The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and his friends, Riley and Jordan.
Here's a perfect series for any middle grade reader, 8 - 13, who is looking for fast-paced, exciting adventures and mysteries. They're perfect for summer reading because these books are relatively short - most just over 100 pages. Readers don't get all bogged down with endless details and descriptions. Each story starts out with a bang and doesn't let up until the last page. Even if you have a reluctant boy reader at home, these books are sure to connect because the author also grew up as a struggling, reluctant reader. Yet, avid readers and girls love reading his books, too.
The Cat Burglars #1
Kurt Benson could hardly believe there had been a burglary, and right in his own neighborhood. He was helping out his friend, Riley Pletcher, whose parents owned Pletcher’s Bed and Biscuit Kennels.
Kurt thought it was odd that his neighbor’s cat, Buffy, had been staying at the kennel while the family was away on vacation. But, when he found out the houses of at least four other Pletcher’s customers had also been hit, his head started spinning.
That was before he saw the copier repairman do something odd. When he thought no one could see him, the man took a sheet of paper from a clipboard on the wall, made a copy, and quickly returned the clipboard to its hook.
Was it possible the repairman had something to do with all those burglaries?
Were they getting ready to strike again?
Can Kurt figure out the mystery in time?
Funny Money Mystery #2
Kurt Benson’s uncle’s house was actually the second story of a building in the center of Main Street. His aunt and uncle ran a bakery downstairs. One thing was for sure, Kurt never had to wonder where his next meal would be coming from.
His friends, Riley and Jordan, helped him make deliveries. Over at Emmett’s shop, they had the man weld two bikes to an old metal cart. He even added a motor. Now they could carry larger loads of baked goodies.
Kurt never missed anything that happened along Main Street because he could look down there from the upstairs window. That’s why, when a van pulled up and men began unloading large boxes, and taking them inside an abandoned storefront, Kurt became suspicious. He and his friends came up with a plan to find out what those men were doing.
After counterfeit twenty-dollar-bills began showing up all over town, the boys set up a high-tech surveillance system to help solve the mystery.
Could it be that the guys across the street were printing all those phony bills?
Will the boys be able to get the evidence before those men figure out what’s happening and leave town?
The Mystery of Grandmother’s
Grandfather Clock #3
Kurt Benson loved to visit his grandparents’ farm. But, not this time. A simple phone call changed everything. His grandfather had been a bomber pilot and, together, they’d built models. When the phone rang, Kurt was nearly finished building the first one that could actually fly.
His grandparents lived a long distance away. When the family finally got there, Kurt and his sister Olivia found out that their grandfather had died. But the biggest shock was that someone may have been responsible for it.
So, Kurt, Olivia, and their cousins set out to discover the truth. What they find is that someone had been threatening the old man and now they were trying to scare Kurt’s grandmother.
His grandfather had left some clues, but they didn’t make sense to Kurt until he noticed a mirror. He also found that someone in the county office had been tampering with property records and several people had already lost their farms…but why?
Summer Camp Trouble #4
Kurt Benson and his friends Riley and Jordan used to look forward to summer camp each year up in Wisconsin. But that was before the camp opened up to kids who came from some pretty rough homes a couple of years ago.
Then, this summer, things got a little more interesting when a rich kid showed up. He didn’t come by bus, minivan, or car like most campers. This guy arrived in a helicopter. Plus, his suitcases were filled with candy bars and other things he used to get kids to do things for him.
This summer, some of the roughest boys Kurt had ever seen came to camp. Right from the start, they caused all kinds of trouble.
Then, one night, there was a huge explosion as fireworks went off. They were supposed to hit Kurt’s cabin, but something went terribly wrong.
Why did Kurt risk his own safety to save the life of one of the worst guys at camp? His actions would change Rudy’s life from that point on.
Danger Mountain #5
Kurt Benson’s cousin Dillon lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Dillon McDonald’s father owned an outfitter’s shop in the village there. One day Dillon hoped to work for a mountain rescue team. But for now, he and his friends Pete and Wayne were planning their first practice hike. It was only supposed to be for a short distance, and then they’d return the same day. Kurt was coming to Colorado with his father on a business trip.
Dillon’s father had often warned him to stay away from Danger Mountain. That’s because climbers would hike toward it, but never return.
Just before the boys left the outfitter shop, even before sunup on the day of their first mountain hike, a strange group of men started out ahead of them. Dillon’s father had rented the men almost everything except the mules. Kurt hoped he wasn’t about to get into another accidental adventure, but was he ever wrong!
Early into their hike, the boys left the main trail so they could get a glimpse of Danger Mountain. And that’s when they saw some of those same men chasing another man up to the edge of a cliff. A shot rang out, and the man went over the side.
Shadow of the Fat Man #6
Kurt Benson and his friends, Riley and Jordan, helped out sometimes at Weaver’s Hardware Store. It only filled half of the building. The other half housed a restaurant. Both businesses shared a common basement. And, it was in that basement where Kurt and his friends overheard a plot for a bank robbery. Any time Kurt got excited recently, his eye twitched. And right then, it was twitching something awful.
The men upstairs agreed to meet again in the same booth, so, Kurt and his friends decided to be there to listen in on their plans.
Kurt wanted to tell what he knew, but, for the moment, he wasn’t exactly sure what the plan was, when it would happen, or who the men were. His father had always warned him not to do or say anything that might make the family look bad.
The boys overheard the plans where the crooks intended to steal the money from a vault, stick it into plastic, trash bags, and toss those bags into a waiting garbage truck that one of the gang would have out in the alley.
When they tried to tell their story to the police chief, he informed them that he can’t arrest anyone simply for what he thinks they might do.
Now it’s up to Kurt, Riley, and Jordan, in another accidental adventure, to catch those robbers in the act…but how?
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Bio for Max Elliot Anderson
Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a struggling, reluctant reader and has spent most of his life in the production of documentary and dramatic films, client videos, and television commercials. Most of his previous writing includes adventures and mysteries that bring the same visual excitement, and heart-pounding action from those productions into his books for middle grade readers 8 and up.
While producing video programs and commercials for clients, he observed the important role humor played in many different situations. The Sense of Humor is a culmination of those experiences and observations, and is intended to help people understand the power a positive sense of humor offers.
Mr. Anderson is listed in Who’s Who in America and his productions have won multiple Telly Awards. He and his wife Claudia have two children and four grandchildren.