Bringing Mysteries Alive for Children and Young Adults by Jeanette Larson (Linworth, 2004). First-rate guide book to mysteries for young readers. Topics include: an introduction, definition, mystery appreciation, series mysteries, curriculum connections, programming, and extensive additional resources (awards, URLs, bibliography, etc.).
Of concern is Jeanette’s finding that: “With just a few notable exceptions, most detectives in children’s mysteries are still Anglo or animal.” She also notes that diversity among children’s/YA mystery writers is slight.
Recommended to both experts and other enthusiasts, some of my favorite featured titles are: Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin (Harcourt, 2000)(read an excerpt); Crusader by Edward Bloor (Harcourt, 1999), Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac (Harper, 2001); Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters by Gail Giles (Roaring Brook, 2003); The Ghost Sitter by Peni Griffin (Puffin, 2002); Alien Secrets by Annette Curtis Klause (Yearling, 1995)(read author interview); Son Of The Mob by Gordon Korman (Hyperion, 2002)(also don’t miss Son Of The Mob: The Hollywood Hustle); and Locked Inside by Nancy Werlin (Laurel Leaf, 2000)(go see Nancy Werlin’s cover art gallery).