Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Barney and the Runaway Update

The publisher of Barney and the Runaway reports that work continues on the book cover design which I should see soon.

They plan to have samples of the finished book ready for their distributor to present to bookstores and other buyers by the end of this summer.

Then the additional 7 republished titles should follow soon after. They include, Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big Rig Rustlers, Secret of Abbott’s Cave, & Legend of the White Wolf.
These are books that will especially appeal to boys 8 - 13. I'll keep you posted.


Barney and the Runaway

Author: Max Elliot Anderson

Audience: 8 – 12; especially boys

Barney and the Runaway tells the story of Michael Ellis, who has recently told his parents to start calling him Mike from now on. He especially hated the way they were always telling him what to do. Mike decides to teach his parents a lesson by pretending to run away for a day with his dog Barney.

The plan of running away gets a bit more complicated than planned when Mike and Barney hide in a railroad boxcar, fall asleep, and end up in Georgia with a circus in the middle of the night. Good thing for the runaways, Big Bob the Clown takes Mike and Barney to safety in his wagon. Mike decides that living and performing with the circus might be a good idea until Big Bob opens Mike’s eyes to his unfortunate past.

Mike’s encounter with this grown up runaway, in the circus, helps him to understand that his parents truly love him. Then Mike and Barney save the circus. Through it all, Mike learns the importance of family.

Parents often punish their children, but only because they love and want what is best for them, not because they don’t care. Even though the life of a circus performer with a circus family may appear fun, if given a choice, most would agree that living in a warm home with loving, caring parents is the preferred choice. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” After Mike overhears some unsettling news and both he and Barney are involved in a scary and dangerous crime.

Will Mike learn his lesson before it’s too late?

Books for boys that girils love reading too.

FACEBOOK -!/max.e.anderson


Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Ever Happened to Imagination? asked if I would write an article about tweens and the importance of reading - especially for boys. It's called,  What Ever Happened to Imagination?
The focus of this article is on the difference between all of the electronic entertainment options that kids have, compared to the value of time spent reading. You can find the article at

Max Elliot Anderson

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Christian Retailing Magazine

Christian Retailing Magazine
to highlight 
Lost Island Smugglers
in August issue.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Valley of the Giant

No, not a real giant. I mean the Jolly Green Giant.

One of the things that brings added interested to the books I write for kids, is the many experiences I’ve had while working on film or video productions.

In 2007 the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Soldier Field,in Chicago, o cover a Bears VS Cowboys game. My work has taken me all over the world. I’ve had some pretty terrifying experiences, and many wonderful times too.

A few weeks ago, I worked on a corporate video program for Green Giant which is owned by General Mills. I’m not allowed to talk about the particulars, nor to share any pictures of their packaging lines, and had to sign a confidentiality agreement first. But it was fascinating.

What I can tell you is that I now know how Nature Valley bars are made, how Steam Fresh vegetables are prepared and packaged, and a whole lot more.

Barney and the Runaway, which comes out later this year, has its roots in a dramatic film for children that I worked on several years ago. The publisher of that book will also be re-releasing Big Rig Rustlers, The Secret of Abbott’s Cave, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, and Legend of the White Wolf. All of these stories are the direct results of film production experiences, or the travel involved in producing films and video pograms.

Hopefully these kinds of experiences will help to make my books more interesting to young readers.

And remember, Lost Island Smugglers will be released this August.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lost Island Smugglers Coming Soon!

As my new book, Lost Island Smugglers - Book # 1 in the new Sam Cooper Adventure Series for readers 8 - 13 - comes closer to its release in august, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

FACEBOOK -!/max.e.anderson


If you'd like to be added to my emailing list for news on additional books due out this year, send your request to  and mark it Mailing List.

Thank you.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reading Helps for dyslexia, autism, Asperger's, ADD, and More!

From the time our children were very young, my wife became a regular customer at a local, educational store, primarily frequented by professional educators. But I have to credit her for her efforts. There was no way she would be satisfied with leaving the education of our kids completely to others. By the time they each reached kindergarten, their little minds had already been bombarded by flash cards, phonics, math exercises, and other education aids.

When I first learned about Child1st, it took me back to those earlier days. We would have loved the products from this company for our children.

In addition, since I grew up hating to read, and now my emphasis is in helping others to enjoy reading, I’ve recognized how important it is for children to get a strong foundation in phonics, and in early reading. Child1st will help to provide that solid foundation in your children.

Child1st products are specifically designed for visual learners and other right brained learners; those labeled with dyslexia, autism, Asperger's, ADD; and those who struggle with reading comprehension. The products are also highly effective in teaching beginning readers, providing them with the essential foundation for future learning.

After many years teaching everything from preschool to college and developing products along the way to meet observed needs, Sarah Major resigned from fulltime teaching in 2006 in order to devote herself to Child1st. What began as a small business in her Florida home quickly grew, gaining friends and customers all over the world. By 2008 the business expanded to a new facility in North Carolina, and added several staff.

SnapLetters™ Kit (ABC-Kit)

This kit contains everything you need to give your children a solid base in letter recognition, sound/symbol correlation, and writing the letters. Includes:

• Alphabet Tales

• SnapLetters™ Display Alphabet

• SnapLetters™ Teaching Cards

• Alphamats, 6-pack

• Writing the Visual, Kinesthetic, and Auditory Alphabet

Display Alphabet (ABC-D) SnapLetters™

Display these SnapLetters™ in alphabetical order in your classroom at home or school so children can see each letter in context. This product comes with Writing the Visual, Kinesthetic, and Auditory Alphabet, a booklet of mini-lessons that reinforce letter shape and sound, demonstrate a hand-motion for each letter for kinesthetic learners, and end with an activity to drive learning deeper. 8.5" tall by 11" wide.

Easy-for-Me™ List A Books provide reading practice for children learning their basic sounds and 83 sight words (List A and Numbers & Colors), Easy-for-Me™List B Books provide reading practice for 59 additional sight words plus long vowel spellings, digraphs, and much more. Inside covers provide the teacher with a lesson to use in teaching the sounds, sight words, and phonics concepts.

Our son became an attorney and our daughter teaches 2nd grade. I attribute much of their success to the foundational work my wife did with them. I believe that the Child1st product line can help your child too.

For more information go to

Sample products were provided for this review

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just A Few More Weeks...NEW Book Release

In just a few more weeks, my newest book will be released!

Lost Island Smugglers is Book #1 in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series. This is an exciting story for readers       8 – 13 about three boys, Sam, Tony, & Tyler who go deep sea diving, face the most ferocious, tropical storm of their lives, and uncover an international drug smuggling ring.

Port Yonder Press is the publisher under the SharksFin imprint. The next two books planned for the series are Captain Jack’s Treasure and River Rampage.

Lost Island Smugglers is scheduled for release in August. Watch this blog for more information.

Max Elliot Anderson

"Sam Cooper Adventures are like good, family movies . . . as an ordinary kid finds himself in exciting and extra-ordinary adventures!"  Bill Myers - Author

"Max Elliot Anderson brings a lifetime of dramatic film and video production to the pages of his action adventures and mysteries." Jerry B. Jenkins, Author

Follow the Lost Island Smugglers update page for more details and reader comments as they develop

Monday, June 07, 2010

Unique Honey Flavors

I started a little side business, and I do mean little, several years ago. It began when I was unable to find a line of honey products I had enjoyed when I lived in Indiana. My wife and I even resorted to buying it, through the mail, from the company, in half-gallon quantities.

The company is called Laney Honey. I've been distributing their products to a few area stores here in Rockford, IL. Today was my first round of deliveries for this month, and I'll finish on Tuesday.

What's unique about Laney Honey products is that the flavors are based on where the bees are kept. The line includes flavors like Blueberry Blossom, Basswood, Clover, Wildflower, and a dozen or more others. They aren't actually in those flavors, but the texture, color, and distinct flavors differ, depending on where the hives were kept. The packaging colors help customers find their favorites.

Most national honey brands mix everything they buy together, cook it, filter the end product, and it has an extensive shelf-life as a result. But Laney Honey keeps their honeys separate, and bottles them according to where they originated. They are minimally cooked and filtered. Consequently, they turn back to sugar faster than the national brands. But that's okay, all you have to do is heat it up in the microwave, or a pan of warm water.

Honey has been brought out of tombs in Egypt, where it became solid as a rock over generations. Even that honey turned back to liquid after heating. Honey, and the process that bees go through to produce it, are fascinating subjects to study. There are tons of sites online with more information.

This is the taste that got me started in the first place. It comes from Star Thistle which grows wild in Michigan. But this is the lightest, sweetest honey I have ever tasted.

Laney Honey is distributed to a number of Kroger stores in the Midwest. If you're interested in knowing more about Laney Honey, you can go to  You can even order from them if that's of interest. If you do that, and then do a side-by-side taste test,!

Disclaimer - I am a wholesale distirbutor for Laney Honey

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Amazing Bird Story With Pictures

Today I had another amazing bird adventure.

This time, my wife and I were out in the front of the house doing yard work. She looked down at the ground and asked, “Is that a bird?” I came closer and, sure enough, a baby bird struggled to turn itself over.

“Did it just fall?” I asked.

“Yes,” she answered, "and it landed right next to my foot!"

I looked all over in the tree, but couldn’t find the nest. So we left the baby on the ground, to see if the parents might lead me to the nest.

And I marked the place, where the baby had landed, with a stone.

Soon the parents began flying in and out, taking turns feeding the little guy, while he still sat on the ground. Of course, there was no way we could leave him there, especially through the night.

The parents continued to feed him there until a chipmunk arrived to see what was going on. Every time he came too close, the parents chased him away. And we have a cat too.

What to do, what to do?

I decided to make a new nest, and see if the parents would accept it before completing my plan.

Taking a pot liner, and filling the bottom with grass, I headed around to the front again.

I had already put on a pair of rubber gloves so my scent wouldn’t be on the bird, the potliner, or the new grass inside.

I knelt down, placed the pot liner on its side, took a small stick, and rolled the baby inside. Immediately he opened his mouth and began yelling for food. Isn't that just like a new baby?

After placing the nest next to the stone, I went inside to see what the parents would do next.

They approached the new potliner nest with caution at first, then accepted it and began making their regular tips to find food and bring it back to their baby. Anyone know what kind of bird this is?

During each stage of the operation, the parents remained very close by as they watched what I did at every step. A few times, one of them stood only about five feet away. They didn’t yell at me, nor attack. It was almost as if they understood that I was trying to help in some way.

After it was clear that they had accepted the nest, and while they watched from nearby, I raised the pot liner up into a branch and secured it with wire.

Then it was back inside again to watch. Instantly they began flying to the nest’s new location, safe up in the tree, and now they have resumed feeding their little one as if he’d never fallen out of the tree in the first place.


PS. Update - Yes, Kathleen's husband is correct. I checked my bird book and these are Chipping Sparrows

Update on Friday, June 4 - I just went outside to take a quick look at the nest. As I lifted a mirror above the rim of the potliner, one of the parents rushed out. So it's clear that my rescued baby will survive.

Update - Saturday, June 5 - 6:52 AM - Went out to check the nest. Now I have to get a ladder in order to see over the top, and take a picture. As I climed up, and lifted the camera over the nest, again the mother fluttered out, and this is what I saw inside.

I intend to update with a new picture each day. Just don't want to upset the mother too much.

Update - Sunday, June 6 - 6:58 AM - So...last night, the wind roared, and torrential rain fell, as heavy storms rumbled through our area. You can imagine, I was pretty worried about the baby bird and his mother. Even though I'd wired their nest to the branch, and placed it under larger branches above, I still watched the place like a hawk. It seemed as if I peered out the window to check on it, every five minutes. Each time I aimed my flashlight out toward the pot liner, I felt relief, seeing that it hadn't blown away, or crashed to the ground below.

The pot liner I chose has holes in the bottom, so, even if some of the rain invaded their temporary home, the baby and his mother weren't in danger of drowning. Because I built it, that nest was for the birds anyway. What do I know about building a bird's nest? I was just wingin' it.

I thought about the mother, and hoped the thunder and lightning wouldn't egg her on until she flew the coop. After all, these are my peeps. And the small guy, what must have been going through his little bird brain as he experienced his first thunderstorm? He was out there, in the dark, taking his first birdbath, too...a shower really.

Like birds of a feather - which they are of course - the two must have stuck together as they rode out the storm because here's what I found this morning.

No adults were in the nest as I climbed my ladder, and they yelled at me this time as I took the picture. How quickly they forget : ))

Update - Monday, June 7 - 9:56 AM - Sad end to an otherwise fun story.

It's been pretty cold the past two nights, and we've had heavy rain. I had another commitment this morning, so I was a little late taking the next picture in the sequence for this story. As I prepared to post it, I noticed that the bird was in the exact position in today's picture as yesterday morning, there had been no development of his feathers, and the parents didn't come around like before.

I went back outside, climbed up the ladder, and looked inside. Then I nudged the bird with a stick. He didn't move.

At least I didn't run over him with my lawnmower, and our cat didn't get to him. But I would love to have seen him fully develop, and fly away. 

Maybe next time.  : ((