Mystery books are an excellent way to make 1st, 2nd, 3rd graders interested in reading. The intrigue in these books keeps the beginner readers engrossed for a longer duration. Here is a list of suspenseful mystery books that your 6-8 year-old new readers would enjoy. The collection is a good mix of picture books and easy chapter books. Kid detectives solving them are something children can easily relate to. Also find mystery series for 1st-3rd graders.
21 Best Mystery Books For Grades 1-3 Little Detectives
We are supported by readers like you. We use affiliate links for Amazon and will make a few cents if you buy using these links (at no extra cost to you). **Click on the book title or image below to go to the book’s Amazon page.
Check out these beautifully illustrated mystery books for 1st-3rd graders. Many of these books are part of a popular series, so children can read more of what he or she likes.
Enjoy the thrilling detective journey!
Read kindergarten mystery books here.
The Mystery of King Karfu takes kids on a mystery hunting trip across Egypt. Join Seymour Sleuth and his assistant Muggs, as they go clue hunting for a missing stone chicken. The clue will lead them to the Lost Treasure of King Karfu.
Read for: Suitable detective unit for 1st grade & above
Read more books for first graders.
Pigeon P.I. is sure to appeal to fans of film noir detective movies. Birds are suddenly vanishing. Private Investigator Murray needs to find the villainous bird-snatcher. This mystery picture book is witty and full of jokes and humor.
Read for: A whodunnit book for mini detectives.
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective is the first book from the popular classic Encyclopedia Brown series. Leroy Brown (Encyclopedia Brown) is the neighborhood’s boy detective. Read how he helps his father, the chief of the police department, to solve crimes. An interactive book where readers are given enough clues to solve the mysteries.
Read for: Classic mystery series with trivia loving boy detective
West Meadows Detectives is the story of an autistic 3rd grader, Myron, who loves solving mysteries using logic, facts. When morning snacks in his new school get missing, Myron decides to help his classmates by solving the puzzle.
Read for: Autistic boy detective
The Legend of Diamond Lil – Search-and-rescue dog J.J. Tully wants is to enjoy his retirement. But things are not going fine in his neighborhood. A new dog, Diamond Lil, moves in next door. He comes with a secret that puts everyone in danger. Read, how does J.J. Tully save the day.
Read for: A delightful dog detective series
Problem at the Playground – Join in an adventure with Violet the mermaid and Wally the narwhal in Aquamarina. A new playground is built, but nuts, bolts, and hinges are missing. Read how the detective duo of Undersea Mystery Club solves the puzzle and rebuilds the playground. The story is a fun read with bright illustrations.
Read for: Fun undersea life mermaid mystery
Detective Camp (A to Z Mysteries) series is one of the most loved classic mystery books. Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose join a summer camp for detectives. Everyone is provided clues to solve a mystery. But could there be a real crime also happening in the summer camp? Read on to find out what do the three young detectives do. This book is perfectly suitable for beginner readers. The hidden clues in the illustrations keep the readers motivated.
Read for: Hidden clues in illustrations
Ballpark Mysteries – Popular mystery-solving cousins Mike and Kate are solving four basketball mysteries in this acclaimed series. The mixture of sports and mystery keeps this series entertaining and engaging. The diversity in representation adds to the depth of the book.
Read for: Basketball Mystery Series
The Stolen Slipper is set in the backdrop of a popular fairy tale. The prince lost the glass slipper of the mysterious girl. It was in his library. Kara and Zed jump at the opportunity to help solve the puzzle. What happens next? Read on in this easy reader picture book.
Read for: Fairytale mystery
Calendar Mysteries is the seventh title in the popular Calendar Mysteries series. The entire series is suitable for early chapter book readers. There is a contest going on for the best pets costume on the 4th of July. Bradly, Brian, Nate, and Lucy also join with their pets – Polly the pony and Pal the dog. But the animals go missing at the time of the parade. Can the four friends solve this riddle? Your child is sure to love the dressed-up animal pictures.
Read for: Popular Mystery series
Young Cam Jansen and the Lost Tooth is the story of an intelligent girl, Cam Jansen, with a photographic memory. Can she help find Annie’s teeth which fell out and disappeared? The girl detective character is relatable. Young children would love the entire cam Jensen mystery series. This series is perfect for making the transition from picture books to chapter books. This book is set in an art class.
Read for: Girl detective with a photographic memory
Bones and the Dinosaur Mystery – Detective Jeffrey Bones is at a science museum, and the T Rex goes missing. Read along to find out if Bones can solve this mystery. A mystery picture book for Dinosaur loving kids. The book is perfect for newly independent readers of early elementary.
Read for: Dinosaur mystery
Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? is a fun adaptation of a classic children’s song. Someone took the cookie from the cookie jar. Now Skunk is asking each of his animal friends – Mouse, Raven, Squirrel, Rabbit, Turtle, Raccoon, Snake, Beaver, and Frog. Help Skunk solve the mystery of the missing cookie in this fun rhyming storybook. A highly recommended book for classroom read-aloud – children would enjoy the repetitive nature of rhyming. Children from grade 1 onwards can read this book independently.
Read for: Rhyming mystery book for read aloud
The Big Island Burglary is from the classic Nancy Drew mystery series. Nancy goes on a trip to Hawaii with her friends and family. One night, a fancy camera gets stolen. Can Nancy, Bess, and George solve the crime? They need to solve the crime while making sure to enjoy the rest of the trip. A perfect book for lower elementary readers.
Read for: Classic mystery series
Mercy Watson Fights Crime is an age-appropriate bad-guys book for 6 to 8-year-olds. Leroy Ninker is stealing a toaster from the Watsons’ kitchen. Read on to join what happens next in this funny book from the pig detective series. The illustrations are amazing, making the reading enjoyable.
Read for: Animal mystery series
The Clue in the Clubhouse (Pony Mysteries)– Penny, Tina, and Tom are cleaning the old shed to turn it into a clubhouse. Then comes the mystery of missing keys. Read on as the trio, along with their pet, solve the mystery. An easy-to-read book, perfect for horse-loving children. The story is small, giving beginner readers a sense of completion.
Read for: Short mystery story
Baby Monkey, Private Eye – The Baby Monkey has a job- he is the Private Eye! A beautifully illustrated book with black and white color, with red hue thrown in. A book with excellent details, like how baby monkey struggles to put his pants on. The cases are easy to read with simple slight words. There are also ‘secrets for the children to find. A hugely popular book.
Read for: Humorous animal mystery story
Mac Undercover (Kid Spy #1) is the first book from the kid detective series. Queen of England’s Crown Jewels has been stolen. Join in as the Queen’s newest secret agent, Mac B. Mac travels around the globe in search of the stolen treasure. The book is fast-paced and witty, with bits of historical facts thrown in. A spy book series to inspire the next generation of detectives.
Read for: New York Times bestseller kid spy series
There is more For Mystery loving kids
Check out this fun guide on playing fun detective games with children | Fatherly
Make family time fun solving mysteries. playosmo has some interesting detective riddles for kids.
Here is an interesting mystery picture solving activity for kids
Benefits of Reading Mystery Books
The benefits of reading good mystery books for kids are plenty.
- Solving mysteries teach children to observe keenly.
- The reasonings used for solving riddles help increase children’s logical thinking.
- Mysteries encourage children to think outside the box.
- They raise curiosity for young kids