Although I don’t talk much about children’s literature here on the blog, I actually read quite a bit of it. I love middle grade fiction and find myself recommending many of these books to other adults. Here are 5 of my very favorite middle grade mysteries that I’m betting you’ll enjoy too…
Three Times Lucky, Sheila Turnage
I listened to this book on audio and I loved the narration. Sure, it can be argued that kids this age aren’t that witty but I don’t care, the characters are funny and likeable and the story is quick moving and heartfelt.
Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. When a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.
Greenglass House, Kate Milford
I fell hard for this this one when I first read it a few years ago – hard enough that I bought the book and enjoy rereading it every winter.
It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House-and themselves.
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
This won the Newbery Medal in 1968 and rightly so. I can’t remember how old I was when I first read it but it’s stuck with me all these years and remains one of my favorite middle grade reads ever.
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225.
Liar & Spy, Rebecca Stead
This one is such a great story illustrating that things aren’t always what they seem and we shouldn’t judge a situation before we know the whole story.
When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
This won the Newbery Medal in 1979 and I first read it as part of a Newbery reading challenge I did years ago. I loved the fun game style story to this locked room mystery.
A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger – and a possible murderer – to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure: Sam Westing may be dead… but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!
Do you read middle grade books as an adult?