There is nothing quite like good mystery books for kids to get them hooked on reading. The thrill of looking for clues, sizing up suspects, and seeking clues. Combined with a great detective, it can make an avid reader out of any child. The best part is, the kid might not even notice they’re getting hooked on books.
Finding the right mystery books for kids can be a challenge. Here are 10 excellent mystery books for kids that are sure to be a hit. Who knows? One of these books might just be a gateway to a lifelong love of reading.
1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens is the only living member of the graveyard. When his family gets mysteriously murdered, the residents of the graveyard take on the task of raising him. Readers of all ages will love solving the mystery of the death of Nobody’s parents. This novel is packed with action, adventure, horror, and humor. Readers will find it hard to put it down.
2. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
This book is hilarious and thrilling all at once. Game-loving Kyle wins a night at the new library. Designed by Mr. Lemoncello, famous game and puzzle designer, the night party is a dream come true. However, when dawn breaks and the party goers realize they’re trapped and must solve the puzzle to escape, things get a little scary.
3. The Wig In the Window by Kristen Kittscher
Sophie and Grace have made it a game to spy on their neighbors. It is all great fun until they witness their principal making his famous pickled beets. Soon, the girls are steeped in a mystery much deeper than they could have ever imagined. They are followed by a blue car and end up following mysterious strangers with Texas accents and disturbing unibrows. This middle-grade read is heart-pounding and loads of fun.
4. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The world gets turned upside-down in this exciting novel. Sixteen people are called together to hear the reading of Samuel Westings will. All are shocked when Westing’s will announces that his entire fortune will go to a nearly perfect stranger, and possible murderer. The will sparks another major shock to the gathered crowd. This will is Westing’s final game.
5. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
A strange ad in the newspaper sparks off this delightful mystery. This ad is calling for gifted children to come in and be tested to see if they have what it takes to join the Benedict Society. Dozens of children respond, but only two boys and two girls pass and become official members. Their mission is to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. What they find there will change everything. This novel begs the reader to solve the mystery alongside these four gifted children. This novel is the first installment of a series of excellent mystery books for kids.
6. The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
Miss Penelope Lumley is a governess faced with her toughest job yet. She is the governess of the three Incorrigible children who are more like dogs than children. These kids bark, and bite, and grouse around all day, and Penelope must get them ready to behave in high society. However, it is strange that these children are so dog-like, and the family coachman seems to be lurking in every shadow, watching. Can she solve the mysteries before it’s too late?
7. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Emily is a little bit excited to move to San Francisco with her family because it means she will be living in the same city as her favorite author, Garrison Griswold. However, when Griswald is attacked and left in a coma, her heart breaks. Then, she and one of her new friends discover a book left by Griswold that will lead to a valuable treasure. As Emily investigates, she uncovers much more than treasure and may have just put herself in danger of the same fate as Griswold.
8. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Ted and his sister Kat are forced to set aside their differences and join forces when their cousin goes missing on the London Eye. The police have no luck, and these two perceptive children are their cousin’s only hope of ever coming home again.
9. Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
Young Sammy has a nasty habit of spying on the neighborhood with her binoculars. She is forced to realize how much trouble this habit could get her into when she witnesses a man stealing money from a guest at the Heavenly Hotel. What makes this even more frightening is that Sammy realizes the thief saw her watching him. Now she must track down clues to uncover the identity of the thief and save her skin.
10. The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt
Lucas has a photographic memory, and it’s a good thing too. When he sees a strange man copying a Rembrandt at a museum the first time, he finds it odd but declines to give it much thought. However, when Lucas sees the same man copying yet another Rembrandt the next year, Lucas begins to be suspicious. Then, the newspaper announces that new Rembrandt paintings have been discovered in Amsterdam. Lucas then takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of this strange forger.
These mystery books for kids are a great way to get children interested in reading. The love of reading can be a gift that changes a child’s whole future. If you have more mystery books for kids that you simply adore, share them with us in the comment section.
Images taken from depositphotos.com.