HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Spy-tacular Stories Featuring Spies, Detectives, and Mysteries
Book Juniper Kai Super Spy

Spy-tacular Stories Featuring Spies, Detectives, and Mysteries

Sponsored by Two Lions
Laura Gehl | The Children’s Book Review | September 4, 2019

When I was in elementary school, I loved Harriet the Spy, Encyclopedia Brown, Cam Jansen, and the Bobbsey Twins. In middle school, I moved on to Agatha Christie. As an adult, I still love books featuring sneaky spies, clever detectives, and intriguing mysteries. Here are a few great books to jumpstart a lifelong love of this genre.

Picture Books


Buy the BookSpy Guy: The Not-So-Secret Agent

Written by Jessica Young

Illustrated by Charles Santoso

Kids will love this story featuring a sweet father/son relationship and a main character who needs a lot of persistence to become a good spy.

Order a Copy Now: Amazon | Indiebound

Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0544208599

Buy the Book7 Ate 9: The Untold Story

Written by Tara Lazar

Illustrated by Ross McDonald

Did 7 really eat 9? Private I must solve the case! The clever wordplay in this book will make it a hit even with older elementary school kids.

Order a Copy Now: Amazon | Indiebound

Ages 5-7 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1484717790

Early Readers


Buy the BookNate the Great series

Written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Illustrated by Marc Simont

Nate the Great is a kid detective who solves mysteries for friends in his neighborhood. Even though Sharmat wrote this book the year I was born, my own daughter still loved it. This first title and others in the series have humor, logic, and simple sentence structure for beginning readers.

Order a Copy Now: Amazon | Indiebound

Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Yearling | 1977 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0440461265

Chapter Books


Buy the BooksEncyclopedia Brown series

Written by Donald J. Sobol

The Encyclopedia Brown books star a 10-year-old detective. Unlike many mystery stories, the reader actually has enough information to solve each case. This is another series that has stood the test of time and was a hit with my own children.

Order a Copy Now: Amazon | Indiebound

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Puffin Books | 2007 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0142409855

Buy the BookThe Case of the Missing Carrot Cake

Written by Robin Newman

Illustrated by Deborah Zemke

What mystery can kids relate to better than a missing cake??? Wilcox and Griswold are mouse detectives who lead readers on a humorous chase to find the culprit.

Order a Copy Now: Amazon | Indiebound

Ages 5-11 | Publisher: Creston Books | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1939547170

Middle Grade Books


Buy the BookGenius Files series

Written by Dan Gutman

Last summer, my son declared he had already read ALL the good books. Then he found this series and absolutely devoured it. Twelve-year-old genius twins Coke and Pepsi get pulled into a crazy world of evil guys in bowler hats and Frisbee grenades. Plenty of (violent) excitement and high-tech gadgets (Juniper Kai would approve), with strange-but-true tourist destinations thrown in.

Order a Copy Now: Amazon |

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2011 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0545390224

Buy the BooksSpy School series

Written by Stuart Gibbs

Ben is thrilled when he is recruited, in middle school, to the C.I.A.’s Academy of Espionage. But things don’t go quite as smoothly as planned! This series has humor, action, and adventure (and also a romantic element).

Order a Copy Now: Amazon | Indiebound

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1534442887

For Older Readers


Buy the BooksMurder on the Orient Express

Written by Agatha Christie

Once kids graduate from Stuart Gibbs and Dan Gutman, I think they are ready for the queen of mysteries herself. In addition to Murder on the Orient Express, with its fabulous twist ending, try The Murder of Roger Ackroydfor another mystery that will blow any middle schooler’s mind.

Order a Copy Now: Amazon |

Ages 15+ | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2015 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0008158613

About Laura Gehl

Author Headshot of Laura Gehl

Laura Gehl

Laura Gehl is the author of many popular picture books, including One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; the Peep and Egg series, illustrated by Joyce Wan; and My Pillow Keeps Moving, illustrated by Christopher Weyant. She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with one husband, four children, and seventeen fake mustaches.

Visit Laura online at www.lauragehl.com and Twitter: @AuthorLauraGehl.

Buy the BookJuniper Kai: Super Spy

Written by Laura Gehl

Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

Publisher’s Synopsis: Juniper Kai was born to be a spy. And while spies sometimes work alone, Juniper has always been able to count on her mom and dad to fill in as spy partners. Until now. Suddenly, Juniper’s parents are too busy and too tired to play with her. And when they start whispering behind Juniper’s back and making secret plans, she knows something really big is going on. So Juniper sets out on a new mission: to find out exactly what her parents are up to. And the answer might be absolutely spy-tacular!

book Juniper Kai Super Spy

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Two Lions | September 3, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1542043328

Buy the Book

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Fun Stuff

Check out the free downloadable curriculum guide at http://www.lauragehl.com/curriculum-guides.

Book Giveaway

Book Juniper Kai Super Spy
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Laura Gehl’s Juniper Kai: Super Spy!

Three (3) winners receive:

  • A copy of Juniper Kai: Super Spy!

Giveaway begins September 4, 2019 at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 4, 2019 at 11:59 P.M. MT.

How To Enter
  • Complete the entry form below.
  • Enter once daily (optional).

Giveaway Rules
  • Juniper Kai: Super Spy book giveaway sponsored by Two Lions.
  • Enter between 12:00 AM Mounatin Time on September 4, 2019 and 11:59 PM on October 4, 2019.
  • Go to https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2019/09/spy-tacular-stories-featuring-spies-detectives-and-mysteries.html on a computer or wireless device and complete and submit the entry form pursuant to the on-screen instructions.
  • Three (3) winners receive: A copy of Juniper Kai: Super Spy
  • Odds of winning will depend upon the total number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • Winners will be selected at random on or about October 8, 2019.
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  • Open to the legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are thirteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law.
  • The Children’s Book Review is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
  • Prizes courtesy of Two Lions

Laura Gehl, author of Juniper Kai: Super Spy, curated the book list Spy-tacular Stories Featuring Spies, Detectives, and Mysteries. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with , , , and .

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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

  • Thanks for the age appropriate list of books.

    September 11, 2019
    • You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book list.

      October 7, 2019
  • *Drum Roll*

    Congratulations to the three winners of this giveaway!

    Jenn F. (PA)
    Bing Y. (CA)
    Robert R. (FL)

    Copies of Juniper Kai: Super Spy will be on the way very soon. Enjoy!

    October 7, 2019

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