Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown #1)

by Donald J. Sobol

Paperback, 1985



Call number




Yearling (1985), Edition: Reissue, 128 pages


Fifth-grader "Encyclopedia" Leroy Brown solves ten mysteries and, by putting the solutions at the back of the book, challenges the reader to do the same.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kimmclean
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective is the story of a 10 year old boy detective who outsmarts his father, Police Chief Brown by solving mysteries before he does. The book I reviewed was copyrighted 1963, but had a modern cover to entice today’s readers. Encyclopedia Brown’s real name is Leroy
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Brown but since his “head was like an encyclopedia” he became known in town by his nickname. The book reads like a story, but each chapter is divided into mysteries that his father takes on as Chief of Police. Encyclopedia Brown also runs the Brown Detective Agency, helping his friends with their cases by charging them “25 cents per day plus expenses.” Each chapter, interspersed with black and white lined sketches, provides us with an introduction to a mystery along with some clues. At the end of each chapter, Encyclopedia has solved the crime but we don’t know how exactly. For answers we need to turn to a designated page to get a full page solution. Upper elementary school readers will enjoy the short chapters and the clever thinking that the mysteries entail. The plot is rather thin and the characters shallow, but the emphasis is on quick mysteries with thoughtful solutions. A fun, although sometimes dated read.
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LibraryThing member TheMightyQuinn
Leroy Brown is so smart everyone calls him Encyclopedia and when he starts helping his father, the chief of police, solve crimes a boy detective is born. The book is presented as a collection of short riddles tied together by the common story of the protagonist, Encyclopedia. The 10 page mysteries
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are left solved, but unsolved, so the reader has a moment to figure it out on their own before flipping to the back to find the answer. This book has definite appeal, especially to mystery lovers, as part of a long series, and containing short sections for readers at different reading levels. The 'fringe' content might be getting out of date even though the cover has been revamped. Readers in grades 1-5, boys and girls.
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LibraryThing member aengle
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective is a fun and engaging collection about a pretty clever main character, Encyclopdia. The book includes a series of short mysteries in which students are encouraged to solve on their own before turning to the page in which it gives Encyclopedia's figuring.
LibraryThing member bmaiello
The first book in the Encyclopedia Brown series introduces the characters and is comprised of short mystery stories with the solutions in the back. A very fun book!
LibraryThing member catieanderson4
I thought that this book was very good. I would not read the entire series because the concept gets really repetitive but reading one or two was good. I would definitely reccomend this book for people in 3rd to 5th grade.
LibraryThing member Venqat65
This is the book that started it all. What a wonderful book and a wonderful series that builds up the children who read these! Stimulates the mind and gives children a great role model.
Education is good!!!
LibraryThing member DWWilkin
I never read this as a child. And that may be why I don't find it so enchanting. Perhaps I should have.

In my quest to read the best literature this came up as an acquisition for my iPad. Easy to store and add to my collection. And then I started to read it.

Amazon says that it is for ages 7 and up.
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I should have noted that. It is not like the Hardy Boys, but written as a series of puzzles for the reader to guess the answer. Short three to five page teasers.

For a child, it is probably enjoyable. For an adult, we have much greater puzzles to solve than these.
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LibraryThing member tomfriesejr
My all-time favorite series of books from my childhood.
LibraryThing member jessy555
genre: realistic fiction
critique of genre: This is a good example of realistic fiction because it has people and events that really could be here and do the same things. Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, has a knack for solving mysteries around his town and often helps his father, the police chief,
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figure out troublesome crimes over dinner.
Characterization: Leroy Brown is a pretty rounded character even though the stories are short, we get a little background about him in the beginning of the book and then his expressions and thinking process is explained to us throughout his mystery solving episodes.
Media: pen and ink
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LibraryThing member AlCracka
A sudden fit of nostalgia prompted me to buy and read this. It took like half an hour. It was pretty fun! I love the old-school vision of America, sorta Tom Sawyer-y, where boys spun eggs for fun and 25 cents was a treasure.

Most of the mysteries are not as mysterious as I remember them. You know
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how each story ends with "How did Encyclopedia Brown solve the case? Flip to page 80 to find out!" and you gotta figure out what his big clue was? Well, it's generally pretty obvious. One of them got me but it was totally cheap. And the last one, where you figure it out because "As every one knows," a hard boiled egg spins faster than a raw one? Yeah, I didn't know that. Although I figured it out anyway from context and because I'm a f*ck*ng genius.

Anyway, it was a fun way to kill half an hour. Sure, it's worth buying for your ten-year-old.
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LibraryThing member EGeraci
I read Encyplopedia Brown and I thought that it was very exciting. Once you start reading a mystery you are just drawn in and want to find out the answer. When you see the title of the next mystery, you just wonder what it is and want to start reading it. If you like mysteries I suggest this book a
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LibraryThing member EliW6
the book was about all of encyclopedias caces. my favorite one was the cace of the gym bag. the cace was pritymouch two people arguing. l like mesteres because they mack you think.
LibraryThing member lkmuir
Fifth-grader "Encyclopedia" Leroy Brown solves ten mysteries and, by putting the solutions at the back of the book, challenges the reader to do the same.
LibraryThing member emilyesears
Another series that I read throughout childhood--never managed to solve any of the cases on my own though. Enjoyable reading.
LibraryThing member electrascaife
A young boy with amazing observational skills solves neighborhood crimes for his friends and helps his dad, who is a policeman.
I think I read this one as a kid, but I didn't remember much about it. We loved it, though. It's particularly cool to read alongside Sherlock Holmes, of course.
LibraryThing member CassieWinters
This was a fun, simplistic read. Of course at my age most of the solutions to the cases were easily solvable, but the stories were still very much enjoyable. I had never read these growing up and got them for the sake of seeing what they were about. I can say this first one surprised me because I
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enjoyed it a lot. I wouldn't mark it as a favorite, but it was definitely worth my time to read once in my lifetime.
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LibraryThing member agrudzien
Leroy Brown knows so much, he's known as Encyclopedia Brown. When his dad, a police detective, needs help solving a local mystery, Encyclopedia discoveres a talent for cracking cases. The first in the series, each chapter is its own mystery which is explained in the back of the book.

Some of these
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were a little far fetched, but for the most part this would be a great book for teaching students how to look for clues and foreshadowing in mystery texts. There wasn't enough meat to each mystery for me to really get into it, but I could see young readers enjoying the instant gratification of each mystery being solved in under ten minutes.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

7.6 inches



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