19 Mystery Books That Kept You Up At Night In Elementary School
Nothing’s better than hiding under the covers with a good mystery book and flashlight, only to go to school the next day and talk about the book with your friends.
From elementary libraries to Scholastic book fairs and book orders, there were always those same mystery books that made their way around a classroom. Whether these books involved paranormal mysteries or just your plain ol’ whodunit, check out these 19 book titles sure to bring you down memory lane.
1. Time For Andrew By Mary Downing Hahn
When Drew visits his aunt, he finds himself mysteriously switching places with his long-dead relative who looks just like him. If Drew can’t figure out why this is happening and how to fix it soon, he’ll be stuck in the early 1900s for good.
2. The Dollhouse Murders By Betty Ren Wright
Fed up with her sister, Amy decides to temporarily stay with her aunt to get away for a few days. After discovering an antique dollhouse, Amy learns the dolls are moving by themselves, and they seem to hold the key to her grandparents’s decades-old unsolved murder.
3. The Westing Game By Ellen Raskin
After Samuel W. Westing dies, sixteen eccentric people who live in the same apartment building are named the heirs of his will. But only two of them (as a pair) will inherit the $200 million fortune. Of course, secrets start to unfold amongst the tenants as they fight for the prize.
4. Ghost Cat By Beverly Butler
Stuck with relatives for the summer, Annabel soon encounters a ghost cat that somehow holds the key to a woman’s unsolved disappearance from years ago.
5. Who Are You? By Joan Lowery Nixon
When a mysterious man is shot and wounded, Kristi learns the deceased had a freaky, detailed file documenting her whole life. Things start to get weirder after Kristi goes to visit the guy in the hospital.
6. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller By E.L. Konigsburg
Claudia and Jamie run away from home and stay at Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. But shortly after arriving, they’re swept up in a mystery involving a possibly legit Michelangelo statue and the secrets Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler holds.
7. The House On Hackman’s Hill By Joan Lowery Nixon
After learning about a huge reward for anyone who can locate a missing mummy, cousins Jeff and Debbie check out a mansion for clues. But a snowstorm traps them there for the night, and they soon realize an ancient spirit is inside with them.
8. The Face On The Milk Carton By Janie Johnson
When Janie recognizes her own face staring back at her on a missing kids milk carton, she starts to wonder if her parents kidnapped her when she was a toddler.
9. Skeleton Man By Joseph Bruchac
After Molly’s parents suddenly disappear and her “great uncle” begins taking care of her, she starts noticing unusual things, such as how her great-uncle doesn’t eat and that he locks her in her room every night. She vows to figure out who this man really is and discover his endgame.
10. The Ghost Of Fossil Glen By Cynthia C. Defelice
Allie is being haunted by a ghost and has nightmares about a mysterious girl falling off a cliff to her death—and must figure out why bad things happen to good people.
11. The Night Flyers By Elizabeth McDavid Jones
Part of the American Girl History Mysteries series, this book revolves around Pam as she learns about an enemy spy during World War I, and tries to figure out the mystery he poses.
12. Christina’s Ghost By Betty Ren Wright
Christina meets a ghost boy, who may or may not be connected to a 30-year-old murder, while staying with her uncle in a creepy Victorian mansion.
13. Megan’s Island By Willo David Roberts
When Megan’s mother makes her pack up and leave in the middle of the night, Megan knows something isn’t right and tries to find out what’s making them run.
14. The Kidnapping Of Christina Lattimore By Joan Lowery Nixon
After Christina is kidnapped by a masked man, her family pays the ransom demand. Unfortunately, Christina’s family then believes she was the person who orchestrated the kidnapping, so she must figure out who the real culprit is.
15. Dovey Coe By Frances O’Roark Dowell
Accused of murdering persnickety Parnell, Dovey must figure out who the real killer is before she’s found guilty by the jury.
16. Search For The Shadowman By Joan Lowery Nixon
When Andy is forced to look into his family’s history for a school assignment, he thinks it’ll be boring. However, he soon finds himself caught up in a mystery surrounding Coley Joe Bonner—the black sheep of the family—and tries to unearth what happened all those years ago that his family refuses to discuss.
17. Sammy Keyes And The Hotel Thief By Wendelin Van Draanen
The first in the Sammy Keyes series, this story follows Sammy as she accidentally witnesses a crime at a hotel through her binoculars. Unfortunately for her, the criminal was watching her watch him.
18. Wait Till Helen Comes By Mary Downing Hahn
Molly and Michael don’t like their new step-sister, Heather, who always gets them in trouble. But when Heather starts developing a “friendship” with a girl named Helen—who died in a fire over a century ago—Molly learns Helen likes luring kids into a pond, drowning them. In order to save her sister, Molly has to figure out what Helen’s problem is.
19. Holes By Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats is wrongly accused of a crime and sent to a boys’s detention camp as punishment. But when he gets there, sketchy things happen, including the authorities making every boy dig huge holes, searching for some unknown object.