt problem-solving skills and often expose readers to unique locations and characters (including the variety of circumstances that inspire motives!). We all know about Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown, and they're great, but the genre is always growing, and there are some exciting new stories to try! So...here are some of my newer favorites:

 Not an Alphabet Book: The Case of the Missing Cake

 I guess it’s not really a mystery, as kids figure out the culprit pretty quickly, but it’s so fun we’ll let it pass for this category!


Lottie Lipton Adventures\


I might have featured these once already, but even so, I’m going to do it again! Lottie Lipton lives with her uncle in a British Museum, where she spends a lot of time with Egyptian antiquities, solving some mysteries along the way! These are fun reads for 1st-4th graders (give or take a grade on either side, obviously), and include a bit of history as well!


The same is true of The Case of the Stolen Sixpence, the first installment of the Masisewhich I’ve newly acquired for the library. This one appeals to 3rd-7th graders and features a mystery-solving heroine in Victorian London.


These could be fun for boys and girls, but for the boys who really need to read about a boy protagonist, Nate the Great is still my favorite for readers just starting to reach into chapter books, and the Mac B, Kid Spy series is humorous and clever spy series for students around 2nd-5th grade (with some 90s trivia that might be fun for parents!)

Moving into middle grades, The Strangers is a new mystery with some science fiction elements, as three siblings try to find their missing mother and discover the identities of three children who have been reported missing who also share the same names, birthdays, and features as themselves.

For middle-graders who like action rather than puzzle-solving, City Spies is a fast-paced adventure story featuring a team of young spies from around the world.

And here is where I will pause to say that YA mysteries can get tricky! For this category I love Vango (with some very interesting history woven in, I must say!).

I've also recently added Rebel Spy, which is more of a historical fiction, but is suspenseful and involves some spy craft, so it could fit! 

For other YA mysteries (as well as dystopian novels), use my Reader's Advisory form! Family preferences vary widely for teenage reading, and I can be more sensitive to those preferences in a one-on-one situation than with a blanket recommendation for everyone. Give it a try! 

You Might Also Like


About Us


Like us on Facebook

Popular Posts