What Really Happened to Humpty?


Annotation: Humpty Dumpty’s brother is on the search to find the truth about his brother’s “fall.”  He is a detective hot on the trail of evidence he finds.  Other nursery rhyme characters are in this story.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: 1-4

Readers who will like this book: Young readers who are interested with detective work and mysteries.

Response/Rating: I liked this book.  It was an interesting twist on nursery rhyme that I have never read before.  i give this book a 5.

Question:  What is a detective? What does his job consist of?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon


The Shrinking of Treehorn


Bibliographic Information: Green, D. Human Body Factory. (2012). New York: Kingfisher.

Brief Annotation: Treehorn wakes up one morning to find that he is shrinking.  He gets smaller and smaller, and when he tells people, only his parents really seem to take notice.  He gets so small that he walks under his bed and plays an old board game that he got from a mail-in order on a cereal box.  He picks up the piece and moves it along the spaces and grows bigger the farther he goes.  When he finishes, he is back to normal size, but he notices that his skin has turned green.  He decides not to tell anyone and to let them notice for themselves.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: 1-3

Readers who will like this: Students who are curious, students named “Treehorn.”

Rating/Response: 2. I guess this wasn’t all that interesting.  Treehorn just tells different people about his shrinking, such as his teacher, bus driver, principal, and parents, and after a while, the reader realizes that it is all part of his imagination.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What would you do if one day you woke up and realized that you were gradually getting smaller and smaller?  Would you tell somebody?  Who would you tell?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

Wishbone Mysteries: Case of the Impounded Hounds

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Bibliographic Information: Steele, Michael Anthony. (1999). Texas: Big Red CHair Books.

Brief Annotation: This story is about a dog named Wishbone and his human friend Joe. Many dogs in Oakdale have gone missing and it’s up to Wishbone and Joe to figure out where they went.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: 2-4

Readers who will like this: Students who like mystery books, students that like stories about pets

Rating/Response: 4, I like mystery books so I enjoyed reading this book. There are many books in the Wishbone series so if students enjoy the book there are many other books they can read.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: How would you feel if your pet went missing? What would you do?

Posted by: Alyssa Timmerman



Bibliographic information: Howe, D., Howe, J., & Daniel, A. (1979). Bunnicula: A rabbit tale of mystery. New York, NY: Atheneum.

The Monroe family brings home a stray bunny and name it Bunnicula after just seeing the movie Dracula. Soon, all of the vegetables in the house start turning white. Chester the cat and Harold the dog believe that Bunnicula is a vegetarian vampire and they set out to solve this mysterious case.

Genre: Mystery

Grade level: 3-5

Readers who will like this book: Children who like mysteries; children who like animals

Rating/Response: 5. Students will enjoy this book because it involves, solving a mystery, animals, and vampires. Three popular topics with children around this age.

One question you would ask before a read aloud? Do you know any animals with magical powers/special talents?

Posted by: Christina Angell

The Mystery of the Hairy Tomatoes


Bibliographic information: Stanley, G. E., & Murdocca, S. (2001). The mystery of the hairy tomatoes. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.

Annotation: Mrs. Ruston has been finding hair in her tomatoes! She thinks it is a student’s dog and until that student can find the real culprit, she is in really big trouble. Mr. Merlin’s 3rd grade detectives have to solve the case.

Genre: Mystery

Grade level: 3rd

Readers who will like this book: Readers who like mystery/solving problems

Rating/Response: 5. This is a great book to read to get the class to wind down. The suspense of the mystery will draw their attention and they will want to solve the case right along with the students in the book!

One question you would ask before a read aloud? What does a detective do?

Posted by: Christina Angell

The Hardy Boys: While the Clock Ticked


Bibliographic Information: Dixon, F.W. The Hardy Boys: While the Clock Ticked. (1932). Grosset and Dunlap

Brief Annotation: Two brothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, the sons of famous detective Fenton Hardy, become immersed in multiple mysteries at once, including a missing set of jade jewels, a supposedly empty house with an unknown inhabitant, and a secret room.  They face many perils throughout, including a time bomb that they defuse at the very last moment.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: 3-5

Readers who will like this: Children who are interested in detectives and spies.

Rating/Response: 3. This is purely for entertainment.  While the plot is definitely exciting and the characters are easy to become attached to, I can’t imagine students learning any particular lesson from this book.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: How many of you have ever wanted to do some kind of detective work?  How many of you like spy equipment and stories?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

Kogi’s Mysterious Journey


Bibliographic Information: Partridge, E., & Sogabe, A. (2003). Kogi’s mysterious journey. New York: Dutton Children’s Books/Penguin Young Readers Group.

Brief Annotation: Kogi was a very good painter. He drew pictures of nature from mountains to tress, yet he always felt like something was missing. He began to have a fascination for fish and there is where the adventure began that changed Kogi’s life forever.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Children who enjoy learning about different cultures; Children who like mystery books; Children who like to hear folk stories.

Rating/Response: 4.5 This book has a very interesting plot and even though it is made up it puts such a great value into going after what you want and seeking that adventure in life.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Do you ever feel like something is missing in your life? What is your favorite things about nature? Has anyone ever told you a story that is passed down from generation to generation?

Posted by: Maren Rodriguez

The Underwater Mystery


Bibliographic Information: Long, Helena, and Brenna Smith. The Underwater Mystery. [Unity, Sask.]: 3 Generation Pub., 2008

Annotation: Arms, Corvi and Sammy try to figure out what the mysterious object on the ocean floor is and as you read, you try to figure out what it is as well.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Children who like the ocean/water, children who like underwater animals and creatures

Rating/Response: 3 This story wasn’t anything special.  It didn’t keep me wanting to read but it would be effective to teach about underwater animals and creatures when reading it.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What animals and creatures live in the ocean?

Posted by: Katie Reisdorf

The Case Of The Missing Monkey

The Case of the Missing Monkey

Bibliographic Information: Rylant, Cynthia, and G. Brian Karas. The Case of the Missing Monkey. New York: HarperTrophy, 2001

Annotation: A glass monkey is stolen and High-Rise Private Eyes Bunny Brown and Jack Jones are on the job.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: 2

Readers who will like this: Children who like monkeys, children who like to solve mysteries/problems

Rating/Response: 4 I like that this book is meant for a second grade reading level, specifically.  I liked that I could predict at the beginning of the story what I thought was going to happen at the end.  This book could easily be integrated with science/the scientific method.

One question you would ask before a read aloud:  Have you ever solved a mystery?  How did you solve it?

Posted by: Katie Reisdorf

A Million Fish… More or Less


Bibliographic Information: McKissack, P., Schutzer, D., Greenstein, M., & Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (1992). A million fish– more or less. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Brief Annotation: Hugh Thomas began his fishing for the day when two elders in his family told him about a crazy time they encountered in the Bayou. When they left Hugh began to experience some of the same things that they had talked about.

Genre:  Mystery

Grade Level: 4-5

Readers Who Will Like This: Readers who like multicultural stories, Readers who like hearing funny stories, readers who like animals

Rating/Response: 4 It was an interesting and intriguing story but we have to be careful how we present it to students because if read the wrong way students might think it is okay to lie.

One Question You Would Ask Before a Read Aloud: Who hear likes to tell stories? Has anyone heard of a fable? What do you think the book will be about by looking at the cover?

Posted By: Maren Rodriguez