Because I am married to a school librarian, I am very much aware of the need to get children interested in reading - to give them the idea that reading is something they do not just because they have to, but because they want to. It is also no secret that a lot of children love mysteries of all sorts.
So it's worth repeating from time to time, as I try to do here, that there are a great many mysteries that are appropriate for kids and are also a great deal of fun to read. I mention it again today because a reader named Jay Smith sent me a link today to a blog post on "The 9 Best Mystery Books for Kids." I haven't read some of them, but agree - wholeheartedly - with the number one choice: Ellen Raskin's brilliant, "The Westing Game" - a book which I'd recommend for adults as well as children.
I wrote about "The Westing Game" here last year, as part of my contribution to the Children's Classics Mystery Challenge organized at the 5 Minutes for Books blog. It's perfect for showing young readers the joys of the traditional mystery - where they are given all the clues, yet are very likely to find themselves led astray by clever red herrings. I'm sure most of my readers will have ideas of their own (and no, I haven't forgotten the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown), and I invite you to leave suggestions in the comments.