Spies are daring, mysterious, and heroic. Plus, they usually have very cool gear. So, of course, they make for captivating book characters! Here are some of our recent favorite spy books for kids. Write them down in your favorite spy notebook to share with your students!
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
Spy Picture Books for Kids
1. Secret, Secret Agent Guy by Kira Bigwood (Pre-K-1)
This is one of the cutest spy books for little kids we’ve seen! Sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” this is the story of two brothers planning a spy mission to nab a lollipop from the pantry. Kids will love making inferences based on the pictures and the funny surprise ending.
2. Juniper Kai: Super Spy by Laura Gehl (Pre-K-1)
Juniper Kai is an accomplished kid-spy, so when her parents start acting weird, she puts her skills to use to see what’s going on. Kids will have fun figuring out that Juniper’s mom is expecting a baby—and they will be cheering for super-spy Juniper when she deftly cracks the case, too.
3. Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars by Laurie Wallmark (1-4)
An actual supermom: Elizebeth Friedman’s work as a mother and a writer regularly got put on hold so she could use her code-cracking skills to catch criminals and aid the military. Kids who love secret codes will definitely be impressed by this biography of the founder of the CIA’s cryptology unit.
Early Elementary Spy Books for Kids
4. Didi Dodo, Future Spy trilogy by Tom Angleberger (K-2)
If you’re looking for silly spy books for kids, these will be a hit. Didi Dodo desperately wants to be a spy, so she jumps at the chance to help Koko Dodo the Baker. These easy chapter books are part of The Flytrap Books collection.
5. The Secret Spy Society series by Veronica Mang (K-2)
In this fun, new illustrated chapter book series, Dot, Rita, and Peggy each bring different talents to their Spy Club. When they spot a mysterious woman walking on a rainy night, they can’t resist following her. She ends up introducing them to the “Lady Spies,” a secret spy group. The adult characters are modeled after famous female spies, with biographical details in the back matter.
6. Secret Agent Jack Stalwart series by Elizabeth Singer Hunt (1-3)
If you’re looking for a series of spy books for kids, these get consistent rave reviews from the early elementary set. Jack is a kid by day and secret agent by night. He travels all over the world looking for his missing brother, and he must fend off all kinds of villains along the way.
7. Spy Penguins series by Sam Hay (1-4)
Two ambitious young penguins are eager to join the FBI one day. (That’s Frosty Bureau of Investigation.) Also, they really love their spy gear. This hilariously adorable series is exciting, but not scary—great for class read alouds or advanced younger readers.
8. Mac B., Kid Spy series by Mac Barnett (1-4)
Author Mac Barnett reimagines his childhood serving as a spy for the Queen of England. The stories are outrageous and include retro graphics and hilarious 80s references. There’s some real history mixed in, and many kids will identify with Barnett’s experiences having divorced parents and trying to fit in with his peers.
Middle Grade Spy Books for Kids
9. Jada Sly, Artist & Spy by Sherri Winston (2-5)
If you’re looking for spy books for kids to hook readers who like suspense, glamour, and urban adventures, this is an excellent choice. Jada was told her mother was killed in a plane crash, but she’s convinced she’s is alive and working as a spy. She pledges to use her own spy skills to find her.
10. How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of World War II London (4-8)
This historical fiction spy book gives middle grade readers a great taste for the role spies played in World War II. Three teenagers use a notebook filled with ciphers to try to find a missing double agent. Kids can crack the codes alongside the characters.
11. Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls series by Beth McMullen (3-6)
Move over, Hogwarts. Abigail Hunter discovers her boarding school is actually an exclusive spy training program—and her mom is a top spy. Tons of adventure and coming-of-age themes.
Buy it: Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls for Amazon | Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls for Bookshop
12. Spy School series by Stuart Gibbs (3-6)
Spy School sounds awesome to Ben Ripley—until he keeps finding himself in hilariously harrowing situations. If you’re looking to stock your middle grade classroom library with a series of spy books for kids, this is a reliable choice. We’re excited to check out the new graphic novel version of this series, too.
Buy it: Spy School at Amazon | Spy School at Bookshop
13. City Spies series by James Ponti (4-7)
A diverse group of kids band together to fight evil across the globe, combining spy action with friendship and cooperation themes. We love this series for studying characters and for grabbing the attention of reluctant readers.
Buy it: City Spies at Amazon | City Spies at Bookshop
14. George Washington’s Secret Six (Young Readers Adaptation): The Spies Who Saved America by Brian Kilmeade (3-8)
This is a highly readable choice for kids who love American history—or those who you’d like to love it a bit more! It shares the lesser-known story of how the Culper Spy Ring helped George Washington turn things around for the Continental Army in 1776.
15. Spy Runner by Eugene Yelchin (5-8)
12-year old Jake finds himself in the middle of a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure that closely resembles his favorite Cold War-era spy comic. Car chases, gunfights, mysterious figures, kidnapping, and more will keep middle grade readers in suspense.
Buy it: Spy Runner at Amazon | Spy Runner at Bookshop
16. Top Secret: Spies, Codes, Capers, Gadgets, and Classified Cases Revealed by Crispin Boyer and Suzanne Zimbler (3-8)
The title really says it all here. Spy-obsessed kids will love browsing this comprehensive informational book. It includes lots of spy-themed history but also has present-day information, like an interview with a CIA case officer and details on military special forces.
Buy it: Top Secret at Amazon | Top Secret at Bookshop
Which spy books for kids do your students love? Let us know in the comments!
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