Monday, October 26, 2020

The Story Of A Teacher, Students, a Classroom, with Adventure & Mystery Books For Readers 8 - 12

Most people, who know my story, know I grew up absolutely hating to read. This in spite of the fact that my father was a prolific author. Some of his books were for kids, but I didn’t read them.

It was much later in life when I realized why I hadn’t enjoyed reading as a child. That’s when I began writing the kinds of adventures and mysteries I would have enjoyed back then. Action, adventure, dialog, and humor that was short on details and descriptions.

Being honest, it’s been a slow process finding my way into the market for my books. But what I have found is, once teachers, parents, librarians, and kids discover my books, they’re hooked to put it mildly. Let me illustrate.

At the beginning of this year, our son moved out of Chicago and into one of the suburbs. This meant his 9 year-old daughter would have to be the new kid in a new school. Earlier in the summer, she had come across some of my books, on her dad’s bookshelf, and began reading them all on her own. 

When she got to school, she told her teacher that her grandfather wrote books for kids. When her teacher expressed interest, I sent seven of my books for the classroom bookshelf.

My granddaughter FaceTimed us this past week to report on what had happened. 

“All the books disappeared right away,” she said, “and everyone loves them. They’ve even said they want to read ever one.”

Of course, this made my day, my week, and more. But it got to thinking how amazing it would be if more teacher across the country would give these books a try in their classrooms. Here’s another example of a teacher’s experiences with my middle grade adventures and mysteries. She writes an open letter to fellow teachers.

Dear Teacher,

   My name is Sandra Stiles. I am a middle school Language Arts teacher in Bradenton, Florida. I have always had a passion for reading. That passion doesn’t always transfer to your own children. My daughter was a struggling reader. It took another teacher to introduce her to an author whose books she devoured.  

    I am here to tell you about that author who has my students reading and fighting over his books.  Max Elliot Anderson has been one of my favorite authors for several years. Not only do I love his books, but my students love them as well.  I have three classes of students who have a remedial reading class, then they come to me for Language Arts.  

     When I did my first book pass with my students I made sure to have one of Max’s books in each pile to introduce them to his books. Both boys and girls love his books. Almost all of his books are not only filled with adventure, but also mystery. 

     One of my lowest readers has made it a goal to read all of Max’s books I have on my shelves. He has read eight books so far. The really cool part is that he started talking to some of the girls in the class. Now he has them reading them, too.

     Max has two major series, “The Sam Cooper” series and “The Accidental Adventures” series.  Both of these have characters that all kids - boys and girls alike - will love. There are also several standalone titles.

     I can’t say enough about his books.  I highly recommend them to classrooms everywhere.

Sandra Stiles


ELA teacher/Dept. Chair

My books are readily available on Amazon

I hope you’ll give them a try soon, and see the excitement that happens in your own classroom.

Thank you,

Max Elliot Anderson  

Speaking to students at an author school visit.

Max Elliot Anderson
Middle Grade Adventure & Mystery Author

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Mr. Rogers Poetry Books

These books were fun to go through because our son, who is now in his early forties, was a great fan of Mr. Rogers's PBS TV show. I remember once when he was very small, his grandmother visited from Florida. 
    He asked her, "Can I go to Westwood?" the fictitious town of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
    She said, "Sure. Where's that?"
    "It's where Mr. Rogers lives."

Now I have the opportunity to share these new books with our son's small children along with our other grandchildren. The artwork is bright and colorful. And since I already know the songs, it's easy to sing along with the words on each page. The kids also recognize some of the same things they see now on Daniel Tiger as we go through the pages of these two new books.

From the Publisher
The iconic song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is transformed into a board book for a new generation of kids. 

For the first time ever, Mister Rogers’s beloved opening theme song is a board book to share with the youngest readers. With bright, upbeat illustrations by Luke Flowers and sweet lyrics fans will know by heart, readers follow Mister Rogers through his neighborhood as he greets the familiar, lovable cast of characters from the show.

A welcome follow-up to the best-selling treasury A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and published alongside a board book edition of the affirming song “It’s You I Like,” these Mister Rogers Poetry Books are perfect gifts for the newest and oldest fans alike.

From the Publisher 

The heartwarming song “It’s You I Like” from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is transformed into a board book for a new generation of kids. 

For the first time ever, Mister Rogers’s heartwarming song “It’s You I Like” is in board book form to share with the youngest readers. Featuring a diverse array of families and friendships, the affirming lyrics and illustrations convey Mister Rogers’s singular warmth and belief that every child is special and loved. 

A welcome follow-up to the best-selling treasuring A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and published alongside a board book edition of the beloved song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” these Mister Rogers Poetry books are perfect gifts for the newest and oldest fans alike.

Amazon Link

Max Elliot Anderson
Middle Grade Adventure & Mystery 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

REVIEW - The Highlights Book of Things to Do

The Highlights Book of Things to Do: Discover, Explore, Create, and Do Great Things (Highlights Books of Doing)

We’ve all heard those most dreaded words no parent or grandparent ever wants to hear from a child, “I’m bored. I have nothing to do.” We quickly scramble around looking for something, anything, that will do the trick.

Well, Highlights has developed a resource that is exactly what you’ll be looking for, the next time you hear that complaint.

The Highlights Book of Things to Do would have been an excellent resource back when out kids were small. Now, today, we often look after their children and I’ve actually heard them say they were bored.

Here is the list of chapters: 

Things to Do Inside

Things to Do Outside

Science Experiments to Do

Things to Build

Things to Do with Your Brain

Things to Do in the Kitchen

Things to Draw

Things to Write

Things to Do with Color

Things to Do with Paper

More Things to Do with Recycled Materials

Do Great Things

From the publisher:

The Highlights Book of Things to Do is the essential book of pure creativity and inspiration. Kids ages seven and up will find hundreds of ways to build, play, experiment, craft, cook, dream, think, and become outstanding citizens of the world.

This highly visual, hands-on activity book shows kids some of the best ways to do great things--from practicing the lost arts of knot-tying, building campfires, connecting circuits, playing jump rope, drawing maps, and writing letters, to learning how to empower themselves socially, emotionally, and in their communities. The final chapter, Do Great Things, inspires kids become caring individuals, confident problem solvers, and thoughtful people who can change the world.

So, the next time you hear those deadly seven words, “I’m bored. I have nothing to do,” just reach for your copy of Highlights’ new book. And if you don’t have a copy? You can find it in bookstores or order it online today


Max Elliot Anderson - Adventures and Mysteries for Readers 8 - 13

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Positive Book For Your 8 - 13 Reader Especially At Halloween

Here’s an exciting mystery - adventure for your young reader at Halloween, “Ghosts in the Old Attic” is written from a Christian perspective when the rest of the world focuses on the dark side of witches, ghosts, and evil.


Ghosts in the Old Attic

Author: Max Elliot Anderson

Audience: 8 – 12; especially boys

Words: 31,000

Sam Cooper is about to get the surprise of his life. His parents plan to leave Harper’s Inlet, Florida,  and move to Louisiana, where they will open a bed and breakfast.

When the family arrives, Sam’s cousins have some pretty wild-eyed stories to tell about a “haunted” mansion nearby. He and his cousins begin exploring the creepy place. Where were those noises coming from and the strange lights at night? There is also a rumor that the reason this place is “haunted” is because there is buried pirate treasure hidden someplace. 

As the cousins are investigating, Sam’s parents have been looking for an available property they can afford.

Sam was in for another surprise when he found out about the rundown mansion his parents finally chose to buy. Who is trying to discourage them from moving in and why?

Will the family be able to open the bed and breakfast before it’s too late, or will they lose all their money?

This book is written for readers 8 - 13, especially boys. 


5.0 out of 5 stars

Excellent read explaining "ghosts" in a realistic setting!

"It's okay to be a little scared. But if you wake up every morning and tell God you need Him to help you in your day...He will." What a great theme that runs through Ghosts In The Old Attic (A Sam Cooper Adventure Book 6) by Max Elliot Anderson. This is such a great book for all ages, although I would think middle school kids would related to the adventures of Sam and his cousins.

I particularly liked that the "ghosts" kept the adventure moving, while Dad helped explain that there is a dark side to life which people battle with and accept, but if you dig deep enough you'll always find that God has the real answer you are looking for.

I did jump into this series, but it is a stand alone story, fast paced with easy to like characters with a realistic setting. An excellent read!

GHOSTS IN THE OLD ATTIC is the sixth book in Mr. Anderson's tween boys series, but it stands alone. I read all the books in it except two. Mr. Anderson was the author that helped my youngest son to enjoy reading and even though he writes mainly for reluctant boy readers, girls enjoy his books and my reluctant reader youngest daughter is engaged by his books.

GHOSTS IN THE OLD ATTIC  I figured there was a mystery in there somewhere and there was. I liked the ending, and didn't find the book particularly scary (though a tween might). There are a lot of ghost stories included (which definitely appeal to tween boys) and of course a possible buried treasure ... sure things that will appeal to the reluctant male tween reader on your list.

Another of Max Elliot Anderson's spooky stories, again starring Sam Cooper. I'm thinking kids in their teens will love this. Shoot, I'm in my backwards teens, and I loved it!

Poor Sam! His folks have decided to uproot him from all his friends in Harper's Inlet and drag him all the way to Louisiana. They want to open a bed and breakfast.

As if that wasn't bad enough, they'll probably choose one of those old (aka, historic) mansions with a dozen pirate stories attached to it, along with stories of ghosts and treasure. Sam likes ghost stories in movies and books, but definitely NOT in real life!

His cousins live where they're moving, and Scooter and Shelley introduce him to ... yep, you guessed it ... a haunted house. Which of course they have to explore. After one hair-raising experience, you'd think they'd stay away, but no. Scooter is just all the more fascinated, and Sam doesn't want to be labeled as a scaredy-cat.

Sam Cooper’s parents are moving the family to Louisiana. They want to open and bed and breakfast. Until they can find the perfect house, they are staying with his cousins Scooter and Shelley. Louisiana is known for its ghosts and pirates. Sam’s cousin loves telling Sam many stories. He even takes him to what he deems a haunted house. When Sam hears strange noises and sees strange sights he can’t explain he’s ready to leave. Scooter wants to go back. As luck would have it, Sam’s parents find a house they can afford with the charm they want. Yep, you guessed it. It is the old historic mansion that Sam’s cousin believes is haunted. If it isn’t haunted, then why would someone be trying to keep them out of the house? Loved all the twists and turns in this book. The twist at the end was wonderful. I have read several of the Sam Cooper series and have several on my school shelves. I highly recommend not only these books, but all of this author’s books. It is always a pleasure to read and review them.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Might be my fave so far!

This could be the most exciting one yet. Sam has to say goodbye to his friends in Harper’s Inlet, Florida to move to Louisiana. He gets to meet his Aunt, Uncle and cousins for the first time. His cousin Scooter is fascinated by ghost stories and Baton Rouge, Louisiana has plenty. But there are also tale of pirates—the most famous being Jean Lafitte.

When Sam’s parents decide to buy an old mansion nearby and renovate it into a Bed and Breakfast, the building inspectors tell them they are better off bull dozing the place and starting over.

I think this could be the best Sam Cooper Adventure so far. If you know a middle school boy or girl with questions about ghosts—this is the book to read.

Not just for kids

Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2017

Not just for kids

I really enjoyed reading the book. The writing was age appropriate, filled with humor, and had a good message. I highly recommend this book for middle school age boys. Kids who like pirate stories and ghost stories will especially enjoy the book. Also, some interesting historical elements. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

“When The Lights Go Out” so we never forget.

The events after 9/11 helped to close down my professional video business, led to writing adventures & mysteries for readers 8 - 12, and ultimately writing “When The Lights Go Out” so we never forget.

See the book trailer 

Monday, September 7, 2020

Fetch! & Pounce! Two New Animal Books From National Geographic KIDS


Whether you have dogs, cats, or both, wouldn’t you like to know why they do some of the crazy things they do? And what if you could learn, from experts, how to train them? Well, look no further than Fetch for dogs and Pounce for cats.

Each book is filled with tips, instructions, and ideas, plus there are tons of pictures. Of course, it’s National Geographic. What else would you expect? Though we are pet less now, our house has been filled with dogs and cats over time, and I would have loved these books during those years.

Fetch! A How to Speak Dog Training Guide

From the experts who brought you How to Speak Dog, learn tips and tricks to help train your best friend.

From the publisher: Whether teaching a puppy the basics--such as "sit," "stand," and "stay"-- correcting behavioral problems, or training your pooch to perform more advanced tricks, this comprehensive guide will take you through all the steps to have your canine answering your call in no time. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman, kids will bond with their pups through structured lessons that showcase easy-to-follow instructions and commands. Additional content introduces readers to Hollywood hounds, dogs on the job, and famous canines through history. This "paws-on" guide is perfect for families who are bringing home their very first puppy, or seasoned dog owners who want to teach their longtime four-legged family member a few new tricks.

Pounce! A How To Speak Cat Training Guide 

From the experts who brought you How to Speak Cat, learn all about how to train your favorite feline friend in this fun, interactive guide.

Whether you want to train your kitty to walk on a leash or are trying to teach your cat to scratch a scratching post instead of the couch, this comprehensive guide will take you through all the steps you need to know to get started. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman, kids will learn basic training, corrective training, and tricks they can do with their cats. Fun special features introduce readers to famous trained cats, felines in ancient Egypt, and so much more. This easy-to-use guide is perfect for families who are bringing home a kitten for the first time or just want to teach their longtime feline family member some new tricks. 

Max Elliot Anderson

Saturday, August 29, 2020

REVIEW: Why Do Cats Meow?

It’s been said there are cat lovers and there are dog lovers. Some suggest they love both equally. I tend to be a cat person. Each of these animal groups has its own positives and negatives. Dogs may act like your best friend and shower you with affection. But cats are far more intriguing and complex.

That’s where this new book, Why Do Cats Meow? comes in. If you’ve ever wondered what your cat is thinking, or why it’s doing the things it does, this book can help. 

If there are children in your circle, this book is a treasure trove of information about what cats do and don’t like, what their sounds and actions mean, and so much more.

From the publisher:

Charming and educational, Why Do Cats Meow? will teach you everything you’ve always wanted to know about your furry feline companion.

In this new addition to the Curious Questions About Your Favorite Pets series, children will learn everything they’ve always wanted to know about their cats. This book answers questions like, “How long have people kept cats?,” “Why do cats like scratching chairs?,” “What does ‘meow’ mean?,” and “Do cats have nine lives?”

Combining mythological stories―such as how the superstitions surrounding black cats originated and the prominent role cats played in ancient Egyptian worship―with zoological information, Why Do Cats Meow? is a fun, unique reading experience. Children will learn how best to care for their own pet and come to understand why humans and cats have such a special relationship.

27 color illustrations

Amazon link: 

Max Elliot Anderson

Middle Grade Adventure & Mystery Author