Creaky castles, hidden treasures, anonymous letters—a great mystery should keep you right on the edge of your reading chair (and sometimes falling off)! And for the young reader, this thrill could be the perfect gateway into a lifelong love of reading.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry—Literati has already done the sleuthing for you.
We’ve selected the most captivating mystery books for sixth-graders. From magical tales of lost treasure to the humorous reports of a clumsy spy, your 11-year-old won’t stop reading until they crack the case!
And here’s a clue: keep reading for the top five mystery books for your middle-school reader!
#1 August Isle – Family Secrets on the Florida Shore
Image Source: https://www.alistandish.com/august-isle
Tucked in Florida waters, August Isle is a seemingly-perfect beach town. But the more Miranda explores its sandy shores, the more she uncovers its dark secrets—including ones about her own family.
After her mom’s death, Miranda decides to visit an old family friend on August Isle. As she begins to explore the island’s underbelly, mysterious clues emerge about her mother’s childhood summers there—a dark lighthouse, a cryptic seaman, a name that repeatedly appears. Soon enough, Miranda has to decide if the truth is worth knowing.
A Junior Library Guild selection, August Isle is a deeply reflective tale of grief and self-discovery. With unique characters and captivating twists, it’s definitely one of the best chapter books for curious young readers.
Pick up some extra batteries for your kid’s reading flashlight—this book may tempt your kid into reading way past bedtime!
#2 Case Closed #1: Mystery in the Mansion – A Choose-Your-Own Puzzle Adventure
Ever wanted to just dive into a book’s world? With Case Closed #1: Mystery in the Mansion, you can!
To save his sick mother and her detective agency, young Carlos teams up with best friend Eliza and her little brother, Frank. Little do they know, they’ll encounter spooky letters, buried treasures, riddles, and wacky foes along the way.
The best part? Your kid gets to help the characters crack the case! As a choose-your-own-adventure story, Case Closed lets your middle-grader decide which clues to follow and which leads to chase down (or be chased by!).
With endless options and twisty puzzles, Lauren Magaziner’s series provides a uniquely engrossing adventure. And if your kid loves the book, check out the two equally-fun sequels!
#3 The Lost Property Office – Lose Yourself in the Streets of London
Jack’s got a knack for discovering all things lost and found. From scarves to books, Jack Buckles has a special gift for locating all of London’s abandoned treasures.
But there’s one thing he can’t find—his long-lost father and sister. That is, until a few family secrets emerge.
Dun dun duuuuuuun!
After discovering his dad’s royal detective past, Jack must fulfill his family role in the mysterious Lost Property Office. To find his father and save London, he must outrace a foe named Clockmaker in locating the secret Ember—a mysterious force that could destroy the whole city.
Will Jack beat the clock and rescue his family? Your child will have to peek into James R. Hannibal’s clever thriller to find out.
#4 Spy School – Unlocking Your Inner Sleuth
Image Source: https://stuartgibbs.com/books-2/spy-school/
Have you ever heard of a clumsy spy? Meet Ben Ripley, our resident spy-to-be, who desperately wants to join the CIA. But try as he might, he just can’t grasp that “stealthy sleuth” demeanor. Accidents and clumsiness follow Ben wherever he goes! Giving up on his dreams, he resigns to a science-focused school.
But is it really?
Little does Ben know, this lab program is a front for a youth CIA academy. And it’s time to step up his detective game.
This spy tale is the one of the best books for sixth graders, who will laugh and gasp in anticipation throughout the pages. Detective thrillers meet gut-busting humor in Spy School, where there’s no shortage of sharp jokes and self-poking fun, all with a classic noir flair.
#5 The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle – Fighting for Justice Through Truth
Not every mystery is an action-packed thrill ride. Sometimes, the greatest stories come from slow burns, where every page adds new fuel to the fire … until the story becomes a conflagration of heart-aching drama!
With his learning disability and sweaty appearance, Mason Buttle is not exactly a popular kid. Even worse, his reputation is haunted by the mysterious death of his best friend, Benny. To escape his bullies, Mason and his new friend Calvin escape to play in an underground grotto.
Except now, Calvin has also disappeared.
Mason is left with a quest to redeem his name and find his new friend—even if it means uncovering his town’s dark secrets.
With over a dozen children’s book awards, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle is a mature and deeply captivating story. Leslie Connor’s intelligent writing and complex characters show the evil of stigmas, as well as the power of friendship.
Break Out the Magnifying Glass to Read These Mystery Books
From belly-laughs to scary spooks, there’s a mystery book for every reader out there. And with Literati’s help, you don’t have to play detective to find the best ones for your child.
Our Club Phoenix mystery books are perfect for the thrill-seeking preteen. With their endless twists, puzzles, and quality characters, you can unlock the greatest mystery of all—getting a book to stay in your middle-schooler’s hands!