Genre: Mystery Summary: Zack's cupcake disappears, and he's none to happy about it. Tyler is found with the frosting under his nails. Will the student court prove him innocent, or guilty? Other: This was a interesting book. The concept of a student Judicial System is entertaining. (Ages 6+) ~Faith
Jigsaw Jones--James Preller
This is the first book.
Genre: Mystery Summary: Jigsaw Jones and his best friend Mina are detectives. Jigsaw loves to solve any mysteries that come his way. There's no telling exactly what may come up in school, home, or the neighborhood in general. Other: I actually really liked these books, even though I was pretty old when I started reading them. They're entertaining, and the mysteries are fun. They're good for some light reading and are perfect for young readers wanting a quick mystery. (Ages 6+) ~Amy
A to Z Mysteries (Series)--Ron Roy
The Absent Author is the first book.
*RA Genre: Mystery Summary: Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose seem to find mysteries everywhere they go, whether in their hometown of Green Lawn, Connecticut, or in the various cities they visit throughout the cities. An absent author, a bald bandit, a canary caper? These are just a few of the things they come up against as they go. Other: This was the first book series that I really liked. They're fun, light, clean, and have enough adventure in them to keep the story going. Some mysteries are better than others, but they're all pretty good. It's fun to go through the alphabet as well. Highly recommended for kids who are starting to read chapter books (and for older ones as well). (Ages 7+) ~Amy
Cam Jansen (Series)--David Adler
This is the first book.
Genre: Mystery Summary: Cam Jansen has an amazing photographic memory. This helps whenever there is a mystery about. She can flip through the images in her brain in order to catch the crooks. From missing dogs to absent dinosaur bones, Cam can figure out the mystery with her amazing memory. Other: These books are fun, light reading. I liked them and highly recommend them for younger readers looking for a fun mystery, although they are also fun for older readers. (Ages 7+) ~Amy
Jack Russel Dog Detective (Series)--Darrel and Sally Odgers
Dog Den is the first book.
Genre: Animal Story/Mystery Summary: Jack Russel lives with his human, Sarge. Sarge works with human mysteries, and Jack with dog mysteries. With the help of his friends and his brilliant Jack Russel brains, he can solve anything and everything. Follow him as he solves all the mysteries in Doggeroo. Other: I really enjoyed reading this series. The mysteries, and characters, are very cute. (Ages 7+) ~Faith
The Masterpiece Adventures (Series)--Elise Broach
Genre: Mystery/Animal Summary: Marvin is a little beetle that lives under the sink in the Pompaday's apartment with his extensive beetle family. Of the Pompaday family, ten year old James, is by far the beetles' favorite. So when James' eleventh birthday comes round, Marvin's family wants to give James a gift. But on the way to deliver it, Marvin sees ink and paper on James' desk. Drawn to it like a fly to a light bulb, Marvin dips his back legs in the ink, and starts to draw. He doesn't notice when the sun comes up and James wakes up, seeing that Marvin has drawn a beautiful ink drawing. So starts a close friendship, and adventure, including missing paintings, forgeries, betrayals, and a special communication between human, and bug. Other: This was an great book. The illustrations of the beetles adorable, and the whole relationship between Marvin and James was really cute. The mystery was pretty fun, and the idea of Marvin having such a talent in drawing was fun. So far, only the first book has come out. I really enjoyed this story. (Ages 8+) ~Faith
Accidental Detectives (Series)--Sigmund Brouwer
Lost Beneath Manhatten is the first book.
*RA Genre: Mystery Summary: Ricky Kidd and his friends never try to get into mysteries, but they always do anyway. Ricky, Mike, Ralphy, and Lisa find mysteries at big cities, campgrounds, farms, beaches, ski resorts, etc. They run into smuggling rings, drug dealers, kidnappers, frauds, inner city gangs, and even an ancient curse. No matter what, Ricky can figure out what's going on, with a little help from his friends. Other: I have read all these books, and they are all good. There are some hilarious parts, touching parts, and parts that really make a person think about different aspects of God. This was one of my favorite series when I was starting to read, and I still like it. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes short, well-written books. (Ages 8+) ~Amy
Bloodhounds Inc. (Series)--Bill Myers
The Ghost of KRZY is the first book.
Genre: Mystery/Comedy Summary: Bloodhounds Incorporated is made up of Sean, Melissa, and, of course, their 102 pound Bloodhound Slobbers (Slobs for short). With the help of some friends, they solve mysteries whenever people call. They go on dangerous cases together, with Melissa doing most of the detective work, Sean taking all the credit, and Slobs trying to keep them safe, howling all the way. Other: Bloodhounds Inc. is a bunch of (very) lighthearted mysteries with lots of humor in it. It's fun to read if you like to read silly, short, Christian books. Though I have never watched them, there are DVDs based off of Bloodhounds Inc. (Ages 8+) ~Faith
Boxcar Children (Series)--Gertrude Chandler Warner
This is the first book.
Genre: Mystery Summary: Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are four runaway orphans. They have no family, other than a grandfather who they are sure is mean. One day, they find an abandoned boxcar and make it their home. They live there until their grandfather finally finds them, and during their life with him, they love to solve mysteries. Other: I enjoyed this series; it's light, easy reading, and the mysteries are pretty fun, although, of course, some are better than the others. My favorite is the first one, which details how they survived by themselves in the boxcar. (Ages 8+) ~Amy
Encyclopedia Brown (Series)--Donald J. Sobol
This is the first book.
Genre: Mystery Summary: Leroy (Encyclopedia) Brown is Idaville City's only detective in sneakers, and he's a good one. This ten-year-old boy has read so many books that his friends call him Encyclopedia. He, along with a little help from his junior partner, Sally (the prettiest and toughest girl in fifth grade), can solve any mystery that comes his way, whether it be a particularly perplexing mystery that his dad the police chief brings home to dinner or a neighborhood kid grievance. Other: This was one of my favorite series when I was younger. There some humorous parts, and the solutions to the several short mysteries in each book are very clever. (Ages 8+) ~Amy
Hardy Boys (Series)--Franklin W. Dixon
Genre: Mystery Summary: Over the years, the Hardy Boys have changed somewhat, but whether they are unofficial detectives or undercover secret agents, they always work together to solve whatever mysteries come their way. Other: My brother and I really loved this series when we were younger. I've read all of the middle series that are present at the library (my favorite ones that came right after the hardcovers) and the new Undercover Brothers ones, as well as a good number of the hardcovers. In some ways, I like it better than Nancy Drew; there is more action and the two brothers are fun to read about. The most recent books that are set as trilogies aren't as good as the older Undercover Brothers ones. In the picture, the order from front to back goes as follows: the hardcovers, the "middle series" (at least, that's my name for them; they should be on the library shelves), the Undercover Brothers, and the Undercover Brothers trilogies. (Ages 8+) ~Amy
The Mysterious Case of the Albright Acadamy--Diane Stanley
Genre: Mystery Summary: When Franny's little sister Zoe is wanted by the highly-esteemed Albright Academy, her mother knows that she will not go without her siblings. So Franny is excited, and a bit nervous, that she will be able to go to the school with her little sister. Everyone seems too perky, pretty, and, overall, too perfect. She makes friends with Cal, Brooklyn, and Prescott, and they work well together. But Franny starts to change too, and her brother and best friend back home notice. Can Franny and her friends find out what causes the almost scarily perfect atmosphere of the Albright Academy? Other: This was a good book. The story line is very interesting, and the characters are fun. (Ages 8+) ~Faith
Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy Super Mysteries (Series)--Carolyn Keene & Franklin W. Dixon
Genre: Mystery Summary: The three most popular teen detectives are together in these books, bringing their unique traits to spice up the mysteries. Other: I really enjoyed these books. The older books were fun (I've read several), and the newer ones were pretty good as well. They're fun and short, and some of the mysteries are pretty good. Plus, I like how the characters are all together. (Ages 8+) ~Amy
Nancy Drew (Series)--Carolyn Keene
Genre: Mystery Summary: Nancy Drew, amateur detective, always works hard to solve every mystery that she comes across. Over generations, she has been one of the best-known children's detectives. Other: This was one of my favorites. I've read all of the new ones, some hardcovers, and all the middle series ones present in the library. I loved them (my favorites were the middle series ones), although in such a long series, there are some mysteries that do fall flat. As is the case with the Hardy Boys, these are mostly present in the new trilogies versions. Enjoy them. In the picture, the order from front to back goes as follows: the hardcovers, the "middle series" (at least, that's my name for them; they should be on the library shelves), the Girl Detective new books, and the Girl Detective trilogies. (Ages 8+) ~Amy
Red Rock Mysteries (Series)--Jerry B. Jenkins & Chris Fabry
Dead End is the last book.
Genre: Mystery Summary: Bryce and Ashley Timberline are twins who live in Colorado in a town called Red Rock. From bullies to robberies, drug dealers to terrorist attacks, they stop them all. They also try to be a light to everyone around them, witnessing to their friends and family and trying to make a difference wherever they go. Other: The Red Rock mysteries is a great series, even though it can be sad at times. The ending left a rather unexpected and unwanted feeling in my stomach. It has good Christian morals and fun mysteries. (Ages 8+) ~Faith
Room One--Andrew Clements
Genre: Realistic Fiction/School Story/Mystery Summary: Ted Hammond is hooked on mysteries, but one has him absolutely stumped. How in the world can his town keep its one room school going if there's only going to be five students next semester? Without a school, his beloved small Nebraskan town will die. Then he encounters a more pressing mystery. On his paper route, he sees a mysterious face in the upstairs window of an abandoned farmhouse. Could the two mysteries possibly be related? Is his town doomed to die? Ted doesn't know yet, but he's going to find out. Other: This was a good Clements "School Story," with a little bit of mystery distinguishing it from the rest. I liked the town and the idea of a school so small that it only uses one room. It's clean and fun. (Ages 8+) ~Amy
Belly Up (Series)--Stuart Gibbs
Genre: Mystery/Realistic Fiction Summary: Teddy lives in Funjungle, the biggest and best zoo/theme park in America, situated in Texas thirty minutes away from civilization. The park is supposed to be the best place for a family outing, but there is a situation. The park employees and management are stunned when, just a couple weeks after opening day, their star mascot (and animal terror) Harry the Hippo is found belly up inside his enclosure, stone dead. When foul play is mentioned and nobody seems to be looking into it, Teddy adamantly looks into the murder case (if it can be called homicide when the victim is a hippo). Of course, if he knew about the trouble investigating would cause, he might have just let sleeping dogs lie, or in this case, hippos rest in peace. Other: This is a very funny, quirky book, with unique characters and a fun kid mystery. I liked the animals, and there was enough action and danger to keep the story rolling. A couple parts are kind of cartoon gross and there are a couple bad words, but other than that, I actually really enjoyed it. (Ages 9+) ~Amy
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict--Trenton Lee Stewart
*RA Genre: Mystery Summary: Nicholas Benedict is a 9 year old orphan well used to orphanages, and seeing as he's transferring from one of the worst yet, he firmly believes that Rothschild's End (or 'Child's End, for short) couldn't possibly be any worse than the last. But when he comes against bullies, funky staff, and a dreary, dilapidated mansion in addition to his incurable ailment, narcolepsy, he begins to reconsider. The only thing that keeps him going is his one friend, John, the hundreds of books in the mansion library, and the mysterious "treasure" the manor is reputed to hide. In order to find the millions of dollars, however, Nicholas must solve the mystery that has been baffling people for decades, and in the process will make both friends and enemies and learn a little more about himself and the world in general. This is all entirely possible, of course, because Nicholas Benedict is a genius. Other: My family enjoyed this book. Set before The Mysterious Benedict Society and chronicling the young life of the Society's brilliant benefactor, it has the same quirkiness and fun characters (I particularly enjoyed the dialogues between Nick and John), although Nicholas is the only truly extraordinarily talented character. It is different in that it is more mystery than adventure, but it's fun to see Mr. Benedict as a child, with all his quirks and cheerful wit. (Ages 9+) ~Amy
Half-Moon Investigations--Eoin Colfer
*RA Genre: Mystery Summary: Fletcher Moon, christened "Half Moon" because of his small stature, is in trouble. Somehow, this twelve-year-old who has finished the online detective academy course and received a real detective licence and badge (not strictly legal, but not too hard since he and his father have the same name) has become an arson suspect. Someone is out to get him, and in order to find out who, he must run away from the police with the help of his archenemy, Red Sharkey, part of a notorious criminal family. There is something fishy going on in Loch, and Half Moon is determined to get to the bottom of it. Other: This book is hilarious. It has a fun, witty humor also found in Artemis Fowl and a bit in Airman but is accentuated in this book. Moreover, the mystery is fun and the characters are great (especially smart, nerdy Fletcher contrasted with cool, collected Red). What's not to like? (Ages 9+) ~Amy
Shakespeare's Secret--Elise Broach
*RA Genre: Mystery Summary: Sixth-grade Hero is not happy with her family's move. Named after a Shakespearean character, she dreads going to school, where she always has trouble making friends and her unique name raises problems. She wishes she could be like her older sister Beatrice, who is a great people person and has no trouble being popular. Then she meets her elderly neighbor, and she determines to help her unravel the mystery of the missing Murphy diamond. This will take the help of the most popular boy in eighth grade, Danny, and a dip into the history of Shakespeare. Other: At first I was put off by the slightly dark cover of this book but was pleasantly surprised when the story itself actually didn't really match the cover. There are interesting speculations about the true identity of Shakespeare, and the mystery is intriguing enough to keep a reader going, with searches, symbols, and a riddle. I enjoyed it. (Ages 9+) ~Amy
*RA Genre: Mystery/Folk Tale Summary: Stanley Yelnats feels like he is cursed. Nothing seems to go right for his family, and his being shipped off to juvenile detention at Camp Greenlake proves it. Once there, he must deal with the desert, a mysterious Warden, a mean supervisor, tough kids, and notoriously poisonous yellow-spotted lizards. While there, he sort-of befriends a boy named Zero. At first, he doesn't know that their two lives are linked to each other, as well as to the treacherous, tragic history of Greenlake. Digging holes is backbreaking work; why would the Warden insist on all these holes anyway? When Stanley and Zero find themselves alone in the desert, he slowly begins to put the pieces together and find out. Maybe his luck is turning around after all. Other: This is a book that is worthy of its popularity. The characters are great, the setting is vivid, and the writing pulls the reader into the melancholy, quirky story. But the main asset to this story it the cohesiveness of all the different, seemingly unrelated parts. No detail is extraneous, so it's worth reading twice to get the entire picture. A few things to make note of: the history of Greenlake is wrought with several incidences of bloodshed stemming from a heart broken by the racism of the day, and the curse of the Yelnats' family is talked about significantly. This book won the 1999 Newbery Award. (Ages 10+) ~Amy
Sherlock Holmes (Short stories)--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: Mystery Summary: Sherlock Holmes is the world's greatest detective. Deduction, intelligence, and his trademark wit mark these relatively short, ingenious adventures. Other: It's Sherlock Holmes, what can I say? Only that most of the stories are incredibly entertaining, although a few are a bit dark. Villians beware. (Ages 12+) ~Amy
The Moonstone--Wilkie Collins
Genre: Mystery Summary: The mysterious, yellow Indian diamond has dissapeared right in the middle of Miss Rachel Verider's birthday party. The circumstances are baffling, and it will take the work of dashing young Franklin Blake, sharp Sergeant Cuff, lovable and steadfast old Mr. Betteredge, and a few other very unique characters told through a succesion of narratives to solve this most perplexing of mysteries. Other: This book is sometimes thought of as the first English detective novel, and it's a good one. The telling through the eyes of several different characters helps to draw the reader into the story. The threat of the diamond's curse permeates the book, and there are several mentions of the Indians' worship of their diamond-bearing deity. Besides those considerations, it is an interesting and well-written detective novel. (Ages 14+) ~Amy