Seth's Reviews > Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
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Nov 20, 07

bookshelves: books-that-make-you-smarter, lifelessons-poetry-childrens-etc
Recommended for: all children
Read in January, 1976

Give this to the nearest 6-10 year-old (or adult who wants to be 6-10 years old again). It isn't the "can you solve it, too" mystery aspect, although that's fun enough, it's the attitude: Brown loves--and doesn't fear--a good problem, he wants to help people, he has a good relationship with his family, his friends trust and accept one another while recognizing their individuality, and the underlying sense of justice, both moral and civil, is a valuable lesson to every kid and a valuable refresher course for everyone else's adulthood certification.

The Hardy Boys solve mysteries as adventure. Nancy Drew solves mysteries as an obsession. Jupiter Jones solves mysteries as ego. Danny Dunn solves mysteries as education. All of these are good and fun and laudable and worthwhile for kids to learn from.

If you only have one message to teach a young friend, Encyclopedia Brown solves mysteries because a) he has skill to keep exercised, b) he cares about the kids who come to him, and c) he has his father's sense of justice and service. That's the one I'd pick.

...But make sure your young friend knows about Jupiter Jones and Danny Dunn as well.
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