Title: Encyclopedia Brown: Boy DetectiveEncyclopedia-Brown-Boy-Detective
Author: Donald J. Sobol
Illustrator: Leonard Shortall
Pages: 88
Reading Level:
Star Rating: ★★★

Encyclopedia is back!

The Stories.

1)      The Case of Natty Nat in which we meet Encyclopedia and he unravels the mystery of the holdup at Mr. Dillon’s Shop.

2)      The Case of the Scattered Cards in which Clarence Smith accuses Bugs Meany of stealing his tent and Encyclopedia must determine to whom the tent really belongs. 

3)      The Case of the Civil War Sword in which Bugs Meany claims to have a sword formerly owned by Stonewall Jackson. Can Encyclopedia prove that it is a fraud?

4)      The Case of Merko’s Grandson in which Sally Kimball sets up a clever scenario in the hopes of tricking Encyclopedia.

5)      The Case of the Bank Robber in which the police have caught the bank robber but can’t seem to get their hands on the loot. Can Encyclopedia help?

6)      The Case of the Happy Nephew in which former convict John Abbot is accused of robbing a Bake Shop and Encyclopedia must decide if his alibi holds true.

7)      The Case of the Diamond Necklace in which Mrs. Van Tweedle’s beautiful diamond necklace has been stolen out from under Chief Brown’s very nose! Can Encyclopedia help him discover the theif?

8)      The Case of the Knife in the Watermelon in which someone has attempted to rob Mr. Patch’s grocery store, and the only clue available is a knife the intruder stabbed into a watermelon!

9)      The Case of the Missing Roller Skates in which Sally Kimball’s roller skates have disappeared from Dr. Wilson’s waiting room, and Encyclopedia suspects Billy Haggerty.

10)   The Case of the Champion Egg Spinner in which Eddie Phelan is beating the rest of the boys silly with his egg-spinning skills, and they accuse him of cheating. Can Encyclopedia determine whether he is innocent or guilty?


I’ve said before that there are three recurring themes in the Encyclopedia Brown series. True to form, they made their appearance here in Boy Detective.

1)      Encyclopedia’s father, Chief Brown brings home all of his most difficult cases home for Encyclopedia to solve because he’s so much smarter than all adults.

2)      Sally Kimball is described not only as the prettiest girl in fifth grade, but also as the best fighter. She punches out boys whenever she feels they deserve it.

3)      Children call each other names.

From the way he acts, it seems that Encyclopedia does not observe the Lord’s Day.

‘Gosh’ is used twice.

Conclusion. While perhaps not the most constructive way for children to be investing their time, Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective will sharpen younger readers’ skills of analysis and observation of details.

Note: This is a review of Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective, not the entire Encyclopedia Brown Series.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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