Mystery books for fifth graders

From art heists to airships: fifth graders can explore these thrilling mysteries.

By GreatSchools Staff

Airborn

Airborn

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (Eos, 2005). $7.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Matt is a cabin boy on board a luxurious airship, the Aurora. Matt meets Kate, who has arranged for a flight on the Aurora so that she can investigate diary entries her grandfather made regarding large, feline creatures with bat-like wings. Soon, the Aurora is attacked by pirates and forced by a storm to land on a tropical island. While exploring the island, Matt and Kate stumble across the bones of one of the "cloud cats" and observe one living in the treetops. But they are captured by the pirates, whose hideout is on the very same island. Will Matt and Kate be able to escape? You won't want to stop turning the pages until you know the answer! Rich with action, the character development does not suffer. Matt and Kate are likable heroes, the pirates vile and even the airship, Aurora, takes on a personality of its own. 544 pages.

— Kepler's Books

Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (Scholastic, 2004). $7.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Mysterious letters, picture puzzles called "pentominoes" and a stolen painting by the Dutch artist Vermeer unite unlikely friends, Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay, in an effort to solve a mystery. 254 pages.

— Krisha Roach

Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case

Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case

Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case by Donald J. Sobol (Dutton, 2007). $4.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Children will enjoy beating Encyclopedia Brown to the solution in each of these 10 short stories. The cases require different knowledge to solve them, so this collection is good for budding history buffs and scientists. 128 pages.

— Children's Choices

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Simon & Schuster, 1967). $6.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Twelve-year-old Claudia and her younger brother Jamie are running away from the tyranny of unappreciative parents and the drudgery of day-to-day living. Claudia has carefully hand-picked the beautiful Metropolitan Museum of Art as their new home. There they quite unexpectedly stumble upon an unknown statue by none other than Michelangelo...or is it? Winner of the 1967 Newbery Award. 162 pages.

— Krisha Roach

The Homework Machine

The Homework Machine

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman (Simon & Schuster, 2006). $5.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Young readers will recognize their classmates and maybe themselves in the key witnesses who describe the events (interrogation-style) leading up to the discovery, use and destruction of a computer that was supposed to make kids' lives easier. It didn't. 160 pages.

— Children's Choices

The Lady Grace Mysteries

The Lady Grace Mysteries

The Lady Grace Mysteries (series) by various authors writing as Lady Grace Cavendish (Random House, 2004-2006).
Lady Grace Cavendish is the Nancy Drew of the Elizabethan Age, an independent-minded teenager whose godmother just happens to be Elizabeth I. Court intrigues and rivalries, swashbucklers, unlikely friends and a mystery in each book make these very lively historical novels.

— © Parents' Choice

Spy Force Mission: In Search of the Time and Space Machine

Spy Force Mission: In Search of the Time and Space Machine

Spy Force Mission: In Search of the Time and Space Machine by Deborah Abela, illustrated by George O'Connor (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2005). $9.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

An 11-year-old girl discovers boredom is the least of her problems during the summer she spends at her aunt's farm. Her secret-agent stories take on a new reality when she happens upon a real spy ring. This story is the ultimate thriller for our age. 240 pages.

— Children's Choices

Time Stops for No Mouse

Time Stops for No Mouse

Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye (Penguin, 2004). $7.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Hermux is a watchmaker who also happens to be a mouse. He is mostly content with his life of order and quiet nights curled up with some cheese and a good book, but that all changes when one Linka Perflinger, aviatrix and daredevil, enters and mysteriously exits the picture. 279 pages.

— Krisha Roach