The Name of This Book is Secret – by Pseudonymous Bosch
Mystery. This book begins with a warning: “Do not read beyond this page!” Though the brain teasers and coded messages in this supernatural mystery will make you curious about what happens next, beware! As you read, you (like Max-Ernst and Cass, the book’s eccentric 11-year-old heroes) might learn secrets that put you in mortal danger at the hands of a covert, immortality-obsessed cult. If you like the perplexing puzzles of Blue Balliett and the hilariously foreboding style of Lemony Snicket — and if you don’t let the warnings scare you off — you’ll love this offbeat read. You can even check out the four sequels that follow…if you dare.
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos – by R.L. LaFevers
Mystery. Theodosia Throckmorton (“Theo” for short) has an unusual talent. She has the ability to sense curses that are bound to ancient artifacts — which comes in handy, since her mother is an archaeologist and her father is head curator of London’s Museum of Legends and Antiquities. When Theo’s mother brings the legendary Heart of Egypt amulet home from a king’s tomb, Theo discovers that it carries a curse horrible enough to start an unimaginable war between two secret societies, both of which are determined to steal the amulet. This exciting mystery set in 1906 will thrill readers, particularly those fascinated by the supernatural or by Egyptian history.
Smells Like Treasure – by Suzanne Selfors
Adventure. In this funny, well-plotted sequel to Smells Like Dog, 12-year-old Homer Pudding is invited to take his late uncle’s place in the society of Legends, Objects, Secrets, and Treasures (L.O.S.T.). But before Homer can accept the invitation, his membership is challenged by his pink-haired former ally, Lorelai. Soon Homer and the faithful, treasure-sniffing Dog are pitted against Lorelai in a madcap quest to find a lost coin and prove their right to be professional treasure hunters. With zany humor and quirky characters, Smells Like Treasure (and its sequel, Smells Like Pirates) offers “plenty of rip-roaring fun” (Kirkus Reviews).
The Dragon’s Tooth – by N.D. Wilson
Fantasy. After a mysterious, violent incident that results in the kidnapping of their older brother, Cyrus and Antigone Smith discover that they’re now part of the Order of Brendan, a secret society for explorers. The siblings head to the Order’s headquarters in Ashtown in search of answers, but instead they encounter immortal enemies, mythological creatures, magical artifacts, and shocking family secrets. Set in an imaginative alternate world, this 1st volume in the Ashtown Burials series combines relentless action and well-drawn characters to create an irresistible fantasy adventure. For a much sillier take on hidden family history, try Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians.