Stealth, Smarts, and Skills: Stories for Aspiring Spies

By Skokie Staff BOOMbox

Calling all aspiring spies! Here are some titles to get you sneaking, seeing clues, and solving puzzles. The game is afoot.

  • Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring

    2019 by Alberti, Enigma

    Mary is an African American spy who infiltrates the Confederacy, deciphering coded messages to change the course of history. I enjoyed following the story of Mary Bowser, an amazingly brave and intelligent spy, and searching for clues in all the detailed pictures. Recommended by Michelle.

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  • The Mysterious Benedict Society

    2007 by Stewart, Trenton Lee

    Four children go on a top secret undercover mission at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. Along the way, they solve tricky puzzles and uncover hidden messages. I loved the quirky cast of characters who shared their unique skills to solve puzzles. This book emphasizes that there are many different types of intelligence and ways of perceiving the world. Recommended by Frannie.

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  • Ruby Redfort Look into My Eyes

    2012 by Child, Lauren

    Ruby Redfort is a super sassy tween spy who uses cool gadgets and cutting wit to succeed in her spy missions. She specializes in breaking challenging codes and eluding the world’s most evil villains. I loved Ruby’s attitude! When I read this growing up, her bold and quirky remarks made me want to be her friend. Recommended by Eli.

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  • The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery

    2006 by Springer, Nancy

    Enola Holmes heads out in search of her missing mother with only a book of mysterious ciphers as a clue. Along the way she solves a kidnapping case and subverts the expectations of her brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. I really like how this book, one in a series, highlights a strong, resourceful female protagonist. Recommended by Amy H.

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  • Harriet the Spy

    2014 by Fitzhugh, Louise

    This book has been a classic for many years, and for good reason. Harriet writes down her observations in a secret notebook, with dangerous consequences when the notebook is discovered. This book has been a kid favorite since I’ve been teaching. Recommended by Pam.

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  • Chasing Vermeer

    2004 by Balliett, Blue

    Petra and Calder, two 6th-grade friends, follow clues and solve puzzles to uncover the mystery of a painting that goes missing from the Art Institute of Chicago. This is like a nerdy mystery using math and art and general resourcefulness to do right by the world. Plus it takes place in Chicago! Recommended by Amy H.

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  • The Real Spy's Guide to Becoming A Spy

    2009 by Earnest, Peter

    This book has some really cool tips and tricks from a real life CIA officer on how to become a spy. Recommended by Michelle.

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