Monday, April 28, 2014

Speaking at The Literacy Council

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of speaking at an event for The Literacy Council in Rockford, IL.  Several students had gathered, along with their tutors and families, to celebrate the completion of a new book project, called WRITE-ON! 2014.
Each participant received a certificate for their writing efforts, all were presented with a copy of the book, and several volunteered to read their submission.
So often we can neglect our reading, but here I met people who were determined to better their lives by becoming more proficient readers. The dedication of each tutor was evident as they watched their students participate and receive certificates.
I urge you to ensure that every child in your family, neighborhood, or circle of friends is reading up to his or her full potential. My adventures and mysteries will help to grab and keep their attention and interest. Their success in education, future career, and life are directly linked to their reading ability and the amount of reading they do. So let’s get our kids reading!
It was an honor to be invited to speak to such a special group of people.
The following information comes from The Literacy Council’s website:
People Helping People
About Us
The Literacy Council, founded in 1985, is a not for profit organization which offers services at no cost to clients.
Why Literacy and why provide instruction at no cost
Thousands of adults in our community hide behind guilt associated with illiteracy. Others cannot speak the English language. These are activities that the rest of us can take for granted like filling out job applications, understanding pill bottle labels and helping children with homework. These become a daily struggle for adults with low literacy skills. There is a direct link between low literacy skills and public assistance, which includes children living in poverty, and the increasing prison populations. Literacy is one of our greatest weapons in the ongoing struggle between a person succeeding or failing. Without literacy, uneducated adults struggle to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, employees and United States citizens. Help us raise awareness of this issue.
The cost of low literacy, per the National Institute for Literacy, advises "Adult illiteracy carries an estimated price tag of $225 Billion annually as a result of loss of income and tax revenue, unemployment or underemployment, incarceration, and supplemental training for entry-level jobs."
  1. Crime rates: 60% of U.S. inmates cannot read or write a letter. 75% of state prison inmates did not complete high school.
  2. Unemployment: Job searching and the ability to maintain a job demands literacy skills along with an increase in specialized vocabulary skills.
  3. Health Care: The inability to read medical documentation adds over $230 billion to the country's annual health costs.
There are over 44,000 people in our three county service area without a High School diploma or GED. Without that achievement, there are a low number of jobs available for them, and none of those jobs pay enough to sustain day to day living. It means an elevated crime rate, children starting school with low literacy skills, and more taxes going to support public assistance programs.
More Information About The Author
Amazon Author Page
Books you can trust for your kids


Friday, April 25, 2014

NEW Middle Grade Reader Series UDATE

The first two manuscripts have been delivered to the publisher for a brand new series!

The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and his friends, Riley and Jordan

Book # 1

The Cat Burglars

Kurt could hardly believe there had been a burglary, and right in his own neighborhood. He was helping out his friend whose parents owned Pletcher’s Bed & Biscuit Kennels.

            He 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 that the houses of 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 that the repairman had something to do with all those burglaries?

            Were they getting ready to strike again?

            Can the guys figure out the mystery in time?
Book # 2

Funny Money Mystery

          The house belonging to Kurt’s uncle was actually the second story of a building in the center of Main Street. His uncle and aunt run a bakery downstairs. One thing was for sure, that boy never had to wonder where his next meal would be coming from.

            Our main character and his friends 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.

            The boys never missed anything that happened along Main Street because they 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, the guys became suspicious. They 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 men across the street were the ones printing all those phony bills?

            Will the boys be able to get the evidence before those men figure out what’s happening, pack up, and leave town?

Book # 3

The Secret of Grandmother’s Grandfather Clock is written and will soon join the other two.

Kurt 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?

Make sure to revisit this blog often for updates and further information about:

This new series
Release dates
An exciting series video
And future titles to be added
The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and his friends, Riley and Jordan
Additional Links
Amazon Author Page
Author Video

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Below The Surface

Here's the new one, Below The Surface, from author Tim Shoemaker.

Also be sure to check out his Code Of Silence and Back Before Dark.
Something is wrong with Cooper. He’s plagued by a fear he doesn’t understand and can’t control. Cooper just wants to escape, and a summer vacation aboard the restored cabin cruiser, The Getaway, with best friends Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk seems like the perfect way to do it. Two weeks of fun---with no mysteries or life-and-death danger. That’s the plan. But their plans are shattered the very first night when they witness a murder. Or did they? Despite their intentions of leaving the investigation to the police, narrow misses and creepy encounters lure them in. Is there really a body floating in the underwater currents of the lake? The closer they get to the truth, the deeper into danger they get. Too late they see the trap. Now each of them must face their own buried fears . . . just below the surface.

Monday, April 07, 2014

New Middle Grade Mystery Coming Soon!

Don't miss my next middle grade mystery, from Elk Lake Publishing, coming soon!

I call it The Cat Burglars.

Wish I could tell you a cat burglar was somebody who steals cats, but it isn’t.

This is the first story in a brand new series. Don't miss it. More information will be posted on this blog. And watch for the exciting series video coming soon, too!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

A special request for teachers and librarians

Chestnut Publishing Group is considering publishing my collection of middle grade reader short stories, Tree Fort, Pigtails, Pollywogs, and More.

The company sells books directly to schools and libraries and is seeking input from teachers and librarians about this project.

Would you take a few minutes, go to the following link, read the information there, and give your feedback on this project?

Thank you very much!

Max Elliot Anderson

The book’s Introduction

Looking back, my childhood was something of an adventure all by itself. I grew up as one of seven children and our family lived in a rural area in Michigan.  Our house was surrounded by towering oak trees. A sweet scent of pine needles filled the air. Endless trails through the woods waited to be explored. Not far away were streams, hills, and a cool lake for swimming. In the winter we used that same lake for countless hours of ice skating. Our area used to get what they called lake effect snow, and there was a lot of it. Snow piled up so high on our single story house, we’d climb up on the roof and jump off into the drifts.

My father divided his time between film production projects and freelance writing. His writings included magazine articles, film scripts, books, and short stories. A few years before he died, he encouraged me to write short stories, too.

As my children were growing up, I told them original stories at bedtime that I’d make up as I went along. Looking back, I guess those could be considered my first short stories, but we just thought of them as fun. We’d turn off the lights, huddle together in the dark, and let the stories begin.

Most of my life has been spent in the production of films, television programs, video productions, and television commercials. Several of these also required that I write the scripts. Productions required a lot of travel throughout the United States as well as internationally.  Locations for these projects took me to many countries in Asia, Europe, or places like India, the jungles of New Guinea, and many more.

Then, a few years ago, I began working on books for kids. My first choice was to write action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 – 12. Recently I’ve turned to writing short stories. So what you will find in this book is a collection of just a few of those. They originated from my childhood memories, characters I met along the way, places I visited, and even stories I told my children back there in the dark. These stories are intended to be fun for you to read to yourself, or out loud, and questions are included at the end so parents or teachers can use them in educational settings. As you read each story, close your eyes sometimes, use your imagination, and think of the story as a movie in your head.

I hope you will enjoy traveling through these pages when you read about tree forts, pigtails, pollywogs and a whole lot more.

A set of comprehension questions are included at the end of each story.
This link takes you to the feedback page:

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Books for Boys VS Books for Girls

Articles have appeared recently suggesting books be published for universal use by both boys and girls. In other words, no more books specifically for boys or books for girls. You might find this new article helpful.
See page 166


Additional links
Amazon Author Page

Author Video