Four Novels for Young Sleuths Watching 'The Mysterious Benedict Society' on Disney+ | Read-Alikes

Hand these middle grade mysteries to kids captivated by the streaming adaptation of Trenton Lee Stewart's popular novel.



The Mysterious Benedict Society

TV-PG. Disney+. Available now.

A diverse group of children (biracial Reynie is Asian and white, Sticky is Black, Kate and Constance present as white) is recruited to the Boatwright Academy for a secret mission in this adaptation of the middle grade novel by Trenton Lee Stewart. This family-friendly adaptation will appeal to fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events.


The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. 2017.
Gr 4-6 –Twelve-year-old friends Candace and Brandon, who are both Black, attempt to find a lost inheritance and solve a mystery that’s stumped the small town of Lambert, SC, for decades. Fans of puzzle mysteries will enjoy this story, which weaves historical fiction with modern-day problem solving.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. Random House. 2013.
Gr 4-7 –When 12-year-old Kyle, who is white, wins a chance to spend the night in the library, he joins a challenge to use what’s in the library to figure out how to escape. This is another great choice for fans of puzzle mysteries, and the quirky inventions will appeal to readers who appreciate the imaginative situations and solutions in the show.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. Scholastic. 2004.
Gr 5-8 –Eleven-year-old white Chicagoans Petra and Calder must use their talents to solve an international art heist after a priceless Vermeer painting is stolen in this suspenseful mystery. This series starter, a high-stakes story about kids saving the day, will appeal to readers who love a complex puzzle.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford. Clarion. 2014.
Gr 5-8 –Twelve-year-old Milo, who is adopted and Chinese American, is looking forward to a relaxing winter break at his family’s bed and breakfast. But when unexpected guests arrive, he becomes enmeshed in a mystery involving the inn’s past as a haven for smugglers. Hand this book to readers drawn to quirky characters and imaginative mystery plots.

Abby Johnson is the collection development leader at Floyd County (IN) Library.

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