Sunday, September 30, 2007

Secret of Abbott's Cave

Welcome to the first sample chapter from one of my action-adventures & mysteries, written especially for boys 8 – 13. Girls like them too. Each Monday, from now through November 12, I’ll post a different sample chapter from one of the books.

A detective, a police scanner, and a cave offered possibilities for danger and excitement. Who are the real heroes in America? Randy and his friends go cave exploring, discover the hidden loot from a bank robbery, and learn they aren't heroes at all.

Today’s chapter comes from SECRET OF ABBOTT’S CAVE. The story takes place in Virginia where a group of boys have pooled their money to buy a police scanner. They never imagined the adventure this would bring into their lives.

I hope you enjoy this part of the story. If you’re interested in the book, it is available on Amazon or directly from me, and I sign all direct ordered copies when you write to:

Max Elliot Anderson

P O Box 4126

Rockford, IL 61110

Books are $10.95 each. Shipping and handling is $5 for up to 3 books, and $10 for 4 or more. Check or money order only.

I hope to see your comments after you've read a chapter.

Chapter 7

By four-fifteen three bikes lay sprawled in Randy’s back yard.
Rufus went out in the shed earlier with Randy, but when the others arrived, Rufus left.
“How come your dog doesn’t stay around any more when we come over?” Stewart asked.
“I’ve always told you Rufus acts like he understands English. I think it has something to do with the first club meeting we had.”
“Why, what happened?” Jeff asked.
“Don’t you remember? We voted to make him our bomb-sniffing dog.”
Rufus wasn’t the brightest puppy in the litter. Randy always thought his dog was a few biscuits short of a full box. But every time the boys came over for their weekly meeting, Rufus ran recklessly off in the opposite direction. At least he had enough sense to know he didn’t care to get close to anything that might blow him into next week.
From inside the shed the boys chattered like they always did. Randy already had the scanner on with the sound turned up full blast. But so far they only heard that annoying static.
Stewart looked over at the scanner, then he looked up toward the ceiling of the shed and shouted, “Come on full moon, don’t let me down.”
Everyone laughed. They continued packing their sleeping bags, backpacks, and supplies.
“Where are we going to sleep?” Hal asked.
“It isn’t supposed to be very cold tonight so I thought we could make a campsite out by the woods not too far from the cave. That way we can start exploring first thing in the morning,” Jeff said.
Hal and Stewart started packing two ends of the same rope into their backpacks. It looked a little like a couple of people eating one strand of spaghetti at the same time. When they get to the middle there was going to be trouble. Finally Hal gave one last tug on the rope and the other half of it started coming out of Stewart’s bag.
“Hey,” Stewart complained, as only Stewart knew how, “what do you think you’re doing?”
They looked at the rope both were trying to pack and started laughing.
“It’s a good thing we aren’t getting ready to go sky diving,” Randy joked. “Because I wouldn’t want you two anywhere near my parachute.”
“Hurry up you guys,” Jeff insisted. “My dad’s going to be here any minute with his truck to take us to the farm. You’d better be ready or we’ll have to leave without you.”
“Don’t tempt me,” Stewart shot back.
They were down to just a few more things to pack. Randy tried to make sure everyone had equal weight to carry. Then he said, “There isn’t anything happening around here. I’m going to switch to the state police channel. I looked it up last night.”
“So much for our full moon,” Stewart grumbled.
The static pattern changed a little after Randy tuned in the state police. It seemed like nothing was going to happen there either. But then, all of a sudden they heard it.
First there were several tone sounds like an alert of some kind. All four sets of eyes turned immediately to that sound.
“What was that?” Stewart asked.
“Shhh!” the others went at the same time.
Dispatcher: "Adam 52, Adam 53. 10-93, alarm at Dominion State Bank."
Adam 52: "10-4."
Adam 53: "10-4."
Dispatcher: “2Sam20, did you copy the traffic on the alarm?
2Sam20: "10-4, I’m 10-35 now.”
At that moment four mouths dropped open at the Hilton Park Road Detective Club.
“I don’t think I like this,” Stewart growled.
“Like it? I love it!” Jeff screamed.
Dispatcher: "2Adam 52 and 53."
Adam 52: "10-4,
Adam 53: "10-4".
Then the alert tone sounded again like before.
Dispatcher: " All units, valid alarm, left west bound from the bank lot in a blue, older model sedan, no plate information, 2 white males, with ski masks, armed with shotguns, suspect #1, 5'10" med build, wearing blue pants and black shirt, suspect #2 6"2", slender, wearing white shirt and jeans.
“Wow!” Hal said in a whisper.
“You said it,” Randy answered.
Adam 53: "10-23 will get further."
Dispatcher: "copy, 52?"
Adam 52: "10-4."
Dispatcher: "FBI and King 16 will be in route."
“Guys,” Jeff exclaimed, “this is big, I’m telling you…really big!”
Adam 52: "10-35.”
“It all happened so fast I didn’t have a chance to get the police radio codes I printed out. But one thing I heard didn’t need any code. She said the FBI,” Randy gasped in a trembling voice, “The F…B… I!”
Adam 53: “53 to station.”
Dispatcher: “Go ahead.”
Adam 52: I’ve got a 10-57 blue sedan over here at 19th Street West and Jefferson. Doors are open, no suspects.
Another tone came screaming over the scanner.
Dispatcher: “All units be advised, suspects have abandoned vehicle. Alert all jurisdictions, suspects are in another vehicle, headed for the Interstate.”
“They got away?” Stewart asked. “They got away.” He whispered.
“That means they could be anywhere,” Randy said.
“Yeah and I don’t think it’s such a great idea…us sleeping out in the dark on a farm someplace with bank robbers on the loose,” Stewart grumbled.
“That’s stupid,” Jeff said. “My uncle’s farm is in the middle of nowhere.”
“My point exactly,” Stewart said, folding his arms in defiance.
“By morning they’ll probably be a thousand miles away from this place,” Jeff assured.
Just then they heard the loud roar of an engine as someone pulled up outside the shed. Stewart ran in a corner and hid behind some boxes.
“What is wrong with you?” Jeff asked. “You’re shaking like a paint can in a hardware store’s mixing machine.”
“It’s the robbers. I know it is,” Stewart wailed. “You heard it. They’ve got shotguns.”
“So what?” Hal demanded.
“You don’t even have to aim a shot gun. When one of those things goes off it can hit everything in sight,” Stewart sputtered.
The door to the shed slowly opened. The grinding of the old rusty hinges only added to Stewart’s worries. All eyes were glued to those worn, weathered boards. All eyes, that is except Stewart’s. His were closed so tight it would take dynamite to get them open.

Author web site:

50 pages of reviews

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Watch This Blog on Monday!


I will post a sample chapter from one of my action-adventures or mysteries on Each Monday from October 1 through November 12.

Chapters will come from my 6 published books, NEWSPAPER CAPER, NORTH WOODS POACHERS, MOUNTAIN CABIN MYSTERY, BIG RIG RUSTLERS, SECRET OF ABBOTT'S CAVE & LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF, which 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.

After you read the chapter, and want to know more, the books may be ordered from Amazon, or you can get them directly from me, and I sign all books ordered directly from:

Max Elliot Anderson
P O Box 4126
Rockford, IL 61110

Books are $10.95 each. Shipping and handling is $5 for up to 3 books, and $10 for 4 or more.
Check or money order only.

See you on Monday with the first chapter!


Friday, September 28, 2007

The Fun Part

Last week I had the opportunity to speak in two schools. My program uses music and sound effects to help awaken the imagination in the students’ minds. It’s always fun to stand in front of them while, with their eyes closed, they listed to a piece of music. These music clips can be sad, funny, scary, or tranquil. Expressions on each face tell the story of what they are seeing in their own minds.

We conclude by reading two chapters from an unpublished manuscript. They are instructed to write a paragraph about what will happen next, how the story will go later on, or how it will end. Those who want to are allowed to read their paragraphs, out loud, to the rest of the class.

The fun part is in hearing back from students after one of these visits. Many are very specific about how the exercises helped them see things differently and to think more creatively.

Earlier this week I received a package with over twenty notes from the students of one of the schools.

That’s the fun part.

Author web site:

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.

50 pages of reviews

Now, from an author who hated to read...comes books kids hate to put down.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Dallas Cow...BOYS

Okay, I know that this is supposed to be a blog about books for boys. So I’m stretching it just a little in order to tell you about a fun experience I had this past weekend with the Dallas cow…BOYS.

I got a call several days ago about shooting a post game TV program for the Dallas Cowboys at the game last Sunday night in Chicago. Left the house around noon on Sunday and returned at 2 AM.

We met at the satellite truck at 3:00 to get our instructions, then proceeded to a location right in front of the Cowboys locker room and adjacent to the tunnel they used to go out onto the field. After we set up our two cameras, lights, and sound, we were free to roam around until the beginning of the 4th quarter. So we took an elevator and went up to the press section. Our credentials allowed us to stand in that area, on the second level, on the 50 yard line. Great seats...I mean feets. I stood two booths down from Al Michaels and John Madden. I'd seen John's motor coach downstairs earlier. You might know that he hates to fly.

We headed back to our camera position at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

We shot a 30 minute interview show, after the game, which was sent back to Dallas by satellite. We interviewed Jerry Jones - Cowboys owner, Tony Romo - quarterback, and three other Cowboys players. Of course, they were pretty happy because they had just crushed the Bears.

When we finished, an army of people descended on our position. As soon as we closed up a case, someone grabbed it and ran to a rental truck which sped off to the airport and put everything on the team plane back to Dallas.

It was a long day, but interesting and fun.

Also this past week, I had a 30 minute radio interview which you can find at scroll down to my name.

Here is an new online interview

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Radio Interview on Book Bites for Kids

On Friday I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Suzanne Lieurance with the National Writing for Children Center.

This is a 30 minute blog radio program called Book Bites for Kids.

You can also go directly to to listen to the interview:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

School Visit

On Monday of this week, I had the opportunity to speak to a 5th grade class in Sterling, Illinois. This was a perfect age group for my action-adventure & mystery books for boys.

The visit resulted in a front page story in the local newspaper with a full color photograph. The story continued on a second page. If you'd like to see the story and photos, the following link takes you to a front page story, in the regular newspaper, serving Sterling, Dixon, and Rock Falls, IL. This is the online version of the same papers.

Make sure to select September 18 if you try this later than the 18th.

First scroll down to the second half of the front page. Then, in the pulldown menu, select "A04 - Local" for the second part and another picture.

My visit was well timed because there was a Scholastic Book Fair going on at the same time.


Author web site

Now, from an author who hated to read...comes books kids hate to put down.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

School Visits

School has started again and one of the most enjoyable experiences for an author of action-adventures and mysteries for kids is having the opportunity to go to their schools and speak.

My first school visit of 2007 took place on Friday. I have another on Monday.

Here’s a link that gives more information about the program I give.

On Friday, I spent 2 ½ hours with the students. That might seem like a long time, but we cover a lot of ground. And in each school, teachers and administrators make a point to come and tell me afterwards that they are amazed at how the kids were so attentive and participated for such a long time.

I like speaking in schools because it’s an opportunity to interact with the intended audience for my books. And like every school before, when I ask if there are any who don’t like to read, several hands go up. Most of these are boys. Next I ask why, and the responses are always the same. Books are boring. They’d rather be playing video games or playing at the computer…ANYTHING but reading a book. And the list goes on and on.

These are the reasons why I began writing books for boys 8 – 13 because I hated to read when I grew up. My film and video production background plays a big part in the way that I write for kids. Girls like the stories too.

Not only did I hate reading as I grew up, I hated school too. Who would have thought that I’d ever look forward to the school year starting up again?

But I do.

Author web site:

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.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Books for Boys Must be Relevant 9/11

If we expect our boys to enjoy reading, then the books written for them should be relevant to their interests.

Today is the observance of the events from 9/11. In the reports I heard this morning, there were numerous references to sleeper cells. A sleeper cell is a terrorist group, in our own country, that is waiting for the right opportunity to inflict further damage.

My book, Mountain Cabin Mystery, begins innocently enough. Scott and his friends have taken a survival course in order to qualify to go on a mountain hike with guides and others. It doesn’t take long before the boys become separated from the rest of the group in a mountain fog. That is when the real excitement and adventure really begin.

The boys encounter several hair-raising incidents until they stumble upon what they think is a deserted mountain cabin. The only problem is, they also see smoke coming from the chimney. Before they know what’s happening, they become swept up in a terrorist sleeper cell that is just about to mount an attack on the city of Denver.

You’ll have to read Mountain Cabin Mystery in order to find out what happens, but here are just a few excerpts from reviews for this book.

This summertime trip into the mountains to learn outdoor survival skills is only the backdrop to a rollicking adventure that climbs up your spine and hangs by its fingertips from the cliff of your skull. Thomas Fortenberry – MIDWEST Book Review

How refreshing it is to find a mystery story written for 8 - 12 year olds that is relevant to modern times and yet retains an old-fashioned flavor. My eight-year-old read it through twice in one day, and I must admit I found it held my own attention and even elicited several chuckles along the way - Reviewed By: Jean Hall - Eclectic Homeschool Online

The dialog crackles with wit and smart repartees and the emphasis is on action. The reader is apt to read the entire book at one setting as the mystery unfolds. Even reluctant readers won’t be able to put this book down - Ram Subramanian for Curled up with a good kid's book

Max Elliot Anderson’s books are destined to become classics along with such greats as Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Anderson is a talented writer; his books should be available in every local and middle school library. I am privileged to be on this author’s list of reviewers and look forward eagerly to his next adventure - Beverly J Scott

You can read the full length reviews for this and my other books at

Author web site

Now, from an author who hated to read...comes books kids hate to put down.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Books for Boys & Reluctant Readers

Okay, I’m sure you have a lot better things to do besides trying to figure out which one is me in the picture. This is my 5th grade class at Wolf Lake School near Muskegon, Michigan. The year was 1956…you do the math.

Oh, I’m the second one from the right in the top row. By the time this picture was taken, I had firmly become a reluctant reader. Back then, there wasn’t the same emphasis on reading as we have now. Yet today, reluctant reader boys continue to be a significant problem.

My point is, it’s important, both in our homes and schools, to identify the reluctant reader as early as possible.

Even back then, I would read about things that interested me. The problem was, no book ever did. When it came time to do a book report, I’d read the first chapter, something from the middle, and the last chapter. Then I’d talk to my friends and ask leading questions about one or more characters. From there I could write a report that must have seemed like I’d read every page. Remember, kids can be clever.

As a child, I hated large blocks of type on a page. I always lost my place, and was easily distracted. Some books seemed to take for…EVER to get to the point. I really hated all those details.

So, those elements have been eliminated from my action-adventure and mystery books for boys. My books are fast-paced with lots of humor and dialog, and each chapter is short. I continue to hear from boys, and their parents, about how my books have made a breakthrough for the very first time. To me, that’s pretty exciting.

I just became aware of a site called Bookclubforboys that might also interest you. There are ideas to help get boys reading. Maybe a book club for boys in your area or school would work.

If you have a reluctant reader, try my books. If you do, you’re likely in for a big surprise.

Author web site

Nearly 50 pages of reviews

Monday, September 03, 2007

A reviewer writes about why these books work for boys

From time to time, a review surfaces that gets to the heart of why I write books for boys.

Such is the case of a multi-book review by Troy Parish. His review covers:

North Woods Poachers, Big Rig Rustlers, Mountain Cabin Mystery,
Secret of Abbott's Cave

But Troy goes further by explaining how my books are different, and why they appeal to boys.

You can read his reviews at

I always appreciate it when someone, I’ve never met, reads my books and gets it...the reasons why they appeal to boys. After all, that’s why I began writing books for boys in the first place.

Thank you Troy

Author web site

Sunday, September 02, 2007

What I think about books for boys is not important...

It’s true that I chose to write books for boys. This has proven to be a much more difficult pathway to the marketplace than I had anticipated. That’s primarily because the market favors books for girls…at the moment that is.

So, when readers, and their parents, write to tell me how my books have affected members of their families, it gives me hope for a broader market to emerge in the future.

A father wrote to tell me how his son had stayed up, well after lights out, to finish one of my books. It was one of those flashlights under the blanket reports. His son just couldn’t wait to see how the book, with its cliffhanger chapter endings, would finally end. This dad asked me, “How do you discipline something like that?” Good question.

But the following is something I read a couple of days ago. It comes from the August 9 blog entry by Chris Ward. Her blog is located at

“In the past few years the boys and I have discovered a wonderful way to pass a few hours. We grab a new book and sit down for a good ol' family read aloud event. Sometimes we pop popcorn, sometimes we sit around the living room or family room, and sometimes we climb on our bed, formally known as 'The People Magnet'. But we always do it together and we always enjoy it…

“…Others want to encourage us to read series like the 'Little House' books, but the boys just aren't that interested. *sigh* Perhaps I can enjoy them again with Laura! Meanwhile, we are always on the look out for good books.

“One series I've had my eye out for have been the books for boys written by Max Elliot Anderson. I've looked for them everywhere hoping to snag some that were within my budget. After all, books written for boys in that critical 8 - 12 or 13 age range are hard to come by. I'd heard about them from the author himself and have read a few reviews so they were on the top of my list. I even looked for them at the library and, while they said they would be ordered, didn't ever find them available. So I asked the library to order them. Several times. Finally, last week, we got a few with more to come soon. I love our library!

“In our very unbiased opinion, these books are fun! Just plain good ol' fun reads. The boys in these books are real 12 year olds and they have a good time together. And they choose to do what is right, not what is easiest. My boys can't get enough. And they can't listen quietly either. If we decide to read them after Laura has gone to bed, we must either read in the living room or the basement - as far away from her room as we can get. The rolling laughter that comes during each read, and the discussions about what happened and how it might have come out differently if Tom, Jimmy, Eddy, Scott, Amanda, Todd and Matt had chosen to not do the right thing bring up lots of opportunity for them to repeat over and over again their favorite lines. (Note: No longer can you ask in our house 'what is it about?' when referring to a book without getting an smart aleck answer quoting the page length instead of the content. LOL) We can't wait to get the rest and meet more fun tweeners. I'm sure they'll be just as fun as the first few.

“So, we're always on the lookout for good books for older boys. If you know of any, please feel free to suggest them. I'll periodically let you know what we've been reading and how we like them. Meanwhile, I think I'll read ahead a few pages to see what happens next in "The Newspaper Caper". Shhhhhhhh! Don't tell the boys!!!"

Thank you, Chris, for such a wonderful account of one family where my Christian, action-adventures & mysteries, written especially for boys, are having such a positive impact.

Nearly 50 pages of reviews

posted by max @ 9:25 AM 0 comments