Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Thursday Three: October is Mystery Month--Young Reader/Middle Grades

Wrapping up my Mystery Month theme, I'm going to discuss a few of my favorite kid's mystery books.

1.  The Westing Game
This is one of my all-time favorite children's book.  I read it for the first time as an adult, and was sad to have missed out on it for all my youth.  It came out the year I was born and won the Newbery Medal the following year.  It reminds me of the movie/board game Clue.  You've got a group of seemingly random people, all invited to live in a new apartment building.  After the death of the mysterious local millionaire, all the residents of Sunset Towers are called to the will reading.  They discover that Mr. Westing was murdered (by one of them) and whoever solves it will inherit his fortune.  The group is paired up into teams and given two clues each (all different).  One is a murderer, one is the heir.  Let the games begin.

2. The Callender Papers
Fans of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will like this book (see how I threw in another recommendation there?).  Jean spends the summer in the country, tasked with sorting through the family papers of a friend of her aunt's.  Mysteries of the past are discovered and in doing so put Jean in danger herself.  I don't want to give anything away so you'll just have to read it yourself!  This title won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for mystery in 1984.

3. Chasing Vermeer
This multiple award winning title is a little more modern than the other two (2004).  It follows two sixth-graders on the case of a stolen Vermeer painting.  The two piece together clues as they try to track down the thief and solve the mystery.  With lots of twists and turns this book will keep you guessing.  At times it is silly and ridiculous, but overall enjoyable.  Plus, as a bonus you get to learn a little bit more about art.


  1. I want to read the Westing Game now.

  2. You definitely should. I think Allie would really enjoy it too (not too scary, but you should read it with her because it is maybe a little mature for her still).

  3. I also think the westing game needs to be added to my to read list. And I loved The Mixed Up Files...everyone should read that book.

  4. I am sooooo glad I learned about this blog! I can't wait to read your suggestions!