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Mason Dixon Books In Order

Publication Order of Mason Dixon Books

Pet Disasters (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fourth-Grade Disasters (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Basketball Disasters (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The name ‘Mason Dixon’ refers to a series of novels written by Claudia Mills. Mason Dixon is also the name of the series primary protagonist.

+The Story

Claudia Mills is hailed by many as the queen of children’s books. Certainly, she is no J.K. Rowling. However, when people talk about children’s literature these days, they are typically referring to outlandish young adult novels written with children in mind and which feature young characters but which would fit perfectly into the adult genre if they were to be read through the right lens.

The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Divergent: these are only referred to as children’s books because they are written to appeal to children. However, many an adult will admit to enjoying the works above because the authors of these novels often work to create stories with universal appeal.

The Mason Dixon series is children’s literature to its core. The protagonists of these Claudia Mills books are not supernaturally talented kids with powerful destinies. Claudia’s heroes and heroines are real kids living real lives and whose stories real children will relate to.

Claudia Mills is a children’s author to her core, and the Mason Dixon novels prove as much. Aimed towards eight to ten-year-olds, the books follow the exploits of Mason Dixon.

When he is first introduced to readers, Mason is a third-grader with a bit of an attitude. Mason doesn’t like anything. New experiences hold no appeal for him and he enjoys the routine that life generally provides. Mason is happy to simply exist alongside his best friend Brody.

When Mason is forced to adopt a pet, he initially resists his parents’ wishes, neglecting the animals that are given into his care until they either ran away or are taken away. When Mason strikes up a friendship one particularly friendly dog, to his own shock, the little boy is forced to accept that there might be some fun to be had with new experiences.

The subsequent novels in the Mason Dixon series find Mason relearning this philosophy on different occasions. His entry into the fourth grade finds him dealing with all manner of discomforting situations.

Whether he is being forced to sing in the choir or struggling with the pressure coming his way to try out for the basketball team, Mason finds the fourth grade to be a miserable task master, one that is determined to force him out of his shell.

Mason must meet each new challenge with cunning and wisdom. He is often determined to circumvent the authorities that want to get him to participate in school activities. There’s always a silly scheme in play that Mason believes will save him with whatever humiliation he believes awaits him if he ventures into unchartered waters.

These schemes rarely work but Mason usually learns a lesson that allows the different books in the Mason Dixon series to end on a positive note.

A crucial aspect of these books is Mason and his relationship with Brody. As a protagonist, Mason tends to get mixed reactions from readers, particularly older audiences. This is because Mason isn’t always presented in the best light.

He can come off as being selfish, lazy, careless and irresponsible. However, fans of his appreciate the fact that Mason Dixon is just a normal kid. And kids can be lazy, careless and irresponsible. Anyone that has read Claudia Mills’ other works will tell you that she has a talent for writing really authentic child characters.

Claudia knows how to accurately capture their voices and behaviors, and no one can dispute the fact that Mason Dixon is a little boy. If anything, the weaknesses he so readily displays allow him to appeal to the third and fourth graders to whom these books are targeted.

It might help them to see Mason, a boy with traits similar to their own, struggle with the common challenges of school life and overcome them, emerging as a better person.

Brody is crucial to Mason’s growth as a character. An athletic kid with plenty of charm and a desire to participate in extracurricular activities, Brody is always on hand to encourage Mason whenever he encounters struggles.

The pair shares a solid relationship that sometimes acts as the driving force of the entire Mason Dixon series. Brody generally goes wherever Mason goes but the reverse isn’t always true. While Brody doesn’t seem to mind walking in the light, Mason is more comfortable operating behind the scenes. That contrast in their attitudes and personalities is the reason Mason and Brody’s relationship is so strong.

+The Author

Claudia Mills is a renowned author with a passion for children’s literature. A professor of philosophy teaching at the University of Colorado (Boulder), Claudia has written dozens of books over her long career, most of them aimed towards young readers.

The stories she produces are mined from her own childhood experiences. She also has two children who would always amuse her with their stories from elementary and middle school. Claudia also spends plenty of time in schools and there’s always something to see and gain inspirations from.

For a children’s author, it might come as a surprise for people to learn that Claudia Mills enjoys discussing and dissecting philosophy and ethics.

+Pet Disasters

Mason Dixon doesn’t like pets. However, his parents do not seem to care much for his opinion on the matter, which is why the gold fish they get him dies and the hamster they paid for runs away, not to mention the cat which is immediately sent back because Mason’s best friend has allergies.

Just when it looks like his parent’s pet experimentation might have come to an end, Mason gets a dog that changes everything. After being coerced into giving it a chance, Mason comes to realize that pets might actually be fun.

+Fourth Grade Disasters

There were several reasons why Mason Dixon was worried about joining fourth grade. However, he didn’t expect the choir to be one of those reasons. Every fourth-grader is mandated to join the school choir.

Unfortunately for Mason, not only does he not sing but the idea of singing on stage frightens him. So he begins crafting a plan that will save him from the choir.

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