Wednesday, April 25, 2007

2007 Boys and the Boy Crisis

In late 2001, when I decided to begin writing books for boys, I had no idea what was ahead. All I knew was that there appeared to be a need for action-adventures and mysteries that were crafted especially for boys 8 and up.

Now, nearly six years later, the magnitude of the problems that boys face in education is becoming more evident. I’m encountering terms like The Lace Curtain, The Feminization of Education and our culture, and the like.

On July 13 – 14, 2007, The National Men’s Equity Congress will meet again in Washington, DC. This is there third meeting, and the title for this year is:

2007 Boys and the Boy Crisis

You can read more about the conference at

The new book, Whisker Rubs, by Don Otis, is certainly a step in the right direction.

There is a great need for adventure and action in books for boys. These are the things they LOVE to read about. Once publishers figure out how to market books of this kind for boys…look out!

Monday, April 23, 2007

National Turn Off TV Week

April 23 - 29 is National Trun Off TV Week. You can learn more about this efforrt by going to They also have another program called More Reading, Less TV.

So, I’m editing one of my previous posts, which talks about summer reading, to reflect National Turn Off TV Week.

This week, let 'em READ a movie.

Several young readers have reported that reading one of my action-adventures & mysteries is like being in an exciting or scary movie. This comes from my extensive background of dramatic film and video production. My books are first targeted for boys ages 8 - 13. But girls like the books also.

Books are ranked by Accelerated Reader. They can be ordered from Baker & Taylor, and are available on

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, are compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.

So this week, turn off the TV, turn off the computer, and let 'em READ a movie

Max Elliot Anderson
Author Reviews Books for Boys blog
Ranked by Accelerated Reader...Distributed by Baker & Taylor
News release on this subject:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Speaking in Indiana

Had a great time speaking about my books for boys, to 90 fifth-graders, in an elementary school, in Indiana. It was especially fun since the event fell on Friday the 13th. My schools presentations include music and sound effects, so, I made sure to have some extra spooky music for that day.

Students listened as I read two chapters from an unpublished manuscript, then they did a writing exercise. Students were invited to read their paragraphs out loud.

It is extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to speak to students in the age group that I’m writing for, readers 8 – 13, especially boys.

Several students bought books at the conclusion of the presentation.

My special thanks to Chandler Cox, and Mr. Shively!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

This summer, let 'em READ a movie

Young readers, and their parents, have reported that reading one of Max Elliot Anderson’s action-adventures or mysteries is like being in an exciting or scary movie. This comes from his extensive background of dramatic film and video production. Mr. Anderson’s books are written for boys ages 8 – 13, but girls also like his books. His author web site can be found at

Summer vacation is almost here, and with it comes the dreaded announcement, “Mom! I’m bored!” This complaint is usually met with computers, video games, DVDs, or television. But these only work for a limited amount of time. Today, children are being robbed of using their imaginations. Even sending them outside to play would be better than the electronic alternatives. Families going on vacation might take a Max Elliot Anderson adventure or mystery along. Parents of reluctant readers can encourage their children to read a chapter a day during the summer.

Mr. Anderson grew up as a reluctant reader. In fact, he hated to read. Years later he began to research why this had happened. Based on his findings, he has crafted mysteries and adventures that young readers find hard to put down. Because he has spent a lifetime in the production of exciting movies, commercials, and television programs, he brings a unique, visual style to his writing. Nearly 50 pages of reviews can be found at .

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, are compared by readers and reviewers to a modern day Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, or, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London. Each book has completely different characters, setting, and plot. All contain as much excitement and adventure as any reader, 8 and up, can handle. Some families enjoy reading the books together, out loud, so that everyone in the family can enjoy the fun.

Along with heart-pounding action, humor, and excitement, books by Max Elliot Anderson also provide an opportunity to learn about new things. Each book has been well researched, providing an educational experience, without the reader even realizing it. Books are ranked by Accelerated Reader. They can be ordered from Baker & Taylor and Books ordered directly from the author will be signed. He can be easily located by searching on Google or Yahoo.

Growing complaints from parents, teachers, and librarians indicate that there aren’t enough good books for boys, with adventure, danger, and excitement. Max Elliot Anderson writes books for boys and girls.

So this summer, parents might try turning off the TV, or the computer, and let 'em READ a movie by Max Elliot Anderson.

Max Elliot Anderson
P O Box 4126
Rockford, IL 61110
(815) 877-1514

Monday, April 02, 2007


I grew up in a family of four boys and three girls. Two of my sisters were the oldest, and one of the things that drove them crazy was a phrase my father often used to explain why my brothers and I acted as we did. His explanation was clear, simple, and succinct, “Boys will be boys.”

Looking back now, I can see how wise he was. And, at the same time, I remember how happy I was to be a boy, growing up in that house, at that time.

Recently I discovered a new book, WHISKER RUBS, Developing the Masculine Identity, by Don S. Otis, published by Living Ink Books. It mirrors some of the things I’ve learned over the past six years. I especially appreciated the introductory material where Don writes personally about the differences in how his father and mother viewed his growing up years. Of particular significance is the way Don feels that his father pushed him outside of his comfort zone, in order to explore all the possibilities in life.

My own son came to such a place in his life. It was one of the most difficult choices he had to make, causing him to stretch far beyond what he believed he could do. Today he is an attorney in a large law firm in Chicago. Still, I often wonder how his life might have turned out, if he hadn’t had a father who encouraged him to try?

Well, “Whisker Rubs” offers to shine a bright light into the darkness on the subject of boys who, today, are struggling with difficulties related to their own masculinity and self-esteem.

Call it inadvertent, or the law of unintended consequences, but there isn’t any doubt. Today, boys have a serious problem. Much of it comes from the fact that there may not be a positive male role model in their lives. Even though they may be doing their best as single parents, moms can only do their part of the job. A boy needs a man in his life, to teach some of life’s most important lessons.

“Whisker Rubs” in no way denigrates women. The book simply points out the importance of both the feminine and the masculine influences necessary as a boy grows into a man.

“Whisker Rubs” is divided into three main sections. In the first, Stages of Bewilderment, Don takes the reader through the same minefield that boys encounter as they grow up. From there, he tackles the consequences in our society after feminism entered the culture. The final section offers the most hope as it explains what men need in order to feel fulfilled.

“Whisker Rubs” is an important book because it doesn’t simply lay out what’s gone wrong for boys and men in our society. Nor does it lay the blame solely on women or the feminist movement. Don also offers answers and solutions.

I appreciate this because, when I set out to write books, especially for boys, I did so with the same knowledge that boys are different, their interests are different, and their emotional needs are different. There is no way we can cram boys and girls into the same mold. My action-adventures & mysteries, written especially for boys 8 – 13, are filled with danger, excitement, and heart-pounding action.

So far, most publishers have told me that they do better, in the market place, with books that appeal to girls. It is my hope that a book like “Whisker Rubs” will be one of many initiatives that will help swing the pendulum back in the opposite direction from where it is today.

“Whisker Rubs” would be excellent for sociology study at the college level, for study in adult Sunday school classes, in counseling, or for reading by parents today.

Max Elliot Anderson
Author of Action-Adventures & Mysteries, especially for boys.
Author web site
Books for Boys blog
Nearly 50 pages of reviews