Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Mistakes

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - (ISBN: 978-0486275437)

by Lewis Carroll

Alice’s mistake in following a white rabbit down into his hole results in a series of classic adventures children and adults have loved and analyzed for years. Which key fits the lock? Should she drink out of the unknown bottle? How does she defend herself against the queen? Most importantly, how will she get out and home again? Enjoy this very capable girl as she deals with a series of errors. Or are they errors?

Mistakes that Worked - (ISBN: 978-0385320436)

by Charlotte Jones

This book includes fascinating details of discoveries that were not recognized as being useful until sometimes years after they “happened.” Find out the truth about Silly Putty and Coca Cola’s origins, as well as how bricks and sandwiches came to be. Enjoy all the extras in the book: fun facts, goofy illustrations, and even recipes. What food have you accidentally invented while messing around in the kitchen?

The Case of the Mistaken Identity - (ISBN: 978-1416978169)

by Mac Barnett

Steve greatly admires the Brixton Brothers Detective books, and he has a chance to show his detecting abilities after a man with a gun approaches him. Believe it or not, in this book world, the library bar codes contain another level of meaning, and librarians turn out to be crime fighters. Believing Steve is a great detective, the library workers depend on him to find a missing quilt, which contains more secret codes. Along the way, experience the rollicking adventure of a boy who knows more than most adults!

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made - (ISBN: 978-0763660505)

by Stephan Pastis

Timmy has formed his own detective agency named Failure, Inc. He solves his cases using his vehicle called the Failuremobile. But, he does not see himself as a failure. His entertaining, self-deprecating dialogue and humorous line drawings of the various creatures that inhabit his world will give a lift to your day. Read carefully to find out what the mistakes were!

Trading Faces - (ISBN: 978-1416961680)

by Julia DeVillers

After Payton embarrasses herself in the school lunchroom, her twin sister agrees to switch places with her. The sister, Emma, who is shy and too smart for her own good, starts to enjoy the social opportunities available to her in the guise of her more gregarious sister. The only problems occur when the deliberately switched identity proves harder and harder to undo. Was this an intentional mistake too big to correct?

Deep-Space Disco - (ISBN: 978-0375858765)

by Erik Craddock

Sideways Stories from Wayside School - (ISBN: 9780380698714)

by Louis Sachar

The Mistaken Masterpiece - (ISBN: 9780375967405)

by Michael Beil

Trading Places with Tank Talbott - (ISBN: 9780807517086)

by Dori Hillestad Butler

Zeke Bartholomew: Superspy - (ISBN: 9781402257551)

by Jason Pinter

Activities for this Theme

Read about mistakes made in the Harry Potter books:


Take a favorite story and cut it up into pieces that each contains several paragraphs. Put it back together with your eyes closed and read it again. What is the result of your “mistake”?