Encyclopedia Brown Series, by Donald J. Sobol
There are no unsolved crimes in Idaville. After the spotless crime fighting record of the Idaville Police Department through over 20 Encyclopedia Brown books, you would think that those sneaky criminals would choose to go elsewhere. These mind-twisting page turners are the perfect instant gratification mysteries for emerging readers.
Encyclopedia (Leroy) Brown always solves the crime quickly (one mystery per chapter), but it is up to you to figure out how. The solutions are in the back of the book, but it still makes for great discussions before you give up and look in the back. My husband said it is the first book where he actually went back and re-read chapters to try and figure things out.
This series is great for emerging readers because they solve the mysteries so quickly, the kids don’t feel daunted about having to read the whole book. Although the main character is a boy, I have found as many girls who love the series as boys. Sally is Encyclopedia Brown’s partner and a very strong girl. So strong, the town bully is scared of her. I would recommend this book for kids from 1st through 4th grade. It is printed in smaller print and there are few if any pictures, but the writing is pretty simple without too many difficult words. It is rated at a 3rd grade reading level.