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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth
Fantasy and historical-fiction fans will find plenty to please them among this year’s Top 10 youth mystery selections, all reviewed in Booklist during the past 12 months. Young Anglophiles, though, are the real winners; half of the following titles are set in London, past and present.
The Diamond of Drury Lane. By Julia Golding. 2008. Roaring Brook, $12.50 (9781596433519). Gr. 7–10.
Set in the early eighteenth century, this first title in the Cat Royal Quartet, about a young orphan charged with guarding a hidden treasure at London’s Drury Theater, won Britain’s 2006 Smarties Prize.
Evil Genius. By Catherine Jinks. 2007. Harcourt, $17 (9780152059880). Gr. 7–10.
In this whiplash-inducing, high-tech thriller, a 13-year-old computer genius is recruited into a secretive agency and uncovers the chilling truth about both the leaders’ intentions and his father’s identity.
Eye of the Crow. By Shane Peacock. 2007. Tundra, $19.95 (9780887768507). Gr. 7–10.
This first entry in Peacock’s the Boy Sherlock Holmes series stars a 13-year-old Sherlock, whose curiosity is piqued after an Arab youth insists that he has been wrongly arrested for a vicious London murder.
First Shot. By Walter Sorrells. 2007. Dutton, $16.99 (9780525478010). Gr. 7–12.
Edgar Award winner Sorrells maintains taut suspense throughout this bleak, atmospheric, boarding-school thriller, narrated by teenage David, who suspects that his father is guilty of his mother’s murder.
The London Eye Mystery. By Siobhan Dowd. 2008. Random/David Fickling, $15.99 (9780375849763). Gr. 5–8.
After his cousin disappears from a London tourist attraction, young Ted faces his own psychological challenges as he searches for his relative. Well-realized family relationships and Ted’s curious mental circuitry are just as compellingly drawn as the page-turning, contemporary mystery.
Me, the Missing, and the Dead. By Jenny Valentine. 2008. HarperTeen, $16.99 (9780060850685). Gr. 9–12.
A famous pianist’s funeral urn provides London teen Lucas with his first clue in the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Psychic elements and authentic family drama deepen the complex mystery, narrated in Lucas’ pitch-perfect voice.
The Missing Girl. By Norma Fox Mazer. 2008. HarperTeen, $16.99 (9780066237763). Gr. 9–12.
Narrated in multiple viewpoints by strongly defined characters, this powerful story of a young girl kidnapped by an obsessive predator draws readers into a villain’s psyche with chilling effectiveness.
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen. By Eric Berlin. 2007. Putnam, $16.99 (9780399246937). Gr. 4–6.
Twelve-year-old puzzle whiz Winston is stumped when he encounters a set of strange, lettered tiles that seem to link members of his town. An ingenious, brain-teasing mystery reminiscent of Ellen Raskin’s Westing Game (1978).
Shift. By Jennifer Bradbury. 2008. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416962199). Gr. 7–12.
After his best friend, Winn, disappears during a cross-country bike trip, college student Chris joins the search, even as he finds himself under suspicion. Vivid details of place and Chris’ flashbacks of the trip enhance the mystery’s mounting suspense.
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos. By R. L. LaFevers. 2007. Houghton, $16 (9780618756384). Gr. 5–8.
A search for an amulet stolen from her parents’ London antiquities museum sends 11-year-old Theodosia into a terrifying international battle among secret societies. High action and precise details will keep readers engaged in this supernatural mystery, set in the early twentieth century.
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