9 Must-Read Mystery Books for Kids

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Everybody loves having a fun time. It is even more fun when you learn about some brand-new stuff and discover some of the world’s secrets. There are many ways to spend time doing something you love, but only book lovers know the goosebumps of reading exciting stories found in mystery books.

Video games are fun and all, but mystery books can give you the same euphoric sense in a different form. You look for clues, connect the dots, and trace footsteps to solve baffling crimes, just like professional detectives go about their ways. If this sounds fun, maybe it is time to fill your shelves with some of the best mystery books.

Stories shrouded in mystery and unsolved puzzles can leave your mind wandering. Even when you put your book down for a while, you will find yourself looking for answers in your mind. This kind of fun is one that non-readers miss. If this genre sounds exhilarating, let us walk you through a list of the must-read mystery books to begin an exciting journey. 

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Mystery Books for Kids

Mystery Book Number 1: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library – By Chris Grabenstein

For middle graders, Mr Lemoncello’s Library novels are more than just time spent turning papers. Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library is among a series under the same name. It was written by the American author Chris Grabenstein and published in 2013. If you ever get hooked on this story, there is no going back. You won’t settle until you finish the whole series. 

The Mr Lemoncello’s Library series is deemed among the mystery books highly ranked among children. It revolves around the exciting adventures of a billionaire, Lemoncello, who makes a living, an extraordinary one, creating games. He owns a local library that got him where he got. We will leave the rest for you to discover in the five books of Mr Lemoncello’s Library series.

Mystery Book Number 2: Chasing Vermeer – By Blue Balliett

Reading mystery books is one thing, but reading ones that send strong messages to children is a whole different story, pun intended. Chasing Vermeer is an unmissable novel that you should add to your shelf. It was written by Blue Balliett and published in 2004. This feels like several years ago, but the moral of the story is not an outdated one. 

Chasing Vermeer is set in Hyde Park in Chicago. It narrates the story of two eleven-year-old children who managed to solve a scandal shrouded in mystery. This novel is a fantastic story tailored to prove that no matter how experienced adults are in life, they don’t always have all the answers. It also emphasises that no matter how young you are, you can have a powerful mind that can do wonders if you believe in yourself.

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Young Girl is Reading a Book

Mystery Book Number 3: The Mystery of the Missing Cake – By Claudia Boldt

Birthdays and cakes are definitions of fun for everyone, young and adults. Having your friends around to celebrate your birthday is all great and fun until the cake goes missing. The Mystery of the Missing Cakes has an enthralling mystery in it. And not just in the book’s title, but this children’s novel is one of the mystery books that will leave the little ones in suspense,

This book is suitable for young children aged four to eight years. It tells the story of Harold the fox, whose friends invited him to a birthday party, where everyone wears fun costumes. However, the party doesn’t go as planned when the dark takes over, and the cake goes missing. Harold weighs in to solve the mystery, rule out the suspicious ones, and save the party to make everyone happy.

Mystery Book Number 4: Murder Most Unladylike – By Robin Stevens

Another series of mystery books that aren’t to be missed. Murder Most Unladylike is a suspense novel by British-American author Robin Stevens. It is the first book released in the series of Murder Most Unladylike, followed by more than eight books of the same mystery and suspense. This one was released in 2014 but set in a much older time in history. 

The book narrates the story of two young schoolgirls, Hazel and Daisy, living in England in the 30s. They learn about a gruesome crime that turns them into professional detectives. These journeys brighten their brains, strengthen their friendship, and bring out the best in them. And most importantly, they offer the world a great favour by exposing the bad guys. 

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Low Angle Boy at Library Reading

Mystery Book Number 5: The Lulu Series – By Judith Viorst

The series of Lulu is a captivating sequential novel written by Judith Viorst, telling us the life of little Lulu throughout five books. Each book has plot twists, capturing a storyline and a compelling mystery to solve. The series started with Lulu and the Brontosaurus and was followed by “Lulu Walks the Dogs,” “Lulu’s Mysterious Mission,” and “Lulu is Getting a Sister.”

The third book in the series is deemed to be the most popular among this series of mystery books. It has a compelling plot that makes it hard to put your book down and go to bed. This exciting adventure is the kind that would make you skip a few hours of sleep on a school night to know what happens next. 

Mystery Book Number 6: Where’s the Big Bad Wolf? – By Eileen Christelow

Remember the classic story of the big bad wolf and the three little pigs? This book is a new version with an exciting spin added to the original story. It teaches young children to see everything around them from a new perspective. Also, it teaches them that everything is not always what they seem. 

The plot revolves around the big bad wolf, who is always the prime suspect when something terrible happens. Detective Doggedly gives the wolf several chances to stop causing trouble. This time, when the made-of-straw house that the pigs build is in danger, Doggedly accuses the wolf. However, the wolf is sleeping in his home when the crime happens. Now, Doggedly is left with clues to help him catch the culprit before something happens to the pigs.

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Little Girl Reading a Book with a Teddy Bear on The Foor

Mystery Book Number 7: Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor – By Ally Carter

Among the best mystery books lie the series Winterborne Home of Vengeance and Valor. It is an exciting read that will leave you hooked for days at a time. Ally Carter wrote this series, consisting of 2 books, with the second book in the series entitled Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery.

Winterborne Home is an orphanage where the special eleven-year-old April is put. She has been to over a few orphanages, but she is fully aware that this one is like no other. April arrives at the orphanage to suddenly figure out the secret of Gabriel Winterborne, who is supposedly dead and whose body disappeared. He is alive! This secret shouldn’t find its way to the ears of the adults of Winterborne House.

Mystery Book Number 8: Midnight at the Barclay Hotel – By Fleur T. Bradley

How captivating is the title of this book? We believe that it is very intriguing and worth a shot. Midnight at the Barclay Hotel is one of the novels that successfully put itself on the shelf of mystery books. Imagine convincing your mother to let you spend your weekend at a hotel to find your getaway turning into a memorable weekend.

Well, that is precisely what happened with JJ Jacobson. He went to Barclay Hotel for a fun getaway only to find himself involved in a murder mystery. This wasn’t the only worst thing to happen to JJ; his mother also became the prime suspect. JJ has to look for clues along with his new friends, Penny and Emma, to clear his mother’s name. His journey wasn’t easy, but it was worth the trouble.

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Little Boy Smiling at The Library

Mystery Book Number 9: Malcolm at Midnight – By W.H. Beck

If you love animals and mystery books are your thing, you have got your two favorite things combined in this exciting novel. Even those who are not on the side of liking animals will still find Malcolm at Midnight appealing. This book will easily catch your attention and leave you wanting to read more. There is also a sequel to this novel known as Malcolm Under the Stars.

The story revolves around Malcolm arriving at McKenna School as a newbie. Malcolm is not just a regular student you get to meet at your school daily; he is a rat. It is not even one you meet on any day at school, at least not as a student. 

The school has a secret society for classroom pets known as The Midnight Academy. Rats don’t have an excellent reputation, so Malcolm is the first suspect when the leader of the academy is kidnapped. Malcolm is innocent, but he has to work to prove it.

Check out these books and movies inspired by Greek Mythology.

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