Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

It’s a Mystery, how to find mysteries with an inspriational message

When young mystery lovers plow through Ladd Family Adventure Series and the Boxcar Children, it becomes harder to find appealing books in the genre without a dark mix of violence, sex and the occult.

Some Christian authors, however, are striving to fill that void through mysteries that delicately weave biblical principles into the plot. Among them is Virginia Ann Work, author of the Jodi Fisher Mysteries, and Robert Elmer, author of The Adventures Down Under series.
Work’s book, The Mystery of the Missing Message, is the tale of Jodi Fischer and her friend Lexie Marshal, who find a missing wallet and baby’s sock while riding their horses. They also discover a mysterious cabin they would have thought was deserted — if not for the sound of a footstep inside.
Jodi’s mom and dad are missionaries to the Indians in Canada, which lends itself easily to sharing biblical principles.

Work also has written The Secret in the Silver Box, another story about the adventures of Jodi and her friend Lexie, this one involving an old prospector and his silver box in Central British Columbia.
Elmer kicks off his series about Australia with Escape to Murray River, a gripping tale targeting middle-grade readers. It’s appeal is wider. I’m the parent of a teen and I could hardly put it down! Although the main character, Patrick, is 12, readers easily can identify with his mom or older sister Becky, 14.
In this book, Patrick’s father is framed for a crime he did not commit and sentenced to 10 years in an Australian prison. Unbeknownst to him, his family follows, only to learn he has escaped to elude the man responsible for his imprisonment. The book is captivating to the very last page. I didn’t want it to end yet!
Two more series Christian teens may find interesting are the Jenny McGrady Mystery series by Patricia Rushford and the Casey and the Classifieds series by Tracy Groot.
The Jenny McGrady series starts with Too Many Secrets, a tale about the disappearance of Jenny’s grandmother along with a million dollars worth of stolen diamonds.
Casey and the Classifieds for 10 to 14 year olds includes The Mystery of the Stolen Statue and The Mystery of the Forgotten Fortune.
The Swipe Series, by Evan Angler, is a dystopian series that looks at Christian beliefs about getting “the mark”.  Set in a future North America, every person is required the mark at 13 and you must swipe the mark for everything, from getting food to transportation.  But what happens if you refuse to get the mark?

As the mother of a 14-year-old boy, I’ve begun writing a series aimed at preteens and teens called Bible Camp Mysteries. The series, in digital format, is about a community church and its youths’ adventures in the Florida backwoods.
The first book in the series, Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery is about 13-year-old Zack, who disappears in the middle of the night during the group’s back-to-nature retreat.
In the story, the group of inexperienced campers experience no-see-ums at dusk, an illness that strikes more than half of the campers and an impending hurricane that takes an unexpected turn in their direction.
Readers learn along with Zack how important it is to be obedient and do what God says. More importantly, they learn through Zack’s example the biblical path of salvation.

About the writer: A former newspaper reporter who came to know the Lord as an adult, Cheryl Rogers publishes the New Christian Books Online Magazine, which includes new book announcements and excerpts. She writes both fiction and nonfiction for varying age groups. For the teen market, she has written Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, a short story collection featuring modern Jonahs, and Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook, a book with 40 devotions teaching how to truly love and forgive others, why it’s important to set aside pride, how to deal with tragedy and death and more.
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