Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Mystery & Suspense

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

Cover image for Space caseTransport yourself to Earth Year 2041 in Space Case by Stuart Gibbs. After months of living inside Moon Base Alpha, Earth’s first human colony on the moon, twelve-year-old Dash Gibson has some choice words to say about his experience:  “Life in outer space sucks. Trust me, I know.” The furniture is inflatable and uncomfortable, the food is iffy, and the faraway toilets clog…A LOT.  He’s resigned to the fact that he’s stuck there until his scientist parents have completed their assignments, so he deals with the monotony until a 2 a.m. bathroom run pulls him into a serious mystery involving the death of the base physician. He decides to investigate the death with the help of friends. What else will he do in this boring place? Crack open this quirky mystery and you too can travel to Moon Base Alpha.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant

The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy

Cover image for The disappearance of Emily H.Raine is the new girl at school, and she is living in the house Emily H. lived in before she disappeared. What happened to Emily? Do the mean girls know something? Raine has the ability to see “sparkles” on objects, so when she touches them, she can see what happened. Is Emily still alive? Will Raine be able to find her? This is a thrilling mystery that will keep you wanting to know more and find out what happened to Emily.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

10 Little Insects by Davide Cali 

Cover image for 10 little insects10 Little Insects by Davide Cali is a graphic novel parody of Agatha Christie’s 10 Little Indians (also titled And Then There Were None). Even if you haven’t read that, you may still recognize this classic mystery formula. A bunch of people, or in this case bugs, are invited to a mansion for the weekend. Each has been lured there for a different reason and once there, they begin dying mysteriously one by one. The surviving insects work together to solve the mystery of which one of them is the killer and the real reason why they have all been brought there. I would recommend this for kids who like graphic novels, mysteries, and have an off-the wall sense of humor. The comic panels work particularly well for throwing in a lot of extra jokes!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Cover image for Greenglass HouseIt’s the middle of winter at Greenglass House, a smuggler’s inn on the side of a steep hill.  The only way up is a creaky old cable car or a long hike up the stairs.  The house used to belong to the famous smuggler Doc Holliday, who disappeared mysteriously some years ago.   Twelve-year old Milo thinks he will spend a relaxing vacation snowed in with just the owners (his parents), because who would want to stay at the hotel at this time of year?  Wrong!  Guests begin arriving out of nowhere, each one with their own secret agenda, turning Milo’s quiet holiday into chaos. Strange things begin to happen.  Milo finds a mysterious nautical map.  Who does it belong to and where does it lead?   Then items begin disappearing from the guests’ rooms.  Now it is up to Milo and his friend Meddy to follow the clues to find the thief and discover the secrets of the Greenglass House.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

Eglantine:  A Paranormal Adventure by Catherine Jinks    

Cover image for Eglantine : [a paranormal adventure]Allie (short for Alithea) is a girl in need of some good luck. She thought she was having good luck when her family moved into a bigger house complete with her own bedroom.  But her luck abruptly changes when her brother, Bethan, now refuses to sleep in his own room due to the creepy writing that appears on his walls.   Allie would do anything to get her room to herself again…even try to confront a possible ghost. What do the mysterious words mean? Will Allie ever get her bedroom back? The book’s events take place on another continent, so you will be introduced to names and phrases that are uniquely Australian.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Programming Assistant

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Cover image for The London Eye mysteryThe London Eye is this big ferris wheel in London. Instead of seats, it has pods that a group of people ride around and you can see all of London from the top. Ted and Kat decide to take their cousin, Salim, on the London Eye before he leaves with his mom to live in America. However, when a stranger approaches them in the line and offers them a free ticket, they decide to let Salim have the ticket since they have both been on the London Eye before. When the ferris wheel stops and everybody gets off, Salim is nowhere in sight. While Aunt Gloria and Ted and Kat’s parents call the police for help, Ted and Kat try to solve the mystery on their own. Their only clue, Salim’s camera and the photos he took while they were together. Will this be enough to find Salim? Check out this great mystery to see what happens.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis

Cover image for Mistakes were madeIf you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Big Nate books, this book is right up your alley! Timmy Failure is a detective with a sidekick, Total (who is a lazy 1,500 pound polar bear). Timmy illustrates his stories (Total tried, but he does not draw as well as Timmy). This book is very funny, and there are more in this series if you like this first book. Fun fact: The author, Stephen Pastis, draws the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” that appears in newspapers.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato

syndetics-lcMystery comes to Edgar Allen’s classroom when the class goldfish get stolen. The only clue is a poem left behind by the thief. Edgar Allan is convinced this is his chance to become a famous detective, but will someone else solve the crime first?  It doesn’t take long for the thief to strike again. As Edgar Allan gathers clues and observes his fellow classmates, he notices some surprising things. Is one of them really the thief? Or should he team up with a classmate to find the culprit? Read the book and find out!

This was also a 2014 Bluestem Award Nominee.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

syndetics-lcTeddy Fitzroy is the only kid who lives in FunJungle, the world’s largest zoo. Action at the zoo picks up when Henry the Hippo, and mascot of the park, dies. Teddy is convinced some one killed Henry, but no one at the park believes him. The only one who will listen is Summer, the daughter of the Texas millionaire who owns FunJungle. Together, they have to track down the hippo killer, even though no one really liked the hippo that was killed. Henry was a pretty mean hippo afterall so the list of suspects is pretty long. Someone doesn’t want Teddy to investigate and strange accidents start happening that put him in danger. Will Teddy and Summer be able to solve this whodunit before someone gets hurt?

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

Zoobreak! by Gordon Korman

syndetics-lcCalling all young adventure seekers everywhere! This book is for every warmhearted, courageous, animal-loving human being! Zoobreak! the second book in a series by Gordon Korman, is about a group of kids trying to instill order and honesty back to their community. After Cleo, Savannah’s pet monkey, goes missing, Griffin and his talented friends believe they found Cleo at a local zoo. Seeing all the animals badly neglected and mistreated, these spirited youngsters whip up a daring plot to rescue them…ALL of them! But trouble arises taking care of these rambunctious critters and these daring young rebels need to find these animals a better home. What do you think will become of these zoo animals? Will the critter-napping  kids ever get caught? Or will they help to bring justice to the real animal thieves?

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant