For my Alaska experience (5 days until I leave - woohoo!) I'm looking for a list of crime fiction books suitable for children of all ages (from 5-18). I'm going to be speaking to about 20 classes ranging in age. Does anyone have any ideas for good books or short stories (together with the suitable age range if possible!) I've got some sugestions from the internet, but would MUCH rather have personal recommendations. All ideas gratefully accepted - thank you very much.

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Peter Abrahams - DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE and BEHIND THE CURTAIN. They're both fun. 5th to 8th grade.
Nancy Springer - she's got a couple that I haven't read yet, but have heard good things about. 4th to 8th grade.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by E.L.Konigsburg (say age 11)
Secret Seven Series/Famous Five (say age 7 to 11)
Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene(say age 7 to 12)
The Ruby in the Smoke (and others in that series) (say age 10 plus) by Phillip Pullman
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin say 10+
The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross - say 8+

(thinking back to my own misspent childhood and adolescence here :))
You'll probably never find them outside Australia - but what the hell - that won't stop me!
I just finished this over the weekend and it was the first one to come to mind. My kids (5 & 6) are too young for it but I thought it was fantastic.

Unlike the more brainy child PI's we have seen in the past (encyclopedia Brown, Great Brain etc) Fletcher Moon is a very flawed character. He isnt always right, he makes mistakes, he gets beat up. A lot happens here for "just a YA" novel.
As I kid, I really like Encyclopedia Brown, the Piet Potter series and Miss Mallard. I can't remember authors on any of those, but they were good. Mallard and Piet Potter I believe were more picture books, or early easy readers. And Encyclopedia Brown... he's a classic!
I write mystery YA, so I read as much mystery YA as I can. I really liked "What Happened to Cass McBride?" by Gail Giles, suitable for 14-18 year olds, I'd say. It moved crazy fast, like a Patterson novel.

"Holes" and "Small Steps" by Louis Sachar are good middle-grade novels (10-14 year olds, roughly), not straight mysteries but with a strong crime element.

And I'd recommend all of these to adults too--great writing and fun to read. Enjoy Alaska! I wish I was going...
Thank you all for your suggestions - I really appreciate them and they have all been noted!
You'd have to buy these used but it would be hard to beat the Freddy the Pig detective books. You can read more at:


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