October has officially begun, and with it the many changes we all love about fall—the leaves change color, the days are shorter, the weather is cooler. All of these things make October the perfect time to curl up with a good mystery!
If you have beginning readers in your family, you’re in luck: there is a host of excellent mystery series available for this reading level, and it’s no surprise as to why. Mysteries introduce young readers to the art of problem solving, the importance of critical thinking, and in many cases, the value of teamwork. They’re great to read together because they can spark all kinds of conversations about the story (like why something happened or what’s going to happen next) and the characters (like what steps they will take to solve the mystery). Many beginning reader mysteries are also simple enough for kids to tackle on their own, especially if they want to practice reading independently. And with so many options, you can be sure you’ll have enough reading material stacked away to last into the winter.
So gather your little readers, cuddle up under a blanket (or, if you’re really serious, a blanket fort), drink some apple cider, and be prepared for hours of entertainment with these fun mystery series!
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, by Carolyn Keene
This series is a great way to introduce younger readers to the classic Nancy Drew books. The Clue Crew features an eight-year-old Nancy Drew and her two best friends, Bess and George, in an updated, more modern setting, solving simple mysteries that will keep young readers guessing at the solution.
The Hardy Boys Secret Files, by Franklin W. Dixon
Much like Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, this series is a simplified, updated version of the classic Hardy Boys mysteries, written especially for younger readers. Frank and Joe may be in grade school, but everywhere they turn is a new adventure!
A to Z Mysteries, by Ron Roy
With a different mystery for each letter of the alphabet, readers can pick and choose as they like. Beginning with The Absent Author, best friends Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose always find themselves caught up in some new puzzle!
(And if you’ve already read your way through the A to Z Mysteries, try the Calendar Mysteries or Capital Mysteries series by the same author!)
Greetings from Somewhere, by Harper Paris
Twins Ella and Ethan are the children of a travel writer, which means they are constantly moving around to different, interesting places. Each book takes place in a different city, giving this mystery series a bit of an educational component as well as adventurous appeal.
Cam Jansen series, by David A. Adler
Cam Jansen is a fifth-grade girl with a photographic memory, a skill that helps her solve mysteries even when she’s not looking for them! With some help from her best friend Eric, Cam cracks over 25 cases in this popular mystery series.
Ballpark Mysteries, by David A. Kelly
David A. Kelly’s mystery series has a twist–every case has to do with baseball! Cousins Mike and Kate are constantly finding themselves caught up in a new mystery, especially since Kate’s parents both work in the sports industry. If you have a sports fan in the family, Ballpark Mysteries is sure to be a home run hit.
Nate the Great series, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Nate the Great is a detective who likes to work alone–well, aside from some help from his dog, Sludge. Simple, repetitive text makes this series an excellent pick for young readers who may need a little confidence boost in reading independently.