Via the New York Times:
Donald J. Sobol, the creator of Encyclopedia Brown, the clever boy detective who made bookworms of many a reluctant young reader, died on Wednesday in South Miami. He was 87.
I forget what grade it was in elementary school, but one day I was introduced to Encyclopedia Brown and my life changed forever. I mean, what kid wouldn't want to be Encyclopedia Brown, who often helped his police chief dad solve crimes, and who ran his own detective agency out of his garage? The books, from what I remember, were always surprising and challenging. I wonder if I read one of them today, if I would be as stumped on the mysteries as I was when I was a kid. I'm thinking probably yeah.
P.S. Actually, now that I think about it, the book in elementary school was the You Be The Jury series by Marvin Miller. I remember, having watched a then recent episode of MacGyver where he was in jury duty, taking my own notebook and pen into the classroom to jot down notes. But still, You Be The Jury did the same kind of thing that Encyclopedia Brown did -- it got kids to read and challenged them to think outside the box. And for that, we should be thankful.