Friday, July 31, 2009

Captain Nobody

What a fun book!

Growing up in the shadow of his football-star brother, Chris, Newt Newman never felt particularly special or even noticed in his own family. When Newt’s brother is knocked into a coma during the biggest football game of the season, he is lost again in the whirlwind of concern about his sibling. With his parents otherwise focused on his older brother, Newt’s two best friends decide that celebrating Halloween is the best prescription to get his mind off the accident. By chance, they turn some of his brother’s old clothes into Newt’s best costume ever and an unexpected new identity—Captain Nobody, defender of the little guy.

When Newt dons this makeshift outfit—a tribute to his brother—he begins to feel confident and empowered. Newt decides to wear his costume past Halloween which leads his new alter ego into a series of events fostering his newfound hero status. But will Captain Nobody be able to save the one person Newt cares about most?

With CAPTAIN NOBODY, Dean Pitchford has assembled a lovable and quirky cast of characters with a perfect blend of adventure, humor and family drama. The book is for anyone who's ever felt like the "little guy" and will ultimately be inspired by an unlikely champion. CAPTAIN NOBODY is an ideal summer read for young boys in the middle-grade set.

About Dean Pitchford
Dean Pitchford, author of The Big One-Oh, starred on Broadway in Pippin and Godspell before turning to songwriting and screenwriting. His multi-million-selling songs include the Oscar-winning “Fame,” “Footloose,” “Holding Out for a Hero” and “After All.” He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, five Grammys and two Tony Awards. His stage musical adaptations of Footloose played over 700 performances on Broadway and is now being produced around the world. Pitchford, who was born in Honolulu currently lives in Los Angeles.

Readers will enjoy watching this Everyboy protagonist cast off his customary timidity…
(as) he seems to magically grow into the heroic role.

“…a cliffhanger! This novel will speak to those kids who feel left out…
the humor and compassion are sure to appeal to reluctant readers.”
--Kirkus Review

“Captain Nobody is truly somebody you will love spending time with.”
--Henry Winkler, author of the Hank Zipzer series

From the Oscar-winning songwriter of Fame, Footloose and author of The Big One-Oh (2007) comes Dean Pitchford’s, CAPTAIN NOBODY (Putnam; July 9, 2009; $16.99/Ages 8-12, 978-0-399-25034-7, Picture Book, Hardcover Fiction), the super-sized adventure about an overlooked, shy boy who finds the courage to help others during the most challenging time in his young life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Reading Books for Boys Special!

There is still plenty of time for summer reading.

Recently I’ve read a number of articles, online and in print, talking about beating summer boredom. Well, my action-adventures & mysteries can help you do that for your children.
Kids tell me that reading one of my books is like being in an exciting or scary movie. And the books are equally enjoyed by boys and girls.

So here’s the deal. You may purchase one or all of my books for only $8 each (regular $10.95 ea) if you mail your order between right now, and August 31, 2009. The books have larger print, lots of white space, and they’re filled with exciting stories, dialog, humor, and heart-pounding action & adventure.

I have the following titles available right now:


These books have been compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, Tom Swift, Star Wars, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.

NEWSPAPER CAPER 0-9729256-4-3 Tom Stevens was a super salesman. He and his friends delivered newspapers early every morning. Along their route, the boys often saw some pretty strange things. Then one day they actually became the story. Readers will like the humor, attack dogs, car thieves, and the chop shop Tom and the others uncover. This story reminds us of how important friendship is. It also teaches God isn't just for emergencies. He wants to guide our lives every day.

The Washburn families have been coming to the same cabins, on the same lake, catching the same fish, for about as long as Andy can remember. And he's sick of it. This summer would be different he decided. Only he never imagined how different. The story is filled with excitement, danger, humor, and drama. In the end, Andy learns the concepts of family tradition, that God loves justice while He hates injustice, and it is important to follow the rules. Readers will enjoy the gigantic, jet-powered floatplane, computers, home made radio transmitter, and naturally, no one will ever forget Big Wally. He’s a fish of course.

Scott and his friends had dreamed and prepared for their first wilderness camping adventure. When they become separated from their group in a mountain fog, trouble begins. There was that bear, the decrepit suspension bridge over a bottomless gorge, the sheer cliff in the dark, those terrorists in the remote cabin, the Army, the helicopter ride, and…
This story reminds us what happens if one of God's lambs is lost.

BIG-RIG RUSTLERS 0-9752880-1-6
Todd and Amanda live with their parents in a Midwestern city. The family doesn’t go to church. The children are invited to visit their uncle, aunt, and cousin Drew, on their Wyoming ranch over spring break. Todd learns, in a unique way, why stealing is wrong. He decides to choose a new path for his life because of his uncle’s Christian example. A band of high-tech cattle rustlers are caught, revealing that Todd was also wrong about Travis, a shadowy character.
Read about the round up, rattlesnake, and rustlers.

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 pooled their resources to go cave exploring, discovered the hidden loot from a bank robbery, and learned they weren't heroes at all.

They didn’t call him a liar; they just couldn’t believe his story. Brian Fisher was determined to prove it was true even though it involved the risk to his own safety. His rescue of a wolf pup from a steel trap results in a mysterious relationship with surprising results. The story is set in the lower elevations near Yellowstone

Send your check, for $8 for each book you order. Include $5 shipping & handling for one book, or all 6.

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

These reviews may help you choose the best titles for your children

Written especially for readers 8 - 13...enjoyed by all ages. And I'll sign all copies.

All books qualify for Accelerated Reader points.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Series Or Not A Series?

I’m looking for responses to the following questions concerning book series. Please feel free to choose any or all that you’d like to answer.

1. Do you and/or your children prefer a series, or do you consider books individually, regardless of their being part of a larger series?

2. When you read a book, and the story is complete, are you satisfied with this, or are you looking for additional installments?

3. With films, it’s often true that the second and third films are not as good as the first. Do you find this true, or do you prefer seeing film I, II, and III just as much?

4. Can you name any book series where the characters are not repeated in books subsequent to book # 1.

5. When choosing a series, are you attracted mostly to the author, because of other books you’ve read by that author, or are you attracted to the book itself?

6. As a child, and being a reluctant reader, I thought is was a bit silly for the same group of kids, in the same neighborhood, to essentially save the world every Saturday morning. In other words, I couldn’t accept that so many fantastic things would possibly ever happen to the same characters over and over again. What is your opinion?

7. When you read a traditional series, with the same characters, do you feel that each subsequent book is as good as, or better than the one that preceded it? Why or why not?

8. In a traditional series, do you like the fact that, before you read book # 4, for example, you have to first read the previous three?

9. What are you looking for in a book series?

10. Do you have any additional thoughts?

Thank you for your responses.

If you prefer to email your answers, send them to

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Dillinger connections

This is by no means an endorsement of the outlaw, John Dillinger, nor the new film, Public Enemies, which was recently released. But I have a couple of connections to the Dillinger story that you may find interesting.

(Warsaw, Indiana newspaper - April 1934)

In this picture you’ll notice one of my action-adventures, Terror at Wolf Lake (out of print at the moment, but due for a second printing). The main character in the book, Eddy Thompson, is described this way:

“Eddy was known by his friends and his enemies for one thing. Eddy Cheated…and not just sometimes. He cheated on anything, anytime, anywhere.” Eddy lived in Crown Point, Indiana. The town is famous as the place where the FBI brought one of the worst gangsters in American history for trial. His name was John Dillinger. Eddy liked the idea that this criminal also grew up in Indiana.

“Best thing to ever come out of this state,” he liked to say. In fact, Dillinger was his hero.

This attitude ultimately changes as Eddy learns the difference between right and wrong.

I have a second connection to the Dillinger story because I grew up in the town of Warsaw, Indiana, located between Ft. Wayne and South Bend, on US 30. And Warsaw is also the county seat with the courthouse and jail. On the night of April 12, 1934, the police officer on duty was going door-to-door; rattling door handles to make sure they were locked.

Dillinger and his gang overpowered the officer, took him to the jail, and forced him to unlock the doors and then they knocked him out. The gang stole guns and bullet-proof vests from the small county jail in Warsaw that night.

Make no mistake; Dillinger was a very bad man. He and his gang were responsible for the deaths of many people. And I don’t glorify the man in any way in my book. He became public enemy # 1 by the FBI. Since this summer marks the 75th anniversary of Dillinger’s violent death in a Chicago alley, I wanted to make the connections to Terror at Wolf Lake, my hometown of Warsaw, Indiana, and and draw attention to the difference between right and wrong.

All of my action-adventures & mysteries deal with character issues, especially for tween boys.

Find reviews at

Watch this blog for information when Terror at Wolf Lake is available again.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

Here's a heads up on a new book that will interest you. The following is taken from

Book Description
The signs and statistics are undeniable: boys are falling behind in school. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the biggest culprits are not video games, pop culture, or female-dominated schools biased toward girls. The real problem is that boys have been thrust into a bewildering new school environment that demands high-level reading and writing skills long before they are capable of handling them.

Lacking the ability to compete, boys fall farther and farther behind. Eventually, the problem gets pushed into college, where close to 60% of the graduates are women. In a time when even cops, construction foremen, and machine operators need post-high school degrees, that’s a problem.
Why Boys Fail takes a hard look at how this ominous reality came to be, how it has worsened in recent years, and why attempts to resolve it often devolve into finger-pointing and polarizing politics.

But the book also shares some good news. Amidst the alarming proof of failure among boys—around the world—there are also inspiring case studies of schools where something is going right. Each has come up with realistic ways to make sure that every student—male and female—has the tools to succeed in school and later in life. Educators and parents alike will take heart in these promising developments, and heed the book’s call to action—not only to demand solutions but also to help create them for their own students and children.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

School Library Journal & Books For Boys

I saw this article today on School Library Journal.
It's an open letter to publishers from a librarian.

Read paragraph 5. More boy books:

After reading it, I sent the following comment:


Thank you for your Open Letter to Publishers. What caught my eye was the paragraph about the need for more books for boys. That’s because, as a boy, I grew up hating to read. And this was in the home of a father who published more than 70 books.

After surveying the market in 2001, I began writing action-adventures & mysteries especially for boys 8 – 13. I decided to write the kinds of books I would have enjoyed as a child. Even with an agent, we’re having a tough time attracting publishers, in spite of the fact that young readers, their parents, teachers, and librarians have been extremely positive.

So I hope your letter will help to spark interest because I’ve written 35 manuscripts for boys. Seven are published by a small publisher, but I believe there is a vast market if they can get into the mainstream.

My background is in the production of dramatic films for kids, and my blog, Books for Boys, is #1 on Google So I know there is an interest and a need for more books for boys. Kids tell me that reading one of my books is like being in an exciting movie.
Here’s a typical email comment I receive, “Hi, I'm the mom of a 13 year old boy who has a hard time finding books he likes. While browsing the bookstores, I have found so many books that sound like they are right up his alley. The only problem is that almost all the protagonists are girls! How are we supposed to turn our boys on to reading when the main characters are girls? It is well known that girls will read books with boys as main characters, but not the other way around. (Not that I think that's right, just that it is the way it is.)”

Max Elliot Anderson

What are your thoughts about this?
My Books are distributed by Baker & Taylor