This may look suspiciously like a reading list, but it's really a carefully concealed collection of clues. Solve them and you just might find out who the murderer was. Where the treasure's buried. How the swamp ghosts make those noises. Whom the moon base has to battle. Quietly now - while no one's looking - pocket this page and check out the nearest library or bookstore. Don't let any adults see you, and don't ask for help. You can figure out these mysteries yourself. (But your little brothers and sisters might need some help.) FICTION FOR AGES 12 AND UP Bury the Dead, by Peter Carter (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Like many East Berliners, Erika Nordern wonders what life is like on the other side of the Wall. Come a Stranger, by Cynthia Voight (Atheneum). A refreshingly upbeat look at contemporary black family life in a quiet community on the Maryland shore. Flame-Colored Taffeta, by Rosemary Sutcliffe (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Twelve-year-old Damaris Crocker and 13-year-old Peter Ballard befriend a mysterious traveler and care for him in their secret forest hideaway in long-ago England. Kim/Kimi, by Hadley Irwin (McElderry/ Atheneum). A Japanese-American teen-ager finds her father's family and her own self-worth. Many Waters, by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Two American teen-agers ``time travel'' back to an imaginative biblical land inhabited by Noah and his family. Moonwind, by Louise Lawrence (Harper & Row). Welsh teen-ager Gareth Jones wins a trip to an American moon base and discovers a 10,000-year-old astral being. A Murder for Her Majesty, by Beth Hilgartner (Houghton Mifflin). In Elizabethan England, a girl disguised as a choirboy solves the mystery of her father's murder. FICTION FOR AGES 8 TO 12 Anastasia on Her Own, by Lois Lowry (Dell/Yearling). Complications arise for Anastasia when she tries to run the household on her own. Eli's Ghost, by Betsy Hearne (McElderry/Atheneum). Eli heads into the cypress swamps to find his long-lost mother and comes up with some solid friendships. Hugh Pine and the Good Place, by Janwillem van de Wetering, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger (Houghton Mifflin). A resident porcupine philosopher has a lot to learn from his forest neighbors. Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World, by Mildred Pitts Walter (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard). When he visits his grandpa's ranch, Justin learns about his great-great grandfather, a successful black cowboy. Mortimer Says Nothing, by Joan Aiken, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Harper & Row). The fourth in the series about Mortimer the raven and the befuddled Jones family. Ramona Forever, by Beverly Cleary, illustrated by Alan Tiegreen (Dell/ Yearling). Third-grader Ramona copes with life's challenges in her own unbeatable way. A Rat's Tale, by Tor Seidler, illustrated by Fred Marcellino (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Montague Mad-Rat finds adventure and love beneath the streets of New York City. Tom Tiddler's Ground, by John Rowe Townsend (Lippincott). Five spunky children uncover a treasure and outwit thieves in an adventure along an inner-city British canal. NONFICTION FOR AGES 8 AND UP Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun, by Rhoda Blumberg (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard). Japan's closed society opens to world trade in the 1850s. Dinosaurs Are Different, by Aliki (Harper & Row). How orders of dinosaurs differ - from fierce meat-eaters to gentle plant-eaters. Giants of Land, Sea, and Air - Past and Present, by David Peters (Knopf). The largest animals of all times are presented to scale for comparison. Koko's Story, by Dr. Francine Patterson, with photographs by Dr. Ronald H. Cohn (Scholastic). Koko the gorilla learns sign language and communicates with her human friends. Mustangs: Wild Horses of the American West, by Jay Featherly (Carolrhoda). Wild horses find fun and mischief when left to their own devices. One Day in the Prairie, by Jean Craighead George (Crowell). Dramatic story of animals, big and little, facing an approaching tornado. To Space and Back, by Sally Ride (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard). The first female astronaut shares her experiences in outer space. Stars, by Seymour Simon (Morrow). The varieties of stars - red giants, white dwarfs, and quasars. Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens, by Patricia Lauber (Bradbury). The eruption and return to life of Mount St. Helens. FAIRY TALES AND FOLK TALES The Cuckoo Clock, by Mary Stolz (David Godine). Set in the Black Forest, a foundling becomes a great artist through an apprenticeship to a master craftsman. The People Could Fly: American Black Folktale, told by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon (Knopf). Afro-American folk tales retold. Why the Possum's Tail Is Bare, by James E. Connolly, illustrated by Andrea Adams (Stemmer House). Myths from nine Indian tribes across North America reflect native respect for living things. The Tales of Uncle Remus, retold by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (Dial). Lester's updated version of some old favorites is respectful of the stories and sound of the text. PICTURE BOOKS Abiyoyo, by Pete Seeger, illustrated by Michael Hays (Macmillan). A little boy and his father make a dreaded giant disappear. Based on a South African lullaby and folk story. Angelina on Stage, by Katharine Holabird, illustrated by Helen Craig (Clarkson N. Potter). A young mouse stars in a musical with her cousin Henry. The Bee, by Lisa Campbell Ernst, illustrated by Lee Ernst (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. A triumph of a wordless story as a bee makes its colorful rounds of the day, from blooming zinnias to clover. Demi's Count the Animals 1*2*3, written and illustrated by Demi (Grosset & Dunlap). Colorful animals teach children to count to 100. Good Night, Pippin, by Joan Elizabeth Goodman (Western). Little Pippin won't go to sleep without one last story, so each member of his family tells a tale. I'm In Charge of Celebrations, by Byrd Baylor, illustrated by Peter Parnall (Charles Scribner's Sons). In the Southwestern desert of the United States a girl keeps a record of wonderful moments - like the time she saw a rabbit watching a triple rainbow. The Jolly Postman, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (Little, Brown). Letters that the reader can pull out of the book are delivered by the jolly postman to favorite fairy tale characters. Juma and the Magic Jinn, by Joy Anderson, illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak
(Lothrop, Lee & Shepard). A young Kenya boy would rather write poems and draw pictures than do his sums in school. Knock, Knock! Who's There?, by Sally Grindley, illustrated by Anthony Browne (Knopf). Preschoolers who delight in dragging out yet another ``knock knock'' bedtime story will find their match here. Little Pig and the Blue-Green Sea, by Tannis Vernon (Crown). After unknowingly escaping from a one-way trip to market, a pig finds his way into the affections of a sea captain. Moses in the Bulrushes, by Warwick Hutton (McElderry/Atheneum). A retelling of the story of the infant Moses. Not So Fast, Songololo, by Niki Daly (McElderry/Atheneum). A small black South African boy takes a trip to town with his grandmother. A Regular, Rolling Noah, by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Stephen Gammell (Bradbury). A youngster from the hollows of Kentucky takes his first boxcar ride, tending animals for a family bound for Canada. The Selkie Girl, by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Warwick Hutton (McElderry/Atheneum). A favorite folk tale from Great Britain tells the story of a young farmer, his seal bride, and their family. Suleiman the Elephant, by Margret Rettich (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard). The King of Portugal gives young Prince Maximilian of Austria an elephant for a wedding present. POETRY Let's Pretend: Poems of Flight and Fancy, edited by Natalie S. Bober, illustrated by Bill Bell (Viking Kestrel). An anthology for children that encourages them to use their imagination. The Random House Book of Mother Goose, selected and illustrated by Arnold Lobel (Random House). Three hundred and sixty nursery rhymes illustrated by the Caldecott Medalist. Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Brown (Knopf). Two hundred poems for children who are too old for nursery rhymes. A NOTE TO PARENTS
This list of suggested titles for youngsters was compiled from a number of sources. Some were reviewed by the Monitor during the past year. Others come from a booklet recently issued by pacesetting Bank Street College - ``Children's Books of the Year, 1987 Edition.'' Also included are books that have been recommended by a joint committee of the American Booksellers Association and the New York-based Children's Book Council.
If you'd like a list of the stores in your state that specialize in children's books, you can write to: Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), 2475 Huntington Dr., San Marino, CA 91108.
If you need any more help or want lists of ``classic'' titles, try borrowing one of the following from the reference collection of your local library:
Choosing Books for Children, by Betsy Hearne (Dell, 150 pp., $2.95 paperback).
Choosing Books for Kids, by Joanne Oppenheim, Barbara Brenner, and Betty D. Boegehold (Ballantine, 345 pp. $9.95 paperback).
Taking Books to Heart, by Paul Copperman (Addison Wesley, 273 pp., $9.95 paperback).
For Reading Out Loud! by Margaret Mary Kimmel and Elizabeth Segel (Dell, 230 pp., $6.95 paperback).