Best Selling Children's Books - Mysteries, Espionage, & Detectives

Discover best selling children's books - mysteries, espionage, & detectives from local library. Read book reviews and check book availability from public library with one click.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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release date: Sep 01, 2010
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The Boxcar Children Bookshelf (The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Books 1-12)
A deluxe Boxcar bookcase that contains 12 titles—The Boxcar Children Mysteries #1 through #12. Also included are Boxcar activities, poster, and accordion bookmark with title checklist. The bookcase can expand to hold up to 32 books.
release date: Jul 03, 2017
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Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Serafina Book 3)
The storms are coming... Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.
A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it's too late.
With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home.
In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty's #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.
release date: May 09, 2000
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Holes

Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out is now available with a splashy new look.

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Includes a double bonus: an excerpt from Small Steps, the follow-up to Holes, as well as an excerpt from Louis Sachar’s new middle-grade novel, Fuzzy Mud.

"A smart jigsaw puzzle of a novel." --The New York Times 

WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK AWARD
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK
SELECTED FOR NUMEROUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AND ALA HONORS 

release date: Sep 01, 1990
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The Boxcar Children Books 1-4
The paperback editions of The Boxcar Children Mysteries: #1, The Boxcar Children; #2, Surprise Island; #3, The Yellow House Mystery; and #4, Mystery Ranch are offered together in a cardboard case.
release date: Sep 29, 2015
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All American Boys
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.

In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

There were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this four-starred reviews tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.
release date: May 13, 2014
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We Were Liars

A New York Times Bestseller

One of James Patterson's "Favorite Thrillers for the Beach" (New York Times)

"Haunting, sophisticated . . . a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents
." —Wall Street Journal

"A rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leave you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten." —Parade.com

"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

"You’re going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending." —Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


"An ambitious novel with an engaging voice, a clever plot and some terrific writing." —New York Times Book Review

"No one should be talking about the shocking twist ending. What we can talk about is...[Lockhart's] razor-sharp portrayal of a family for whom keeping up appearances is paramount and, ultimately, tragic." —The Chicago Tribune

release date: Jul 14, 2015
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Serafina and the Black Cloak
A brave and unusual girl named Serafina lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate amidst the splendor of the Gilded Age. Serafina's pa, the estate's maintenance man, has warned her to keep herself hidden from the fancy folk who live on the floors above, but when children at the estate start disappearing, Serafina and her friend Braeden Vanderbilt must work together to solve a dark and dangerous mystery. This page-turning thriller from Disney-Hyperion is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, has been on the bestsellers list for more than 50 weeks, and is already being taught in over a thousand classrooms nationwide. It also won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize for "representing the best in Southern literature." A blend of history, mystery, and magic, this new series has become a favorite for both adults and young readers (8+). Be sure to watch the book trailer in the media section below.
 
"Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt's vast and opulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion's hidden doors and secret passageways.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A mysterious man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.
release date: Sep 25, 2007
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From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
release date: Apr 12, 2004
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The Westing Game (Puffin Modern Classics)
A Newbery Medal Winner

"A supersharp mystery...confoundingly clever, and very funny." —Booklist, starred review

 

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Winner of the Newbery Medal
Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
An ALA Notable Book
 

 

"Great fun for those who enjoy illusion, word play, or sleight of hand." —The New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating medley of word games, disguises, multiple aliases, and subterfuges—a demanding but rewarding book." —The Horn Book
release date: Jun 24, 2014
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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets A Night in the Museum in this action-packed New York Times bestseller from Chris Grabenstein, coauthor of I Funny, Treasure Hunters and other bestselling series with James Patterson!

Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!

Don't miss bonus content in the back of the book—extra puzzles, an author Q&A, and more! And look for the next puzzle-packed adventure—Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics!

"Discover the coolest library in the world." —James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author


36 STATE AWARDS AND COUNTING -- INCLUDING THE SUNSHINE STATE AWARD!

Starred Review, Booklist

* “An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman puzzle-master himself, Willy Wonka.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

*"Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at . . . this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike."
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