It's a Mystery

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

Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff

Younger Elementary

 Cam Jansen and the Secret Service Mystery

David A. Adler
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Adler)
Series: 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.

The Absent Author

Ron Roy
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Roy)
Series: 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.

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.

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 Haunted Toolshed

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

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

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.

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats

Dori Hillestad Butler
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER But)
Series: King & Kayla; 1

King's human, Kayla, has baked some treats for a friend's new puppy, Thor, but some go missing and it is up to King to find the culprit.

Wallace and Grace and the Lost Puppy

Heather Alexander
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Alexand)
Series: Wallace and Grace Mysteries; 3

When Wallace and Grace are on a scavenger hunt, they stumble upon a puppy named Jasper who can't find his way home. Will the owl detectives be able to follow clues to get the lost puppy home?

Older Elementary

Bunnicula : A Rabbit-tale of Mystery

Deborah Howe, 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.

The Case of the Missing Marquess

Nancy Springer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Springe)
Series: 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.

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)
Series: 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.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective

Donald J. Sobol
(Juvenile Fiction - J Sobol)
Series: 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.

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 Harlem Charade

Natasha Tarpley
(Juvenile Fiction - J Tarpley)

Seventh-graders Jin, Alexandra, and Elvin come from very different backgrounds and circumstances, but they all live in Harlem, and when Elvin's grandfather is attacked they band together to find out who is responsible--and the search leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune, and into conflict with an ambitious politician who wants to turn Harlem into an historic amusement park.

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.

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.


Gordon Korman
(Juvenile Fiction - J Korman)
Series: 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)
Series: 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.

The Parker Inheritance

Varian Johnson
(Juvenile Fiction - J Johnson)

Spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, Candice discovers the letter that sent her grandmother on a treasure hunt, and with her new friend Brandon, sets off to expose the injustice once committed against a local African American family.

The Secret of the Old Clock

Carolyn Keene
(Juvenile Fiction - J Keene)
Series: 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)
Series: 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.

Spy School

Stuart Gibbs
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gibbs)
Series: 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.


Carl Hiaasen
(Juvenile Fiction - J Hiaasen)

Discovering the address of the father who left when he was only four, Billy is forced to move repeatedly with his activist mother before embarking on a summer of unconventional travel and animal rescue. 

The Strangers

Margaret Peterson Haddix
(Juvenile Fiction - J Haddix)
Series: (Greystone Secrets; 1)

Receiving reports that three children with their names and birthdates have been kidnapped, three siblings investigate complex codes, hidden rooms and a dangerous secret that turns their lives upside down.

The Tower Treasure

Franklin W. Dixon
(Juvenile Fiction - J Dixon)
Series: Hardy Boys Mystery Stories

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 Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Leslie Connor
(Juvenile Fiction - J Connor)

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him?

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.