What 8 to 12 year old doesn’t dream of solving mysteries, of playing detective in real life, and of tracking down the truth?
What Christian parent doesn’t dream of having their child pour over their Bible, seeking answers?
Enter Mat Halverson’s wonderful mystery series: Concord Cunningham, Scripture Sleuth (Focus Publishing, Inc.). Written for 8-12 year olds, Halverson’s five books each contain 12 short stories. Each story is a mystery, and young Concord Cunningham is the star, with his ever-present Bible. The really fun part? Your children get to solve the mystery, too!
Here’s how it works: Concord (nicknamed Concordance) encounters a tough mystery that no one else is able to solve. His fantastic knowledge of the Bible, coupled with an observant spirit, sparks a connection between a Bible passage and the situation at hand. At the end of each mystery, your child is invited to look up the passage in their own Bible, contemplate the connection, and solve the mystery. The answer to each mystery is found in the back of the book.
Each short story is 5 to 6 pages, making it the perfect length for a fun mystery, or for a read-aloud to kick off your morning with the kids. I bought these books several years ago to use in devotions (I’m always looking for unique approaches to our devotional time), but I haven’t been able to. Instead, I keep finding my little detectives sprawled on the floor with a Bible, a pencil behind one ear, and a fan of Concord Cunningham books in front of them.
Good enough. They love the books, I love the books, they spend time in the Bible… it’s terrific!
Mat Halverson has a website where you can read about the books, watch a video, and even read a sample chapter. Check it out: Scripture Sleuth Official Website.
You can find Concord Cunningham: Scripture Sleuth at
More Books for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle Series by Bill Myers
- Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke
- God’s Special Tent: The Story of the Tabernacle and What Came After by Jean Stapleton
- The Flood of Noah by Bodie Hodges and Laura Welch
- Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.