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Over 100 Riveting Mystery Books for Middle School Kids

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Even as an adult, I enjoy reading mystery books for middle school students. The stories are often engaging, exciting, and full of creative characters.

I’ll admit that mystery books have always been my favorite genre, and they still are. But that all began when I was kid so that makes it twice as fun to introduce mystery books to my own kids.

Find over 100 mystery books for middle school readers on this list

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Mystery Books Are For Perfect For Middle Schoolers

I still recall how much I loved the Nancy Drew series as a child. I read every single title in the series more than once. I loved the thrill and adventure, but most of all I enjoyed trying to problem-solve alongside the main character.

I think that is one reason so many kids are drawn to mystery books. Kids love the excitement of solving the problem alongside (or even ahead of) the main character. Reading a mystery book is a great way for middle school students to think critically and practice their problem-solving skills in a fun, non-threatening way.

Mystery books for middle school are typically engaging, high-stakes plots without being too gory or dark. Middle schoolers can enjoy solving puzzles, predicting outcomes, and stretching their logical thinking skills without the darker themes that are often found in young adult mysteries.

As always, when you preview a list of mystery books for your middle school student, make sure to preview content warnings on websites like Common Sense Media. I have tried to include a warning if a book is recommended specifically for older middle school students.

Over 100 Riveting Mystery Books For Middle Schoolers

Me, Frida, and the secret of the peacock ring

Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
Angela Cervantes

Publisher’s Description: “A room locked for 50 years.A valuable peacock ring.A mysterious brother-sister duo. Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, the birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She’s hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together. While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward — and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist!”

Amazon | Goodreads


Scat
Carl Hiaasen

Publisher’s Description: “Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved.
 
But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a “family emergency,” Nick and Marta just don’t buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance.
 
And he does! But not in the way they think. There’s a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. It’s all about to hit the fan, and when it does, the bad guys better scat.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
Ally Carter

Publisher’s Description: “April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t the one who broke the vase. April didn’t ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don’t understand that April isn’t like them. After all, April’s mother is coming back for her someday very soon.

All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Three Times Lucky (Mo & Dale Mysteries)
Sheila Turnage

Publisher’s Description: “Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
John Grisham

Publisher’s Description: “In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Blackthorn Key
Kevin Sands

Publisher’s Description: “Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Murder is Bad Manners
Robin Stevens

Publishers Description: “Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are best friends at Deepdean School for Girls, and they both have a penchant for solving mysteries. In fact, outspoken Daisy is a self-described Sherlock Holmes, and she appoints wallflower Hazel as her own personal Watson when they form their own (secret!) detective agency. The only problem? They have nothing to investigate.

But that changes once Hazel discovers the body of their science teacher, Miss Bell—and the body subsequently disappears. She and Daisy are certain a murder must have taken place, and they can think of more than one person with a motive.

Determined to get to the bottom of the crime—and to prove that it happened—before the killer strikes again, Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects, and use all the cunning, scheming, and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Greenglass House
Kate Milford

Publisher’s Description: “It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing.

But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again…

Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Van Gogh Deception (The Lost Art Mysteries)
Deron R. Hicks

Publisher’s Description: “Dan Brown meets Jason Bourne in this riveting middle-grade mystery thriller. When a young boy is discovered in Washington DC’s National Gallery without any recollection of who he is, so begins a high-stakes race to unravel the greatest mystery of all: his identity.      

As the stakes continue to rise, the boy must piece together the disjointed clues of his origins while using his limited knowledge to stop one of the greatest art frauds ever attempted. Digitally interactive, this breathtaking museum mystery offers QR codes woven throughout the book that bring renowned paintings to readers’ fingertips.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers
Margaret Peterson Haddix

Publisher’s Description: “The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.

But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they’re shocked by the startling similarities between themselves and these complete strangers. The other kids share their same first and middle names. They’re the same ages. They even have identical birthdays. Who, exactly, are these strangers?

Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a sudden work trip and leaves them in the care of Ms. Morales and her daughter, Natalie. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.

Amazon | Goodreads


The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. Book 1)
Jonathan Stroud

Publisher’s Description: “When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess
Nancy Springer

Publisher’s Description: “When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly embarks on a journey to London in search of her. But nothing can prepare her for what awaits. Because when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, fleeing murderous villains, and trying to elude her shrewd older brothers—all while attempting to piece together clues to her mother’s strange disappearance. Amid all the mayhem, will Enola be able to decode the necessary clues and find her mother?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Amelia Six
Kristin L. Gray

Publisher’s Description: “Eleven-year-old Amelia Ashford—Millie to her friends (if she had any, that is)—doesn’t realize just how much adventure awaits her when she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to spend the night in Amelia Earhart’s childhood home with five other girls. Make that five strangers. But Millie’s mom is a pilot like the famous Amelia, and Millie would love to have something to write to her about…if only she had her address.

Once at Amelia’s house in Atchison, Kansas, Millie stumbles upon a display of Amelia’s famous flight goggles. She can’t believe her good luck, since they’re about to be relocated to a fancy museum in Washington, DC. But her luck changes quickly when the goggles disappear, and Millie was the last to see them. Soon, fingers are pointing in all directions, and someone falls strangely ill. Suddenly, a fun night of scavenger hunts and sweets takes a nosedive and the girls aren’t sure who to trust. With a blizzard raging outside and a house full of suspects, the girls have no choice but to band together. It’s up to the Amelia Six to find the culprit and return the goggles to their rightful place. Or the next body to collapse could be one of theirs.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Finally, Something Mysterious
Doug Cornett

Publisher’s Description: “Paul Marconi has always thought that Bellwood was a strange town, but also a boring one. Not much for an eleven-year-old to do. Fires are burning nearby, Paul’s parents are obsessed with winning a bratwurst contest, and his best friend, one of the founding members of their only-child detective club, the One and Onlys, is about to acquire a younger sister, sort of undoing their whole reason for existing. But then! Hundreds of rubber duckies have appeared on the lawn of poor Mr. Babbage without any explanation. Finally! There is something that Paul and his friends can actually investigate.

In the face of all these bizarre occurrences, Paul is convinced that uncovering who deposited the duckies will finally bring some sense to what has become an upside-down world. Soon the three friends have a long list of suspects, all with their own motives, but no clear culprit. When everything comes to a head at the town’s annual Bellwood Bratwurst Bonanza, Paul discovers that some things don’t have an easy explanation and not every mystery can be solved.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Murder at Midnight
Avi

My Review: In the Kingdom of Pergamontio, Fabrizio is astounded by his master’s ability to perform magic, but his master, Mangus the magician, is frustrated with the uneducated boy’s belief in the impossible. When Mangus is accused of using magic to participate in a plot to overthrow the king, he must rely on the his servant to piece together the clues and come to his rescue. Fabrizio is determined to save his master and with the help of a new friend, he gets to the bottom of the treachery in the kingdom.

I enjoyed the historical time period of this book, set about the time of the newly invented printing press. It would be a great addition to a medieval booklist as a fun read for a middle schooler. There was plenty of foreshadowing and enough clues were dropped for the reader to solve the mystery, yet the way in which Magnus’s innocence was made for a surprising ending.

At the start of the book, I was frustrated with the main character, Fabrizio, but he grew on me as the story unfolded. I found it a little tough to keep track of many of the roles of the characters from the King’s Royal Court because we didn’t actually know them very well.

Overall, this was a fun read and perfect for a middle school audience. A discussion about the importance of setting (especially in regard to the “magic” of the printing press) would be a great way to tackle this story.

My Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Amazon | Goodreads


Harlem Charade
Natasha Tarpley

Publisher’s Description: “WATCHER. SHADOW. FUGITIVE. Harlem is home to all kinds of kids. Jin sees life passing her by from the window of her family’s bodega.

Alex wants to help the needy one shelter at a time, but can’t tell anyone who she really is. Elvin’s living on Harlem’s cold, lonely streets, surviving on his own after his grandfather was mysteriously attacked. When these three strangers join forces to find out what happened to Elvin’s grandfather, their digging leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune — one that might save the neighborhood from development by an ambitious politician who wants to turn it into Harlem World, a ludicrous historic theme park. But if they don’t find the paintings soon, nothing in their beloved neighborhood will ever be the same…”

Amazon | Goodreads


One Came Home
Amy Timberlake

Publisher’s Description: “In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly.

But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn’t, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of “pigeoners” trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And when the sheriff returns to town with an unidentifiable body—wearing Agatha’s blue-green ball gown—everyone assumes the worst. Except Georgie. Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down (and coffined) before her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister. She will track every last clue and shred of evidence to bring Agatha home. Yet even with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot, Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier.

Amazon | Goodreads


Goldie Vance, Book One
Hope Larson

Publisher’s Description: “Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place. Her mom, who divorced her dad years ago, works as a live mermaid at a club downtown. Goldie has an insatiable curiosity, which explains her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Charles, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery.”

Amazon | Goodreads


When You Reach Me
Rebecca Stead

Publisher’s Description: “Shortly after a fall-out with her best friend, sixth grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, and she doesn’t know what to do. The notes tell her that she must write a letter—a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone.
 
It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that is the case, then Miranda has a big problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Many Points of Me
Caroline Gertler

Publisher’s Description: “Georgia Rosenbloom’s father was a famous artist. His most well-known paintings were a series of asterisms—patterns of stars—that he created. One represented a bird, one himself, and one Georgia’s mother. There was supposed to be a fourth asterism, but Georgia’s father died before he could paint it. Georgia’s mother and her best friend, Theo, are certain that the last asterism would’ve been of Georgia, but Georgia isn’t so sure. She isn’t sure about anything anymore—including whether Theo is still her best friend.

Then Georgia finds a sketch her father made of her. One with pencil points marked on the back—just like those in the asterism paintings. Could this finally be the proof that the last painting would have been of her?

Georgia’s quest to prove her theory takes her around her Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was almost a second home to Georgia, having visited favorite artists and paintings there constantly with her father. But the sketch leads right back to where she’s always belonged—with the people who love her no matter what.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Hold Fast
Blue Balliett

Publisher’s Description: “Where is Early’s father? He’s not the kind of father who would disappear. But he’s gone . . . and he’s left a whole lot of trouble behind. As danger closes in, Early, her mom, and her brother have to flee their apartment. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to move into a city shelter.

Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers. Because her father hasn’t disappeared without a trace. There are patterns and rhythms to what’s happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place. With her signature, singular love of language and sense of mystery, Blue Balliett weaves a story that takes readers from the cold, snowy Chicago streets to the darkest corner of the public library, on an unforgettable hunt for deep truths and a reunited family.”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly, Book 1)
Lena Jones

Publisher’s Description: “Meet thirteen-year-old Agatha Oddly – a bold, determined heroine, and the star of a stylish new detective series.

Agatha Oddlow has been a detective for as long as she can remember – she’s just been waiting for her first big case. And nothing gets bigger than saving the City of London from some strange goings-on.

With a scholarship to the prestigious St Regis School, a cottage in the middle of Hyde Park, a room full of beloved sleuthing novels, and a secret key that gives her access to a whole hidden side of London, Agatha is perfectly poised to solve the mystery of what’s going on. But just who can she trust when no one is quite who they seem…”

Amazon | Goodreads


Mysterious Benedict Society
Trenton Lee Stewart

Publisher’s Description: “‘Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?’ Dozens of children respond to this peculiar newspaper ad and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children—two boys and two girls—succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it, they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Liar and Spy
Rebecca Stead

Publisher’s Description: “The first day Georges (the S is silent) moves into a new Brooklyn apartment, he sees a sign taped to a door in the basement: SPY CLUB MEETING—TODAY!
 
That’s how he meets his twelve-year-old neigh­bor Safer. He and Georges quickly become allies—and fellow spies. Their assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer’s requests become more and more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Every Missing Piece
Melanie Conklin

Publisher’s Description: “Maddy Gaines sees danger everywhere she looks: at the bus stop, around the roller rink, in the woods, and (especially) by the ocean. When Maddy meets a mysterious boy setting booby traps in the North Carolina woods, she suspects is Billy Holcomb–the boy who went missing in the fall. As Maddy tries to uncover the truth about Billy Holcomb, ghosts from her own past surface, her best friend starts to slip away, and Maddy’s world tilts once again. Can she put the pieces of her life back together, even if some of them are lost forever?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Westing Game
Ellen Raskin

Publisher’s Description: “A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure: Sam Westing may be dead … but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!”

Amazon | Goodreads


Million Dollar Race
Matthew Ross Smith

Publisher’s Description: “Grant Falloon isn’t just good at track; he’s close to breaking the world record 100-meter time for his age group. So when the mega-rich Babblemoney sneaker company announces an international competition to find the fastest kid in the world, he’s desperate to sign up.

But not so fast. Nothing’s ever that easy with the eccentric Falloon family. Turns out, his non-conformist parents never got him a legal birth certificate. He can’t race for the United States, so now if he wants to compete, he may just have to invent his own country.

And even if that plan works, winning gold will mean knocking his best friend—and biggest competitor—Jay, out of the competition. As unexpected hurdles arise, Grant will have to ask not only if winning is possible, but what he’s willing to sacrifice for it.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Summer of Lost and Found
Rebecca Behrens

Publisher’s Description: “Nell Dare expected to spend her summer vacation hanging out with her friends in New York City. That is, until her botanist mom dragged her all the way to Roanoke Island for a research trip. To make matters worse, her father suddenly and mysteriously leaves town, leaving no explanation or clues as to where he went—or why.

While Nell misses the city—and her dad—a ton, it doesn’t take long for her to become enthralled with the mysteries of Roanoke and its lost colony. And when Nell meets Ambrose, a quirky historical reenactor, they start exploring for clues as to what really happened to the lost colonists. As Nell and Ambrose’s discoveries of tantalizing evidence mount, mysterious things begin to happen. And someone—or something—is keeping watch over their quest for answers.

It looks like Nell will get the adventurous summer she was hoping for, and she will discover secrets not only about Roanoke, but about herself.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Holes

Holes
Louis Sachar

Publisher’s Description: “Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Emperor’s Riddle
Kat Zhang

Publisher’s Description: “Mia Chen is on what her mother calls a Grand Adventure. She’s not sure what to make of this family trip to China, and didn’t want to leave her friends for the summer, but she’s excited about the prospect of exploring with her Aunt Lin, the only adult who truly understands her.

Then Aunt Lin disappears, right after her old nemesis, a man named Ying, comes to visit. Mia knows that years ago, when Aunt Lin and Ying were sent to the Fuzhou countryside to work as laborers, the two searched for an ancient treasure together—one that still hasn’t been found. She’s suspicious that their shared history might be linked to Aunt Lin’s disappearance.

When Mia discovers an old map filled with riddles in Aunt Lin’s room, she quickly pieces together her mission: find the treasure, find her aunt. Now, Mia, along with her big brother, Jake, must solve the clues to rescue the person she knows best in the world—and maybe unearth a treasure greater than her wildest dreams.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Linked
Gordon Korman

Publisher’s Description: “Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it’s woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika.

Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing?

Because Michael was the first person to see it, he’s the first suspect. Because Link is one of the most popular guys in school, everyone’s looking to him to figure it out. And because Dana’s the only Jewish girl in the whole town, everyone’s treating her more like an outsider than ever.

The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face-not just the crimes of the present, but the crimes of the past.”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Great Greene Heist
Varian Johnson

Publisher’s Description: “Jackson Greene swears he’s given up scheming. Then school bully Keith Sinclair announces he’s running for Student Council president, against Jackson’s former friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby wants Jackson to stay out of it — but he knows Keith has “connections” to the principal, which could win him the presidency no matter the vote count. So Jackson assembles a crack team: Hashemi Larijani, tech genius. Victor Cho, bankroll. Megan Feldman, science goddess. Charlie de la Cruz, reporter. Together they devise a plan that will take down Keith, win Gaby’s respect, and make sure the election is done right. If they can pull it off, it will be remembered as the school’s greatest con ever — one worthy of the name THE GREAT GREENE HEIST.”

Amazon | Goodreads


OCDaniel
Wesley King

Publisher’s Description: “Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.

Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star Child—whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.”

Amazon | Goodreads


All the Greys on Greene Street
Laura Tucker

Publisher’s Description: “SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist–and in her neighborhood, that’s normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye. Then everything falls apart. Ollie’s dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she’s not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . Olympia knows her dad is the key–but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Footer Davis is Probably Crazy
Susan Vaught

Publisher’s Description: “Here are some things that are true about Footer Davis:
1. She has a BB gun named Louise.
2. Walruses freak her out.
3. Her mom has bipolar disorder.

But she wants you to know that it’s not that big a deal. She’s just Mom, and usually she’s fine except sometimes when she doesn’t take her pills. But right now what’s most important to Footer is what happened to those kids at the Abrams farm. See, there was a fire there a few nights ago, and those kids haven’t been seen since. Pretty sure they got burned up. What Footer and Peavine—that’s her best friend—want to know is who started the fire?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Rescue at Lake Wild
Terry Lynn Johnson

Publisher’s Description: “Everyone knows that twelve-year-old Madison “Madi” Lewis is not allowed to bring home any more animals.

After she’s saved hairless mice, two birds, a rabbit, and a stray tom cat that ended up destroying the front porch, Madi’s parents decide that if they find one more stray animal in the house, she won’t be allowed to meet Jane Goodall at an upcoming gala event.

But when Madi and her two best friends, Aaron and Jack, rescue beaver kits whose mother was killed, they find themselves at the center of a local conspiracy that’s putting the beavers and their habitats in danger.

As Madi and her friends race to uncover the threat targeting the beavers, Madi must put her animal whisperer skills to the test in both raising the orphaned beaver kits and staying out of trouble long enough.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Chirp
Kate Messner

Publisher’s Description: “When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she’s recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she’d rather forget.

Mia’s change in scenery brings day camp, new friends, and time with her beloved grandmother. But Gram is convinced someone is trying to destroy her cricket farm. Is it sabotage or is Gram’s thinking impaired from the stroke she suffered months ago? Mia and her friends set out to investigate, but can they uncover the truth in time to save Gram’s farm? And will that discovery empower Mia to confront the secret she’s been hiding–and find the courage she never knew she had?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Drew Leclair Gets a Clue
Katryn Bury

Publisher’s Description: “Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She’s pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor’s missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues?

Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it’s only a matter of time before Drew’s secret is out.

Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to do: profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Goldfish Boy
Lisa Thompson

Publisher’s Description: “Lisa Thompson’s debut novel is a page-turning mystery with an emotionally-driven, complex character study at its core — like Rear Window meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac. When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Tornado Brain
Cat Patrick

Publisher’s Description: “Things never seem to go as easily for thirteen-year-old Frankie as they do for her sister, Tess. Unlike Tess, Frankie is neurodivergent. In her case, that means she can’t stand to be touched, loud noises bother her, she’s easily distracted, she hates changes in her routine, and she has to go see a therapist while other kids get to hang out at the beach. It also means Frankie has trouble making friends. She did have one–Colette–but they’re not friends anymore. It’s complicated.

Then, just weeks before the end of seventh grade, Colette unexpectedly shows up at Frankie’s door. The next morning, Colette vanishes. Now, after losing Colette yet again, Frankie’s convinced that her former best friend left clues behind that only she can decipher, so she persuades her reluctant sister to help her unravel the mystery of Colette’s disappearance before it’s too late.”

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Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
Lisa Yee

Publisher’s Description: “Maizy has never been to Last Chance, Minnesota . . . until now. Her mom’s plan is just to stay for a couple weeks, until her grandfather gets better. But plans change, and as Maizy spends more time in Last Chance and at the Golden Palace—the restaurant that’s been in her family for generations—she makes some discoveries.For instance:

  • You can tell a LOT about someone by the way they order food. 
  • People can surprise you. Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in disappointing ways.
  • And the Golden Palace has secrets…

But the more Maizy discovers, the more questions she has. Like, why are her mom and her grandmother always fighting? Who are the people in the photographs on the office wall? And when she discovers that a beloved family treasure has gone missing—and someone has left a racist note—Maizy decides it’s time to find the answers.”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Dark Stairs (Herculeah Jones Mystery)
Betsy Byars

Publisher’s Description: “Mystery is in Herculeah Jones’s blood. How could it not be, with a father on the police force and a mother who’s a private eye? So when Herculeah notices a man hanging around the “Dead Oaks” mansion, she can’t resist doing some investigating of her own. Legend has it the old estate was the site of a murder, and now it looks like there’s something even more nefarious going on. Can Herculeah crack the case before the mystery man closes in on her?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
Leslie Conner

Publisher’s Description: “Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard.

An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground haven 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?”

Amazon | Goodreads


High Rise Mysteries
Sharna Jackson

Publisher’s Description: “The detective duo everyone is dying to meet! Summer in London is hot, the hottest on record, and there’s been a murder in THE TRI: the high-rise home to resident know-it-alls, Nik and Norva. Who better to solve the case? Armed with curiosity, home-turf knowledge and unlimited time – until the end of the summer holidays anyway.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray
Jess Keating

Publisher’s Description: “There are only so many times a kid can invent an instrument of global destruction without getting grounded. So when Nikki’s death ray accidentally blows up her bedroom (if you can call a pet ferret with an itchy trigger finger an accident), she’s sent to the only place that can handle her. Genius Academy is a school for history’s greatest brains. Leo da Vinci? Charlotte Darwin? Bert Einstein? All extraordinary. Yet even among her fellow prodigies, Nikki feels like an outsider thanks to a terrible secret she can’t let anyone discover. Ever.

But when her death ray is stolen, Nikki must stop worrying about fitting in and learn to play nice with her new classmates. Because it doesn’t take a genius to track a thief around the world, outwit the authorities, and keep a French fry-fanatic ferret happy. It takes all of them.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Tangled Up in Luck
Merrill Wyatt

Publisher’s Description: “If you told Sloane Osburn and Amelia Miller-Poe that they’d be hiding in their town cemetery from an evil mastermind, they would have been hard-pressed to believe you. If you also told them that person was intent on beating them to a cache of long-lost jewels using nothing more than a slingshot and wicked aim, they’d have been sure you got your facts wrong. Finally, if you told them they’d be doing all of this as friends…well, they would have been sure you needed medical attention.

Whether through serendipity (really, really good luck) or zemblanity (really, really bad luck), someone tricked their teacher into using their seventh-grade class to investigate the mystery of their town’s long-missing treasure. From there, things have escalated. Quickly. Now, the girls are stuck hiding behind a gravestone, dodging acorns (who knew acorns could be so threatening?), and just a few clues short of those jewels.

It’s up to these enemies-turned-partners to uncover centuries-old clues to find the treasure at the end of this book before the mysterious person on their trail can get to it first…”

Amazon | Goodreads


This list of books contains over 100 mystery books for middle school students.

Crown Heist
Deron R. Hicks

Publisher’s Description: “No matter how dangerous his adventures have been, Art has always been able to count on his best friend, Camille. Now that Camille is meeting her estranged father, Art wants to be there for her—which means going to London.  

But Camille’s history professor father, renowned for expertise in British legend, is missing. When they visit his apartment, Art and Camille find a long-missing object that suggests the professor could be in trouble and solving a mystery related to London’s history. 

Follow Art and Camille as they visit the Tower of London, National Portrait Gallery, and ride the “tube” in hopes of uncovering the truth before it’s too late.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Absolutely Truly
Heather Vogel Frederick

Publisher’s Description: “Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.

With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.”

Amazon | Goodreads


A Properly Unhaunted Place
William Alexander

Publisher’s Description: “Rosa Ramona Díaz has a very special talent. She comes from a family of librarians who specialize in ghost appeasement. So she can’t understand why her mother has moved them to Ingot, the world’s only unhaunted town. What are they supposed to do there, with no poltergeists to quiet and no specters to soothe? Frankly, Rosa doesn’t think anyone should want to live in a place where the biggest attraction is a woefully inaccurate Renaissance Festival.

But Jasper Chevalier has always lived in Ingot, working at the festival while his parents hold court. Jasper has never seen a ghost, and can’t imagine his unhaunted town any other way…until an angry apparition thunders into the fairgrounds and turns Ingot upside down. Jasper is astonished…and Rosa is delighted.

Mist is building in the hills, and something otherworldly is about to be unleashed. Rosa will need all her ghost appeasement tools—and a little help from Jasper—to try to rein in the angry ghosts in this hilariously spooky adventure.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Framed!
James Ponti

Publisher’s Description: “So you’re only halfway through your homework and the Director of the FBI keeps texting you for help…What do you do? Save your grade? Or save the country?

If you’re Florian Bates, you figure out a way to do both.

Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It’s a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries such as: where to sit on the on the first day of school, or which Chinese restaurant has the best eggrolls.

But when he teaches it to his new friend Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn’t little. In fact, it’s HUGE, and it involves the National Gallery, the FBI, and a notorious crime syndicate known as EEL.

Can Florian decipher the clues and finish his homework in time to help the FBI solve the case?”

Amazon | Goodreads


If You Find This
Matthew Baker

Publisher’s Description: “Nicholas is a math and music genius with no friends and a huge problem: His father has lost his job, and they’ll have to sell their house, which holds the only memory Nicholas has of his younger brother. Just in time, Nicholas’s senile grandfather arrives, filled with tales of priceless treasure he has hidden somewhere in town–but where?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Zora & Me
Victoria Bond

Publisher’s Description: “Whether she’s telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost — and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after — young Zora’s tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Guys Read: Thriller
Jon Scieszka

Publisher’s Description: “A body on the tracks

A teenage terrorist

A mysterious wish-granting machine

The world’s worst private detective

The second volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading is chock-full of mystery, intrigue, and nefarious activity. Featuring some of the best writers around, and compiled by certified guy Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: Thriller is a pulse-pounding collection of brand-new short stories, each one guaranteed to keep you riveted until the final page.

Amazon | Goodreads


Finding Mighty
Sheela Chari

Publisher’s Description: “Along the train lines north of New York City, 12-year-old neighbors Myla and Peter search for the link between Myla’s necklace and the disappearance of Peter’s brother, Randall. Thrown into a world of parkour, graffiti, and diamond smuggling, Myla and Peter encounter a band of thugs who are after the same thing as Randall. Can Myla and Peter find Randall before it’s too late and their shared family secrets threaten to destroy them all?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
Julie Berry

Publisher’s Description: “There’s a murderer on the loose―but that doesn’t stop the girls of St. Etheldreda’s from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home―unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.”

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The Mysterious Howling: Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1
Maryrose Wood

Publisher’s Description: “Discovered in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. A recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must eliminate their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to civilize the Incorrigibles in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Moon Over Manifest
Clare Vanderpool

Publisher’s Description: “Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.


Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”


Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Spirit Hunters
Ellen Oh

Publisher’s Description: “Harper doesn’t trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely.

The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?”

Amazon | Goodreads
**NOTE: This book is considered middle-grade horror


The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle
Janet Fox

Publisher’s Description: ““Keep calm and carry on.”  That’s what Katherine Bateson’s father told her, and that’s what she’s trying to do:  when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when the children arrive at Rookskill Castle, an ancient, crumbling manor on the misty Scottish highlands.
 
But it’s hard to keep calm in the strange castle that seems haunted by ghosts or worse.  What’s making those terrifying screeches and groans at night?  Why do the castle’s walls seem to have a mind of their own?  And why do people seem to mysteriously appear and disappear?
 
Kat believes she knows the answer: Lady Eleanor, who rules Rookskill Castle, is harboring a Nazi spy. But when her classmates begin to vanish, one by one, Kat must uncover the truth about what the castle actually harbors—and who Lady Eleanor really is—before it’s too late.”

Amazon | Goodreads


York: Shadow Cipher
Laura Ruby

Publisher’s Description: “It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before.

Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.

Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York.

And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.

Amazon | Goodreads


Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave
Deron R. Hicks

Publsiher’s Description: “Twelve-year-old Colophon Letterford has a serious mystery on her hands. Will she discover the link between her family’s literary legacy and Shakespeare’s tomb before it’s too late? Antique paintings, secret passages, locked mausoleums, a four-hundred-year-old treasure, and a cast of quirky (and some ignoble) characters all add up to a fun original adventure. Readers will revel in a whirlwind journey through literary time and space in real-world locales from Mont St. Michel to Stratford-Upon-Avon to Central Park!”

Amazon | Goodreads


Catch You Later Traitor
Avi

Publisher’s Description: “It’s 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves detective stories and radio crime dramas. 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 his family?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
Lindsay Currie

Publisher’s Description: “Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.

When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. And it involves a secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.

With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!”

Amazon | Goodreads


Clara Voyant
Rachelle Delaney

Publisher’s Description: “Clara can’t believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally “follow her bliss,” which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes.

Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified — horoscopes and clairvoyance aren’t real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.”

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The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit
Octavia Spencer

Publisher’s Description: “Deer Creek is a small town whose only hope for survival is the success of their Founder’s Day Festival. But the festival’s main attraction, a time capsule that many people believe hold the town’s treasure, has gone missing.

Twelve-year-old Randi Rhodes and her best friend, D.C., are Bruce Lee–inspired ninjas and local detectives determined to solve the case. Even if it means investigating a haunted cabin and facing mean old Angus McCarthy, prime suspect.

They have three days to find the treasure…the future of their whole town is at stake! Will these kids be able to save the day?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Wig in the Window
Kristen Kittscher

Publisher’s Description: “Sophie and Grace have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford (also known as Dr. Awkward).

At least, they think they do. When the girls are proven wrong, they are still convinced that Dr. Agford is hiding a terrible secret—and they’re determined to find out what it is. Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. Will solving the case destroy their friendship?”

Amazon | Goodreads


To Catch a Cheat
Varian Johnson

Publisher’s Description: “Jackson Greene is riding high. He is officially retired from conning, so Principal Kelsey is (mostly) off his back. His friends have great new projects of their own. And he’s been hanging out a lot with Gaby de la Cruz, so he thinks maybe, just maybe, they’ll soon have their first kiss.

Then Jackson receives a link to a faked security video that seems to show him and the rest of Gang Greene flooding the school gym. The jerks behind the video threaten to pass it to the principal — unless Jackson steals an advance copy of the school’s toughest exam. So Gang Greene reunites for their biggest job yet. To get the test and clear their names, they’ll have to outrun the school’s security cameras, outwit a nosy member of the Honor Board, and outmaneuver the blackmailers while setting a trap for them in turn. And as they execute another exciting caper full of twists and turns, they’ll prove that sometimes it takes a thief to catch a cheat.”

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The Riverman
Aaron Starmer

Publisher’s Description: “Alistair Cleary is the kid who everyone trusts. Fiona Loomis is not the typical girl next door. Alistair hasn’t really thought of her since they were little kids until she shows up at his doorstep with a proposition: she wants him to write her biography. What begins as an odd vanity project gradually turns into a frightening glimpse into the mind of a potentially troubled girl. Fiona says that in her basement, there’s a portal that leads to a magical world where a creature called the Riverman is stealing the souls of children. And Fiona’s soul could be next. If Fiona really believes what she’s saying, Alistair fears she may be crazy. But if it’s true, her life could be at risk. In this novel from Aaron Starmer, it’s up to Alistair to separate fact from fiction, fantasy from reality.”

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Skink: No Surrender
Carl Hiaasen

Publisher’s Description: “Classic Malley: her parents are about to ship her off to boarding school, so she takes off with some guy she met online… Poor Richard: he’s less of a rebel than Malley, and a lot less trusting. He knows his cousin is in trouble before she does. Wild Skink: he’s a ragged, one-eyed, ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, this unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.    

In Carl Hiaasen’s outrageous, hilarious, and wildly dangerous state of Florida, there are a million places an outlaw might stash a teenage girl. A million unpleasant ways to die. And two who will risk everything to rescue a friend . . . and to, hopefully, exact a bit of swamp justice.”

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The House of Dies Drear
Virginia Hamilton

Publisher’s Description: “The house held secrets, Thomas knew, even before he first saw it looming gray and massive on its ledge of rock. It had a century-old legend—two fugitive slaves had been killed by bounty hunters after leaving its passageways, and Dies Drear himself, the abolitionist who had made the house into a station on the Underground Railroad, had been murdered there. The ghosts of the three were said to walk its rooms…”

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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Dusti Bowling

Publisher’s Description: “Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.”

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Chasing Secrets
Gennifer Choldenko

Publisher’s Description: “San Francisco, 1900. The Gilded Age. A fantastic time to be alive for lots of people . . . but not thirteen-year-old Lizzie Kennedy, stuck at Miss Barstow’s snobby school for girls. Lizzie’s secret passion is science, an unsuitable subject for finishing-school girls. Lizzie lives to go on house calls with her physician father. On those visits to his patients, she discovers a hidden dark side of the city—a side that’s full of secrets, rats, and rumors of the plague.

The newspapers, her powerful uncle, and her beloved papa all deny that the plague has reached San Francisco. So why is the heart of the city under quarantine? Why are angry mobs trying to burn Chinatown to the ground? Why is Noah, the Chinese cook’s son, suddenly making Lizzie question everything she has known to be true? Ignoring the rules of race and class, Lizzie and Noah must put the pieces together in a heart-stopping race to save the people they love.”

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Fuzzy Mud
Louis Sachar

Publisher’s Description: “They got lost. The world got scared. And the mud got fuzzy.

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight.
 
To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined. What they uncover might affect the future of the world.”

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Swift and Hawk: Cyberspies
Logan Macx

Publisher’s Description: “When their families are violently kidnapped, Swift and Hawk—teen experts in AI and robotics—are plunged into a life-or-death rescue mission by the secretive Möbius group. Their journey takes them from hidden tunnels beneath the British Museum to the dangerous docklands of Amsterdam in search of the mysterious ship Nightfall. Caught in a treacherous world of spies and saboteurs, Swift and Hawk will be pushed to the limit as they follow a trail that leads to the remote island of Spøkelsøy—and straight into the hands of a dark and chilling enemy.”

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Inheritance Games
Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publisher’s Description: “Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why — or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.

To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch — and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a conwoman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.”

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*Recommended for upper-middle and high


By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Gone
Stephanie Kuehn

Publisher’s Description: “Beatrice Fletcher is obsessed with unsolved murders in her small town of Cabot Cove, Maine like her great-aunt Jessica, the famous mystery writer. But when her best friend Jackson goes missing, this time the mystery is personal.

Then Jackson fails to show up for a late night meet-up, and instead, Bea stumbles upon three students from the elite Broadmoor Academy: overly-friendly and slightly vicious Leisl, her aloof twin brother, Leif, and Carlos, who knows more about, well, everything than he’s letting on. They’re worldly, secretive, and big on playing games like tenace, the hush-hush Broadmoor tradition where anything or anyone can be a clue to future fame and fortune, and players will stop at nothing — including murder — to get ahead.

If Bea wants to find Jackson, she too must join the game and play to win. Everyone in Cabot Cove has secrets, and it’s up to Bea to ferret them out before it’s too late in this thrilling modern update of the classic television show.”

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*Recommended for upper middle and high


Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation
Stuart Gibbs

Publisher’s Description: “Charlie Thorne is a genius. Charlie Thorne is a thief. Charlie Thorne isn’t old enough to drive. And now it’s up to her to save the world…

Decades ago, Albert Einstein devised an equation that could benefit all life on earth—or destroy it. Fearing what would happen if the equation fell into the wrong hands, he hid it.

But now, a diabolical group known as the Furies are closing in on its location. In desperation, a team of CIA agents drags Charlie into the hunt, needing her brilliance to find it first—even though this means placing her life in grave danger.

In a breakneck adventure that spans the globe, Charlie must crack a complex code created by Einstein himself, struggle to survive in a world where no one can be trusted, and fight to keep the last equation safe once and for all.”

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Brian Selznick

Publisher’s Description: “Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.”

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Greetings from Witness Protection!
Jake Burt

Publisher’s Description: “The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation’s most notorious criminals. After all, the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, and adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need.

Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she’ll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family’s security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Ambrose Deception
Emily Ecton

Publisher’s Description: “Not a single one of Melissa, Wilf, or Bondi’s middle school teachers would consider them a star student. Yet to everyone’s surprise, Melissa, WIlf, and Bondi are the three students chosen to compete for a ten thousand-dollar scholarship, solving clues that lead them to various locations around Chicago. None of the kids have heard of the scholarship before, but the rules seem simple enough: solve clues, take photo proof, and win money. 

At first the three contestants work independently, but it doesn’t take long before each begins to wonder whether the competition is a sham. It’s only by secretly joining forces and using their unique talents that the trio is able to uncover the truth behind the Ambrose Deception — a truth that involves a lot more than just a scholarship.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Belly Up
Stuart Gibbs

Publisher’s Description: “Twelve-year-old Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Fitzroy has murder on his hands and trouble on his tail. He believes that Henry, the hippopotamus at the brand-new FunJungle, has been murdered. The zoo’s top brass claim the hippo went belly up the natural way, but Teddy and his feisty friend Summer McCraken have other ideas.

Could the culprit be FunJungle’s animal-hating head of operations? Or is it FunJungle’s owner—Summer’s dad—a man who is much more concerned about money than animal welfare? The deeper Teddy and Summer dig, the more danger they’re in—because when it comes to hippo homicide, the truth can’t be caged!”

Amazon | Goodreads


Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body under the Piano
Marthe Jocelyn

Publisher’s Description: “Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative but deeply shy, Aggie hasn’t got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! As the number of suspects grows and the murder threatens to tear the town apart, Aggie and her new friend will need every tool at their disposal — including their insatiable curiosity, deductive skills and not a little help from their friends — to solve the case before Aggie’s beloved dance instructor is charged with a crime Aggie is sure she didn’t commit.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Charlie & Frog
Karen Kane

Publisher’s Description: “A smart and sensitive mystery full of heart and adventure. The short chapters of Charlie and Frog tell a big story of diversity and friendship that’s perfect for readers discovering the power of middle-grade stories.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Into the Lion’s Den (The Devlin Quick Mysteries)
Linda Fairstein

Publisher’s Description: “Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.

With all of the heart-pounding excitement that made her internationally bestselling Alexandra Cooper series a hit, Linda Fairstein paves the way for another unstoppable heroine . . . even if she is only twelve.”

Amazon | Goodreads


It Wasn’t Me
Alison Levy

Publisher’s Description: “When Theo’s photography project is mysteriously vandalized at school there are five suspected students who all say “it wasn’t me.”

Theo just wants to forget about the humiliating incident but his favorite teacher is determined to get to the bottom of it and has the six of them come into school over vacation to talk. She calls it “Justice Circle.” The six students—the Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Screw Up, the Weirdo, and the Nobody—think of it as detention. AKA their worst nightmare.

That is until they realize they might get along after all, despite their differences. But what is everyone hiding and will school ever be the same?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers
Shauna Holyoak

Publisher’s Description: “When a string of dognappings grips her Denver neighborhood, Kazu Jones vows to track down the culprits. She can’t stand to see more dogs go missing-especially once her neighbors’ beloved pet is taken because of her gigantic mistake.

With the help of her gang-including her best friend and expert hacker, March; and her ginormous, socially anxious pup, Genki-Kazu uncovers evidence that suggests the dognapping ring is bigger than she ever imagined. But the more she digs, the more dangerous her investigation becomes. The dognappers are getting bolder, and Genki could be next . . .”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Case of the Mistaken Identity (Brixton Brothers, Book 1)
Mac Barnett

Publisher’s Description: “Steve Brixton wants to be a crime-busting detective—just like his favorite crime-busting detectives, the Bailey Brothers. Turns out, though, that real life is nothing like the stories.

When Steve borrows the wrong book from the library, he finds himself involved in a treasonous plot that pits him against helicopter-rappelling librarians, has him outwitting a gaggle of police, and sees him standing off against the mysterious Mr. E. And all his Bailey Brothers know-how isn’t helping at all!

Worst of all, his social studies report is due Monday, and Ms. Gilfeather will not give him an extension!”

Amazon | Goodreads


Nooks and Crannies
Jessica Lawson

Publisher’s Description: “Sweet, shy Tabitha Crum, the neglected only child of two parents straight out of a Roald Dahl book, doesn’t have a friend in the world—except for her pet mouse, Pemberley, whom she loves dearly. But on the day she receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss, her life changes forever.

Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling, possibly haunted mansion, it turns out the countess has a very big secret—one that will change their lives forever.

Then the children beginning disappearing, one by one. So Tabitha takes a cue from her favorite detective novels and, with Pemberley by her side, attempts to solve the case and rescue the other children…who just might be her first real friends.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset
Tom Angleberger

Publisher’s Description: “Tom Angleberger’s latest, loopiest middle-grade novel begins when M’Lady Luggertuck loosens her corset (it’s never been loosened before!), thereby setting off a chain of events in which all the strict rules of Smugwick Manor are abandoned. When, as a result of “the Loosening,” the precious family heirloom, the Luggertuck Lump (quite literally a lump), goes missing, the Luggertucks look for someone to blame. Is it Horton Halfpott, the good-natured but lowly kitchen boy who can’t tell a lie? Or one of the many colorful cast members in this silly romp of a mystery.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Under the Egg
Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Publisher’s Description: “When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo’s search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she’ll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile
Marcie Wells

Publisher’s Description: “Not many sixth-graders work undercover for the NYPD, but Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, code name Eddie Red, is not just any sixth-grader. A “near-death ice cream experience” lands him as a material witness in the police station with his dad, where the NYPD first discovers Eddie’s photographic memory and uncanny sketch-artist abilities. Things get dangerous when Eddie is recruited to help track down the infamous Picasso Gang that’s casing NYC’s famous Museum Mile.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Usual Suspects
Maurice Broaddus

Publisher’s Description: “Thelonius Mitchell is tired of being labeled. He’s in special ed, separated from the “normal” kids at school who don’t have any “issues.” That’s enough to make all the teachers and students look at him and his friends with a constant side-eye. (Although his disruptive antics and pranks have given him a rep too.)”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Detective’s Assistant
Kate Hannigan

Publisher’s Description: “Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt’s doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it’s the miserable Home for the Friendless.

Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate…and not just by helping out with household chores. For Kate Warne is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.”

Amazon | Goodreads


94. Premeditated Myrtle
Elizabeth C. Bunce

Publisher’s Description: “Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has a passion for justice and a Highly Unconventional obsession with criminal science. Armed with her father’s law books and her mum’s microscope, Myrtle studies toxicology, keeps abreast of the latest developments in crime scene analysis, and Observes her neighbors in the quiet village of Swinburne, England.

When her next-door neighbor, a wealthy spinster and eccentric breeder of rare flowers, dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle seizes her chance. With her unflappable governess, Miss Ada Judson, by her side, Myrtle takes it upon herself to prove Miss Wodehouse was murdered and find the killer, even if nobody else believes he —not even her father, the town prosecutor.

With sparkling wit and a tight, twisty plot, Premeditated Myrtle, the first in a series from an award-winning author, introduces a brilliant young investigator ready to take on hard cases and maddening Victorian rules for Young Ladies of Quality in order to earn her place among the most daring and acclaimed amateur detectives of her time or any other.”

Amazon | Goodreads


Lizard’s Tale
Weng Wai Chan

Publisher’s Description: “It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner―but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. Book 1)
Jonathan Stroud

Publisher’s Description: “A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren’t exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall’s legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?”

Amazon | Goodreads
**Now a Netflix series


Skulduggery Pleasant Book
Derek Landy

Publisher’s Description: “She’s twelve. He’s dead. But together they’re going to save the world. Hopefully.

The iconic first book in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series.

Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn’t fiction.

Pursued by evil forces, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead sorcerer…”

Amazon | Goodreads


Shadow Jumper
J. M. Forster

Publisher’s Description: “The truth is out there somewhere . . . but how far is Jack willing to jump to find it? Jack Phillips’s allergy to sunshine confines him to the shadows, leaving him lonely and at risk of life-threatening burns every time he steps into the light. Shadow jumping on the rooftops at dusk makes him feel alive. And free. But Jack’s condition is suddenly worse than ever and only his missing scientist dad can save him. As Jack and his new friend, Beth, begin their frantic search and delve into his dad’s past for clues, they have no idea what they are about to uncover. Shocking rumours and dark secrets bombard them at every turn. Jack is brave on the roofs. But can he find the courage to face the truth?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Among the Hidden
Margaret Peterson Haddix

Publisher’s Description: “In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family’s farm in this start to the Shadow Children series from Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child is forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.

Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows — does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?”

Amazon | Goodreads


The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels
Beth Lincoln

Publisher’s Description: “On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match. 
Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker.

Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives—until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.

So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.”

Amazon | Goodreads


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