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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth
In a nod to the classic art-heist subgenre, Alexander Calder, Albrecht Dürer, and Rembrandt all figure into this year’s crop of the best mysteries for youth. Newcomers to the mystery scene, including fan favorites Snicket and Green, help round out this list of the best crime fiction reviewed in the past 12 months.
Bog Child. By Siobhan Dowd. 2008. Random/David Fickling, $16.99 (9780385751698). Gr. 8–11.
After a girl is found preserved in a bog, the mystery of who she is and how she died provides a window into the 1980s troubles of Northern Ireland ravaging Fergus Crane’s family.
The Calder Game. By Blue Balliett. Illus. by Brett Helquist. 2008. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439852074). Gr. 5–8.
Mobile sculpture, hedge mazes, and word games all figure into this thoughtful stumper, in which young Calder Pillay (who shares a name with the famous artist) goes missing in England.
The Composer Is Dead. By Lemony Snicket. Illus. by Carson Ellis. 2009. HarperCollins, $17.99 (9780061236273). K–Gr. 3.
When the composer is found murdered, a blustery detective questions all the sections of the orchestra, allowing Snicket to deliver his charmingly snide humor as well as a sly introduction to the crafting and butchering of classical music.
The Crossroads. By Chris Grabenstein. 2008. illus. Random, $16.99 (9780375846977). Gr. 5–8.
This modern ghost story incorporates high-velocity action into a creepy psychological thriller, sending 11-year-old Zack Jennings on a collision course with a haunted intersection and a murderous tree.
Masterpiece. By Elise Broach. Illus. by Kelly Murphy. 2008. Holt, $16.95 (9780805082708). Gr. 3–6.
The involving world of art history and the miniature world of arthropods meet in this story of two fast friends, a boy and a beetle, who get caught up in a plot to heist a Dürer masterpiece from the Metropolitan Museum.
The Mystery of the Third Lucretia. By Susan Runholt. 2008. Viking, $16.99 (9780670062522). Gr. 7–10.
A visit to an art museum draws best friends Kari and Lucas into an international forgery scheme with a previously unknown Rembrandt at its center.
Paper Towns. By John Green. 2008. Dutton, $17.99 (9780525478188). Gr. 9–12.
Of course, Margo Roth Spiegelman would have to go missing right after reconnecting with Quentin on an all-night caper of epic proportions. Now it’s up to him to decipher the series of clues she left behind, revealing a very different Margo than Quentin had imagined.
The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour. By Michael D. Beil. 2009. Knopf, $15.99 (9780375848148). Gr. 5–8.
Three seventh-grade girls at a private school on the Upper East Side find themselves on a scavenger hunt wrapped in clues about religion, literature, and math, with a museum-quality treasure at its end.
Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash. By Wendelin Van Draanen. 2008. Knopf, $15.99 (9780375835261). Gr. 6–9.
In this exceptional entry in a consistent series, troublecentric Sammy finds herself suddenly in possession of a wad of cash, a windfall that leads to both mystery and mayhem.
What I Saw and How I Lied. By Judy Blundell. 2008. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780439903462). Gr. 8–12.
This noirish historical thriller, in which 15-year-old Evie questions her relationship with her parents and a flirtatious ex-GI, explores myriad issues of post–World War II America, deftly woven into a girl’s crushing coming-of-age.
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