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What age for Agatha Christie novels?


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My daughter started reading them at about 11. At that point she was only reading ones I had read quite recently. As long as I was reading ahead I probably would have been willing to let her read them a bit younger but I had her skip some that I found too dark for my dd.....I can't remember which ones.

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Has your 9yo already run through the loads of mysteries written for elementary/middle school ages? Those are ideal for sensitive young readers.


Tween/Young Teen Mysteries:

- The Westing Game (Raskin)

- The Roman mysteries (Lawrence)

- Samurai mystery series (Hoobler) 

- History Mystery series (Heal)

- Hank the Cowdog (Erickson)

- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Konigsberg)

- Chasing Vermeer (Baillett)

- Case of the Baker Street Irregulars (Newman) -- and sequels

- Detectives in Togas; Roman Ransom (Winterfeld) 

- When You Reach Me (Stead)


Vintage mystery series for tweens

- Nancy Drew (Keene)

- Hardy Boys (Dixon)

- Trixie Beldon (Tatham)

- Happy Hollisters

- Bobbsey Twins

- other vintage mystery series for tweens


Mini Mystery Collections:

- Two Minute Mysteries; More Two Minute Mysteries; Still More Two Minute Mysteries (Sobol)

- Dr. Quicksolve series (Sukach)

- You Be the Jury series (Miller)

- Solv-a-Crime Puzzles (Singer)


Other mini-mysteries by Conrad:

- Almost Perfect Crimes

- Whodunit: You Decide

- Historical Whodunits

- Little Giant Book of Whodunits

- Whodunit Crime Puzzles

- Solve It Yourself Crime Mysteries

- Whodunits: 100 Mysteries



If your 9yo really wants to read Agatha Christie, you might start with a short story collection (perhaps Hercule Poirot's Casebook), since short stories don't have as much time to devote to building up atmosphere, dwelling on the nasty aspects of murder mysteries, or give the reader as much time to get "sucked in" or "attached" to characters, which can make the reading experience much harder for a sensitive reader. 


Good luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.





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I wouldn't give it to my nine yr old, but I'm not a Christie fan. I would say definitely don't go with the one titled "And then There Were None". It's pretty dark, and is a big part of the reasons I am not a fan.

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If she is sensitive, I would avoid them. She may get nightmares. We didn't let our older girls read those till they were at least 14 and had read quite a few other mature books.

Lori D. has some great books listed.


My 11 yr old also likes:

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library- Chris Grabenstein  & its sequel- Mr.Lemoncello's Library Olympics


Not mysteries, but exciting-

The Narnia series-   C.S. Lewis

The Found series- M. Haddix

*The Haddix books are a bit more intense and should be previewed.

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We decided to leave the novels aside until high school, but my children do have a book of her short stories, called "13 for Luck: A Selection of Mystery Stories for Young Readers." It's out of print, but there are plenty of used copies around. (The "for young readers" bit has been dropped from later editions, but I think the contents are the same.)


Even some of those stories might be a bit much for a young child, or a very sensitive one, but you'd have to decide that for yourself. At any rate,I think the collection serves as a good introduction to her work, both for enjoyment and for "cultural literacy."

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I would say age 13.

While they do have some dark themes, murder, affairs, revenge, etc, the reader is removed to a safe distance from the horrors of this. There is little graphic detail, with the focus more on "whodunit" than horror.


I would consider Christie to be a cozy mystery author. (I'm a fan of the genre.)

"Cozy mysteries, also referred to as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community."


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