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Donald J. Sobol Books In Order

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Publication Order of Encyclopedia Brown Books

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Shows the Way (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Eagles (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Midnight Visitor (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Carries On (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Sets The Pace (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Cake! (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Treasure Hunt (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Two Spies (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablo's Nose (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Sleeping Dog (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Slippery Salamander (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Jumping Frogs (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown, Super Sleuth (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret UFOs (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Carnival Crime (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown and his Best Cases Ever (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Secret Agents Four (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Greta the Strong (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Milton, the Model A (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Angie's First Case (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amazing Power of Ashur Fine (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Name is Amelia (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Two-Minute Mysteries (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two-Minute Mysteries Collection (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Two-Minute Mysteries (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Still More Two-Minute Mysteries (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Wright Brothers At Kitty Hawk (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amazons of Greek Mythology (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
True Sea Adventures (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Record Book of Weird and Wonderful Facts (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Disaster (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Second Record Book of Weird and Wonderful Facts (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Book of Wacky Crimes (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Book of Wacky Spies (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Book Of Wacky Sports (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Book of Wacky Animals (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Third Record Book of Weird and Wonderful Facts (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Book of Wacky Cars (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Book of the Wacky Outdoors (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encyclopedia Brown's Book Of Strange But True Crimes (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Donald J Sobol is an inspirational and children fiction author best known for writing the “Encyclopedia Brown” series of novels. Sobol was born in New York City and went to the NYC Ethical Culture Fieldston School from where he graduated in 1942. During the Second World War, he served in the Pacific Theater in the Army Corps of Engineers. After the end of the war, he went back to school attending Oberlin College and graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Post-graduation he became a copy boy and worked several years for the New York Sun before he moved up the ranks to become a reporter. In 1949, he was offered a job at the New York Daily News a job that he held for two years before he left to go become a buyer at the New York office of Macy’s. He then quit and moved to Florida to become a full-time author. In 1959, he started writing the “Two Minute” series which was a syndicated series that proved very popular as it ran for more than a decade. In 1963, he penned the first of the “Encyclopedia Brown” series “Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective.” Since he started publishing, the novels have been printed every year and have now been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Sobol introduced his lead protagonist Leroy Brown as an intrepid 10-year-old amateur detective that is the son of the chief of police in town. He often helps his father to resolve a range of criminal mysteries and he gets his “Encyclopedia” name from the fact that he is so smart that one would think he has an encyclopedia in his head. Each of Sobol’s novels in the “Encyclopedia Brown” mystery series comes with ten mysteries that the readers try to resolve. The author then provides the solutions to the mysteries in the stories at the end of each novel. This formatting convention came to Donald when he went to the New York Public Library with his father to conduct some research. He had asked the desk clerk to give him four books but he got three books correct and the fourth one wrong. The fourth was a puzzle book with solutions on one side and puzzles on the other. While that was not the book he wanted, it gave him an idea and thus was born the solutions at the end of his novels. As for the lead in his novels, Sobol has said that “Encyclopedia Brown” was not inspired by any of his life experiences. He believed he was the most unqualified to write a novel since he had a very good and privileged childhood. However, Brown was perhaps the fantasy character that did things he would have wanted to do as a fifth-grader.

Donald Sobol cracked out” Boy Detective,” the first of the series in just a fortnight. However, he did not achieve much success initially as he got more than twelve rejections from different publishers before he found a publisher willing to give him a chance. While he rarely posed for photos or gave interviews, his creations became huge even though he never became a big name such as JK Rowling of the Harry Potter novels. “Encyclopedia Brown” would become a mainstay in children’s fiction that the character became a spoof in the “Second Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book, “Cracked” and the “Onion.” The novels also won him a Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Over the years, many Hollywood producers including the likes of Ridley Scott expressed an interest in making the novels into a film. However, disputes over the character rights made it impossible for the movie to be commissioned. Still, “Encyclopedia Brown” has starred in an HBO series and a comic strip. The novels have sold more than 50 million copies over the years and have been described as some of the most iconic fiction in children’s literature. Donald Sobol died of natural causes on July 11 2012 aged 87. He left behind Rose his wife and their three adult children.

“Boy Detective” the first novel of the “Encyclopedia Brown” series introduces Leroy Brown, a fifth-grade amateur detective from Idaville. He is a smart boy who can more often than not see through the straws and find the needle. He is also popular since he stands up to the bullies and humiliates them and gets to hang out with the prettiest girl in school. He decided to become a detective when he quickly solved a mystery after his father who is the Chief of Police shared details of a case over dinner. Leroy opened his agency and charged 25 cents a day to solve mysteries and strange happenings. Even though he opened his agency to help solve cases brought to him by his classmates, he often chips in to help with cases his father brings home. Like all the novels in the series, Boy Detective has ten baffling mysteries with clues and the solutions at the back of the novel.

“The Case of the Secret Pitch” by Donald J Sobol is set in Texas where Encyclopedia Brown is vacationing with his family. However, some of the action takes place in his hometown of Idaville. Brown is still helping his father resolve baffling cases including the case of a missing bike, a lost bet for a violin, and a bank robbery. He also makes short work of some mythical folklore and makes a fool of the tour guide taking them around on vacation. It is a great collection of stories with great solutions though it is not that easy figuring out the solutions until the very end. Sobol also throws in some fun and humorous moments as the amateur sleuth pits his wits against that of Bugs Meany, the chief bully at his school.

Donald Sobol’s “Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues” sees Leroy Brown in action again this time looking to solve the case of a statue that had gone missing, the kidnapping of the local bully, and the theft of a very expensive diamond necklace from the jeweler among several other mysteries. They have varied levels of difficulty in the mystery they present with some having easy answers while others will leave even the adults scratching their heads. While there are solutions to the mysteries at the end of the novel, the fun is usually in trying to resolve them and finding how many you can get right before checking out the back of the back.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Donald J. Sobol

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