7 Books for Your Little Gumshoe

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Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol Our children enjoy a lot of screen time under the guise of “educational” apps and shows. iPads, on-demand TV, and video games are competing for attention. We want our girls to read to help them succeed in school. More importantly though, we want them to treasure the joy of reading.

A book is an opportunity to slow down, to imagine…
to get lost in another world or mystery.

Most parents know the top picture book titles, but finding a strong series of chapter books can be challenging. To be frank, there is a lot of junk out there, my friends. When our girls were ready to transition into chapter books it was a struggle. They seemed to lose their passion for reading.

Until we picked up this classic at a rummage. We’ve got a vintage copy. This series sparked my daughter’s interest. Each day Rose loves reading and solving an Encyclopedia Brown mystery with my husband.

Last week on Facebook I asked:

{Encyclopedia Brown Alternative} Rose is almost finished with the entire series.
Anyone else have mystery/puzzle book recommendations that are not scary?

Below are 7 books recommended for your little gumshoe:

 Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene and Macky Pamintuan
1. Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene and Macky Pamintuan is a new spin-off of the original Nancy Drew Notebooks. The series is aimed at a younger elementary school students around third-grade. The series began publication in 2006. There are currently thirty-six titles in the series. Check out the titles.

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 From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
2. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg won the Newbery Medal in 1968. This mystery series is geared for children around age eight. I am excited to add this to our library list! This book has over 275 five-star reviews on Amazon. Pop on over to read some of the comments.

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The Boxcar Children Books by Gertrude Chandler
3. The Boxcar Children Books by Gertrude Chandler Warner are on our must-read list. The original book was one of the “Top 100 Chapter Books” of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal. Learn more about the series and see some of the book titles here.

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Trixie Belden by Julie Campbell
4. Trixie Belden by Julie Campbell is a series of ‘girl detective’ mysteries written between 1948 and 1986. The first six books were written by Julie Campbell Tatham, then continued by various in-house writers from Western Publishing under the pseudonym Kathryn Kenny [Source Wikipedia]. While Trixie has been compared to Nancy Drew, she is said to be a more realistic character. This series seems to be geared towards tweens and will go on our long-term reading list. Check out some of the series titles.

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 Jigsaw Jones Mystery by James Preller
5. Jigsaw Jones Mystery by James Preller is a set of 32 early-reader chapter books. These mystery books look perfect for an independent child. Check out some of the titles available within this series.

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 A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy and John Steven Guerney
6. A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy and John Steven Guerney is a set of 26 mystery books. These books are consider great “easy readers.” If you pop over and do a page preview in Amazon you can see some of the pages have illustrations. My girls love books like this! Somehow the images within the margins of the book makes it come across as less daunting. We are happy to have found this collection. Check out some of the series titles.

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And the one and only

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol
7. Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol is a set of 29 mystery books. Each books is broken down into short stories that offer the readers clues to a mystery. Of course, the boy detective, named Encyclopedia, solves every puzzle. The fun is in figuring out how he makes his deductions. Readers can flip to the back of the book for an answer section to see his logic. These books come highly recommended! Check out the series here.

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Do you have any additional recommendations? Share the title in the comments below or join our conversation on Facebook.

PS: This post is dedicated to my Facebook friends Melissa, Kelly, Dona, Lindsay, and Trina!

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