Check out these great summer reads for Bookworm!

Recommended for Independent Readers (ages 5 to 12)

Scroll down for Mystery and History titles. Click on any title to find a copy in our catalog.


Read About:  Mystery

Take time in June to solve a mystery!

A mystery is a story where the smartest person wins.” – Stuart Gibbs

Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard

The kids in room 207 don’t know how lucky they are to have a nice teacher like Miss Nelson, until their misbehavior causes her disappearance, and they get Miss Viola Swamp for a substitute.

I Want My Hat Back By Jon Klassen

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance.

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo

After playing a trick on his sister by stealing her toy rabbit, a mischievous little boy wonders who the new troublemaker is when his toy raccoon disappears.

Baby Monkey Private Eye by Brian Selznick, David Serlin

Who is Baby Monkey? He is a baby. He is a monkey. He has a job. He is Baby Monkey, Private Eye! Lost jewels? Missing pizza? Stolen spaceship? Baby Monkey can help…if he can put on his pants!

Young Cam Jansen and the Knock, Knock Mystery by David A. Adler

Eric’s Grandma Minnie and Grandpa Max keep hearing someone knock at their door, night and day, but find no one there, so Cam tries to solve the mystery using her amazing memory.

Who is the Mystery Reader by Mo Willems

As Zoom Squirrel and his friends try to identify the Mystery Reader, they learn about books, how they are written, and how to read–while sharing a-corny jokes.

Investi Gators by John Patrick Green

With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, the InvestiGators are undercover and on the case! And on their first mission together, they have not one but two mysteries to solve! Can Mango and Brash uncover the clues, crack their cases, and corral the crooks–or will the criminals wriggle out of their grasp?

Surfside Girls, Vol. 2 : The Mystery at the Old Rancho by Kim Dwinell

When one of the ghosts from Danger Point gets… spooked, it’s time for Sam and Jade to bring out the Journal of Weird and leap into action! Trying to solve this two-hundred-year-old mystery takes the girls all over their town and beyond, all while Surfside’s Annual Surf Competition is going on. Add to the mix a cute surfer boy, a mysterious mustached man with a guitar, and a very jealous Sam — can the surfing sleuths save the day again?

Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang

Welcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students. Using their wits and their growing prowess with coding, Hopper and her friend Eni are going to solve the mystery of Stately Academy no matter what it takes

Mr. Wolf’s Class: Mystery Club By Aron Nels Steinke

Three classmates in Mr. Wolf’s class–Aziza, Randy, and Margot–form a mystery club to investigate the disappearance of Mr. Greens.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

“Like his fellow lunarnauts—otherwise known as Moonies—living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous the world over for being one of the first humans to live on the moon. And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time—and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games. Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, Dash finds out, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies—a secret someone just might kill to keep.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime? A crime he says he never committed. Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge. But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.”When Marcus tells Zoe he is innocent, and her grandmother agrees, Zoe begins to learn about inequality in the criminal justice system, and she sets out to find the alibi witness who can prove his innocence

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

The creaky Smuggler’s Inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.


Read About:  History

Take time in July to step into the past.

“You cannot change the past. But when you close the cover of a book, you may discover that the past has changed you.” – Ellen Klages

That Book Woman

That Book Woman By Heather Henson and David Small

A family living in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s gets books to read during the regular visits of the “Book Woman”–a librarian who rides a pack horse through the mountains, lending books to the isolated residents.

The Librarian’s Stories By Lucy Falcone and Anna Wilson

Returning to her post on a bench in front of the burned-out remains of a beloved library, a dedicated librarian reads out loud from books that have survived until her persistence helps bolster her community’s recovery.

This is the Rope : A Story from the Great Migration By Jacqueline Woodson and James Ransome.

A rope passed down through the generations frames an African American family’s story as they journey north during the time of the Great Migration.

Oscar’s American Dream by Barry Wittenstein

In 1899, an immigrant named Oscar opens a barbershop and a century later, after becoming a lady’s clothing store, soup kitchen, bodega, and more, the building is torn down but Oscar’s legacy remains. Includes historical notes.

Ranger in Time:  Rescue on the Oregon Trail By Kate Messner and Kelley McMorris

Ranger could have been a great search-and-rescue-dog except for the squirrels–but one day he unearths a mysterious box and finds himself transported back to the year 1850 where his faithful service is really needed by a family traveling west along the Oregon Trail.

Skunked! By Jacqueline Kelly and Jennifer L. Meyer

When Travis discovers an abandoned baby skunk, he can’t help but bring it home and take care of it. Stinky, as Travis names him, settles in pretty well. But when Travis discovers Stinky’s litter-mate, Winky, who is in need of some help, things get complicated around the Tate house.

The Story Collector By Kristin O’Donnell Tubb and Iacopo Bruno

A fictional account of eleven-year-old Viviani Joffre Fedeler, who was born and raised in the New York Public Library, and her older brothers and best friend Eva, who all try and find out if the library is haunted.

I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944:  The Graphic Novel By Lauren Tarshis and  Álvaro Sarraseca

In a Jewish ghetto, Max Rosen and his sister, Zena, struggle to live after their father is taken away by the Nazis. With barely enough food to survive, the siblings make a daring escape from Nazi soldiers into the nearby forest. Max and Zena are brought to a safe camp by Jewish resistance fighters. But soon, bombs are falling all around them. Can Max and Zena survive the fallout of the Nazi invasion?

Sunny Side Up By Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm and Lark Pien

Following the lives of kids whose older brother’s delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos.

Blades of Freedom By Nathan Hale

Presents, in graphic novel format, the story of the Haitian Revolution and its role in Napoleon’s decision to sell Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe the whole Louisiana Territory, when they sought to buy only New Orleans.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Discovering a book of Langston Hughes’ poetry in the library helps Langston cope with the loss of his mother, relocating from Alabama to Chicago as part of the Great Migration, and being bullied.

Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar

Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the fight for independence from the British, and when ten-year-old Anjali’s mother is jailed for doing so, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work.

War Stories by Gordon Korman

Twelve-year-old Trevor Firestone loves playing war-based video games and he idolizes his great-grandfather Jacob who came home from World War II a celebrated hero; now ninety-three Jacob wants to retrace his journey in memory and reality and return to the small French village that his unit liberated, and Trevor is going with him. Not everyone in the town wants Jacob to come, and Trevor is going to learn an important lesson: real war is not a video game, and valor and heroism can be very murky concepts.

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