Plot: Fifth grader Leroy Brown is a genius. He is really smart and really good at solving mysteries. He even helps his dad, who was Chief Brown for the police, out sometimes with the cases he was working on, he is that smart.The people of Idaville, his town, have nicknamed him Encyclopedia Brown because you can ask him any question or fact and he will be able to answer it. He always pauses for a moment before answering to make it look like he is thinking because he doesn’t want people to dislike him for being too smart. So, one day Encyclopedia Brown decided he could make some money off of his smarts and so he opened up a detective agency, out of his garage. He would charge his customers $.25 per case. And that is how Encyclopedia brown got into the business of helping the towns folk solve their cases.
Review: This is the first book of the Encyclopedia Brown series. Encyclopedia Brown isthe smartest boy in town. After helping his dad solve yet another case for the police over dinner, Encyclopedia decided he was going to have his own detective agency and charge customers $.25 per case. Each book is broken into chapters by the cases that Encyclopedia solves. This edition has ten cases that he solves, but instead of giving the reader the answer Sobol leaves the end of the chapter open so that you can try and solve the case. The answers are listed at the back of the book to see if you got it right. Black and white illustrations are present in each chapter showing Encyclopedia doing his detective work. Sit down and try your hand at detective work with Encyclopedia Brown the boy detective.
Reading Level/Interest Level: 3.7/3-6 graders
Similar Materials: Nancy Drew series, by Keene
Reader’s Advisory: This book was fun trying to solve the different cases with the clues provided throughout the chapter. I am sad to say I did not do very well after looking up the solutions at the end of the book. This is just the first of the Encyclopedia Brown series, each book has all new cases to solve. I think tweens will have a fun time trying to solve the different cases along side Encyclopedia.