9 Mysteries Fourth and Fifth Graders Recommend to Their Friends

by Kari Ness Riedel

Photo credit: Monica Rodriguez, The Image Bank/Getty Images

A good mystery is the ultimate book to enjoy during the lazy days of summer. Intrigue, suspense, and puzzles that must be solved can engross both voracious and reluctant readers. If your young reader devoured books like Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys, here are nine fantastic mysteries that will keep them reading all summer long.

These books all come highly recommended by fourth and fifth graders on Bookopolis.com, a social network where kid readers connect with friends to share reviews and swap book recommendations.

  • New Favorites

  • Book Scavenger

    by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

    Adam, 9, says, “You MUST read Book Scavenger. It’s the perfect read for kids like me who love puzzles and mysteries.” This debut novel by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman follows Emily and James, two book and puzzle loving kids, on their quest around San Francisco as they find out what happened to Garrison Griswold, the inventor of the Book Scavenger game (which is like geo-caching with books). Kids can play Book Scavenger in real life and seek and hide their favorite books around town.

  • Greenglass House

    by Kate Milford, illustrated by Jaime Zollars

    Mio, 10, loved Greenglass House by Kate Milford. “I recommend this perfectly crafted mystery to anyone wanting a good read.” It is a classic whodunit story told from the perspective of Milo, a young boy who helps his family run an inn for smugglers. He’s looking forward to a quiet family holiday when an odd cast of characters unexpectedly shows up at the inn. Each guest has a different connection to the inn and Milo and the cook’s daughter work to unravel the mystery that links them all.

  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

    by Chris Grabenstein

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    Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein is “an awesome book,” says Kate, 10. “I had my nose in it all the time. Jam-packed with great puzzles.” Twelve kids are invited to spend a night in the town’s new library created by legendary gamemaker, Luigi Lemoncello. Adventure and fun are nonstop as the kids work to solve the clues and escape from the library. Perfect for kids who liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Night at the Museum.

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  • Classics

  • From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

    by E.L. Konigsburg

    Alexa, 9, says that From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg “is awesome. I have read it like twenty times.” Claudia and her brother Jamie run away from their suburban home to live in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. They become obsessed with solving the mystery of an angel statue that is brought to the museum. This witty and heartfelt classic is referenced in many modern stories. A must-read for young fans of puzzles and quests.

  • The Westing Game

    by Ellen Raskin

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    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is a “thrilling mystery ... like a puzzle with LOTS of pieces,” according to Jayden, 11. This Newbery Award-winning murder tale is full of quirky characters who come together to play the ultimate game: Whoever solves the mystery of Samuel Westing’s death will receive one million dollars. A beloved classic for mature fourth and fifth grade readers.

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  • The London Eye Mystery

    by Siobhan Dowd

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    When Salim disappears out of thin air, his cousins, Ted and Kate, follow clues around London and race against the clock to find him before it’s too late. Mathilda, 10, highly recommends this book and teases, “Can they make it? Read this great novel to find out!” Another classic mystery that will hook young readers.

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  • Series

  • The 39 Clues series

    by Rick Riordan and various authors

    This series by Rick Riordan and various authors takes you on a journey around the world with Amy and Dan Cahill. They compete with other family members to unravel the clues to a mystery set up by their beloved grandmother, the matriarch of the world’s most powerful family. Kitty, 9, says, “I was blown away by these books. You’ll sit on the very edge of your seat with awe.”

  • The Name of this Book Is Secret

    by Pseudonymous Bosch

    Gabe, 9, recommends The Name of this Book Is Secret, the first in a series by Pseudonymous Bosch. “An amazing story full of adventure and mystery that makes you never want to stop turning the pages.” Readers will love following Max-Ernest and Cass as they solve the mystery of a missing magician. Bosch’s hilarious, conversational writing style makes you feel like he’s talking directly to you.

  • Sammy Keyes

    by Wendelin Van Draanen

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    Lucia, 9, says, “This is an amazing book, of adventure and mystery! I know you won't regret reading this book.” Sammy is a spunky, loveable teen detective who often finds herself in the middle of crazy situations. These fast-paced stories are filled with clues that keep you guessing at the truth until the very end.

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