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Suggested Mystery Books by Grade Level


With these great mysteries, see if you can try to solve the crime right along with the characters!   Grade levels are suggested, but remember that each reader is different and might find something interesting at another level. Under each grade is a link for even more titles.


Apples for little Fox by illustrator Ekaterina Trukhan

Fox, who hopes to become a famous detective one day, is excited about investigating his first case.

Looking for Bongo by illustrator Eric Velasquez

When a boy's abuela accuses him of being careless with his beloved Bongo, he devises a trap and catches the toy thief red-handed.

When Max suspects that Mitzi's father has snuck vegetables into her muffin they hurry to the lab of her neighbors, Juan and Juanita, to investigate.

When school supplies go missing and suspicious bite marks appear, Chico the monkey (with his tool belt) investigates the mystery.

Who is the Mystery Reader? by illustrator Mo Willems

As Zoom Squirrel and his friends try to identify the Mystery Reader, they learn about books, how they are written, and how to read--while sharing a-corny jokes.

Need more ideas? Check out more Suggested Mysteries for Kindergarten.

First Grade

Agent Lion by illustrator David Soman

Meet Agent Lion; he works at Super Detective Agents Agency, wears a tiny blue hat, and loves jelly doughnuts. But most importantly, he is determined to find Fluffy.

Baby Monkey, private eye by illustrator Brian Selznick

Baby Monkey, private eye, will investigate stolen jewels, missing pizzas, and other mysteries--if he can manage to figure out how to put his pants on.

Also available in: e-book

One by one, three brave little bears have second thoughts about exploring the interior of a spooky old tree.

The dramatic life of Azaleah Lane by 1971- Nikki Shannon Smith

Azaleah's older sister Nia is going to be the star of the school musical but things keep going wrong at the rehearsals (missing batteries, disappearing props, microphones that suddenly do not work); Mr. Guidi, the director, blames the ghost of Thespis, but Azaleah suspects that somebody is actually sabotaging the play--and she is determined to use her detective skills to uncover the culprit, and set things right so the play will be a complete success for her stressed-out sister.

Smiling and spotted by Felicia Macheske

Gecko provides young curious readers with striking visual clues and simply written hints. Using the photos and text, readers rely on visual literacy skills, reading, and reasoning as they solve the animal mystery. Clearly written facts give readers a deeper understanding of how the gecko lives. Additional text features, including a glossary and an index, help students locate information and learn new words.

Need more ideas? Check out more Suggested Mysteries for First Grade.

Second Grade

Daphne is off to an exclusive girls' boarding school, where she'll be given a brand-new start after her expulsion. But St. Rita's school for girls is not your ordinary school. And these are certainly not ordinary girls.

As it turns out, nothing is quite what you'd expect at St. Rita's. But then she meets Emily Lime, a crime-solving genius, who's looking for a new library assistant. And the book smart Daphne is just the girl for the job. Mystery and intrigue are about to strike St. Rita's and Emily Lime is going to need all the help she can get.

While traveling by train to their vacation resort, flamingo detective Fabio and his giraffe associate, Gilbert, investigate the theft of a very expensive necklace from a fellow passenger.

My little pony : Ponyville mysteries by 1974- Christina Rice

It is up to the Cutie Mark Crusaders to solve Ponyville's mysteries, including investigating the theft of supplies from the hospital and someone ransacking the bowling alley.

Also available in: e-book

When she decides that the articles in the latest issue of the Third Grade Gazette are not interesting enough, Nancy sets out to find some news worth reporting on.

Monarch butterflies swooped through and people wondered, "Where do they go?" In 1976 the world learned: after migrating, the monarchs roost by the millions in an oyamel grove in Mexico. This was a mystery that could only be solved when people worked as a team.

Need more ideas? Check out more Suggested Mystery Books for Second Grade.

Third Grade

Wilcox and Griswold are on the case, trying to discover who poisoned the apples Porcini pigged out on. Was it Sweet Pea, the piglet next door; Herman the Rat; or Hot Dog the nosy pooch? Who had motive, means, and no alibi? Follow the clues and figure out who was behind Porcini's terrible tummy ache.

Claws of rage by Anna Starobinet︠s︡

A crime wave in the Far Woods has Chief Badger and his assistant, Badgercat, investigating both Arctic Fox and a nefarious group of agitators, the Claws of Rage.

Megalopolis used to be the city hub for all the makers, doers, and dreamers. It was a better time according to Debian Perl, a technomancer known for her out-of-date computer programming skills. Now the city streets are full of "Egg-heads," those in thrall to the ease and simplicity of new technology as opposed to Debian's way of doing things. Digits is one of those Egg-heads. She is a young social media guru and knows her way around all the newest, latest technology. Debian and Digits cross paths when both stumble across Ray-Bot, and 100-year-old sentient robot who is lost and mysteriously missing his memory chip. To find out where the robot came from, Debian must teach Digits everything she knows about computer coding and programming. Along their journey to bring Ray-Bot home, they begin piecing together the mysterious puzzle about his malfunction, and uncover some sinister secrets behind the robot workforce powering Megalopolis's Egg devices.

Radio Delley by Alex Martinez

After Jeremy, Stella, and Sam look for adventure in their small Midwest town, they find an old radio and are connected to a ghost who has information for them about a crime committed long ago.

Mistakes were made by Stephan Pastis
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Resolving to earn so much money that his mother will no longer stress out over the bills, eleven-year-old Timmy Failure launches a detective business with a lazy polar bear partner named Total but finds their enterprise "Total Failure, Inc." challenged by a college-bound spy and a four-foot-tall girl whom Timmy refuses to acknowledge.

Need more ideas? Check out these Suggested Mystery Books for Third Grade.

Fourth Grade

Dragon Pearl by 1979- Yoon Ha Lee
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

In World War II London, a young spy named Bertie, his strong-willed American friend Eleanor, a Jewish refugee named David, and a dog called Little Roo try to prevent a double agent from giving secrets to the Nazis.

Murder at the Museum by Lena Jones

Thirteen-year-old Agatha Oddlow sets out to solve a murder at the British Museum and suspects that the police are missing a wider plot involving a hoard of gold bullion and a suspicious unused Tube station.

A graphic-novel introduction to the mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke Colony describes how a century before the Pilgrims, the first English settlers established the colony only to go missing in 1590, in an account by the creators of Science Comics that invites readers to draw informed conclusions.

Ruff vs. fluff by Spencer Quinn
Also available in: e-audiobook

Queenie is a cat, deeply aware of her own perfection, and Arthur is a dog who normally likes everyone (except Queenie who is devoted to making his life a misery), and they both live at the Blackberry Hill Inn in the Northeast in snow country with their human twins (Harmony and Bro), and Mom; but one winter's day an unpleasant and suspicious stranger comes to stay at the inn, and soon the twin's uncle is framed for murder--and Queenie and Arthur must put aside their differences and work together to solve the mystery and protect their humans.

Need more ideas? Check out these Suggested Mysteries for Fourth Grade.

Fifth Grade


In early 1960s Florida, sixteen-year-old Goldie, an aspiring detective at the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel, investigates when a diamond-encrusted swim cap goes missing during the filming of a movie at the resort.

Also available in: e-book

A Japanese woman is determined to uncover the identity and destiny of the owner of a suitcase sent by a Holocaust museum. Her investigation takes her around the world before she finally solves the mystery, while using the journey to teach her students about the tragedy of the Holocaust.

The face in the swamp : it was just another day of work ... until something unexpected turned up -- A strangled corpse : digging up a gruesome mystery. Bog mummies, the other mummies -- The Tollund Man speaks : scientists try to find out more about the Tollund Man. Grauballe Man -- Mum(my)'s the word : was this murder part of a religious ritual? Backyard bog bodies. 

Sunnyside Plaza by Scott Simon
Also available in: e-audiobook

While helping police officers Esther and Lon investigate a suspicious death at her group home, nineteen-year-old Sal Miyake, who is mentally challenged, gains insights into herself and makes new friends.

When one of the ghosts from Danger Point gets... spooked, it's time for Sam and Jade to bring out the Journal of Weird and leap into action! Trying to solve this two-hundred-year-old mystery takes the girls all over their town and beyond, all while Surfside's Annual Surf Competition is going on. Add to the mix a cute surfer boy, a mysterious mustached man with a guitar, and a very jealous Sam -- can the surfing sleuths save the day again?

Need more ideas? Check out these Suggested Mysteries for Fifth Graders.

Sixth Grade

The body under the piano by Marthe Jocelyn
Also available in: e-book

A smart and charming middle-grade mystery series starring young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector, inspired by the imagined life of Agatha Christie as a child and her most popular creation, Hercule Poirot. For fans of Lemony Snicket and The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency. 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 she surely didn't commit . . . right? Filled with mystery, adventure, an unforgettable heroine and several helpings of tea and sweets, The Body Under the Piano is the clever debut of a new series for middle-grade readers and Christie and Poirot fans everywhere, from a Governor General's Award—nominated author of historical fiction for children.

Dinosaurs existed. That's a fact we accept today. But not so long ago, the concept that these giant creatures could have roamed Earth millions of years before humans was unfathomable. People thought what we know as dinosaur bones were the bones of giant humans. Of large elephants. Of angels, even. So, how did we get from angel wings to the T-Rex? The First Dinosaur tells the story of the idea of dinosaurs, and the chain of fossil discoveries and advances in science that led to that idea. Be prepared to meet eccentric men and overlooked women who uncovered the pieces to a puzzle so much bigger than themselves, a puzzle far stranger and more spectacular than they could have ever imagined.

Midnight in the piazza by Tiffany Parks
Also available in: e-book

After moving to Rome with her father, thirteen-year-old Beatrice witnesses a shadowy figure steal the turtle sculptures from a fountain located outside her window and is determined to solve the crime herself when no one believes her story.

Scared little rabbits by A. V. Geiger

Told in multiple voices, at an elite summer program for coding experts, sixteen-year-old Nora is an outsider and when another participant disappears, the ex-girlfriend of her crush, the trail leads back to her.

Trespassers by illustrator Breena Bard

Gabby Woods loves a mystery, but is breaking into an abandoned lake house going too far to uncover the truth? Gabby Woods is looking forward to another summer vacation at her family's lake house, even though she would rather bury herself in a mystery novel than make new friends. But soon Gabby meets Paige, a snarky kid from Chicago, and they get caught up in a local mystery: the sudden disappearance of a glamorous couple and the extravagant lake house they left behind. To gather clues about the missing couple, Paige coaxes Gabby into trespassing. Though Gabby knows it's wrong, each sneaky visit to the abandoned lake house uncovers new mysteries. With suspicions mounting about foul play, Gabby must decide what she's willing to risk to uncover the truth, or if solving this mystery -- and keeping her friendship with Paige -- are more trouble than they're worth.

Need more ideas? Check out this list of Suggested Mysteries for Sixth Graders.