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Mystery books for boys after Hardy Boys?


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If you can find the older ones, The Three Investigators are really good. The boys are 12-14ish in the originals. There was a short-lived newer series where they were cool teenagers, not such good reading, but the original books are a lot of fun. Cool gadgets and everything. They go up against all sorts of bad guys, but the stories stay pretty clean in spite of it.

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These are all gentle, without mature themes (for example, The Westing Game is our mystery-loving son's favorite -- but there are references to topics we prefered to wait to expose him to until he was about 12yo). The top half of the list are all types of mysteries; the bottom half are books that may spark your DS's interest -- our mystery-loving son really loved most of them. Some are out of print, hopefully some will be at your library, or you will be able to find used cheap. BEST of luck! And congrats on having such a voracious reader! Warmest regards, Lori D.





- Great writers & kids write mystery stories (Greenberg)

- Encyclopedia Brown series (Sobol)

- Detectives in Togas (Winterfeld) -- Ancient Rome - boys solve mysteries

- Mystery of the Roman Ransom (Winterfeld) -- sequel of above

- Roman Mysteries series (Lawrence) -- Ancient Rome - girl and her friends solve mysteries

- Samurai Mystery series (Hoobler) -- 1700s Japan - boy detective solves mysteries

- Case of the Baker Street Irregular (Newman) -- boy helps Sherlock Holmes

(others in this series by Newman: Case of the Vanishing Corpse; Case of the Somerville Secret; Case of the Threatened King)

- Basil of Baker Street series (Titus) -- a mouse version of Sherlock Holmes; nicely done!

- The Rescuers series (Sharpe) -- okay, not really mystery, but this is such a well-written series books about mice rescuers being inventive and clever saving human prisoners -- MUCH better than the Disney movies which were very loosely based on these books; our boys loved these






- Bobbsey Twin mystery series

- Happy Hollister mystery series






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

- The Little Giant Book of Whodunits (Conrad)

- Whodunit Crime Puzzles (Sherman Holmes series (Conrad)

- Almost Perfect Crimes (and others by Hy Conrad)

- Wicked Whodunits (Dr. Quicksolve Mini Mysteries series)(Sukach)

- Case Closed (and others by Jurg Obrist)

- Whodunits: More Than 100 Mysteries For You To Solve (Bullimore, et.al.)

- You Be The Jury (Miller)

- Solv-A-Crime Puzzles (Singer) -- published by Dover

- 5 Minute Mysteries (and others by Ken Weber) -- these are harder and a bit more adult





Most of these are short, but are so interesting that they might catch your son's interest, even if they aren't as long as a Hardy Boys mystery:


- Brendan the Navigator (Fritz)

- Mystery on Everest: Photobiography of George Mallory (Salkeld)

- Mystery of the Mammoth Bones and How It Was Solved (Giblin)

- Roanoke: the Mystery of the Lost Colony (Miller)

- The Lost Colony of Roanoke (Fritz)

- Civil War Sub: Mystery of the Hunley (Jerome)

- The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery From History (Yolen & Stemple)






- Chasing Vermeer (Balliet)

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

- Five on a Treasure Island (Blyton) -- and other "Five" books by Blyton

- The Mysterious Benedict Society (Stewart)

- The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (Stewart)





Please don't write these off when I call them picture books or illustrated mysteries because you'll think I mean books for very young children. These are mysteries you solve by very carefully examining all of the illustrations, solving codes, etc:


- Art Fraud Detective; Art Auction Mystery (Nilsen)

- Mystery of Madera Canyon (Kostro)

- The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery (Base)

- The Edison mystery (Gutman)

- The Houdini Box; The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Selznick)






- The New Way Things Work (MacCauley) -- clever, fun, inventions describing physics

- Kids Discover magazine (you can order specific back issues of interest at: http://www.kidsdiscover.com/aspx/pIndex.aspx)






- Rikki Tikki Tavi (Kipling)

- The Jungle Book (Kipling)

- Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (and others by Howard Pyle)

- Treasure Island (Stevenson)






- The Toothpaste Millionaire (Merrill)

- The Pushcart War (Merrill)

- In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Lord)

- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Robinson)

- Summer of the Monkeys (Rawls)






- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Aiken)

- My Side of the Mountain (George)

- The Black Stallion, The Black Stallion Returns, Island Stallion (Farley)

- Naya Nuki: The Shoshone Girl Who Ran (Thomasa) -- true story!

- Behind Rebel Lines (Reit) -- true story! teen girl disguised as a boy / Union spy in Civil War

- Robert Fulton, Boy Craftsman (Henry) -- biography of the inventor of steam engine as a boy





I know you said your DS wasn't interested in fantasy or sci-fi, but these are very different from Harry Potter or other fantasy worlds -- these are more like adventures with mystery or spy elements to them:


- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Fleming) -- inventions; intrigue/mystery

- Half Magic; Magic by the Lake, Knight's Castle; Time Garden; Seven Day Magic (Eager) (Eager) -- magic adventure, but very real children; very fun






- The Whipping Boy (Fleischman)

- Adventures of TinTin (Herge)

- By the Great Horn Spoon (Fleischman) -- one of our all-time favorites!

- The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster) -- boy journeys through a fantastical mathematical land

- The Twenty-One Balloons (DuBois) -- Jules Verne-like story, 1800s inventor




These all involve a boy having to be be inventive, observant, etc.:


- The Kite Fighters (Park) -- 1400s Korea

- The Door in the Wall (de Angeli) -- Medieval England

- Pedro's Journal (Conrad) -- Columbus' voyage

- Skippack School (de Angeli) -- Colonial U.S.

- The Sign of the Beaver (Speare) -- Colonial US/Native American

- The Great Wheel (Lawson) -- building of the first Ferris Wheel in 1893

Edited by Lori D.
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Lori D. for such a wonderful list. It's such a blessing to read through these boards and find a question from someone else about a topic that's been on my mind! DS 10 is needing some new ideas for reading, and I was feeling kind of stuck--we seem to live in a girl-filled homeschool world!

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