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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

'Encyclopedia Brown' author dies at 87



encyclopedia.jpgI was so sad to read the news that Encyclopedia Brown author Donald Sobol has died at age 87. I loved this series as a kid and so did my boys, which shows you how enduring this character was. Did anyone else have a tough time figuring out the answer to the mystery without turning to the back of of the book?

Our colleague Craig Pittman has written a wonderful tribute to him that you can read here He writes:

The stories are all set in an idyllic beach town called Idaville that is clearly intended to be in Florida. Idaville exists in an era before cell phones and video games, when kids went fishing or rode their bikes for fun.

What helped keep them popular is that they showed how kids could be smarter and more observant than adults. Sobol himself learned that lesson anew in 1990 when second graders in Philadelphia found an error in one of his stories and wrote to him to point it out. He had to change the story.

I loved that even though this series was first written during the Mad Men era, his best ally (and often his bodyguard) was a girl, Sally Kimball.

In 2009, a geek blog called Topless Robot listed the 10 that were most likely to drive readers around the bend: The 10 Most Ridiculously Difficult Encyclopedia Brown Mysteries

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Monday, July 16, 2012 3:46pm]


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