June 17, 2011

Forget-Me-Nots: Encyclopedia Brown

Forget-Me-Nots is a feature on my blog for highlighting books I enjoyed in childhood and the teenage years that I don't see getting much attention nowadays.

Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol

From Goodreads (for the first in the series, Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective):

"A Civil War sword, missing roller skates, a trapeze artist's inheritance, a ghost who whistles, eight stuffed penguins... Is there any case this kid can't crack? Introduce your favorite bookworm to boy detective Encyclopedia Brown, fifth-grade mastermind behind Idaville's police force, "a complete library walking around in sneakers." Each book is set up so that readers can try to solve the case along with the boy genius, and the answers to all the mysteries are found in the back."

When I was younger I went through an Encyclopedia Brown phase. I read a bunch in the series (each book has several short mystery stories, so you don't need to go in any particular order), but the funny thing is, I was absolutely terrible at solving them. I seriously sucked at it, I'd always have to look in the back for the clues and then usually I still wouldn't get the answer they gave! I think I cared less about the mystery aspect (trying to solve that was a combination of fun and frustrating) and more about Encyclopedia Brown's awesomeness and how he always triumphed over the bullies. Although I did wonder a few times why his parents let him go around solving all these mysteries, that sometimes involved murders and such...I mean, really, irresponsible much?

As you can see from the various covers, Encyclopedia Brown has gone through a ton of reprints. Anyone know if it's still popular among the MG crowd? Anyone else remember reading these and actually being able to solve them? :D


  1. I never read an Encyclopedia Brown novel when I was younger although your post totally reminds me of this time when I was younger and the school librarian showed one to my class. I must have been REALLY young at the time, like younger than ten I think... (a awhile ago in any case...) I really liked reading the Berenstain Bears, Franklin and Arthur novels when I was kid. I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting... :)

  2. Oh my goodness!!!! I love love LOVED Encyclopedia Brown! Like, hard core!!! I read these books over and over! And, I was terrible at solving the cases before reading the back! I think I managed to solve one case before we were told the answer and I remember feeling so incredibly smart! :P

    This post just made my day! :)

  3. @Midnight Bloom: Aw, I loved the Berenstain Bears too!!

    @Ashley: Yay, I wasn't the only one who had trouble solving the cases! LOL yeah I felt so totally smart the few times that I *did* guess the answer. So glad you loved the post! :)

  4. OHHH MY GOD! I loved these books at a kid!! ~nostalgia
    i wouldn't get any of the clues, but one time I solved it and was like, beyond proud of myself :p BUGS MEANY (oh wait, that was his name right? Ahh i can't think of it right now, haha) love the post

  5. On the cover of the first encyclopedia brown book
    What is the picture of fruit suppose to be its got peach and what looks like life savers

    1. Hmm, good question... I think maybe it's supposed to be donuts and croissants?


I love comments, so post away!

Related Posts with Thumbnails