Mind-Bending Mysteries and Thrillers for Teens: A Programming and Readers' Advisory Guide

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  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

There are plenty of mysteries in teens' lives, including physical and emotional changes, uncertainty about the future, and feelings between people. Seen in this light, the appeal of these stories for this age group makes perfect sense: through a progression of plot and clues, the ending of a teen mystery book provides expected conclusions after an entertaining escape from reality. Well known from her bestselling teen programming books, Alessio offers a complete guide to getting young adults hooked on mysteries. Included are

  • Book lists featuring every type of mystery subgenre, from cozies and romantic mysteries to suspense thrillers, police procedurals, and beyond, all thoroughly annotated
  • Titles published within the last five years, accented by a handpicked assortment of classics
  • Recommendations of some adult mysteries that older teens may enjoy
  • Profiles of today's teen mystery fans, drawn from first-hand experience
  • Interviews with several popular mystery authors to sketch in the genre's background and trends
  • Step-by-step instructions for more than 40 programming ideas, from creating a "Mind Bending Club" to puzzles and a complete mystery dinner script
  • Tips for displays, booktalks, and marketing
  • Multiple indexes to help find the right book quickly

This one-of-a-kind resource will help YA librarians connect teens to mysteries they're sure to love.


Part I Mysterious Reads for Teens

Chapter One: Teen Mystery Readers
Chapter Two: Mystery Subgenres

Realistic Mysteries
High-Tech Whodunits
Fantastic and Paranormal Mysteries
Mysteries in Time and Place
Romantic Suspense

Chapter Three: Nonfiction and True Crime

Part II Mysterious Programs for Teens


Chapter Four: Using Clues to Match Teen Interests: Mysterious Programming
Chapter Five: Mind-Bending Mystery Club Activities
Chapter Six: When Book Discussions Get Mysterious
Chapter Seven: It’s No Mystery to Market

Titles and Series by Subgenre
Titles and Series by Author
Mysteries in Graphic and Illustrated Novel Formats



Amy J. Alessio

Amy Alessio is an award winning librarian with a black belt in karate. She has co-authored several programming books for ALA Editions, including 50+ Fandom Programs: Planning Festivals and Events for Tweens, Teens, and Adults (ALA Editons, 2017). She has conducted several webinars for the American Library Association on programming. She reviews mysteries and romances for Booklist and has authored and edited several other works of fiction and nonfiction. She is a former board member for YALSA. She foists her passion for vintage food trends and retro crafts at local and national workshops and on her blog. She has over 1000 vintage cookbooks and still owns her 80’s Strawberry Shortcake dolls. Learn more at http://www.amyalessio.com.

"This is a welcome resource for librarians working with teens. I highly recommend this title and will be using it as a resource in upcoming book talks."
— Catholic Library World

"Some of the most clever marketing suggestions this reviewer has seen … I would rate this book as a fantastic value. It is a very well-written, thorough and organized title that feels like an essential part of any young adult librarian's toolkit."
— Reference Reviews