Mystery reads for tweens & investigative adventures at the library

Posted on July 11, 2017 at 6:00 am


by Melanie Boerner

Grab your spy glass and let’s dust for prints! Here are some great mystery reads for tweens to investigate this summer.

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

Nobody “Bod” Owens is the only living resident of a graveyard and has been reared by the ghostly inhabitants since infancy, after his parents were murdered. As Bod grows into a teenager, he learns that there are far more frightening things outside the graveyard walls.

Okay, I have blogged about this title before, but I just adore this book. While the premise seems as if the book would be too difficult for young readers, I promise it is not. Neil Gaiman brings so much whimsy and adventure to this novel that you can’t help but fall in love with the characters and the grisly parts are easily forgotten, though necessary for the story as a whole. I highly recommend listening to the audiobooks with your tween. It’s a great road trip book!


From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg

Claudia Kincaid has decided to run away from her life of too many chores and being misunderstood by parents. She decides the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the perfect place for her. However, she needs someone to fund this adventure, so she invites her money-smart brother along. Once they arrive and settle into the daily routine of outsmarting security and finding where they will sleep, a new art piece arrives at the museum that sets them on a quest to find out who the artist really is.

This is absolutely my favorite children’s chapter book. I read it as a child for school, and it has stuck with me since. Claudia and Jamie are some of the best written characters I’ve ever come across. The plot is perfect for any tween that has dreamt of running away and living somewhere off limits and mysterious.

The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood

Miss Penelope Lumley is freshly graduated from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and ready to take on a governess position at Ashton Place for three peculiar children. Found running wild in the forest, these children must first overcome canine tendencies before learning to read and write. Not only is Miss Lumley trying to tame the children, but she must also solve the mystery of where they came from and maybe unearth some other unknowns along the way.

This is not only a mystery novel, The Mysterious Howling is a great coming of age story, for both governess and children. Also, look for the dry humor that Wood sprinkles throughout—you just might miss it, if you aren’t looking!

The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud

The problem started over 50 years ago when the dead came back to haunt the living. These deadly apparitions can only be seen by children, which means youth are put to work as agents fighting off the epidemic. Lucy Carlyle is one such agent, with a talent to hear voices of the dead, and joins the least sought after agency run by Anthony Lockwood and his assistant George Cubbins. When they take a case that no other agency is willing to tackle, they unravel a mystery they never saw coming.

I love this series and am always waiting with bated breath for the next book to be released. The characters are charming and relatable, the humor is just enough to help with the scary factor, and I am never bored with the storyline.


If you want to hone your investigative skills this summer, come to the library to solve a puzzle and escape!

Mystery Puzzle Room Escape
Time-traveling thief Rhett Wallace is wreaking havoc on our historical timeline by stealing valuable artifacts. Can you find the clues to stop him and escape? Or will you be forever trapped in time? Hosted by 59:Escape Room Adventures ( Grades 4+

Space is limited to 15 participants per session. Tickets available 30 minutes prior to each session.

Tuesday, July 18, 1:30pm, 3pm, & 4:30pm

Thursday, July 20, 1pm, 2:30pm, & 4pm


Also, if you love the idea of hanging out in buildings after hours like Claudia and Jamie Kincaid, we have something fun planned just for you!

Late Night at the Library
What happens at night when the library is closed? Well, games, snacks, crafts, and more, of course! Wear play clothes and be ready for some late night fun. Grades 3–5

Registration and signed permission form are required.

Friday, July 28, 7–10pm

Friday, August 4, 7–10pm

Melanie Boerner

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