Top 10 Best Mystery Books for 11-year-olds

These exciting, mysterious tales are sure to captivate young readers. They feature plenty of adventure, magic and courageous protagonists determined to uncover the truth. See below for the very best mystery books for 11-year-olds.

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Kids can immerse themselves in a dreamlike world with this enthralling book. Follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole and tumble into a world where all your normal worries disappear, and you must instead contend with the grinning Cheshire Cat, the nonsensical Mad Hatter and the cruel Queen of Hearts. Full of wonderful wordplay and perplexing puzzles, children will love this riveting read.

2. Cirque du Freak

Darren Shan

When schoolboy Darren visits a freak show with his friend Steve, he becomes obsessed with a giant tarantula named Madam Octa, whose bite can kill a human within days. His fascination is complicated by Steve's behaviour - including his desire to become a vampire's assistant. It's not long before the boys are drawn into a gruesome adventure, featuring all sorts of twists and turns and supernatural phenomena. This dark and thrilling novel is filled with horror, mystery and fast-paced adventure.

3. Holes

Louis Sachar

This book tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, whose family has a history of bad luck. He's not even surprised when he ends up in a juvenile detention camp in Texas for a crime he didn't commit, but can't believe that all he and the other boys have to do all day is dig holes. How boring! But it's not long before Stanley realises that what he'll need to dig up is the sinister truth... This enthralling mystery is full of fun humour and will have children engrossed.

4. His Dark Materials

Philip Pullman

Featuring three books - Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass - this captivating fantasy trilogy follows Lyra and her 'daemon', the animal embodiment of her inner self. Travel with Lyra to amazing fantastical settings, through snowy hills, to an otherworldly city, and even to the Land of the Dead, on all sorts of daring and dangerous quests. Throughout her adventures, she will need to unravel a number of confounding mysteries.

5. The Harry Potter Series

J. K. Rowling

This enchanting series features plenty of magic and mystery, guaranteed to captivate young readers. Join Harry Potter as he enrols at the wondrous (but perilous!) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Over the years, he must contend with all sorts of fantastical beasts, a secretive Potions Master and a number of perplexing mysteries, and must ultimately face his most terrifying nemesis: Lord Voldemort.

6. Emil and the Detectives

Erich Kastner

Young Emil is sent to Berlin with money to give to his grandmother, but the money is stolen by a stranger on the train. Despite being stranded in an unfamiliar part of Berlin, Emil is undeterred, and resolves to track down the thief. A gang of children gather to help him, and so their riveting adventure begins. This wonderful classic novel will enthral children.

7. The Maze Runner

James Dashner

All Thomas can remember when he wakes up in a lift is his own name. When the lift opens, he finds himself at the Glade, a camp established at the heart of a twisting, turning and terrifying maze. Then he meets the Gladers, an army of boys who are not too happy with his arrival. But when a girl arrives with a crucial message, everyone will have to pull together to make it through the maze - or face a horrible death. This thrilling page-turner will have kids gripped from the first page to the last.

8. Skulduggery Pleasant

Derek Landy

12-year-old Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a horror fiction writer. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, she discovers that whilst he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. As evil forces pursue her, determined to recover a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source: Skulduggery Pleasant, the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. Will this unlikely duo stop bickering for long enough to save the day? This magical adventure is full of jokes and witty repartee.

9. A Wrinkle in Time

Madeleine L'Engle

This much-loved science fiction novel follows the misfit siblings Meg and Charles. Worried about her missing father and doing badly at school, Meg struggles with everything that seems wrong with her life, but then events start to take a mysterious turn. Together with Charles and her friend Calvin, she comes across a gap in time through which the children embark on a riveting and perilous adventure.

10. Dolphin Song

Lauren St John

Martine is enjoying a cold but tranquil walk when she discovers a stranded dolphin. She uses her gift of healing to help it back to the ocean, but this is only the latest in a series of unexplained dolphin and whale beachings, and so begins an adrenaline-pumping adventure for Martine. Infused with magic and mystery, this enchanting novel is full of atmosphere and charm.

  • ETD2 10 years +
    10 years +
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    Emil and the Detectives was written by Erich Kastner more than 80 years ago but this classic book continues to delight generations of children.

    Emil is sent to Berlin with money to give to his grandmother, but the money is stolen by a stranger on the train. Undeterred by being stranded without money in an unfamiliar area of Berlin, Emil is determined to track down the thief.

    A gang of children gather to help him, and their adventures will capture and enthral readers from 9+.
  • ACYRC 11 years +
    11 years +
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    A modern masterpiece from Philip Pullman, this slipcased collection includes all three books in the His Dark Materials trilogy.

    A bestseller all around the world that tackled a number of important and controversial issues, it also won many awards and has had a remarkable influence on literature since.
  • AEBFO 11 years +
    11 years +
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    The Running Man meets The Hunger Games - with a touch of Lord of the Flies - in James Dashner's The Maze Runner. A thrilling piece of young adult science fiction!

    A strange lift transports Thomas into a strange outdoor arena dominated by a huge stone maze - and all he can remember is his first name. As soon as he wakes up, a number of boys welcome him to what they call the Glade... But what is behind that maze and why have all these boys ended up there?

    When the walls slide back within the maze, Thomas decides to risk everything to discover the truth - battling half-machine, half-animal grievers who guard the maze in the process...

    Thrilling and exciting from start to its dramatic finish, you may have seen the film adaptation starring Teen Wolf's Dylan O'Brien, Skins' Kaya Scodelario and We're the Millers' Will Poulter. We believe this book is the perfect teen read!
  • KGY2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Skulduggery Pleasant is the first volume in Derek Landy's series about a skeleton detective and his assistant, 12-year-old Stephanie Valkyrie.

    Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.

    Winner of the Red House Children's Book Award, Landy mixes up magic, fantasy and adventure and tops them off with sparky dialogue and lots of jokes. A perfect choice for readers aged 11+ who are waiting to get sucked into a book they can't put down!
  • The Complete Harry Potter Collection - 7-Book Box Set - Collection - 9781408856772 - JK Rowling
    HRYP 9 years +
    9 years +
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    • Just £4.28 per book
    If you're lucky enough to have tickets to see The Cursed Child on stage or are already excited for the next Fantastic Beasts film later this year, then why not head back to Platform 9 3/4, climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and enjoy the Complete Harry Potter Collection for a magical price. Presented in a gorgeous slipcase, these editions of J. K. Rowling's classics come complete with stunning cover illustrations from Jonny Duddle.

    A phenomenon like no other, Harry's incredible journey begins with The Philosopher's Stone. Unhappily living in a cupboard under the stairs at his aunt's, he's visited by a giant called Rubeus Hagrid who delivers the most astonishing news - Harry's a wizard. As he heads to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry makes friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, meets oh-so-wise Professor Dumbledore and the complex Severus Snape and their incredible adventure begins. But evil in the shape of Lord Voldemort is getting ever closer - and the Dark Lord has his sights set firmly on Harry.

    Throughout the seven books, Harry learns what it means to be a Gryffindor student and the value of friendship and trust. The eight films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were a record-breaking success and now you can relive the stories where it all began time and time again with this amazing Harry Potter box set - Expecto Patronum!
    Format: paperback
  • ALBSU 9 years +
    9 years +
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    When Alice follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole, she finds herself in an enchanted world, filled with creatures like the Mad Hatter, the disappearing Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. Alice quickly finds out that nothing is as it seems in the wild world of Wonderland...
  • AWI2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    With her book A Wrinkle in Time, gifted children's author Madeleine L'Engle has created an absorbing science fiction novel that revolves around the likeable, misfit characters of Meg and her brother, Charles.

    Criticised by her teachers for doing badly at school and worried about her missing father, Meg is struggling with how wrong her life is when events take a mysterious turn. Together with Charles and her friend Calvin, she stumbles upon a gap in time through which the children embark on an amazing and dangerous adventure.

    A gripping read for any young adult fiction fan aged 11+ who have ever felt like the odd one out!
  • CQD2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Cirque Du Freak is the first of the Saga of Darren Shan books and introduces ordinary schoolboy Darren, who visits a freakshow with his friend Steve and becomes obsessed with a giant tarantula. Darren's fascination is complicated by his friend Steve's behaviour and the pair are subsequently drawn into a ghoulish adventure from which there seems to be no escape. Cirque Du Freak is a dark and thrilling tale that will appeal to both boy and girl readers of nine and above.

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • ADPCY 9 years +
    9 years +
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    It's June - winter in South Africa, and Martine and her grandmother are enjoying a cold but beautiful walk along the beach when they find a stranded, dying dolphin. Martine uses her gift of healing to help it back to the ocean but it's only the latest in a series of inexplicable beachings of dolphins and whales - and the start of a brand new adventure for Martine. After a last stolen midnight ride on her beloved white giraffe, Jemmy, Martine's class is off on an amazing school trip to the islands of Mozambique to witness the legendary 'Sardine Run'. It's a trip that goes drastically wrong and Martine, with close friend Ben, finds herself swimming in shark-infested waters, marooned on an uninhabited island and suddenly at the centre of mysterious submarine goings-on as she tries to save a pod of 100 dolphins from certain death. Like her debut novel, THE WHITE GIRAFFE, DOLPHIN SONG has plenty of action and adventure, and delves deeply into Martine's relationships with the people and animals around her. It makes her question the true nature of her gift, and what she will be called upon to do next. The incredible beauty of the flora and fauna of this little known corner of Africa is richly evoked as a result of Lauren's in depth knowledge and research of the area.
  • HOZ2 11 years +
    Louis Sachar
    11 years +
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    Award-winning author Louis Sachar is a terrific storyteller who always has an original and interesting perspective.

    Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, whose family has a history of bad luck. Stanley's not too surprised when he's sent to a juvenile detention centre in Texas for a crime he didn't commit, but even he can't believe that all he and the other boys have to do is dig holes all day.

    Before long, Stanley realises that what he must actually uncover is the truth... Readers from 11+ who love a good story will find this totally unputdownable.