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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth
Whether your tastes run toward historical whodunits, high-stakes heists, or hard-boiled hawkshaws, outstanding examples of each can be found in the best crime fiction for youth reviewed in Booklist over the past 12 months.
The Adventures of Jack Lime. By James Leck. 2010. Kids Can, $16.95 (9781554533640). Gr. 5–8.
Leck cleverly retrofits the detective genre with kid-friendly noir touchstones in three short cases starring the narcoleptic, quick-thinking junior gumshoe Jack Lime.
The Case of the Stinky Socks. By Lewis B. Montgomery. Illus. by Amy Wummer. 2009. Kane, $22.60 (9781575652887). Gr. 2–4.
Opening the Milo & Jazz Mysteries series, this book hits all the right notes for armchair sleuths as two aspiring kid detectives pool their wits to discover what happened to a pair of lucky sweat socks.
Cat Burglar Black. By Richard Sala. Illus. by the author. 2009. Roaring Brook/First Second, paper, $16.99 (9781596431447). Gr. 7–10.
Enrolled in a boarding school dedicated to the finer arts of burglary, nimble K. embarks on a series of tiptoeing heists at the behest of a secret society in this caper-filled and gothically atmospheric graphic novel.
The Dunderheads. By Paul Fleischman. Illus. by David Roberts. 2009. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763624989). Gr. 3–5.
A group of kids, each blessed with a hyperspecialized skill set, join forces to infiltrate the lair of a most fearsome teacher and retrieve their classmate’s confiscated trinket.
Gentlemen. By Michael Northrop. 2009. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545097499). Gr. 10–12.
At first, the Raskolnikov act put on by Mike’s English teacher just seems like a ploy to bring Crime and Punishment home to the remedial set, but when a friend goes missing and the teacher starts behaving even more alarmingly, he finds it awfully hard to ignore the warning signs.
The Knife That Killed Me. By Anthony McGowan. 2010. Delacorte, $16.99 (9780385738224). Gr. 10–12.
A no-account teen falls under the influence of a savage bully who wields power with ruthless efficiency in this sobering thriller that cuts to the bone of adolescent violence and portrays the sometimes catastrophic consequences of never fitting in.
Murder at Midnight. By Avi. 2009. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545080903). Gr. 5–8.
Political intrigue in Renaissance Italy forms the backbone of this historical suspense story, as an illiterate boy and his illusionist master navigate the perilous triangle of a magic-fearing king, his plotting son, and a nefarious advisor.
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook. By Eleanor Davis. Illus. by the author. 2009. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (9781599901428). Gr. 4–6.
In this edifying graphic novel, after three kids united by a mutual affinity for science and gadgetry have their tip-top-secret invention notebook stolen by a scheming scientist, they put their imaginative doohickeys to work fending off his planned museum heist.
What Really Happened to Humpty? By Jeanie Franz Ransom. Illus. by Stephen Axelsen. 2009. Charlesbridge, $15.95 (9781580891097). Gr. 1–4.
Humpty’s younger brother, the hard-boiled Joe Dumpty, hunts down the perp in this enchanting picture-book send-up of classic detective stories scrambled with fairy-tale characters.
When You Reach Me. By Rebecca Stead. 2009. Random/Wendy Lamb, $15.99 (9780385737425). Gr. 4–7.
Not a mystery in the traditional sense of the word, this short novel is nonetheless wrapped tightly in enigmas as sixth-grader Miranda tries to puzzle out the cryptic messages she receives about saving her friend’s life.
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