There’s nothing better than curling up under the covers with a flashlight and an unsolved mystery, staying awake just to get the next clue and racing to guess the revelations before you reach the end of the book. If you or your middle grade reader just can’t get enough of puzzles and secrecy, worry not! We’ve gathered ten enticing enigmas to stump even the most experienced sleuths. Solve them all—if you dare!
by Ben Guterson
Illustrated by Petur Antonsson
After the tragic loss of their sister, Zack and his siblings band together to investigate a Morse Code-inspired mystery in this stunning novel about grief and resilience.
When Zack’s younger sister dies in a tragic accident, his family moves to a small town in the Northwest to try and heal from all the pain. Eleven-year-old Zack blames himself for his sister’s death, and he struggles to find any comfort in his new surroundings. Vista Point is home to many mysterious landmarks: The great domed Tower casts inscrutable shadows, and what is the cryptic message in its ceiling medallion? There are several hidden watering holes and even a secret cave in the woods with messages written on its walls. Zack, at first, feels lost in Vista Point. Until he meets Ann, a girl who lives in the area and shows Zack all the special places to be discovered. But there’s something that seems a bit strange about Ann—and perhaps a secret she is keeping from him.
With emotional depth, an unforgettable setting, and a winning cast of characters, this masterful novel thoughtfully explores the grieving process, and how a season of pain can evolve into a summer of healing.
by Elise Broach
Illustrated by Ziyue Chen
A musically gifted bird, a piano-playing boy, and a real-life mystery involving three artistic geniuses
Welcome to the world of Mirabelle, a young goldfinch who loves to sing and dreams of becoming a musical star. She lives with her family in the backyard of a piano teacher, and she is quickly intrigued by Mr. Starek's newest pupil. Michael Jin is an eleven-year-old keyboard sensation, but lesson after lesson, he refuses to play. With the prestigious Chopin Festival looming at summer’s end, how will he be ready in time? Mirabelle is responsible for Michael’s breakthrough—to her own astonishment, she sings the Chopin piece he is beginning to play at the piano. It is their first duet.
Thus begins a secret adventure that will take Mirabelle and Michael further than they ever imagined—in music, in friendship, and in solving the mystery of a lost piano that could be worth millions. A house full of treasures holds the clues. There, Mirabelle, Michael, and their friend Emily will make an important discovery that links the great composer Frederic Chopin, the trailblazing author George Sand, and the French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.
A fast-paced, history-rich mystery will have young readers hooked as they root for boy and bird in this beautifully told novel, full of emotion and suspense.
Illustrated by Seth
Before the Baudelaires became orphans, before he encountered A Series of Unfortunate Events, even before the invention of Netflix, Lemony Snicket was a boy discovering the mysteries of the world.
Match wits with Lemony Snicket to solve thirteen mini-mysteries.
Paintings have been falling off of walls, a loud and loyal dog has gone missing, a specter has been seen walking the pier at midnight -- strange things are happening all over the town of Stain'd-By-The-Sea. Called upon to investigate thirteen suspicious incidents, young Lemony Snicket collects clues, questions witnesses, and cracks every case. Join the investigation and tackle the mysteries alongside Snicket, then turn to the back of the book to see the solution revealed.
A delicious read that welcomes readers into Lemony Snicket's world of deep mystery, mysterious depth, deductive reasoning, and reasonable deductions.
Illustrated by Elle Power
Created by Hope Larson
Created by Brittney Williams
Move over, Nancy Drew–there’s a new sleuth in town!
Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives and works at the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel in Florida with a whole slew of characters: her dad, Art, the manager of the joint; Cheryl Lebeaux, the concierge and Goldie’s best friend; and Walter Tooey, the hired hotel detective. Her mom, Sylvie, works nearby at the Mermaid Club.
While life at the Crossed Palms is always busy, the resort is currently overrun with Hollywood-types filming the hottest new creature feature, and tensions are at an all-time high. Even Goldie’s mom is in on the movie act, doing what she does best: playing a mermaid. Just when Goldie thinks the movie biz couldn’t get any more exciting, a diamond-encrusted swimming cap goes missing, and all fingers point to Goldie’s mom as the culprit. Can Goldie uncover the true thief before it’s too late?
Based on Hope Larson and Brittney Williams’s critically acclaimed Goldie Vance comic, this thrilling novel explores a never-before-seen caper and features 16 full-color comic pages essential to unraveling the mystery.
Warning: this description has not been authorized by Pseudonymous Bosch. As much as he’d love to sing the praises of his book (he is very vain), he wouldn’t want you to hear about his brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest. Or about how a mysterious box of vials, the Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. And he certainly wouldn’t want you to know about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is, too. For it concerns a secret. A Big Secret.
This stunning novel follows a girl looking for answers about a mysterious boy as she learns about grief, family, and putting the pieces back together—perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Erin Entrada Kelly.
Maddy Gaines sees danger everywhere she looks: at the bus stop, around the roller rink, in the woods, and (especially) by the ocean. When Maddy meets a mysterious boy setting booby traps in the North Carolina woods, she suspects is Billy Holcomb–the boy who went missing in the fall.
As Maddy tries to uncover the truth about Billy Holcomb, ghosts from her own past surface, her best friend starts to slip away, and Maddy's world tilts once again. Can she put the pieces of her life back together, even if some of them are lost forever?
New York Times best-selling author Aaron Reynolds delivers an “entertainingly spooky romp” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) about Rex Dexter, who is itching to have a dog . . . but ends up with a pet chicken.
One hour and fourteen minutes later, the chicken is dead (by a steamroller), Rex is cursed (by the Grim Reaper), and wild animals are haunting Rex’s room (hounding him for answers). Even his best friend Darvish is not going to believe this, and that kid believes everything.
Rex’s uninvited ghostly guests are a chatty, messy bunch. And they need Rex to solve their mysterious deadly departures from the Middling Falls Zoo before it happens again. But how?
by Janet Key
Better Nate Than Ever meets The Parker Inheritance in this heartwarming mystery about finding your people and accepting others as they are.
Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.
When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they're almost out of time.
When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?
by Scott Simon
Wonder meets Three Times Lucky in a story of empowerment as a young woman decides to help solve the mystery of multiple suspicious deaths in her group home.
Sally Miyake can't read, but she learns lots of things. Like bricks are made of clay and Vitamin D comes from the sun. Sally is happy working in the kitchen at Sunnyside Plaza, the community center she lives in with other adults with developmental disabilities. For Sally and her friends, Sunnyside is the only home they've ever known.
Everything changes the day a resident unexpectedly dies. After a series of tragic events, detectives Esther Rivas and Lon Bridges begin asking questions. Are the incidents accidents? Or is something more disturbing happening?
The suspicious deaths spur the residents into taking the investigation into their own hands. But are people willing to listen?
Sunnyside Plaza is a human story of empowerment, empathy, hope, and generosity that shines a light on this very special world.