The mystery: What to to give your young aspiring detectives this Christmas? We’ve uncovered a few clues.
Are you shopping for a young truth-seeker this holiday season? If you’re a sleuth yourself—a professional investigator or police detective, a skip tracer or bail enforcer—it’s likely your kids are fascinated by what you do. And even if you don’t work in the investigations field, your children are (I can almost guarantee) probably as enthralled with the mysteries of spycraft as the rest of us are.
As the final Christmas shopping week wheels by, here are a few last-minute gifts to consider for the kid-spy in your life:
Kids’ Spy Gear
Check out the International Spy Museum store’s kid-friendly spy gear for children of all ages. With the walkie-talkie set ($14.95) and Daring Disguises 101 kit ($9.95), siblings can learn to conduct successful back-yard black ops procedures. Or opt for a spycraft extravaganza—the Spy Gear Expert Mission Case ($44.95), which includes a toy telescope and motion detector.
The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy – A former CIA operative and Spy Museum founder produced this fascinating how-to book for wannabe spies.
Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things – This 3-book set teaches sleuthy-types to turn ordinary objects into spy tools. Learn to make a compass, encrypt messages, and create a “sneak detector.”
For older teens:
Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein) – A gripping story of two young women in wartime Britain—one a pilot, one a spy.
The Year of the Gadfly (Jennifer Miller) – Iris, a teen reporter for her school newspaper, uncovers the doings of a secret society in a small New England town.
For teens and older tweens:
The Alex Rider series (Anthony Horowitz) – This blockbuster series stars a teen who’s recruited by MI6 after his uncle is assassinated.
Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things (Kathryn Burak) – Young Claire investigates the disappearance of Emily Dickinson’s dress…and a best friend who’s gone missing.
The Sleuth or Dare series (Kim Harrington) – When best friends Norah and Darcy start a detective agency for a school assignment, they soon find themselves investigating real cases.
Harriet the Spy (Louise Fitzhugh) – A 1964 classic kid-spy tale for any generation. An 11-year-old aspiring writer and spy documents everything she sees in a notebook; and then, the notebook goes missing.
Liar & Spy (Rebecca Stead) – When two friends investigate the mysterious Mr. X, the lines between spying and lying start to blur.