Reading mystery books is a fundamental part of growing up in our house. Reading books of all sorts is always encouraged, but mystery books hold a special place on the bookshelf. In fact, we have 5 bookcases filled with my late mother’s mystery novels in our basement. My mother was a great lover of reading, specifically mystery books.
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So, I knew that I wanted to put together a collection of great mystery chapter books for kids. Kids mystery books are engaging and entertaining – a great style of book for reluctant readers. Perfect for elementary students, middle school students and even high school students. We have included mystery books series for kids and single classic kid mystery books. If you have a favourite that didn’t make my list, please leave the name and author in the comment section below and I will gladly add it to the list.
20+ Mystery Books for Kids
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett – Chasing Vermeer is a twisting and turning mystery that combines adventure and art history. Will Petra and Calder solve the mystery in time?
Nancy Drew – The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene – What a wonderful way to introduce your kids to mystery books. Nancy Drew is the original teen detective. The Secret of the Old Clock is the very first tale in this amazing mystery book series for kids.
The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere) by Jacqueline Woods – When Olive and her family move into the creepy Linden Street mansion, she couldn’t know the mysteries that would unfold. Venture inside Elsewhere – at your own risk. This is a fun series for precocious kids everywhere.
A to Z Mysteries – The Canary Caper by Ron Roy – A fun mystery chapter book series for younger tweens. When Dink’s neighbour’s bird goes missing the kids have to uncover where that bird went and what the neighbourhood cat has to do with it.
The Box Car Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner – With over 20 books in this mystery book series for kids, The Box Car Children is an engaging series of books that kids will love. Start at the beginning and work your way through all the mysteries along the way.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart – This book became an instant favourite in our house. My kids devoured the entire series. Would you respond to an ad in a newspaper looking for gifted kids? These kids did!
The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch – If your kid is ready to learn a BIG secret than this book is for you. The narration of this book makes it quite unique and engaging for young readers.
Vanished by Sheela Chari – Neela’s is a budding musician, she plays on her grandmother’s sitar. Little does she know her grandmother’s magical musical instrument contains the key to a mystery that is about to unfold.
Thea Stilton Series by Thea Stilton – A children’s mystery book series that you don’t want to miss. Adventures are always around the corner in the Thea Stilton books. The crew of mouseletes seem to be dealing with a new mystery wherever they go.
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Series by Carolyn Keene – This updated version of Nancy Drew is the perfect kids mystery book series for younger readers. Nancy and her best friends solve mysteries and always seem to have fun along the way.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – At first look, this book may not seem like a mystery. However, what is hidden behind the garden gate? Why has a sadness fallen over the house? The answers are part of the beautiful mystery.
Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin – If you love Sherlock Holmes than your kids are going to love meeting the Baker Street Irregulars. A fun mystery chapter book for tweens and teens to enjoy.
Who Stole Halloween? by Martha Freeman – When the neighbourhood cats start to disappear, it is up to Alex and Yasmeen to solve this spooky (and silly) mystery.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket – It is always important to go start at the very beginning. Before your kids dive into watching the A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix series, take the time to read the books. There’s a lot of great fun in these totally tragic mystery books for kids.
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd – Can Kat and Ted find their missing cousin, in London? And what does the London eye have to do with this mystery? An adventure around the streets of London for mystery loving kids.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh – Another classic mystery book for kids. Do your kids keep a journal? What fills those pages? Harriet’s journal is amazing and just might get her in trouble or it could save the day.
The 39 Clues Series by Gordon Korman – A fantastic, quick moving and page turning mystery that moves kids through the story clue by clue by clue. A really great mystery chapter book series for kids who like to devour books.
The Mysterious Howling – The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood – Take a step back in time and meet the strange, incorrigible children of Ashton Place. Who are these wild children and what is the mystery behind Ashton Place and the people who live there?
Floors by Patrick Carman – Take a ride in the elevator at the Whippet Hotel and you never know where you might end up. Each floor is a new adventure. When things turn sideways, will Leo be able to save the Whippet Hotel?
Ballpark Mysteries Series by David A. Kelly – Take me out to the ball game and solve a mystery? Yep, a fun book series for your young sports fans.
Cabin Creek Mysteries by Kristiana Gregory – Perfect for summer reading, head to the campsite for an adventure and a mystery. This series is great for outdoor loving kids.