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It's a Mystery!
Books for Curious Kids and Teens

Compiled by Merri V. Lindgren and Megan Schliesman
© ©2007 Cooperative Children's Book Center; updated annually

Looking for suspense? Intrigue? Surprise? Revelation? The books below offer children and teens one or more of these hard-to-resist qualities. The CCBC age recommendation for each book is provided. For the two Fiction categories, it should be noted that many books have a potential audience above or below that indicated by the name of the category into which the books have been grouped. In the case of series books, only the first title in a series has been listed.

Click on underlined book titles to see the CCBC review of the book, and/or the cover image.
Complete list of CCBC bibliographies

Beginning Readers

    Ahlberg, Allan. The Cat Who Got Carried Away. Illustrated by Catherine McEwan. Candlewick Press, 2003. 80 pages. Ages 7 - 9

    Butler, Dori Hillestad. King & Kayla and the Case of the Mysterious Mouse. Illustrated by Nancy Meyers. Peachtree, 2017. 42 pages. Ages 4-7

    Butler, Dori Hillestad. King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code. Illustrated by Nancy Meyers. Peachtree, 2017. 46 pages. Ages 4-7

    Cushman, Doug. Inspector Hopper. HarperCollins, 2000. 65 pages. 4-7

    Horowitz, Ruth. Breakout at the Bug Lab. Illustrated by Joan Holub. Dial, 2001. 48 pages. Ages 5 - 7

    Nilsson, Ulf. The First Case. Translated by Julia Marshall. Illustrated by Gitte Spee. U.S. edition: Gecko Press, 2015. 92 pages. Ages 7-9

    Nilsson, Ulf. A Complicated Case. Translated by Julia Marshall. Illustrated by Gitte Spee. U.S. edition: Gecko Press, 2016. 104 pages. 4-8

Fiction for Elementary and Middle-School Age

    Abbott, Tony. The Postcard. Little, Brown, 2008. 358 pages. Ages 11-13

    Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery. Laura Geringer Books / HarperCollins, 2005. 375 pages. Ages 9-13

    Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer. Illustrated by Brett Helquist. Scholastic Press, 2004. 254 pages. Ages 9 - 12

    Balliett, Blue. The Wright 3. Illustrated by Brett Helquist. Scholastic Press, 2006. 317 pages. Ages 9-12

    Balliett, Blue. The Danger Box. Scholastic Press, 2010. 304 pages. Ages 8 - 11

    Balliett, Blue. The Calder Game. Illustrated by Brett Helquist. Scholastic Press, 2008. 379 pages. Ages 8-12

    Balliett, Blue. Hold Fast. Scholastic, 2013. 288 pages. Ages 8-11

    Bauer, Marion Dane. The Blue Ghost. Illustrated by Suling Wang. Random House, 2005. 85 pages. Ages 7-10

    Beck, W.H.. Malcolm at Midnight. Illustrated by Brian Lies. Houghton Mifflin, 2012. 265 pages. Ages 7–10

    Bond, Victoria and T. R. Simon . Zora and Me. Candlewick Press, 2010. 170 pages. Ages 9 - 12

    Boyce, Frank Cottrell. Framed. HarperCollins, 2006. 308 pages. 9-13

    Bruchac, Joseph. Skeleton Man. HarperCollins, 2001. 114 pages. 10-13

    Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Seeing Stone: Book One in the Arthur Trilogy. U.S. edition: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2001. 342 pages. Ages 10 - 15

    Curtis, Christopher Paul. Mr. Chickee's Funny Money. Wendy Lamb Books / Random House, 2005. 151 pages. Ages 8-11

    Dowd, Siobhan. The London Eye Mystery. U.S. edition: David Fickling Books / Random House, 2008. 322 pages. Ages 10-14

    Flake, Sharon G. . Unstoppable Octobia May. Scholastic Press, 2014. 276 pages. Ages 9-13

    Frederick, Heather Vogel. Absolutely Truly. Simon & Schuster, 2014. 355 pages. Ages 9-13

    Funke, Cornelia. The Thief Lord. Translated by Oliver Latsch. Illustrated by Christian Burmingham. Chicken House / Scholastic, 2002. 352 pages. Ages 9 - 14

    Gibbs, Stuart. Space Case. Simon & Schuster, 2014. 337 pages. Ages 8-12

    Hopkinson, Deborah . The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel. Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. 249 pages. Ages 8-12

    Johnson, Varian. The Great Greene Heist. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2014. 226 pages. Ages 9-13

    Rodda, Emily. Rowan of Rin. U.S. edition: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2001. 151 pages. Ages 8 - 11

    Schlitz, Laura Amy. A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: A Melodrama. Candlewick Press, 2006. 389 pages. Ages 9-12

    Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Scholastic Press, 2007. 533 pages. Ages 9-13

    Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck. Scholastic Press, 2011. 640 pages. Ages 8-13

    Springer, Nancy. The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery. Sleuth / Philomel, 2006. 216 pages. Ages 9-12

    Stanley, Diane. The Silver Bowl. Harper/HarperCollins, 2011. 307 pages. Ages 10-14

    Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. Wendy Lamb Books / Random House, 2009. 208 pages. Ages 10 - 13

    Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society. Illustrated by Carson Ellis. Megan Tingley Books / Little, Brown, 2007. 485 pages. Ages 10-13

    Tarpley, Natasha. The Harlem Charade. Scholastic Press, 2017. 297 pages. Ages 9-12

    Timberlake, Amy. One Came Home. Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. 272 pages. Ages 11-14

    Ursu, Anne. The Real Boy. Illustrated by Erin McGuire. Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins, 2013. 341 pages. Ages 8-11

    Walsh, Pat. The Crowfield Curse. Chicken House/Scholastic, 2010. 336 pages. Ages 9 - 13

    Watson, Jude . Loot: How To Steal a Fortune. Scholastic Press, 2014. 272 pages. Ages 8-12

    Wood, Maryrose. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book 1: The Mysterious Howling. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2010. 272 pages. Ages 9 - 12

    Zinn, Bridget. Poison. Hyperion, 2013. 188 pages. Ages 11-14

Fiction for Middle and High-School Age

    Abbott, Tony. The Postcard. Little, Brown, 2008. 358 pages. Ages 11-13

    Berk, Josh. The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 250 pages. Ages 13 and older

    Blundell, Judy. What I Saw and How I Lied. Scholastic Press, 2008. 284 pages. Ages 13-16

    Brooks, Kevin. Black Rabbit Summer. U.S. edition: The Chicken House / Scholastic, 2008. 488 pages. Age 13 and older

    Brooks, Kevin. Martyn Pig. U.S. edition: The Chicken House/Scholastic, 2002. 230 pages. Ages 14 and older

    Brooks, Kevin. The Road of the Dead. Chicken House / Scholastic, 2006. 339 pages. Ages 13-16

    de Fombelle, Timothée. Vango: Between Earth and Sky. Translated by Translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2014. 421 pages. Ages 13 and Older

    Dowd, Siobhan. Bog Child. U.S. edition: David Fickling Books / Random House, 2008. 321 pages. Age 14 and older

    Ferraiolo, Jack D.. Sidekicks. Amulet/Abrams, 2011. 309 pages. Ages 11-14

    Fletcher, Susan. Alphabet of Dreams. Ginee Seo Books / Atheneum, 2006. 294 pages. Ages 11-15

    Fowley-Doyle, Moïra. The Accident Season. U.S. edition: Kathy Dawson Books / Penguin, 2015. 291 pages. Age 13 and older

    Hartnett, Sonya. Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf. Candlewick, 2005. 208 pages. Ages 14 and older

    Hautman, Pete. Sweetblood. Simon & Schuster, 2003. 180 pages. Ages 12-15

    Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. 292 pages. Ages 11 - 15

    Johnson, Alaya Dawn. Love is the Drug. Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, Inc., 2014. 335 pages. Ages 14 and Older

    Leavitt, Martine. Keturah and Lord Death. Front Street, 2006. 216 pages. Age 12 and older

    Lu, Marie. Warcross. Putnam, 2017. 353 pages. Age 11 and older

    Mahy, Margaret. Alchemy. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003. 207 pages. Age 13 and older

    McCaughrean, Geraldine . The White Darkness. HarperTempest / HarperCollins, 2007. 373 pages. Age 14 and older

    McNeal, Laura. The Incident on the Bridge. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. 326 pages. 14 and older

    Moriarty, Jaclyn. The Year of Secret Assignments. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic Press, 2004. 340 pages. Ages 14-17

    Nix, Garth. Newt’s Emerald. Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins, 2015. 291 pages. Age 12 and older

    Older, Daniel José. Shadowshaper. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2015. 297 pages. Ages 13 and older

    Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. Eos / HarperCollins, 2004. 355 pages. Ages 11 - 14

    Peck, Richard. The RIver Between Us. Dial, 2003. 164 pages. Ages 13-16

    Peet, Mal. Tamar. U.S. edition: Candlewick, 2007. 424 pages. Age 13 and older

    Podos, Rebecca. The Mystery of Hollow Places. Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2016. 291 pages. 13 and older

    Quirk, Katie. A Girl Called Problem. Eerdmans, 2013. 243 pages. Age 12 and older

    Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Book 1). Miramax Books / Hyperion, 2005. 375 pages. Ages 11-15

    Sayres, Meghan Nuttall. Anahita’s Woven Riddle. Amulet Books / Harry N. Abrams, 2006. 352 pages. Ages 11-15

    Shusterman, Neal. Bruiser. HarperCollins, 2010. 328 pages. Age 14 and older

    Smith, Sherri L.. Pasadena. Putnam, 2016. 228 pages. 14 and older

    Stroud, Jonathan. The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., Book One). Disney/Hyperion, 2013. 390 pages. Ages 11-15

    Thompson, Kate. Creature of the Night. U.S. edition: Roaring Brook Press, 2009. 250 pages. Ages 12 - 14

    Wein, Elizabeth. The Pearl Thief. Hyperion, 2017. 325 pages. Age 13 and older

    Wynne-Jones, Tim. Blink & Caution. Candlewick Press, 2011. 342 pages. Age 13 and older

    Zevin, Gabrielle. All These Things I've Done (Birthright: Book the First) . Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2011. 368 pages. Age 13 and older

Books of Information

    Allen, Tomas B.. George Washington, Spymaster : How America Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War . Illustrated by Cheryl Harness. National Geographic, 2004. 184 pages. Ages 8-13

    Allen, Thomas B.. Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War. Illustrated by Carla Bauer. National Geographic, 2006. 191 pages. Ages 11-15

    Deem, James M.. Bodies From the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 50 pages. Ages 9-14

    Dendy, Leslie and Mel Boring . Guinea Pig Scientists : Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine. Illustrated by C.B. Mordan. Henry Holt, 2005. 213 pages. Ages 10-15

    Fleischman, Sid. Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2006. 210 pages. Ages 10-14

    Fleming, Candace. Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Schwartz & Wade, 2011. 118 pages. Ages 10-14

    Giblin, James Cross. Secrets of the Sphinx . Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Scholastic Press, 2004. 48 pages. Ages 8-14

    Janeczko, Paul B. . Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers, and Secret Writing. Illustrated by Jenna LaReau. Candlewick, 2004. 136 pages. Age 9 and older

    Jarrow, Gail. Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat. Calkins Creek / Highlights, 2014. 192 pages. Ages 12 and Older

    Jarrow, Gail. Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary. Calkins Creek / Highlights, 2015. 175 pages. Age 12 and older

    Levine, Karen. Hana's Suitcase: A True Story. Albert Whitman, 2003. 109 pages. Ages 9-14

    Martin, Russell and Lydia Nibley . The Mysteries of Beethoven's Hair. Charlesbridge, 2009. 120 pages. Ages 12 and older

    McClafferty, Carla Killough. The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon. Carolrhoda, 2011. 120 pages. Age 11 and older

    Miller, Sarah. The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century. Schwartz & Wade, 2016. 288 pages. Age 12 and older

    Mitchell, Don. The Freedom Summer Murders. Scholastic Press, 2014. 250 pages. Ages 14 and Older

    Nelson, Scott Reynolds and Marc Aronson . Ain't Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry . National Geographic, 2008. 64 pages. Age 10 and older

    Peters, Marilee. Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics. Annick Press, 2014. 166 pages. Ages 11 and Older

    Pringle, Laurence. Billions of Years, Amazing Changes: The Story of Evolution. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Boyds Mills Press, 2011. 102 pages. Ages 9-14

    Stewart, Melissa and Allen Young . No Monkeys, No Chocolate. Illustrated by Nicole Wong. Charlesbridge, 2013. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

    Walker, Sally M.. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland. Carolrhoda, 2009. 144 pages. Ages 10 - 15

This list may be reproduced and distributed by educational and/or nonprofit organizations so long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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