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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

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  • RRP £6.99
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.