My whole family likes Donald J. Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown books. Here’s a true account of a conversation we had in the car last weekend:
Mark: Hey Larrabee, whatcha reading?
Larrabee: Encyclopedia Brown.
Mark: Oh, I loved those books when I was a kid.
Beth: Me too.
Blaine: Me too. Wait. What? I had no idea those books were that old.
Ouch! Well, it’s a compliment to Donald Sobol anyway. There’s a kind of timeless quality about young Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown, Sally Kimball, Bugs Meany, and the other folks in Idaville. The series actually includes a total of twenty-nine books published over a forty-nine year period. I’m sure Mark and I missed some of the later ones.
These books—starting with Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective—are great fun to read aloud together or for kids to read to themselves. Each book consists of approximately ten short mysteries with the solutions at the end of the book. I still remember some of the facts I learned from reading them!