Middle Grade Edgar Award Nominees

The Mystery Writers of America have announced nominees for The Edgar Allan Poe Awards 2016, which honors the best mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film and theater published or produced in 2015.

This year’s nominees for the juvenile award include:


Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi (Algonquin Young Readers – Workman), which is set in 1951 and is about a 12-year-old boy named Pete who loves detective stories and radio crime dramas. But Pete gets caught up in a real mystery when an FBI agent shows up at his door and accuses his father of being a Communist.


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If You Find This by Matthew Baker juv2
(Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) is a mystery-adventure story about a music and math genius named Nicholas, whose father has just lost his job. That means the family is going to have to sell their house. But then Nicholas’s senile grandfather shows up and claims to have hidden treasure somewhere in town. The question is where? And is there really a treasure?

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Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C.Chester (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperCollins Children’s Books) is about four orphans who live in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities and Wonders. Each one has an unusual “skill.” When a shrunken head is stolen from the museum, the kids are determined to get it back—and solve some related murders.

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The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sandsjuv4 (1) (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin) is set in 17th century London and involves a boy named Christopher, who is the apprentice to a Master Apothecary. When he loses his master, Christopher must unravel a bunch of riddles and codes in order to save the world.


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Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books) is about a fifth grade girl named Footer, who investigates the disappearance of two kids who go missing after a house fire. Footer’s mother is bipolar and ends up in mental hospital, leaving Footer to wonder if she’s really witnessed things related to the case or is she “going crazy” like her mother?

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Which one do YOU think will win?

Visit http://theedgars.com/nominees.html to see nominees in other categories, including Young Adult.

The winners in these, and all the other categories, will be announced at a formal banquet on April 28, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City and at www.mysterywriters.org/awards.html.



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Dori Butler
Dori Hillestad Butler is an award-winning author of more than 50 books for young readers, including the Haunted Library series, the Buddy Files series, and the King & Kayla series. Her Buddy Files #1: Case of the Lost Boy won a 2011 Edgar Award and her books have appeared on numerous children’s choice and teen award lists. Dori grew up in southern Minnesota, spent 19 years in Iowa, and now lives in the Seattle area. She enjoys visiting schools and libraries all over the country and dreams of doing an author visit in all 50 states.
  1. I read both Avi’s and Vaught’s books and loved them both!

  2. I loved Catch You Later, Traitor. Avi still has the magic! There isn’t much Middle Grade historical fiction about the Red Scare – and FBI agents are an easy sell to kids!

  3. I haven’t read any of these, but I do love a good mystery. Adding these to my TBR list. Thanks for the post.

  4. I was on the judging committee for the Cybils that recently chose THE BLACKTHORN KEY as the best in MG fiction. The other Edgar nominees I’ve read include CURIOSITY HOUSE (Very fun and unique and sequel is on its way next month); and FOOTER DAVIS… (a very good mystery though some sad moments). I’ve added the other two choices to my list of books to read. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for sharing this, as a mystery writer I can’t wait to check out these books.