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KIDS

BOOKLISTS

Ages 9-12

Mystery & Adventure

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All the Greys on Greene Street by  Laura Tucker
SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist -- and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye. Then everything falls apart. Ollie's dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she's not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art.... Olympia knows her dad is the key -- but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow's only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn't until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart.
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by  Dusti Bowling
New friends and a mystery help Aven, thirteen, adjust to middle school and life at a dying western theme park in a new state, where her being born armless presents many challenges.
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
On an island where one child is delivered each year while the eldest is taken away, nine children live under the leadership of new elder Jinny, who trains the latest newcomer and wonders what will happen when her own departure occurs. Ages 8-12.
Secrets From the Deep by  Linda A Fairstein
While on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, twelve-year-old Devlin Quick discovers a genuine pirate doubloon and investigates its origins.
The Impossible Crime by Mac Barnett
In 1989 someone is threatening to steal the crown jewels, so the Queen of England summons Mac B. to England to protect them--and when they are stolen from a locked dungeon cell, where Mac and Holcroft, one of the warders, are supposed to be guarding them, it is up to Mac to figure out how they were stolen, and whether the thief is the descendant of an Irish soldier-of-fortune who tried to steal them in 1671, or someone else entirely.
Series -
Mac B., Kid Spy
The Light Jar by  Lisa (Lisa Anne) Thompson
Nate and his mother are escaping from his emotionally abusive step-father, Gary, but the run-down and abandoned cottage in the woods that his mother takes them to does not seem like much of a refuge; but when his mother goes off to buy provisions and does not come back Nate is left alone (except for his imaginary friend Sam) and afraid--until a mysterious girl trying to solve the clues of a long-ago treasure hunt turns up. Set in Great Britain.
The North Star by  Kat Shepherd
When a valuable diamond necklace is stolen, it is up to the Gemini Detective Agency--twins Zach and Evie Mamuya and their friends Vishal Desai and Sophia Boyd--to investigate; clues to the mystery are included in the illustrations throughout.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.
The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Told from separate viewpoints, this is the story of Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone, ages twelve, ten, and eight, who investigate why their mother went missing and uncover their ties to an alternate world. Ages 8-12.
Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro
Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret: a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock's gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows. When Lucy and Oliver Tinker arrive in Watch Hollow, they have no idea that anything is wrong. A mysterious stranger has made their father an offer that's too good for him to refuse. All Mr. Tinker needs to do is fix the clock at Blackford House and fistfuls of gold coins are his to keep.
Winterhouse by  Ben Guterson
Elizabeth, eleven, spends Christmas break at Winterhouse hotel under strange circumstances, where she discovers that she has magic, and her love of puzzles helps her solve a mystery.
Series -
Winterhouse
Updated 10/25/2019