The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Introduction to Mystery Books for 4th Graders


mystery books for kids

Mystery books are a great way to pique the interest of fourth-grade students and get them excited about reading. The mystery genre offers readers an intriguing storyline with a puzzle to solve. It challenges their minds, improves critical thinking skills, and helps them to develop their imagination. From action-packed detective stories to spine-tingling thrillers, there are many different types of mystery books to choose from. By reading mystery books, 4th graders can become detectives themselves, using their wit and problem-solving skills to solve the puzzles and uncover the truth. Here are some recommended mystery books for 4th graders:

1. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game book cover

The Westing Game is a classic mystery novel that has been a favorite among 4th graders for over twenty years. The book revolves around the death of a wealthy businessman named Samuel Westing. Sixteen people are called to his mansion to hear the reading of his will, and they discover that the will has a strange and cryptic message. They are divided into eight pairs and given a set of clues to solve the puzzle of the Westing Game. The first pair to solve the riddle will inherit Westing’s fortune. The book is full of twists and turns and has a surprise ending. It teaches readers about friendship, trust, and perseverance and encourages them to think outside the box.

The Westing Game is a perfect book for 4th graders who love puzzles and mysteries. The book is entertaining, well-written, and has likable characters. It challenges readers to think critically and put together clues to solve the mystery. The book is also a good introduction to the mystery genre as it has a well-constructed plot and a satisfying resolution. It can be enjoyed by both boys and girls and is suitable for independent reading or as a read-aloud in the classroom.

Classic Mystery Books for 4th Graders


Sherlock Holmes book covers

If you’re an experienced reader, you’d know that a good mystery book can keep you on the edge of your seat. The thrill of puzzles, problem-solving, and intellectual rigor is a big part of why mystery books have held such a popular place in literature. Children love mystery books for the same reasons. However, classic mystery books can be the perfect starting point for introducing young readers to the genre. Here are some of the classic mystery books that we think are perfect for 4th-grade readers.

Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes book covers

This is a great series of books and it’s a perfect introduction to the world of mystery and the great detective Sherlock Holmes. Holmes, with his impressive powers of deduction and his distinctly British wit, solves a series of mysteries in these books. These books can be a great way to introduce young readers to complex plots, colorful characters, and the thrill of solving puzzles.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game book cover

The Westing Game is a classic mystery book that features a large cast of characters, all competing to inherit Samuel Westing’s massive fortune. When Westing is found dead, his will reveals that his fortune will be awarded to whoever solves a mystery. The characters must work together to uncover the clues and solve the mystery to win the prize. The Westing Game is an exciting, fast-paced, and fun mystery that’s perfect for 4th-grade readers!

Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol

Encyclopedia Brown book covers

Encyclopedia Brown is a 10-year-old detective who loves to solve mysteries. In each book, Encyclopedia Brown tackles a series of cases and uses his extensive knowledge to find the solution. What sets Encyclopedia apart from other detective stories is that the reader can play detective too. Each story includes clues to help the reader solve the mystery. These books are great for teaching young readers about critical thinking and analytical skills.

Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew book covers

Nancy Drew is a young and clever detective who solves cases in her hometown of River Heights. The Nancy Drew series follows our heroine as she travels all over the world, solving mysteries and uncovering secrets along the way. These books are perfect for 4th graders who love to read about brave and intelligent young women who can solve any mystery that comes their way.

In conclusion, reading mystery books can be an exciting and educational experience for young readers, and the above classic mystery books are great titles for 4th-grade kids to start with. They inspire young readers to think critically, solve puzzles, and appreciate the art of storytelling.

Contemporary Mystery Books for 4th Graders


Contemporary Mystery Books for 4th Graders

When it comes to reading, choosing a good mystery book can be an excellent way to get kids hooked on reading. Mystery books have suspense, thrilling plot, and unexpected twists that keep readers glued until the end. Here are some of the best contemporary mystery books that 4th graders will enjoy reading:

The Secret Lake: A children’s mystery adventure

The Secret Lake: A children's mystery adventure

The Secret Lake is a bestselling mystery novel that follows two young friends as they set out on an adventure to find a magical lake. The book is perfect for 4th graders as it combines mystery, adventure, and fantasy into one thrilling story. Written by Karen Inglis, The Secret Lake uses its vivid descriptions of settings and characters and a fast-paced plot that keeps young readers on their toes from start to finish. With its intriguing characters and unexpected turns, The Secret Lake is an excellent choice for children who love mystery and adventure.

The Case of the Missing Moonstone

The Case of the Missing Moonstone

Written by Jordan Stratford, The Case of the Missing Moonstone is a mystery book that follows the story of young Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, and her best friend Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. The two girls solve a mystery that threatens to keep them from solving the world’s first computer program. The book combines history, science fiction, and mystery into one thrilling storybook that will keep 4th graders engaged. The Case of the Missing Moonstone is a great book for children who love to read about science, technology, and math, as it features STEM concepts that will fascinate young readers.

The Westing Game

The Westing Game

The Westing Game, written by Ellen Raskin, is a classic mystery novel that has been a staple in children’s literature for over 30 years. The book follows the story of sixteen heirs who get embroiled in a game of “Who Done It” to inherit the fortune of the reclusive millionaire Samuel Westing. The book is perfect for 4th graders, given its exciting plot filled with suspense and twists that keep readers hooked. The Westing Game teaches readers valuable lessons about friendship and cooperation that are essential in the lives of young minds. Overall, The Westing Game is an excellent choice for children who love mystery, puzzle, and excitement.

Mystery Series for 4th Graders


The Hardy Boys

If your fourth grader loves mystery books, it might be a good idea to invest in a mystery series. A mystery series is excellent because it keeps children engaged and entertained and doesn’t leave them with a cliffhanger at the end. Here are some great mystery series for fourth graders.

The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon


The Hardy Boys

The Hardy Boys is one of the most popular mystery series for boys. The series follows two brothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, who are amateur detectives. The books involve a range of mysteries that the brothers solve, from stolen cars to diamond thieves. There are over fifty books in this series, and they are perfect for children who are transitioning to chapter books.

In each book, the brothers follow a series of clues to solve the mystery and bring the perpetrator to justice. The stories are fast-paced and keep children engaged from start to finish. The books also have a strong moral message, emphasizing the importance of teamwork, trust, and integrity.

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene


Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew is an excellent mystery series for girls. The series follows a teenage girl, Nancy Drew, who is a sleuth and tackles various mysterious cases. The character of Nancy is smart, independent, and determined, making her an excellent role model for young girls.

The Nancy Drew books are not only exciting, but they also teach children about problem-solving, thinking outside the box, and perseverance. Each book takes Nancy through a mystery, and she follows each clue to solve the case. The series has been around for over ninety years and has been loved by generations of girls.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner


The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children is a classic mystery series for children. The series follows four siblings, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden, who run away from home and live in an abandoned boxcar. While living in the boxcar, the siblings embark on various mysterious adventures.

In each book, the siblings stumble upon a new mystery and spend their time investigating and solving it. The series teaches children about the importance of resilience, creativity, and family bonds. The Boxcar Children has been loved by children for over seventy-five years, making it one of the most popular mystery series for fourth graders.

The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne


The Magic Tree House

The Magic Tree House is an exciting and imaginative mystery series for children. The series follows two siblings, Jack and Annie, who discover a magic treehouse in the woods. The treehouse can transport them to various time periods and locations, enabling them to solve mysteries and go on adventures.

The series has over sixty books, and each book takes the siblings to a new destination and a new adventure. The Magic Tree House books teach children about history, science, and geography, making them an excellent choice for parents who want to combine learning with reading.

In conclusion, mystery series are an excellent way to keep children engaged and entertained while improving their reading skills. The above list of mystery series is just a few of the countless options available for fourth graders. So, get ready to explore the exciting world of mystery books with your fourth grader!

Diversity in Mystery Books for 4th Graders


Diversity in Mystery Books for 4th Graders

When picking out mystery books for 4th graders, it’s essential to select diverse books that represent different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. Diversity in books empowers children to learn about different cultures and connect with the characters in the story.

1. “The Parker Inheritance” by Varian Johnson

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

The Parker Inheritance is a book that celebrates diversity and supports children’s identity. This book revolves around two children, Candace and Brandon, who are on a mission to unravel the mystery of a long-buried treasure connected to the town’s past and recover an inheritance that will change their lives while learning about the past of their town, Lambert, South Carolina, and its segregationist history. It’s a great representation that speaks to the struggles of people of color in the past and how we can celebrate their victories today.

2. “The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow” by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow is a fun, fast-paced mystery book that features a diverse cast of characters. The story revolves around a girl named Fairday Morrow and her friend Lizzy as they try to unravel the mystery of a magical inheritance in their new home. The book encourages diversity, community, and teamwork, and speaks to important themes like acceptance, learning to appreciate differences and managing emotions.

3. “The Case of the Missing Marquess” by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing Marquess follows the story of Enola Holmes, who is the, much-younger sister of famous detective Sherlock Holmes. This book is a classic and has been a favorite among many young readers. It features an exciting mystery with an intelligent and determined main character who challenges the gender roles society imposes. Enola Holmes is an empowered and persistent character that is sure to inspire young readers and foster their cultural awareness and identity.

4. “Greenglass House” by Kate Milford

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Greenglass House is an excellent book that celebrates diversity and inclusion. It tells the story of a boy named Milo who, during his winter break, gets to stay at his family’s hotel. However, his break takes an unexpected turn when guests start mysteriously appearing at the old hotel. The story emphasizes the importance of finding a sense of belonging while also celebrating the diversity that comes with it. It’s a great way to engage young readers and explore how differences make us unique and interesting.

5. “Ghosts” by Raina Telgemeier

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Ghosts is a heartwarming and touching book with a cultural emphasis. It tells the story of Catrina, who moves with her family to Bahía de la Luna, a small coastal town, in hopes of helping her younger sister Maya, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, and the local history of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The story deals with themes of life and death, illness, and coming to terms with what we can’t change. It’s a fantastic representation that encourages cultural awareness and embracing diversity.

Picking out diverse books for 4th graders supports children’s cultural identity, promotes acceptance and respect in society and can positively impact social and academic success. As such, books with cultural and ethnic diversity should be a staple in every young reader’s bookshelf. With the above 5 examples of diverse books for 4th graders, you can’t go wrong!

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