It is the time of year for trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and other spooky adventures! Halloween is also a great time to create a learning opportunity with mystery/horror stories. These books actually offer a lot of benefit to students in reading comprehension as the narratives move quickly and are typically plot-driven. This helps students identify aspects of an author’s style such as pacing, tone, and more.
These stories also help many kids get thrilled by the idea of reading! Didn’t you love reading about monsters, ghosts, and vampires as a child? Many of these topics also lend themselves to conversations around history and literature references that can help expand a child’s knowledge. Best of all, studying is actually rewarded in these mystery stories as the good guy builds his intellect to overpower the villain in the end! Think about detectives like Sherlock Holmes who spent countless hours reading and researching – and saw it pay off. Reinforcing the value of these actions is certainly a beneficial message to any student.
There are tons of great books and series such as the famous Encyclopedia Brown series. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Westing Game
Winner of the Newbery Medal, this book has delighted kids for almost 40 years. The story follows unrelated heirs as they try to understand the secret of Sam Westing’s death.
The 39 Clues Series
This series by a collaboration of authors has received positive reception for almost ten years and includes the two adventures of siblings Amy and Dan.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)
Filled with word puzzles and lots of fun with language (as the title suggests), this story follows Mrs. Caroline Fish Carillon’s as she searches for her missing husband, Leon.
A to Z Mysteries
You guessed it, with 26 books in the original series (one for each letter), this is an easy read for kids starting with The Absent Author.
Nancy Drew Series
What list would be complete without Nancy Drew? With almost 200 books, these stories follow the amateur sleuth on a series of adventures. (Did you know that the author, Carolyn Keene, does not exist – it is a pseudonym).
These are just a few of our favorites – what are some of the ones you remember or that your family enjoys reading?