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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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Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge
Amazon Says: Penelope Tredwell is the feisty thirteen-year-old orphan heiress of Victorian Britain's bestselling magazine, the Penny Dreadful. Her spine-chilling tales—concealed under th more...
Amazon Says: Penelope Tredwell is the feisty thirteen-year-old orphan heiress of Victorian Britain's bestselling magazine, the Penny Dreadful. Her spine-chilling tales—concealed under the pen name Montgomery Finch—are gripping the public. One day she receives a letter from the governor of the Bedlam madhouse requesting Finch's help to investigate the asylum's strange goings-on. Every night at precisely twelve minutes to midnight, the inmates all begin feverishly writing-incoherent ramblings that Penelope quickly realizes are frightening visions of the century to come. But what is causing this phenomenon? In the first book of this smart new series, Penelope is drawn into a thrilling mystery more terrifying than anything she could ever imagine! 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 in 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 th 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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Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Amazon Says: The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—a town wi more...
Amazon Says: The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—a town with a rich past and a bright future. Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town. Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool’s debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption. less...
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Floors: Book 1 by Patrick Carman
Amazon Says: Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel. The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysteri more...
Amazon Says: Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel. The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them - he is the maintenance man's son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him . . . boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake . . . and so is Leo's own future! 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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