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Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective

(Encyclopedia Brown #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  35,871 ratings  ·  664 reviews
Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crim ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Puffin Books (first published 1963)
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Janellyne Yes you can if you really try just keep pushing yourself ;-)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  35,871 ratings  ·  664 reviews


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Bill
I could say that I loved the Encyclopedia Brown series as a kid, but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. I wanted to *be* Encyclopedia Brown. When you're the nerdy kid on your block, and you discover a character who is the smartest kid in school, kind of popular despite that fact, can not only stand up to but often humiliate the local bully, and gets to hang out with the prettiest girl in the school? Yeah, you're gonna wish life imitated art in that case. And in my mind, it actually seemed kind ...more
Seth
Nov 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all children
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 refreshe ...more
Alex
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: your dorky kid
Shelves: 2011
A sudden fit of nostalgia prompted me to buy and read this. It took like half an hour. It was pretty fun! I love the old-school vision of America, sorta Tom Sawyer-y, where boys spun eggs for fun and 25 cents was a treasure.

Most of the mysteries are not as mysterious as I remember them. You know how each story ends with "How did Encyclopedia Brown solve the case? Flip to page 80 to find out!" and you gotta figure out what his big clue was? Well, it's generally pretty obvious. One of
...more
Scott Rhee
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, mystery
"Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective" by Donald J. Sobol was a great series, and I think I read all of them. More than once. I thank (or blame) this series for starting me on my love of the mystery genre. These are gateway books. Finishing this series will lead one to read the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, then to Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Parker and Sue Grafton, until one day you find yourself strung out on Lee Child or Robert Crais. Be forewarned...
Alex
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I've gone back to revisit this after being reminded of having read these pretty voraciously when I was in the target demographic. I still remember some of the trivia learned from reading these.

With greater perspective, I appreciate the desire to teach logical thought and attention to detail. However, these are significantly less engaging to me now as then. On the plus side, they're all over quickly, so they never really overstay their welcome.

The one thing that I don't recall not
...more
Aimee Massey
I used to like this series when I was little. Much more so than I liked Nancy Drew; in fact, I think Nancy Drew may be one of the most overrated children's-book characters out there.
I liked Encyclopedia Brown's books because they were short, and I could often figure out the solution to the mystery on my own. Granted, the evidence Encyclopedia cites is often very weak, and would never stand up in court, but still, not bad for a ten-year-old.
I do think his police-chief father needs to
...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I read this a loooooong time ago, so there's not much I remember about this book other than I really enjoyed it. I never did get a chance to read the other books because... idk, I guess I got distracted by a different book? Eh :P.
Pooja Banga
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Civil War sword...A watermelon stabbing...

Missing roller skates...

A trapeze artist's inheritance...

And an eyewitness who's legally blind!

Theses are just some of the ten brain-twisting mysteries that Encyclopedia Brown must solve by using his famous computerlike brain. Try to crack the cases along with him--the answer to all the mysteries are found in the back!
Steven R. McEvoy
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I picked up this book because Barry Lyga made mention of it on his blog. I recall knowing the name but had never read an Encyclopedia Brown book until recently. Growing up with a dual form of dyslexia I did not read a lot of books when I was younger. In fact it was high school before I really became a reader. And maybe that is why I read across so many genres and love reading a good children's, middle grade or young adult book. I am very glad I added these books to me to be read list. It is alwa ...more
Kwoomac
So fun rereading this book from my childhood. In case you're not familiar with Encyclopedia Brown, here's what happens. He is a boy detective (10 years old) who gets paid, mostly by neighbor hood kids, to solve mysteries. So each chapter is a different case. The client lays out the details, Encyclopedia (geez, that's mouthful. What do his friends call him?)thinks about it for a while, sometimes doing a little investigating, and then he announces he has the solution. The reader has the opportunit ...more
Lauren
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I would go to the library and check out 10 of these at a time. I *loved* Encyclopedia Brown :)
Teri-K
Evidently even modern kids can enjoy these classic stories of the brilliant young detective. I checked this one out of the library for my reluctant-reader eight year old grandson and he dove right in. He's read it twice and asked me to get more next time I'm there.

Part of the attraction is that each story is only a couple of pages long. Then the reader is asked to identify what clues Encyclopedia used to solve the case, and given the page they can turn to and see if they got it right. This inte
...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I picked up this book because Barry Lyga made mention of it on his blog. I recall knowing the name but had never read an Encyclopedia Brown book until recently. Growing up with a dual form of dyslexia I did not read a lot of books when I was younger. In fact it was high school before I really became a reader. And maybe that is why I read across so many genres and love reading a good children's, middle grade or young adult book. I am very glad I added these books to me to be read list. It is alwa ...more
Lala
Oh Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown. If only every town's criminal activity involved puns and word problems! Criminals in Idaville are bad at two things: telling lies and getting away with crime. Thanks to a ten year old nerd and his friend Sally.

It's bizarre that despite being the CHIEF OF POLICE, the kid's father brings home work every night and has poor Leroy solve all the town's crime over dinner. I always found that kind of sad (even as a child). Of course my parents are high flying medical prof
...more
John of Canada
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read these books when I was a child,but now that I'm going through my second childhood I thought I would give it a go.It's nice to spend time in gentler times.I managed to solve a few of the crimes and considered becoming a detective,but I don't think I could survive on 25 cents a day plus expense.Do kids still read these books.I'd like to think so.
Lee
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to not love the Encyclopedia Brown series. It's book featured short stories that readers can solve with just the use of logic. If the reader reads closely and then thinks through the story, they can solve alongside Leroy Brown.

A most excellent series suitable for fourth grade and up.
Brynn
May 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series as a kid...and may have read it when last week in the closet. :)
Though when you think of it, a lot of his evidence isn't very sound. Like this kid destroyed a tent because he was wearing short sleeves.....
Donna
This is a re-read as an adult of a book I remember loving as a child. I still enjoyed it now! Encyclopedia pays attention to what's around him, thinks deeply, and enjoys helping people - we could all use some of that in our life.
Maria Carmo
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Going back to youth books can be a funny experience: for instance, this book has ten short detective stories in which the reader can try to guess who the culprit is, and why... It is an insteresting exercise for our "grey cells", as Poirot would put it!

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon, 9 December 2016.
Anna
Loved it they always make one mistake
Chad Harper
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Speaking of Encyclopedia Brown, I can remember this one time when my cousin was over for the weekend and we were playing D&D and video games all weekend and ran out of pop. I was going to ride my bike up to the store to get some. The store was about 8 miles away, by the way.

It was raining pretty hard that day, but I didn't care. I had ridden in the rain before and I really wanted some pop. Only problem is, my bike had a flat so I needed to use my little brother's bike.

...more
Chris Apolant
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently came across a box of old books from my childhood. Encyclopedia Brown was not only a favorite, I kept it by my nightstand and read it innumerable times. I loved the idea of having to solve the puzzle yourself to resolve the case, which made me feel as though I was a participant, not just a reader. As an adult, I am better able to appreciate the cleverness of the mysteries, which really are done in a style that mimics the observation and deduction of Sherlock Holmes. The stories were ju ...more
Noninuna
More like 3.5 stars.

I recommend this especially for reluctant readers who need help for their comprehension skill because this book is structured in a way that for every chapter, there's a new mystery given and the solution for the mysteries is provided at the end of the book instead of the end of chapters. It encourages readers to think. And for adult, it's fun to check your attention to the text.

The downside of the story is there's no over-arc plot, no depth for the characters (we only know them for their natext.

Thestars.

I
...more
Bruce Gargoyle
Ten Second Synopsis:
Boy detective Encyclopedia Brown's first collection of cases.

In case you haven't come across these books before, they are set out like a book of short stories - the case of the missing this, the case of the mysterious that - but with one fun twist. Each story ends on a cliffhanger, with Encyclopedia claiming he has solved the case...but leaving the reader to figure out the solution for themselves! The solutions for each case are provided at the back of the b
...more
Kristine Hansen
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I've gotten older, I think I've gotten cleverer, because I remember reading this book as a child and NEVER being able to guess the solutions. I got about 2/3 this time around. Whee!

My daughter struggled with it the same as I did, which led to a certain amount of frustration as we read this book for school. I helped her through some of the puzzles, but I think it helped her when I honestly couldn't come up with the solution either. It takes a certain kind of mindset to solve the ca
...more
Julesmarie
Very fun! There were several things I really liked about this one. First, it's the first children's mystery series I've found with a boy as the main character.

Second, I LOVED that the solutions to the mysteries were all at the back of the book, so they couldn't accidentally be spoiled if you wanted to figure them out for yourself.

And I also thoroughly enjoyed that the solutions to the mysteries were often simple word-plays. They reminded me a lot of brain teasers or riddles rather t
...more
Stephen
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise is straightforward: Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown is the ten-year-old son of the chief of the Idaville Police Department. Because he is very bright and because he reads a lot of books and because he is a keen and critical observer, he has all the skills necessary to solve crimes. So he opens his own detective agency and charges clients "twenty five cents plus expenses" to solve crimes and other mysteries. There are, to date, 26 volumes in the series, the most re... (show more)
Steph
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I've never picked up an Encyclopedia Brown book until now! I love the short cases and the solutions that you can find in the back of the book. They're an awesome level for third and fourth graders and while some are super hard, a bunch of the cases are definitely able to be solved with some out-of-the-box thinking!
Mary Ronan Drew
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1963 this is the first of the Encyclopedia Brown series. Each book has a handful of short mysteries, the solutions of which hinge on some subtle hint from the story.
Charlie Sewall
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Click! I just solved the mystery!
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am I the only one who likes this? 5 17 Sep 04, 2014 03:38PM  
Encyclopedia Brown’ author Donald J. Sobol dies at 87 5 28 Nov 12, 2012 04:48AM  

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153 followers
Donald J. Sobol was an award-winning writer best known for his children's books, especially the Encyclopedia Brown mystery series. Mr. Sobol passed away in July of 2012.

Other books in the series

Encyclopedia Brown (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (Encyclopedia Brown, #2)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues (Encyclopedia Brown, #3)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man (Encyclopedia Brown, #4)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All (Encyclopedia Brown, #5)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace (Encyclopedia Brown, #6)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day
  • Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down (Encyclopedia Brown, #8)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Shows the Way (Encyclopedia Brown, #9)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case (Encyclopedia Brown, #10)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand (Encyclopedia Brown, #11)
“The case called for plain, old-fashioned police leg work!” 13 likes
“Mr. and Mrs. Brown had one child. They” 0 likes
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