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Mysteries for Older Children

Your reader has read all of the A to Z Mysteries, has outgrown the Cam Jansen series, and sped through Hank the Cowdog, now what? It's time to gear your young Sherlock to some meatier material. Here is a brief list to help you get started, and when you've finished this list, call your local Richland Library location and the staff will recommend more titles!


Amazon Says: For twenty-five years, Ellen Raskin's Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite and is now being reissued with a brand-new jacket by Kevin Hawkes an more...
Amazon Says: For twenty-five years, Ellen Raskin's Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite and is now being reissued with a brand-new jacket by Kevin Hawkes and an introduction by Ann Durell. This highly inventive mystery involves sixteen people who are invited to the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. They could become millionaires, depending on how they play the tricky and dangerous Westing game, which involves blizzards, burglaries, and bombings. Ellen Raskin has entangled a remarkable cast of characters in a puzzle-knotted, word-twisting plot filled with humor, intrigue, and suspense. less...
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Morgan R. Says: Half graphic-novel, half novel. This book won the Caldecott Award, honoring the best illustrated children's book, in 2008.
Amazon Says: Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interl more...
Amazon Says: Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. less...
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Amazon Says: 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 more...
Amazon Says: 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. In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn't be read. This is the first volume. less...
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Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Amazon Says: This bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art. When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra more...
Amazon Says: This bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art. When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI? less...
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Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
Morgan R. Says: One of this year's SC Book Award Nominees.
Amazon Says: Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions! Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a more...
Amazon Says: Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions! Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice. But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there's more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure. less...
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Holes by Louis Sachar
Amazon Says: Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out is now more...
Amazon Says: Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out is now available with a splashy new look.Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption. Includes a double bonus: an excerpt from Small Steps, the follow-up to Holes, as well as an excerpt from Louis Sachar’s new middle-grade novel, Fuzzy Mud. "A smart jigsaw puzzle of a novel." --The New York Times  WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK AWARD A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK SELECTED FOR NUMEROUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AND ALA HONORS  less...
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Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Amazon Says: In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and f more...
Amazon Says: In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm in this start to the Shadow Children series from Margaret Peterson Haddix. Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend. Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside. Then, one day Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows -- does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to? less...
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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Amazon Says: This Newbery Medal winner that has a fantastic puzzle at its heart has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times), “superb” (The Wall Street Journal) more...
Amazon Says: This Newbery Medal winner that has a fantastic puzzle at its heart has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times), “superb” (The Wall Street Journal), and “incandescent” (The Washington Post).   When Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, she doesn’t know what to do.   The notes tell her that she must write a letter, a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone—not even her best friend, Sal.   It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that’s the case, then Miranda has an even bigger problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.   “Lovely and almost impossibly clever.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer Winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction A New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book less...
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The Weirdo by Theodore Taylor
Morgan R. Says: There are many more copies of this in paperback as well!
Amazon Says: Chip Clewt, whom people have named the “weirdo,” is determined to protect the Powhatan swamp from the local hunters. “An eloquent debate pitting human and animal rights more...
Amazon Says: Chip Clewt, whom people have named the “weirdo,” is determined to protect the Powhatan swamp from the local hunters. “An eloquent debate pitting human and animal rights against each other is both informative and moving as this murder mystery/love story/environmental thriller weaves its uncommon spell. Deftly drawn characterizations, from the admirable to the loathsome, and an engrossing journalistic format are two of the many strong points that make this timely and compelling novel a winner.”--Publishers Weekly less...
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