Missing dog treats, rhyming kid detectives, bowler-wearing spider sidekicks… these detective series are great for young sleuths or anyone interested in a delightful page-turner! May is mystery month and if you’re tracking down a good read, check out these fun books for kids.
King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler – Dog treats intended for a new puppy are missing, and Kayla’s golden retriever King is the suspected thief. Misunderstood King embarks on a mission to clear his name in this first title in the King & Kayla series. Grades 1-3. eBook available in Hoopla.
The Case of the Busted Video Games & Other Mysteries by Janet Tashjian – Marty Frye, the rhyming kid detective, is back in the third book in the Marty Frye Private Eye series. With lots of action and cartoon style illustrations, this series is perfect for early chapter book readers. Grades 2-4.
Mr. Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T. Smith – Mr. Penguin has everything he needs for an adventure: a special hat, a huge magnifying glass, a battered satchel containing fish finger sandwiches, and a bowler-wearing spider sidekick named Colin. The only problem is that he doesn’t have an adventure. Until, that is, he gets a call from Miss Boudicca Bones, owner the Museum of Extraordinary Objects. She is desperate to save her dilapidated museum by finding great-great-great grandfather’s lost treasure. Mr. Penguin takes the case and has quite an adventure indeed. Grades 3-5.
Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti – Set in Richmond in the midst of the Civil War, this is the riveting and true story of an African-American spy for the Union, Mary Bowser. Readers will be swept up in this suspenseful and slim book and have an opportunity to solve the biggest mystery of all: where did Mary hide her diary? Grades 3-5.
The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage – If you enjoy laugh out loud mysteries with a side of completely charming characters, you’ll love this fourth and final title in the Mo & Dale Mystery series. Sixth-grader and “possible orphan”, Mo LoBeau, and her two best friends, Dale and Harm, are on the case of not one but two mysteries: Blackbeard’s treasure that’s rumored to be hidden right in their town of Tupelo Landing, and what happened to Mo’s Upstream Mother. Grades 4-6.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson – A hidden fortune forms the backbone of this engaging mystery. Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is unhappy about having to spend the summer in her grandmother’s old house in Lambert, South Carolina. She would rather be back in her big house in Atlanta, but when she finds a letter addressed to her grandmother that mentions a $40 million treasure hidden somewhere in the town, her summer becomes anything but boring. Grades 4-7. Audiobook also available in Hoopla.
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson – Orphan Elizabeth Somer’s rueful life changes dramatically when she is sent to Winterhouse Hotel over her Christmas vacation where she meets eccentric hotel owner Norbridge Falls and fellow puzzle lover, Freddy. Together, Elizabeth and Freddy attempt to discover the source of some very strange and puzzling things they discover about the hotel and Norbridge’s malevolent sister, Gracella. Grades 4-7.
Bone’s Gift by Angie Smibert – When Bone Phillips touches something, she feels the emotion connected to that object, but is that the gift her mother’s family inherits at about her age? When she receives a note reading, THE GIFT KILLED YOUR MOTHER, she knows she must find out how her mother died. In the process of unraveling the mystery, she discovers more truths about herself and her family. Grades 4-7. eBook also available in Hoopla.
For more book suggestions or to request your own personalized reading list, check out our Recommendations page!