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Encyclopedia Brown Chapter Books

What do you get when you combine an extremely intelligent fifth-grade boy and a strong and savvy fifth-grade girl with a gang of mean boys, a police detective, and a neighborhood full of kids?

You get the sleuthing adventures of the Encyclopedia Brown series!

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch book cover

Who Is Encyclopedia Brown?

Leroy Brown is a boy with above-average deduction skills who is just smart enough to have been given the nickname Encyclopedia by his friends and family.

Encyclopedia is not afraid to stand up to bullies and he likes helping others. He discusses cases with his police detective dad and then he helps solve them. And Encyclopedia solves his own cases, too. Lots of them.

But he doesn’t always work alone. Sally is Encyclopedia’s sidekick. In addition to solving cases together, Sally and Encyclopedia stand up to the meanest boys in town—Bugs Meany and his gang, the Tigers.

Take our free Encyclopedia Brown Checklist to your local library!

About the Author and Series

Award-winning author Donald Sobol (1924-2012) included themes in his Encyclopedia Brown stories that every kid can relate to—wanting to outwit a competitor: finding ways to earn extra money, and hanging out with friends, to name a few. Of course, your kids will be satisfied when Encyclopedia catches the bad guy, but along the way they’ll also discover that they’re strengthening their own sleuthing skills, too. And with more than twenty-five books in the series, your mystery-loving kids will not lack for reading material.

Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day book cover

The Encyclopedia Brown series may not be as eloquently written as The Chronicles of Narnia or The Hobbit, but Donald Sobol’s clever writing has earned his books a place among the most loved of all children’s literature. Sobol sprinkled the pages of his stories with loads of picture-perfect imagery, which is great for young language arts detectives, too! And Sobol’s expert character development weaves a thread of comfort and consistency through the series that keeps kids coming back to Encyclopedia Brown time and again.

About the Books

Each book in the series is a collection of ten solvable mysteries that provide great independent reading for kids in third grade and up. Reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by the length of these short page-turners, and they’ll love that each chapter presents its own open and shut case in just 5-7 pages!

Your younger kids will enjoy listening to the cases during read-aloud time. Encyclopedia Brown audio books are a great way for your family to pass time together on a road trip. But be sure to put your own sleuthing skills to the test before you listen to Encyclopedia’s solution!

If you’re looking for some enjoyable, easy-to-digest chapter books to entice your children into the world of reading, Encyclopedia Brown is a great choice.

Encyclopedia Brown at a Glance

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Midnight Visitor book cover

Author: Donald Sobol
Genre: children’s fiction, mystery
Interests: problem solving, mysteries, suspense
Suggested age range: ages 8-12
Gender preference: boy or girl
In the series: 28 books, 80-100 pages each

Encyclopedia Brown Library Checklist

Encyclopedia Brown Library Checklist Download

Do your kids need a little extra encouragement to read? Take our Encyclopedia Brown checklist to your local library and have your child check off books as he reads them!

Looking for more great chapter books? We’ve got you covered!

FREE Chapter Book Library Lists

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rameshwer yadav

says:

i like mostly.

Jen

says:

Going to get this set for my kiddo— he loves mystery stories!

Shelley

says:

Oooo!! I just bought these for my nephew. Great to hear they get such good reviews. Sounds like they will be perfect for him.

Mary K

says:

These books were a huge help with my son when he was about 10 years old and didn’t want to read anything. My husband suggested these, and my son reading took off.

Mary K

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing how these books helped your son become a reader, Mary K. That is very encouraging!

Mary

says:

These are always a hit in my classroom of 3rd graders. I suggest starting out by reading aloud the first one, and then you have them hooked!

Laurie

says:

I enjoyed these as a child, and now my kids read them.

Trisha

says:

My son would love Encyclopedia Brown!

Jackie

says:

I loved these books as a kid. Thanks for reminding me that they are out there. I’m looking forward to finding some for my son on our next library day.

D.

says:

Thank you I was just becoming aware I was in need of help for ideas for reading for my younger son. This is a timely help.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome. I love when our blog posts are timely help for someone!

Marjorie Anderson

says:

I forgot about these, my son loves mysteries, got to go to the library today :)

Liz

says:

Thanks for the suggestion! My son is now hooked on reading because of this series :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Liz,
This is great to hear!

Jessica

says:

I loved Encyclopedia Brown books when I was younger.

Erin

says:

I loved these as a child and can’t wait till my kids are old enough to read them. Thanks for the checklist!

carrie

says:

Thank you for the recommendation! My older boys used to love reading these books and I needed that reminder to introduce them to my 10 year old.

Chrissy McCarthy

says:

i loved encyclopedia brown as a kid…will have to get my kids to read them.

Amber

says:

I think my son would love these.

Bunny M

says:

I think my 9 yr old boy will love this series! I can’t wait to take him to the library and get him started! I about forgot about these books from my childhood…thank you for your wonderful suggestions!

Hadley Coble

says:

My oldest DD loved these books! I need to introduce my upcoming 5th grader to them this year!

a

says:

My sibs and I loved the original EB books as children!

Karen

says:

Thanks for the recommendation. I would love to learn more about other reading recommendations that could be used to practice reading skills after each AAR level, or between levels. I have purchased Bob Books to use for grade . After we completed AAR Level 1 we followed the sets in order. Both my kiddos read a book each night and really liked that they could read a story aloud to Mom and Dad successfully with little to no struggling. Bob Books readers are a great set to invest in. My suggestion is for Marie Rippel and team, is to come up with a summer reading program for each level. Something that would help avoiding summer slide and practice/maintain reading skills. One book with multiple stories and a student pack.
Thanks,
Karen

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karen,
This is a lovely suggestion! We’ll definitely look into something like this. Thanks for the idea.

In the meantime, here is a list of ideas for additional reading material for after AAR 1 (we have a similar list for after AAR 2, if you are interested). We don’t know of another set of readers that will correlate exactly, so you may have to teach some new patterns (or teach some words as sight words which they’ll later learn are not really sight words). Some possibilities to go along with AAR 1:

Bob books, Sets 1 & 2 (as you are already aware of)

DK Flip the Page Rhyme and Read books: Pat the Cat, Jen the Hen, Mig the Pig, Tog the Dog, and Zug the Bug.

Usborne Very First Readers

Sonlight’s Grade K Fun Tales, and I Can Read It Book 1 (part of it)

Christian Liberty Press readers: It Is Fun to Read, and Pals and Pets

I See Sam Readers (also available for iPad for free)

Reading Teacher

Fun Phonics–the first 3 books

Progressive Phonics – These are free phonics books that can be read online or downloaded and used right away.

We Read Phonics has big pictures with one sentence. Example of level 1 is “Bugs on the Bus”. Example of level 2 is “Which Pet is Best”.

Books by Nora Gaydos (the customer who suggested this said they are expensive but a library might have them).

We Both Read books. On the left hand pages there is text for the parent to read and on the right is text for the kids to read. Here’s an example.

The Core Knowledge LA Kindergarten readers are mostly decodable after AAR/AAS level 1. The readers start at unit 6. Unit 10 (the last Kindergarten unit) has some silent e words, which AAR doesn’t introduce until AAR 2. They’re free to download:
Unit 6
Unit 7
Unit 8
Unit 9

Jo Ann Rawleigh

says:

We absolutely love Hank the Cowdog.

Jeannette

says:

I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books when I was a kid! Another series my kids and I enjoy is The Farm Mystery Series from Castleberry Farms Press.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thanks for the recommendation, Jeannette!

Laura Walton

says:

I’m going to look for these at the library!
They sound like something my son would love. We are currently reading the Poppy series by Avi. We also like to read Geronimo Stilton books.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thanks for the recommendations, Laura! I’ve not seen the Poppy series, but my kids LOVED Avi’s The End in the Beginning. We’ll have to check Poppy out too!

Hélène

says:

I read these as a kid, my older kids read these, and now my younger kids read these and Nate the Great. Love ’em. There are some of each series on tape/cd too for kids who have difficulty learning to read.

Erica

says:

My son loves Nate the Great books. Encyclopedia Brown will be a great series to keep him reading through the summer.

Dana Alvarado

says:

My son has been looking for a new mystery series after finishing all of Geronimo Stilton. This would be great. Thank you.

Sylva

says:

I’ll be checking these out – I heard of the series when I was a child. My son also has enjoyed the Ramona books.

Lauren

says:

I forgot about these – but they would be a perfect read aloud book for my not yet reading 7 year old. Thanks!

Lisa A

says:

My daughter has been using AAS and AAR for 2 years now and she has improved so much that she is now asking to read chapter books! She likes adventures and mysteries so I think she will love this series, the checklist is a great idea.

Frances L

says:

I loved Encyclopedia Brown books as a kid, read them aloud to young friends as a young adult, and now my 7-year-old is discovering them for herself. What fun!

Amy

says:

My boys and I love these books! I have read them aloud, but soon they will be ready to read them themselves. We also love the Beverly Cleary books about Henry Huggins.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amy,
Yes! Henry Huggins is a great next series for a child that has loved Encyclopedia Brown and is ready for more challenge.

Heather B

says:

Thanks for the suggestion – I think my son will love them!

Kate D

says:

I’ve never read these, though Encyclopedia Brown is certainly a name I’m well familiar with!

Jessica

says:

I loved encyclopedia brown and now my daughter does too!

Alyssa

says:

I love a good mystery!

Melanie

says:

I think I remember reading these as a kid! I’m gonna have to find some for my kiddos

Rebecca

says:

I had never heard of these books before. They sound like a great addition to our library and I will be looking more into them. THanks for the recommendation!

Sarah

says:

We are not quite a chapter books yet, but it is in the near future. Thanks for the recommendations!

Lacy

says:

Thanks for the list! Classic chapter books are the greatest.

Laura K

says:

I remember these as a kid and totally forgot about them until now. My guys will love these! Thanks for the list!

Jill Morris

says:

Thank you for the book list, I just reserved the 1st one at my library.

Wendy Clark

says:

My nine year old son LOVES these books. I love them also, as it makes us both put on our thinking caps and the stories are not too long. Perfect for school breaks and outings where we have to wait, like the doctor’s office.

Elizabeth

says:

Oh I loved these books as a child. I’m going to add these to our reading list.

Gina

says:

I am going to take your Encyclopedia Brown checklist to my local library. I plan to print one out for my kids who are interested in reading this series. Thank for this resource!

Bridget

says:

One of my songs absolutely loves Encyclopedia Brown. They’re his favorite books.

Jackie

says:

I read these as a child. I am sure my 3rd grader will love them. Thanks!

Sherri Osborne

says:

We would love to win All About Spelling! My daughter really struggles in this area.

My son will love these! Thanks for sharing!

Rebekah H

says:

Looking forward to getting into this series!

Hayley Croft

says:

Thanks for the recommendation!

Melissa b

says:

I haven’t heard of these books before, but they sounds great! I will add them to our list :)

Pamela H.

says:

I’m looking forward to reading this with my 5 year old. He likes the Flat Stanley chapter books, and I think he might like these as well. Thank you for the library list, I love them. :)

Gale

says:

These look like books my son would love. Pinned for later!

Patty

says:

I loved Encyclopedia Brown! I can’t wait for my kids to read them!

Alison

says:

These will be neat when my kids are older.

Jessica R.

says:

I LOVED these books when I was in Elementary School! Pretty sure I read them all! Thanks for reminding me about them!

Krystle

says:

I’ve never heard if these books before. They seem great, I think my oldest would really enjoy them. :)

cassi walters

says:

I loved reading Encyclopedia Brown as a kid! I hope to pass this love on to my son :)

Paige

says:

Oh these are some of my favorites as a child! I’ll have get some for my son.

Destinee

says:

These sound like great reading material for when my child is old enough to read

Tamara

says:

I’d forgotten all about these! Awesome choice for my boys!

Stacie F

says:

I’m going to “encourage” my son to read some of these. Little tired of seeing all the Goosebumps books around here 👻👻.

Jenny

says:

My son loves these! Great books to get kids hooked on reading.

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