Best Mystery Books For Kids 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Secrets of The Under-Under World2. Where Has Joseph The Snail Gone?3. Crime Travelers
Secrets of the Under-Under World Best Mystery Books For KidsWhere Has Joseph The Snail Gone?Crime Travelers: Brainwashed

We all loved mystery books as kids, and well, most of us still do! So if your kid is at an age when they have started showing interest in books, what’s better than buying them a nice mystery book to spend their time on?

Reading mystery books has its own benefits, especially for young readers. Firstly, they are full of small details that are important in understanding the plot. This helps develop and improve the perceptive and analytical skills in kids. Also, as the main characters in mystery books for little ones are children themselves, kids find them more relatable and engaging and thereby are more inclined towards re-reading it.

In case you are looking for the best mystery books for kids, we are here to help! In this article, we have listed some of the best mysterious tales that would be the perfect gift for your kid. Check them out below!

Top 9 Best Mystery Books For Kids 2021

1. Secrets of the Under-Under World

Secrets of the Under-Under World Best Mystery Books For Kids

What would you do if you suddenly find yourself in an unknown world, with not a familiar soul in sight, and you have to solve a mystery to go back to where you belong? If you feel like this sounds like a fun adventure, then you are sure to enjoy Secrets of the Under-Under World: Water!

The story begins with a girl, Sam, being stuck on the roof of her house in the rain at night. She is extremely angry, not only due to being locked out in the rain, but because she is weighed down with a number of other issues. With both of her parents dead, she has to beg around for food, borrow books, and wear worn-out clothes. And her aunt, brother, or cat aren’t of much help either.

Sam slips and falls from the roof, and instead of crashing on the ground, she goes through it to reach an unknown land. Ruled by a wise woman called The Great Hildinkski, the Under-Under World is a mystical place where it is very normal to talk to fishes or open locks with a touch.

And as if she didn’t have enough problems, Sam is accused of stealing the sun of the land where she is stranded. And even The Great Hildinski refuses to help her reach home unless she gives back the sun (which she obviously can’t, as it’s with the actual thief)! 

But things get far worse, as she meets her brother and cat there too, who are counting on her to help them get back to their world and becomes aware of a plot to steal the mystical colony’s water.

She needs to find a way to protect it, as the success of the plot means the destruction of both worlds. But will she be able to do it?

Written in a lucid manner, this is one of the best mystery books for kids that will keep them engaged till the very last page!


2. Where has Joseph the Snail gone?

Where Has Joseph The Snail Gone?

All the little detectives out there would love this book about the mysterious disappearance of a snail. Written by Hovav Heth, Where has Joseph the Snail gone? is an easy-to-read children’s picture book that is sure to captivate young readers.

Maya is an animal lover, who has a soft corner for snails. When her friend Jonathan the detective comes to visit her, she takes him to meet her favorite snail Joseph, only to find out that he’s not there!

So where is Joseph? Has he left of his own accord, being too bored with staying in Maya’s planter, or did some other creature, possibly from outer space, abduct him from right under Maya’s nose? 

Follow Jonathan and Maya as they try to look for clues that could help them solve the mystery behind Joseph’s disappearance. But will interviewing the residents about whether they saw a snail running away be of much help? And will they finally manage to find Joseph?

The book is full of vivid illustrations that bring all the characters to life. The narration is mostly in the form of rhyming sentences, which will make it a fun read for young ones!


3. Crime Travelers: Brainwashed

Crime Travelers: Brainwashed

The first book of the Crime Travellers series, Brainwashed, takes you on an exciting ride with multiple kidnappings, fights, stunts, rescues, and a whole lot of adventure. A fast-paced novel, it will keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end.

Lucas Benes is a thirteen-year-old boy, who discovers a baby abandoned by someone in a cart below the building he’s staying in. But, as he attempts to rescue the baby, he doesn’t have any idea that he will soon be on an undercover mission to stop a child kidnapping racket.

Lucas, along with a team of like-minded teenagers who are part of an organization known as New Resistance thus set off to Paris to fight Siba Gunerro, the leader of what is known as the Good Company. Ironically, this company is just the opposite, dealing in kidnapping and brainwashing children. So will they be successful in defeating her in spite of all odds?

The story is much like a travelogue, as you can actually see Paris in all its glory through the eyes of Lucas and his friends. Brave, humorous, and quite relatable, kids are sure to find the characters fascinating. This book is a real treasure that makes kids aware of real-world issues by touching upon subjects of child labor and trafficking.


4. The Secret Lake

The Secret Lake

Is time travel possible? And more importantly, is it as exciting as it seems to be? Get all your answers in The Secret Lake, an excellent children’s book filled with mysteries at every turn.

11-year-old Stella and her 8-year-old brother Tom, who has recently moved to London from Hong Kong, are curious about the regular, and often long disappearances of their neighbor’s dog Harry. And what made it more mysterious was that Harry would be thoroughly wet every time he returned.

They set off to solve this mystery during their summer holidays, and during their search, stumble upon a secret tunnel that leads them to a lake. Here, they find a strangely dressed boy rowing frantically towards them while looking extremely terrified, even as they can hear some voices from the other end of the lake.

Soon, however, they discover that they have gone back almost 100 years in time, and are seeing their current home and the adjoining communal garden as it was a century ago. They make both friends and enemies among the children of the past and soon find themselves deep in trouble. 

The book has a series of twists and turns that makes it enjoyable for the young reader. It has just the perfect combination of historical and modern, with characters and locations from both eras complementing each other to create a truly gripping tale.


5. Magic Tree House Boxed Set

Magic Tree House Boxed Set

Let your child delve into the world of magical time travel with this set of four books from the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. A favorite of children worldwide, this is the perfect gift for your little bookworm.

Jack and his sister Annie are ordinary kids, who become part of an extraordinary adventure when they discover a treehouse. Hidden in the woods, this magical treehouse becomes a gateway that lets them travel across time to reach different eras of the past. Watch them as they get thrown into the midst of dinosaurs, medieval castles, old and huge pyramids, and pirates hungry for treasure!

The set contains 4 volumes from the series, namely Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon. These are the best mystery books for kids that can make them familiar with a bit of history in a fun and exciting way!


6. Legend of the Star Runner

Legend of the Star Runner

Let your kids run their little minds to solve the clues in Legend of the Star Runner. A thoughtful and well-written book by J. I. Wagner, it aims to keep children engaged till the very end.

Lilli’s grandfather will soon be evicted unless she, with the help of her friend Timmi Tobbson and others, can do something to help him. They come across some clues in an age-old family legacy, which promises to lead them to a long-lost treasure. 

But they have only 24 hours to locate the lost pirate ship, Star Runner, which lies somewhere below the streets in the city. Moreover, they are unaware that their search has awakened a mysterious and dark power, which only cares about protecting what’s hidden onboard the centuries-old ship. Will Timmi and his friends be able to win against the power to solve the mystery and save Lilli’s grandfather from eviction?

The book comprises 31 chapters, each ending with a puzzle to be solved by the reader, which adds an element of excitement to the adventure. The colorful and detailed illustrations bring the story to life and often provide vital clues for solving the puzzles. All-in-all, children are going to find this a very enjoyable read.


7. The Boxcar Children Books

The Boxcar Children Books

The Boxcar series of children’s books are quite well known, being loved across generations ever since the first book was published in 1942. In all these years, the series has grown, with more than 150 books currently in the series.

Peek into the world of Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden, collectively known as the boxcar children as they together explore the world. Your little one can join them in their search for their home, while they solve mysteries on the way.

This Boxcar set consists of the first four books of the series, all of which are authored by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It includes The Boxcar Children, Surprise Island, The Yellow House Mystery, and Mystery Ranch. A perfect birthday gift, these books are sure to brighten the days of your kid with their simple language and excellent narration.


8. The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Written by award-winning author Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon is one of the best mystery books for kids you would ever come across. Full of magical events and unexpected twists, this is no less than a pure delight for young readers.

The story is set in a village at the edge of a wood, run by a protectorate of elders. Every year, these elders sacrifice the youngest child in the village to placate the apparently dangerous witch living in the woods. But this is all a lie, as the terrifying stories about the witch are all made up by the elders to keep the villagers from leaving the protectorate.

But there is a witch, although a very kind one, picking up all these children and leaving them with loving families in the city. And she intended to do the same with this child, but due to delays in traveling, she ends up feeding her with moonlight, which blesses her with magical powers.

Knowing that she has to raise the girl herself, she names her Luna, after the moon, and starts residing with her in a treehouse in the forest. But as Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, things change. A villager sets out to kill the witch to protect his newborn child. But who is the real witch, is she in the forest, or living in disguise for years right in the midst of the villagers?

The book is easy to read and young readers will love the healthy dose of magic scattered all over the story. The story is well-paced and engrossing and it is sure to keep your little one busy for a while.


9. The Proto Project By Bryan R. Johnson

The Proto Project By Bryan R. Johnson

Is technology a boon, or more of a curse for mankind? This children’s sci-fi novel attempts to delve into the pros and cons of AI while keeping the reader engaged in the various twists and turns that are part of the story.

Jason Pascal is a twelve-year-old who accompanies his classmates to Recode Global, a tech company as part of a school field trip. Although Jason’s mother is a top scientist here, this is his first trip, which makes it more special for the pre-teen.

His mother allows him into her lab and shows him her latest invention, a wrist-watch-sized AI device named Proto, which is designed to work for the welfare of humanity, not against it. Proto goes missing, but unknown to all the device had deliberately accompanied Jason to get out of the lab.

But when Jason’s mother is kidnapped, it becomes a useful ally to Jason and his friend Maya Mateo, as they endeavor to find and save her. But are they up for the challenge? 

The book has just the right balance of suspense and humor and at no point does it get boring. Children interested in gadgets or science, in general, will find this a very interesting read.


Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Mystery Books For Kids

While looking for the best mystery book for kids, there are certain factors that you should consider to ensure that it is well-liked by the young one it is meant for. To help you in this task, here we have listed a few of them. Take a look!

1. Age

The age of the child is the most important consideration while you are buying a book. The first thing you need to ensure is that the language is suitable for the age-group. Kids prefer books with simple and easy-to-understand language, and you should ensure that you choose one matching these criteria.

Moreover, kids love colorful or detailed illustrations in their books. Therefore, heavily illustrated books have an added advantage, as it becomes easier for kids to imagine all the characters. This makes them more interested in the story.

2. Personality

Kids can be interested in many things ranging from science to magic to history. Knowing their personalities can therefore help you in selecting an appropriate mystery book that matches their interests. For example, a kid who is fascinated by science will find a mystery involving time travel or a sci-fi book quite exciting.


Choosing the best mystery books for kids can be a tough job, as you do have a lot of excellent options. But keeping a few things in mind, such as the age and personality of the child can help you in making the right choice.

We hope this article was successful in making your task a bit easier. All the books mentioned above are well-known and loved by kids worldwide, and we are sure that your kid is sure to find them a fascinating read!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What Are Some Good Mystery Books For 7th Graders?

Some of the best mystery books for kids that you can choose from for your 7th grader include The Girl Who Drank the Moon By Kelly Barnhill,  Secrets of the Under-Under World: Water By  P.S. Whatever, and The Proto Project By Bryan R. Johnson.

Q2. What Is A Good Book To Read For A 10-year-old?

Mystery books are ideal for 10-year-olds as they are more engaging for young readers. Moreover, reading mystery books also helps in developing their observation and challenges them to think and analyze to get to the solution. 

Q3. How Is A Mystery Different From Other Fiction Novels?

Mystery books differ from other fiction novels as these are full of twists and turns that keep the reader hooked till the very end. Also, most of the young readers find piecing together the different clues and puzzles to solve the mystery quite enthralling.

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