Getting a Head Start on your “Mysterious” Summer Reads

So, I know summer is a bit of a ways off. In fact, with all of the cold weather across the country, it hasn’t even felt like spring much. But now is the time to change all that. Close your eyes. Imagine warm sunlight shining across your face. A warm summer breeze ruffling the curls in your hair. And a nice, comfortable lawn chair– preferably at the beach– or at least near a bit of water, even if it’s your local pool. Stretch out and settle in. Today is the day you relax and… READ!

The big question is, WHAT kind of books do you like to read for fun? For me, hands down, it’s mysteries. I LOVE mysteries. Following clues, catching the bad guys, saving the day. That’s what makes me dive into a book. Here are the top 5 mysteries on my to-be-read list for summer:

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen (Aladdin)

After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results.

But Abigail realizes she might be a better spy-in-training than she thought—and the answers to her mother’s whereabouts are a lot closer than she thinks…

 

Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House BFYR)
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All her life, Cricket’s mama has told her stories about a secret room painted by a mysterious artist. Now Mama’s run off, and Cricket thinks the room might be the answer to getting her to come back. If it exists. And if she can find it.

Cricket’s only clue is a coin from a grown-over ghost town in the woods. So with her daddy’s old guidebook and a coat full of snacks stolen from the Cash ‘n’ Carry, Cricket runs away to find the room. Surviving in the woods isn’t easy. While Cricket camps out in an old tree house and looks for clues, she meets the last resident of the ghost town, encounters a poetry-loving dog (who just might hold a key to part of the puzzle), and discovers that sometimes you have to get a little lost . . . to really find your way.

 

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty (Disney Hyperion)
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Willa, a young night-spirit of the Great Smoky Mountains, is her clan’s best thief. She creeps into the homes of day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won’t miss. It’s dangerous work-the day-folk kill whatever they do not understand–but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people.

When Willa’s curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day world, she calls upon an ancient, unbreakable bond to escape. Only then does she discover the truth: not all day-folk are the same, and the foundations that have guarded the Faeran for eons are under attack.

 

The Alcatraz Escape (The Book Scavenger series) by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (Henry Holt & Company)
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Legendary literary game-maker Garrison Griswold is back in action―this time with “Unlock the Rock.” For his latest game, Griswold has partnered with the famous–and famously reclusive–mystery writer Errol Roy to plan an epic escape room challenge on Alcatraz Island.

Emily and James are eager to participate, but the wave of fame they are riding from their recent book-hunting adventures makes them a target. Threatening notes, missing items, and an accident that might not have been an accident have the duo worried that someone is trying to get them out of the game at any cost.

 

Bob by Wendy Mass (Author),‎ Rebecca Stead
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It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house. It turns out she’s right.

Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who―or what―he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.  Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

 

Breakout by Kate Messner (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
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Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek–two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town’s maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.

Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics–a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project–Breakout is a thrilling story that will leave readers thinking about who’s really welcome in the places we call home.

 

There are MANY more awesome books out there for summer. In fact, mysteries may not be your thing. (gasp!)  So let us know below YOUR list of  to-be-read summer books, perfect for relaxing in your beach chair. Maybe if we think about summer reading together, we can make the next few months fly by. At the very least, we will be thinking warm thoughts!

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Jennifer Swanson
Science ROCKS! And so do Jennifer Swanson's books. She is the award-winning author of over 35 nonfiction books for kids. Jennifer Swanson’s love of science began when she started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. While no longer working from the garage, you can find Jennifer at her favorite place to explore the world around her. www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com
5 Comments
  1. Wow! Nice Collection……..

  2. Can’t wait to read. Thanks for the many suggestions. Nothing like a good book before bed:)

  3. Looking forward to many of these!

  4. These all sound wonderful and definitely adding The Alcatraz Escape to the TBR, love escape rooms and the premise sounds exciting.

  5. Some of my favorite authors o this list – looking forward to my summer reading!!