Whodunit? It’s a Mystery.
I love to read. While many of the books I read are not what would be considered classic literature…okay, NONE of the books I read would be considered classic literature…I love them all nonetheless. Many of the books I read are serial mysteries; my favorite authors include John Connolly, Jeffrey Deaver, J.A. Jance, Faye Kellerman, Laura Lippman, John Sandford, Karin Slaughter, Taylor Stevens and P.J. Tracy.
When my kids see me reading mysteries, they want to read mysteries too! Which is great because, research shows that reading age appropriate mysteries helps children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, all while having fun and gaining confidence as they demonstrate their deductive reasoning prowess.
It’s no mystery there is a benefit to reading mysteries. As you read together with your child, be sure to help them along by engaging them in the story and guiding their reading. You can ask questions about the story such as “What do you think will happen next?” and “Why did he do that?” all the while bolstering their confidence in their ability to figure out whodunit.
Here are some recommendations to turn even the youngest child into a super sleuth.
I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen
Bear’s hat is gone, and he sets out to find it. Will your child spot it first?
7 ate 9
by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Ross MacDonald
This math pun mystery follows Private I as he helps number 6 figure out if he is in danger after 7 ate 9.
I Spy Mystery: A Book of Picture Riddles
by Jean Marzollo, illustrated by Walter Wick
It takes a keen eye to find all the clues hidden in these bright pages filled with ordinary objects.
by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Bruce Wood
Little x has run away, where can he be? The other letters set off to solve the mystery.
You may remember being introduced to mysteries when you were young - reading Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. Luckily these classic book covers and characters have been updated to appeal to your beginning readers, so they too can share in the adventure and solve the mysteries.
by Donald J. Sobol
by Carolyn Keen
The Hardy Boys
by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls
Also check out these fun series for younger readers:
Snoop Troop series
by Kirk Scroggs
The Chicken Squad series
by Doreen Cronin
Treasure Hunters series
by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Juliana Neufeld
The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret Series)
by Pseudonymous Bosch
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Series)
by Chris Grabenstein
And don’t forget these perennial mystery favorites that continue to delight young readers.
The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
Harriet the Spy
by Louise Fitzhugh
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by E.L. Konigsburg