It Is A Mystery

Some of our favorite mystery stories for school-age children.

Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff
 Cam Jansen and the Secret Service Mystery

David A. Adler
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Adler)
Cam Jansen

Cam and her friend Danny help solve the mystery of a stolen necklace when the governor comes to visit their school for the dedication of the new library.

Big Bad Detective Agency

Bruce Hale
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Hale)

The houses of all Three (not-so-) Little Pigs were broken into and ransacked, and the Pigs are squealing for justice. So Prince Tyrone, ruler of Fairylandia, drags in the obvious suspect: Wolfgang. The lone wolf has big teeth, sharp claws, no alibi -- and a single day to find the real culprit and clear his big bad name. When Wolf (reluctantly) teams up with the fourth Little Pig to crack the case, the Big Bad Detective Agency is born.

Bunnicula : A Rabbit-tale of Mystery

Deborah and James Howe
(Juvenile Fiction - J Howe)

Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire. Look for more Bunnicula titles.

Catch You Later, Traitor

(Juvenile Fiction - J Avi)

It's 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid in Brooklyn, New York, who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas. But when an FBI agent shows up at Pete's doorstep, accusing Pete's father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in Pete's family?


Carl Hiaasen
(Juvenile Fiction - J Hiaasen)

When the difficult star of the reality television show "Expedition Survival" disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane's family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna's gun-happy father.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective

Donald J. Sobol
(Juvenile Fiction - J Sobol)
America's Sherlock Holmes in sneakers: book 1

A watermelon stabbing...a trapeze artist's inheritance...and an eyewitness who's legally blind! These are just some of the mysteries that Encyclopedia Brown solves by using his famous encyclopedic brain. Crack the cases along with him. The answer to all the mysteries are found in the back!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Chris Grabenstein
(Juvenile Fiction - J Grabens)

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E. L. Konigsburg
(Juvenile Fiction - J Konigsb)

A young girl runs away with her brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The two unravel a mystery behind a famous sculpture.

Half Moon Investigations

Eoin Colfer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Colfer)

When Fletcher Moon, the youngest detective in the world, is framed for a crime he did not commit, he must team up with the unlikeliest of allies, run from the authorities, and solve the case within twelve hours to clear his name.

Hold Fast

Blue Balliett
(Juvenile Fiction - J Balliett)

On a cold winter day in Chicago, Early's father disappeared, and now she, her mother and her brother have been forced to flee their apartment and join the ranks of the homeless--and it is up to Early to hold her family together and solve the mystery surrounding her father.

If You Find This

Matthew Baker
(Juvenile Fiction - J Baker)

When the grandfather he never knew is released from prison suffering from dementia, eleven-year-old Nicholas, a mathematical and musical genius, tries to save the family's home by helping search for heirlooms Grandpa claims to have buried.

Isabel Feeney: Star Reporter

Beth Fantaskey
(Juvenile Fiction - J Fanaske)

In the 1920s, a ten-year-old newsgirl who aspires to be a reporter at the ChicagoTribune investigates the murder of a gangster.

It Came from Beneath the Bed!: Tales from the House of Bunnicula

James Howe
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Howe)

In this early chapter book spin-off from the Bunnicula series, Harold the dog gives willing advice to a young dachshund named Howie, who saves the world from a science experiment gone awry.


Gordon Korman
(Juvenile Fiction - J Korman)
Korman, Gordon. Masterminds ; 1

Eli Frieden convinces his friends to help him investigate strange occurences in their idyllic town, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity, New Mexico. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one—least of all their own parents.

Maze of Bones

Rick Riordan
(Juvenile Fiction - J Thirty Rio)
39 Clues: Book 1

Dan and Amy Cahill are given the choice of receiving a million dollars or uncovering the 39 clues hidden around the world that will lead to the source of the family's power, but by taking on the clues, they end up in a dangerous race against their own family. First in the 39 Clues series.

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

Chris Riddell
(Juvenile Fiction - J Riddell)

A string of daring burglaries has taken place in BigCity, and precious lapdogs are disappearing. Who is behind this crime wave? Ottoline Brown and her best friend are on the case! Look for more Ottoline titles.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

Wendelin Van Draanen
(Juvenile Fiction - J Vandraa)
Sammy Keyes: book 1

Thirteen-year-old Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother.

Spy School

Stuart Gibbs
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gibbs)
Gibbs, Stuart, 1969- Spy school ; 1

Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA's highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school.

The Absent Author

Ron Roy
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Roy)
A to Z mysteries: book 1

Dink Duncan and his two friends investigate the apparent kidnapping of famous mystery author Wallis Wallace. First in the A to Z Mysteries series.

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy

Dori Hillestad Butler
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Butler)

While searching for his mysteriously lost human family, Buddy the dog is adopted by another family and helps solve the mystery of their missing boy. First in the series: The Buddy Files.

The Case of the Missing Marquess

Nancy Springer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Springe)
An Enola Holmes mystery: book 1

Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to Londonin disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother. First in the Enola Holmes Mystery series.

The Eye of the Crow

Shane Peacock
(Juvenile Fiction - J Peacock)
Boy Sherlock Holmes: book 1

A woman is found stabbed to death in London. A young boy is drawn to the scene to investigate the murder and becomes a suspect himself. The sequel is Death in the Air.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing

Sheila Turnage
(Juvenile Fiction - J Turnage)

When Miss Lana accidentally buys a haunted inn at the Tupelo Landing town auction, Desperado Detectives--aka Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale--opens up a paranormal division to solve the ghost's identity before the town's big 250th anniversary bash. (This is the sequel to Three Times Lucky.)

The Haunted Toolshed

David Keane
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Keane)
Joe Sherlock: book 1

A super-sleuth fourth grader solves the case of a neighbor's haunted toolshed. First in the Joe Sherlock series.

The London Eye Mystery

Siobhan Dowd
(Juvenile Fiction - J Dowd)

When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.

The Postman Always Brings Mice

Holm & Hamel
(Juvenile Fiction - J Holm)
Stink files: book 1

A dashing British feline spy is dismayed to find himself stranded in New Jersey and adopted by a typical suburban family, until he puts his skills to good use for his new human. First in the Stink Files series.

The Secret of the Old Clock

Carolyn Keene
(Juvenile Classics - J Keene)
Nancy Drew mystery stories

Meet Nancy Drew, the most famous girl detective, in the first book of this classic mystery series. In this mystery, Nancy uses her keen mind to find a missing will.

The Shrunken Head

Lauren Oliver
(Juvenile Fiction - J Oliver)
Curiosity House ; 1

Orphans Philippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max must find out who stole a valuable artifact in order to save to save their home, Dumfrey's Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders.

The Tower Treasure

Franklin W. Dixon
(Juvenile Classics - J Dix)
Hardy boys mystery stories: book 1

Meet the world famous Hardy Boys in this first installment of the classic mystery series. In this mystery the Hardy boys make an astonishing discovery after a dying criminal confesses that his loot has been stashed "in the tower."

The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery

Doreen Cronin
(Juvenile Fiction - J Cronin)
J.J. Tully mysteries: book 1

A hard-bitten former search-and-rescue dog helps solve a complicated missing chicken case. See also: The Legend of Diamond Lil.

The Westing Game

Ellen Raskin
(Juvenile Fiction - J Raskin)

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

Older Elementary

Chasing Vermeer

Blue Balliett
(Juvenile Fiction - J Balliet)

When seemingly unrelated and strange 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. Follow further adventures of these young detectives in The Wright 3 and The Calder Game.

Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files

Simon Cheshire
(Juvenile Fiction - J Cheshir)
Saxby Smart, private detective: book 1

Saxby Smart - the best detective in elementary school -- invites you to peek inside his notebook and use your reasoning skills to help solve three mysteries. Look for other titles in the series: Saxby Smart, Private Detective.

Double or Die: A James Bond Adventure

Charlie Higson
(Juvenile Fiction - J Higson)
Young Bond: book 3

Teenage James has 48 hours to rescue a kidnapped professor and to keep a powerful weapon from falling into the wrong hands. Look for others in the series.

Shakespeare's Secret

Elise Broach
(Juvenile Fiction - J Br)

Named after a character in a Shakespeare play, misfit sixth-grader Hero becomes interested in exploring this unusual connection.

The Falcon's Malteser: A Diamond brothers mystery

Anthony Horowitz
(Juvenile Fiction - J Horowit)
A Diamond Brothers mystery: book 1

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 scampers to solve the mystery while also trying to stay one step ahead of an assortment of thugs. First in the Diamond Brothers Mystery series.

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen

Eric Berlin
(Juvenile Fiction - J Berlin)

Puzzle-crazy, twelve-year-old Winston and his ten-year-old sister Katie find themselves involved in a dangerous mystery involving a hidden ring. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text. You might also enjoy the sequel, The Potato Chip Puzzles.

Vanishing Acts: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery

Leslie Margolis
(Juvenile Fiction - J Margoli)
Maggie Brooklyn mysteries: book 2

Seventh-grader Maggie strives to track down the disappearance of cool celebrity Seth Ryan and discover who is behind a string of dog eggings at the local dog run, while also dealing with issues involving her twin brother, and several friends. See also: Girl's Best Friend.

Younger Elementary

The Case of the Groaning Ghost

James Preller
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Preller)
Jigsaw Jones mystery: book 32

Jigsaw Jones investigates when his arch-nemesis, Bobby Solofsky, sets up his own ghost-busting business, thus stealing cases from Jigsaw and Mila's mystery-solving business. Part of the Jigsaw Jones series.