Do Your Middle-Graders and Preteens Love Mysteries?

I have written two separate series for boys and girls ages 8-13, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Books 1-6, and Abby & Holly Series, Books 1 & 2. Both of these series are enjoyed by boys and girls and parents too.

The Davey & Derek Series was written for my two middle-grandsons who love to read about mysteries. They are my inspiration to write.

I will showcase one book of these series in each of the upcoming posts for MG/PT/YA readers. These books make great summer reading. Children will learn important life lessons as they read and enjoy these fun mysteries.


Davey and Derek Donato are twins, but not identical, who love to play detective. They are always ready for adventure living in the sleepy little town of Lindon where nothing happens. The twins overhear about a sixth grader who lost her cell phone. The fifth grade twins kick into detective mode to solve their first case with the help of their friends, Mickey Catonni, aka Cat. Things don’t seem to add up when a bully gets into the mix.

This story teaches middle-graders about friendship, bullying is not accepted or tolerated, being kind to others, honoring and respecting parents and each other. I firmly believe, as an author, I have a responsibility to provide books that carry good family values for middle-graders/preteens/young adults. This is the age where our children are most influenced by what they read. Let’s give them some good, clean, wholesome stories to read. I encourage parents to read these books too in order to see how much children will learn while reading and have fun in the process.

Each book in this series is a stand alone book but it does help to begin with Book 1. I do have an introduction in each book that gives a little background about the twin detectives. This introduction will help children understand a little about the characters and storyline.

I use a larger font and make my chapters shorter so kids will have an easier time reading and feel as if they have accomplished something. This will encourage them to want to read more.

Here are some reviews on Amazon of Book 1:

5.0 out of 5 starsA GREAT WHO DONE ITMay 20, 2015Format: Kindle EditionVerified PurchaseDo you want your children to think? Learn how to decipher a problem? Cultivate their imigination? Amateur sleuhs David and Derek, two twins as opposite as they can be, accompanied by their assistant Mickey, code named CAT, are off to discover the mystery behind Christine’s cell phone (she swears she put it in her backpack at school buty it vanished) Being an adult mystery writer – THE CASE OF THE MISSING CELL PHONE – book 1 in an upcoming series- is all a mystery should be – a lot of clues – a few dead ends – and ending that fooled me. All you parents and grandparents this is a great book for all those m iddle grade kids you worry about – might even get them away from that cell phone and video games.

5.0 out of 5 starsThink! Learn! Imagine!January 22, 2018Format: Kindle Edition“The Case of the Missing Cell Phone” is the first in the Davey and Derek junior detective series, where two twin boys are trying to solve the mystery of a missing expensive cell phone. I love the fact that this story is for both boys and girls. It makes readers think, act, and discover. It’s also very engaging and entertaining, with an emphasis on teaching superb life lessons in a very delicate way. While reading this story, children are encouraged to communicate and learn how to crack problems and develop their creativity.

David and Derek are two twins, but they are very different from each other. David is a logical kid and Derek is all action. Supervised by their assistant named Cat, the two young detectives are off to discover the mystery behind Christine’s cell phone. As they untangle the mystery of the missing phone, they realize that the job of a detective is very tough and sometimes uncomfortable, such as when they question their classmates and the people they know.

This is a very interesting read for middle school-age students that will keep them tickled and predicting. I love that the author touched on a few very important issues that accrue in every school: the bullying, stealing, and credulity. These are very important subjects for children who are that age. In her book, Janice Spina nicely conveyed these very important messages. Her story sparked some needed discussion about theft, bullying, and teamwork. It is full of interesting twists and turns, details and clues. It really keeps young readers’ attention as they turn page after page.

It is also a fantastic acknowledgment of friendship and what is all right and wrong, which is extremely important for that age, when children know that they’re all different and should be treated equally. Their own unique personality would shine if you gave them the chance.

“Davey & Derek, Junior Detectives” is intriguing for my taste, and I am sure that young readers will agree with me. The exciting story line will leave them wanting to know more and to see what happens next in this engaging series. A great mystery read for middle-school children.

Nicholas C. Rossis
5.0 out of 5 starsA trendier Enid BlytonNovember 6, 2015Format: Kindle EditionSpina’s first book reminded me of Enid Blyton – if she were writing about lost cell phones instead of… erm… treasure? I confess, it’s been a while since I last read the Famous Five, but I got the same feeling of kids being kids, yet going on all sorts of fabulous adventures. In this case, the kids are a bunch of boys helping a sixth grader (gasp) girl (double gasp) find her missing phone. Which turns out not to be so much missing as much as… wait, that’d be spoiling the fun. Read the book and find out.

I loved how Spina managed to convey all the right messages and hit all the right chords about issues like theft and bullying, without ever sounding preachy or condescending. When my kid is old enough, this is one of the books I’ll be sure to give her to read.

I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Su Ann5.0 out of 5 starsLove a good mystery!May 26, 2015Format: Kindle Edition“Davey & Derek Junior Detectives: The Case of the Missing Cell Phone” is a wonderfully written mystery book with interesting twists that will leave you wanting to know what happens next. Love the main protagonists, Davey and Derek, the twin brothers who are as different as day and night. I’m sure kids their age can relate with them and have fun solving the mystery together along them and their friend Mickey aka “CAT”. Great for young readers who love a good mystery!

Thank you so much for stopping by to read about my books. I hope you and your children will enjoy reading them. I would love to hear from you about any of my books you have enjoyed and appreciate and love reviews wherever you purchased my books! Thank you for your support!


Have fun this summer, read, read and read some more, and stay safe!

Blessings & Hugs!



About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 42 books: 20 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 7 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 36 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 3 of a YA fantasy series an and book 2 in an angel series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about a dog for ages YA. Her hobbies are crocheting, sewing, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in 5-star reviews, Amazon book reviews, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 1, MG/PT/YA Books, middle-grade books, middle-grade series, Mystery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Do Your Middle-Graders and Preteens Love Mysteries?

  1. macjam47 says:

    Right now we don’t have any middle graders or preteens, but I love reading both series.

  2. A great post, Janice. Your books are lovely for middle school kids.

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