Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Boys Project

I’d like to direct your attention to a web site called The Boys Project This organization is directed by Dr. Judith Kleinfeld. Dr. Kleinfeld and I shared pages in the October, 2006, issue of Education Matters, a publication of the Association of American Educators Additional information is available at Dr. Kleinfeld’s personal web site

The Boys Project has an impressive board of directors, which suggests the seriousness surrounding the subject of boys, education, books for boys, and reading. Their web site describes Dr. Kleinfeld this way. “Judith Kleinfeld has published widely on gender issues, including the groundbreaking article, "The Myth That Schools Shortchange Girls," and has received awards from several associations for her work on gender equity.”

As I began writing books for boys, I had no idea that an organization like The Boys Project existed, nor did I have an understanding of the enormity of the potential market for my books. To date, however, it has been an interesting challenge to convince publishers that this is, indeed, a mammoth growth area.

I will always be grateful to Dr. Marvin Baker, and Paul Trittin, who recognized the need, and published my first seven titles. These men often travel to homeschool and school conventions where they find enthusiastic responses from parents, teachers, and administrators like the following:

- “You can imagine my delight when I became aware of the work of prolific author Max Elliot Anderson. Aimed at readers, ages eight through thirteen, Anderson’s books are filled with action packed adventure and each contain important moral messages as well. My son was attracted immediately to the latest book, Legend of the White Wolf, which is billed as ‘a wonderful mixture of Indian lore, truth, God’s love and redemption, and adventure.’ As a mother, it’s great to be able to offer my child a book by which he will be both edified and engrossed. Max Elliot Anderson is a light for parents looking to teach their children both a love of reading and sound Christian principles.”

- “I can't believe it the concerned mother of two struggling readers...who is also the daughter of a children's librarian ... I think I have purchased EVERY book recommended for reluctant readers HOWEVER, they have ALL fallen short UNTIL today. We were able to purchase Newspaper Caper...and we're hooked!!!"

- "This year, we started with your Legend of the White Wolf. The students are already finished with it. Our school only planned on using three of your books for the whole year. Now we’ll have to buy more titles.” - Teacher

- "At last we've found something that will interest him in reading."

- "Oh, these are THAT guy's books...thanks, Mom!...I want to read them!"

- “The final lights out came at 9:30pm and he complied and shut the lights out and "went to bed". It was later that we found out that he grabbed his flashlight and under his covers finished reading the book that night. What can a parent say to that behavior? After searching for interesting books for him to read we finally found books that he couldn't put down.”

- "It is a joy to see our students, especially boys, asking for more!” - Principal

- “I can recommend every book without hesitation. While reading “Terror at Wolf Lake” I had trouble putting the book down. Max Elliot Anderson, the author of the series, has a unique ability to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. As a grandparent I am encouraged that the book creatively and appropriately weaves Christian character traits and biblical principles through the life of the main character and his friends. Parents, you will find this true of every book.” - School administrator

It’s encouraging for me, as an author, to get comments like these, and to know that my books are touching the young lives I envisioned, when I began this journey in 2001.


Mel said...

Hello Max. I have seen your posts on Valerie's Yahoo bookroom and on the Trivium Pursuit loop too I believe. It sounds great to write for that particular group-reluctant boy readers. I have one of those. He is 9 but probably not even ready yet for one of your books. He loves to listen to books. I read aloud to him and so does my oldest son, 13, who loves to read. My daughter,5, is reading like a house on fire and I'm guessing my 9 yr old finds this a bit discouraging. We just keep plugging away at the reader. Maybe another year or so for his interest to kick in?
We'll have to see if we can get a couple of your books to give a try.
--Melanie--a reader!!

max said...

Hi Mel.

I've heard parents say that they took one of my books and began reading aloud to their reluctant reader. After the first 2 or 3 chapters, they ask if their child would like to take it from there. Many have, so you might try that.

Most chapters end with a cliffhanger that almost forces the reader to go on.