Stealth, Smarts, and Skills: Stories for Aspiring Spies
Calling all aspiring spies! Here are some titles to get you sneaking, seeing clues, and solving puzzles. The game is afoot.
2019 by Alberti, EnigmaGet this item
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.
2007 by Stewart, Trenton LeeGet this item
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.
2012 by Child, LaurenGet this item
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.
2006 by Springer, NancyGet this item
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.
2014 by Fitzhugh, LouiseGet this item
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.
2004 by Balliett, BlueGet this item
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.