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YA Mystery

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (whitepicketfence) | 100 comments I have a challenge for all of you YA readers out there. I have an elementary age son (9) and a middle school age neice (14) who both have been given assignments to read something in the mystery genre. None of us are big fans of what that usually entails (murder, or the like). Does anyone have any suggestions of a clean, YA mystery on either reading level for a boy or girl, where the mystery is not murder related? Someone suggested "The Mysterious Benedict Society?. Has anyone read that or have other ideas?


message 2: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) Westing Game (9), or the Maisie Dobbs books may work for your niece. I started the Agatha Christie's when I was 14 ... the Jane Marple ones were a good start.


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (whitepicketfence) | 100 comments Elizabeth, Thanks for your suggestions, but I looked up The Westing Game and the Maisie Dobbs series. I also reviewed a few Agatha Christie and Jane Marple books. They ALL had murder/ mysterious death or "infidelity" in the background. We are looking for a mystery without that as any part of the story. A hard find, I know, but I am sure there is something out there that is pure, but still fits the mystery genre. I did find some "Boxcar Children" books and a few "Hardy Boys" that fit the bill for my son, but am still searching for something with more depth for my neice. Would love some help.


message 4: by Lanetta (new)

Lanetta | 34 comments Things hoped for by Andrew Clements, might be good. I have not read ir but all the Clements books I have read have been clean. Some of the Nancy Drew books are in the teen session of the library. Books by Garth Nix might be worth looking at.


message 5: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) OOooh!!! From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. We studied that in school ... and I don't recall anything inappropriate for a nine year old.

I dont know if this would qualify as a mystery, but Someone Called Eva may fit the bill for your 14 year old. (I'm horrible at what is age-appropriate, because I never fit the bill. Guess that's what happens when you're a book addict at five!)


message 6: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) Also, Ella Minnow Pea may be a cute one -- it's a literary mystery, and a cute little read.


message 7: by Mel (new)

Mel (melmccurdy) I'm reading MIxed Up Files right now for our 3rd grade Mother/Daughter book group, and there is NOTHING inappropriate about the book.
My 3rd grader doesn't like mysteries, so I'm not familiar with all that is out there, but I work at our local library, and one of my jobs is shelving JUV fiction. Two series that have caught my eye are The Grimm Sisters and The Enola Holmes Mysteries. I no NOTHING of their content. But I don't think they are "murder" releated. You would need to research them a bit, since I don't have first hand knowledge.
I haven't read Benedict Society, but he is a local author where I live, and just donated a signed copy of his book for our PTA fundraiser -- he is super nice and has young kids of his own. FWIW.


message 8: by Lanetta (new)

Lanetta | 34 comments The Grimm Sisters are a great series! I have read them and found them to be spellbinding and clean, I can't wait to read the next one in the series that comes out soon! The story revolves around two sisters who end up being the great (plus some more greats) grand daughters of the brother grimms who wrote all the fairy tales. When their parents are kidnapped they end up living with their grandmother and learn that the town citizens are all fairy tales ceatures and the grimm family are fairy tale dectives. Grandmother happens to be friends with the big bad wolf (who is a good guy) and Puck (from MidSummer Night Dream)


message 9: by Helen (new)

Helen | 2 comments The Other Side Of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon is just about my favorite YA mystery. Me, my two daughters, and my son have read it (I read it twice) and we all loved it. It has the elements of a typical mystery without being too dark or disturbing. Stacy, a young woman, wakes up after 3 years in a coma to discover that she is being watched/stalked by someone who you discover (in the end) accidentally killed her mother (Stacy witnessed it) and he is trying to keep Stacy from figuring out who he is. No one gets hurt in the end, and the bad guy is caught. It would be a great read for both genders and each of the age groups you mentioned (depending on the child). Good luck!


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura (Avid7Reader) | 30 comments Mysterious Benedict Society is a fabulous series, as is the Things Hoped For series Lanetta mentioned. I have read both, both are very clean from what I remember, though I believe Mysterious Benedict Society is a bit cleaner. Things Hoped For is about an invisible boy, but his clothes don't disappear so he occasionally walks around without them, if that would bother you.


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (whitepicketfence) | 100 comments Thanks so much to all of you for your help. My niece chose one of the books among your lists (though I'm not sure which one). Your help was invaluable, since I am not much of a mystery reader. Maybe I'll even try a few of them that sounded interesting.


message 12: by Mel (new)

Mel (melmccurdy) Rachel:
I know you are done with suggestions, but I thought of two more (JUV however) that may be of interest to those in this thread: Elise Broach's Shakepeare's Secret and Blue Balliett's Chasing Veermer, et al series. The former is a mystery about a piece of jewelry the later an ART mystery. Very entertaining.


message 13: by joy (new)

joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire* (joytotheworld) | 98 comments Lanetta wrote: " Books by Garth Nix might be worth looking at. ..."

i have only read Sabriel by Garth Nix, but i wouldn't recommend it for your purposes, rachel. i'm generally okay with magic and that sort of thing -- it's fiction! even cinderella has a fairy godmother, for crying out loud -- but the necromancy stuff made me very uncomfortable. i've no idea if his Juv books are the same as YA. certainly a different series might be totally different, but i would just look for other authors. my four cents...


message 14: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (mejojac) | 50 comments Angie - I haven't read any of those books, but I have a friend who has read "The Friday Night Knitting Club". She said that they used the f-word a few times throughout the book :S I'll see if I can find anyone who has read any of the others :)


message 15: by Laura (new)

Laura Chasing Vermeer


message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura (Avid7Reader) | 30 comments Joy wrote: "Lanetta wrote: " Books by Garth Nix might be worth looking at. ..."

i have only read Sabriel by Garth Nix, but i wouldn't recommend it for your purposes, rachel. i'm generally okay with magic ..."


I wouldn't judge him by that. Though I have not read Sabriel, I have read the Mister Monday, Sir Tuesday, etc. series so far and they were fabulous. There wasn't anything bad either, that I can think of.


message 17: by Cathy (last edited Mar 23, 2010 04:22PM) (new)

Cathy | 2 comments I am listening to SCAT by Carl Hiaasen about a dreaded teacher that goes missing. It is age appropriate and clean for your 14 YO and then I give a big thumbs up for The Mixed up Files - for both of them. Great read!


message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura SCAT is a good book.


message 19: by Marla (new)

 Marla | 45 comments Lanetta wrote: "The Grimm Sisters are a great series! I have read them and found them to be spellbinding and clean, I can't wait to read the next one in the series that comes out soon! The story revolves around tw..."

I agree, my daughter loves the Sisters Grimm stories. My other daughter liked Chasing Vermeer. These might be a little too tame for the 14 year old.

The Magic Tree House books would be good for your son. The Box Car Children and A-Z Mysteries would also be good for the 9 year old. There are some cute Scooby Doo mystery books by Gelsey too.

I think Sabriel was a little dark and not really a mystery, but not too bad for the 14 year old. I didn't like Mister Monday, but I don't remember it being inappropriate, just strange and slow.

Here's a list of supposedly good mysteries for children to give you ideas, but they don't specify how clean or appropriate they are:

http://www.childrensmysterybooks.org/...


message 20: by Marla (new)

 Marla | 45 comments I've heard 39 Clues by Riordan is good, but haven't read it yet and just assume by the title that it is a mystery.


message 21: by Lanetta (new)

Lanetta | 34 comments 39 clues is good and has extra games and mysteries on the internet. Warning: These books MUST be read in order, otherwise you will be lost more than normal.


message 22: by Andrez (new)

Andrez (andrez-ssi) Beautiful Malice is not about murder i think


message 23: by Christine (new)

Christine The Case of the Missing Marquess. There are several books in this series.


message 24: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (curlykew28) | 8 comments Eleven

..and other books by Patricia Reilly Giff are good mysteries for young readers.


message 25: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments I read The Shakespeare Stealer with one of my students. The protagonist is a boy who has to work to survive. His boss sends him to Shakespeare plays --to memorize the lines and write them down later. The boss, of course, is a second-rate or third-rate playwright.
The story deals with how the boy gets free from this onerous assignment.


message 26: by Andrez (new)

Andrez (andrez-ssi) sounds very interesting


message 27: by Laura (last edited Sep 17, 2010 06:15PM) (new)

Laura (Avid7Reader) | 30 comments Jeanne wrote: "I read The Shakespeare Stealer with one of my students. The protagonist is a boy who has to work to survive. His boss sends him to Shakespeare plays --to memorize the lines and write them down lat..."

Love that one. Did you know it has a sequel? Shakespeare's Scribe


message 28: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments Really? I'll look for it! Thanks, Laura -- that's going right on my TBR list.


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