Mysterious Middle Grade Reads

This May, we’re bringing you a bunch of mysterious reads for middle grade readers that are sure to pull you in and you keep you on edge.


Ten-year-old Keeper is searching for her mother. Keeper was born in the water and believes that her mother was a mermaid who swam away when Keeper was just three. As the myth goes, a blue moon calls mermaids to gather at the sandbar at night, so that’s exactly where Keeper’s headed. With her trusty dog by her side and a seagull as captain of the ship, Keeper heads out. However, with a storm approaching, the tides pull her farther from the shore and into more unsettling waters, as Keeper begins to fear the worst.

Read an excerpt from the book. You can also hear author Kathi Appelt’s advice for writers:

Brother from a Box

Matt Rambeau is finally a big brother—to a robot. Matt’s dad is a computer genius who’s always receiving cool stuff in the mail. One day, a package arrives from France. Turns out, it’s a humoid robot who, once assembled, begins calling Matt frère (brother in French). Although Norman, the robot, is a bit of a show off and ladies’ man, Matt still loves having a little brother. One day, Norman goes berserk after a technical malfunction, and suddenly strange men are showing in unexpected places. It seems like someone might be after Norman. Have a look inside the book.

The Great Cat Conspiracy

The New Cat likes to bring home dead things as gifts for Tom. One day, when the cat brings home the Vicar’s expensive koi carp, the Vicar demands that Tom’s mom replace the fish. Tom’s dad is so angry that he banishes the cat from the house. However, by the time Tom manages to convince his dad to let the cat back in, the cat has disappeared, and Tom is convinced someone has kidnapped his cat.

Neil Flambé and the Crusader’s Curse

Thirteen-year-old Neil Flambé is a world-class chef who serves nothing but the most scrumptious dishes, receiving only praise in return. Helping him concoct these dishes is his super-sensitive nose, which also allows him to help the local police solve aromatic mysteries. One day, things go horribly wrong. Neil’s plates are returned uneaten and critics are leaving unhappy. Worst of all, his restaurant is shut down by the Department of Health. Has the curse that plagued the Flambé chefs for decades returned?

Find out from author and illustrator Kevin Sylvester how to draw Neil Flambé yourself: