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Books TitleRECOMMENDED NOVELS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN

G) MYSTERY

BULL, ANGELA
“Wayland’s Keep” (1966)
Children from the present must solve the mystery surrounding the sale of their grandfather’s ancestral home in Victorian times. Well researched, with good characters.

CAMERON, ELEANOR
“The Mysterious Christmas Shell” (1961)
“A Spell is Cast” (1964)
These two chart Cameron’s growth as an author -- her stories move inward to explore character and relationships at in these well-crafted mysteries. “Spell” is particularly vivid, involving a young girl’s visit to her grandmother’s home on the coast of California, and a tangled web of family secrets.

CHANCE, STEVEN (pen name for Philip Turner, see below)
"Septimus and the Danedyke Mystery" (1971)
In this and several sequels, an ex-cop minister tackles crime and solves ancient puzzles in his home parish in England. Very different in tone from Turner's other books, but equally well written.

ENRIGHT, ELIZABETH
“Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze” (1951) 
The last of Enright’s four Melendy family books is a paper-chase mystery. Miranda and Oliver, the two youngest children, are led through adventures and family history by a series of rhymed clues. Can be enjoyed without reading the others, but is best read last.

FARMER, WENDELL
“Fish Hook Island Mystery” (1945)
A New England coastal island is the setting for this mystery involving a small boat, its mysterious owner, and a hurricane.

FENTON, EDWARD
“The Phantom of Walkaway Hill” (1961)
“The Riddle of the Red Whale” (1966)
Both take place on a farm in rural New York State, where a family of engaging children solve local mysteries, with a touch of humor and a good deal of action.

HIGHTOWER, FLORENCE
“The Secret of the Crazy Quilt” (1972)
and five other books, all full of clever mysteries, fine characters, and touches of suspense and romance. In this one, two children’s visit to their grandmother’s seaside home in 1926 throws them into a mystery involving rumrunning, strange disappearances, and an evil deed in their grandmother’s past.

JEWETT, ELEANORE M.
“Mystery at Boulder Point” (1949)
“Cobbler’s Knob” (1956)
Two mysteries at the New England seacoast, the first involving smugglers and a ghost ship, the second a haunted house and the underground railway.

KINSEY, ELIZABETH
“Sea View Secret” (1952)
The old house is out of place in the middle of the new development, and some children soon find it hold secrets, and perhaps a treasure.

LAWSON, ROBERT
“Smeller Martin” (1950)
Unusual story in Lawson’s usual fine prose and pictures about a boy with a highly developed sense of smell that allows him to help solve some crimes.

MANTLE, WINIFRED
“Tinker’s Castle” (1963)
And other books with the same characters. This English author’s mysteries are full of humor and suspense, as in this one, where Norman and Julia get drawn into a plot to steal a valuable ancient goblet.

MAYNE, WILLIAM
“Follow the Footprints” (1953)
“Underground Alley” (1958)
“Ravensgill” (1970)
Three of his books that exemplify the puzzle story. In these and others, events from the past have been forgotten or covered up, but are now coming to light in the present. Mayne’s child protagonists must put all the pieces together to solve the mystery and their own problems.

McGRAW, ELOISE JARVIS
“The Money Room” (1981)
Scott and Melinda’s new home on the farm their great-grandfather has left them has many peculiar puzzles, including the title room that everyone is looking for.

MOLLOY, ANNE
“The Secret of the Old Salem Desk” (1955)
“Mystery of the Pilgrim Trading Post” (1964)
Two stories of the New England Coast, with good characters and suspense as well as historical puzzles.

PEARCE, PHILLIPPA
“Minnow on the Say” (1955)
Two boys, a canoe, and a treasure hunt on the river are the basis of this well-told story.

PLATT, KIN
“Sinbad and Me” (1966)
And two sequels with the same characters. A boy and his dog are thrown into a complex mystery involving a ghost and a treasure in this long, well-written novel. The sequels are worth reading, though not quite as good.

RASKIN, ELLEN
“The Westing Game” (1978)
Carrying the puzzle story to great lengths, this entertaining book is full of odd characters and conundrums that must be solved to win a fortune.

ROBERTSON, KEITH
“The Mystery of Burnt Hill” (1952)
“Three Stuffed Owls” (1954)
“The Crow and the Castle” (1957)
Firmly set in 1950’s middle America, these fine stories are about Neil and Swede, the Carson Street Detectives, and the very real mysteries and trouble they land in. 1969’s “The Money Machine” doesn’t quite capture the original flavor, but is worth reading.

ST. JOHN, WYLLY FOLK
“The Secret of the Seven Crows” (1973)
And other similar mysteries. Setting her stories in the southeastern U.S., St. John writes good puzzle stories such as this one involving a strange riddle and a lost treasure.

TREASE, GEOFFREY
“No Boats on Bannermere” (1965)
And three sequels. Better known for historical novels, this author’s contemporary stories take place in England's Lake District, where, in this one, some children want to explore an island in a lake, but are thwarted by the owner, who is a mysterious character they see burying things in the woods.

TURNER, PHILIP
“Colonel Sheperton’s Clock” (1964)
Three boys discover old secrets and become involved in a modern crime in this tale of small-town northern England. Lots of action and suspense. First of a series about the same characters, all with elements of mystery and suspense, as well as humor and action.

WHITNEY, PHYLLIS A.
“The Mystery of the Gulls” (1949)
Though she later turned to romance novels, this author’s early children’s mysteries are well-told. This one takes place in an old hotel on Macinac Island, Michigan.

OTHER TOPICS

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RECOMMENDED NOVELS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN TOPICS

A) Classic Fantasy

B) Epic Fantasy

C) Animal Fantasy

D) Historical and Time Travel Fantasy

E) Other Fantasy

F) Science Fiction

G) Mystery

H) Historical

I) Classic Adventure

J) Vacation/Holiday Adventure

K) Wilderness Adventure

L) Other Adventure

M) Classic Family and Friends

N) Family and Friends

O) Real Life

P) Humor

Q) Classic Animals

R) Dogs and Cats

S) Horses

T) Other Animals and Nature

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