'Encyclopedia Brown' Author Donald J. Sobol Has Died

Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective

As Phineas and Ferb would say, “I know what we’re going to do today.” Today I am going to take my 6-year-old daughter to the library to pick up one or more copies of the popular Encyclopedia Brown series.


Because last week Donald J. Sobol, the author of the Encyclopedia Brown series, died in Miami at the age of 87. After a slew of rejections, his first book, Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective, was published in 1963. The series (there were almost 30 books in total) features 10-year-old Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown and his partner, the tomboy Sally Kimball (which the AP says was a “groundbreaking” character).

“Thanks to Donald, generations of children have learned to read and solve mysteries alongside Encyclopedia Brown, one of the most iconic characters in children’s literature,” said Don Weisberg, president of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Encyclopedia Brown and Penguin will release a new book entitled Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme. Encyclopedia Brown books have never been out of print. Yes, impressive.

Our condolences to Sobols’ family, friends and fans. Now I’m off to the library.

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