Media Reviews: Mystery Books for Toddlers to Teens

These recommended titles from Columbus Metropolitan Library will allow readers to unleash their inner sleuth.

Elizabeth Cullinan
Paige Proves It: The Mystery Monster

Hornswoggled: A Wacky Words Whodunit

By Josh Crute, illustrated by Jenn Harney

Deer and his friends discover that their favorite items have been stolen and replaced with silly alternatives. With the help of Detective Skunk, the friends investigate where their missing things have gone. This funny tale is told with an emphasis on wacky words—a great way to help young children increase their everyday vocabulary. Exposure to a robust vocabulary is an essential skill to be ready for kindergarten. FOR AGES 3-6

Paige Proves It: The Mystery Monster

By Amy Marie Stadelmann

Paige loves learning true facts, so she doesn’t believe it when her friend Penn says a monster roams the streets of their neighborhood. Determined to find out the truth for herself, Paige sets out to collect evidence and investigate Penn’s story. Featuring bright, simple illustrations, this book blends the elements of a graphic novel and easy chapter book together for a format that will appeal to young readers ready to tackle a story on their own. FOR AGES 6-8

Word Travelers and the Missing Mexican Molé

By Raj Haldar, illustrated by Neha Rawat

This story finds friends MJ and Eddie magically traveling to Mexico. After meeting a girl named Rosa, MJ and Eddie set out to solve the mystery of Rosa’s missing grandmother. Will they be able to help Rosa’s family before it’s too late? A fun beginning chapter book series that encourages learning about different cultures and languages, the Word Travelers series allows readers to travel around the world without leaving home. FOR AGES 7-9

Word Travelers and the Missing Mexican Molé

Tangled Up in Luck

By Merrill Wyatt

Enemies Sloane and Amelia are paired up when their seventh-grade class begins to investigate the secrets behind some missing jewels, a long-unsolved town mystery. The girls must learn to work together before an evil mastermind waiting in the shadows beats them to the jewels. This book is a treasure hunt for any reader ready for an adventure! FOR AGES 8-12

Tangled Up in Luck

Murder of Crows

By K. Ancrum

Tig Torres’s crime-solving skills are noticed by her town’s amateur detective group, which wants to uncover the secrets behind the missing body of their town’s founder. Legend has it that whatever is buried with the body could be life-changing. Tig and her friends quickly become caught up in a high-stakes search that could lead to murder. This original story features the characters from the scripted podcast Lethal Lit. FOR TEENS

Try This App


This free brain-teaser app is perfect for families. Work through a variety of different puzzles to help develop thinking and problem-solving skills. The difficulty level can be customized for each age group, but no matter where your child starts, the app will gradually help them increase their skill. Want even more brain-tingling motivation? Use the leaderboards to add a competitive component to working out your child’s brain. Available for Android and iOS.

Elizabeth Cullinan is the youth services manager of the Barnett branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.