Max Anderson Reaches the ‘Tween Reader

From Reluctant Reader to Children’s Author:
Max Anderson Reaches the ‘Tween Reader
Max Anderson has a goal: to get kids hooked on reading.
Despite growing up the son of successful writer father Ken Anderson – author of the popular Winky Series of the ‘40s and ‘50s as well as the best-selling reference book Where To Find It In The Bible – Anderson wasn’t necessarily an eager reader.
As a child, he sat listening to his father read chapters from his books, closing his eyes and imagining the story, but says, “I was never motivated to crack a book and actually read it.”
Instead, Max Anderson gravitated towards radio programs like The Lone Ranger, Big John and Sparky, and The Shadow, which he admits, “Used to scare me to death”. Later, he would hang around in his father’s film studio, taking part in the filming (“I was even ‘killed’ by a hit and run driver when I was 8,” he laughs. “Since the film was in black and white, my blood was chocolate syrup.”) and developing a keen sense for dramatic storytelling.
As he became an adult, Anderson began to realize that he might have missed out by not reading as a child. “I would have had a much easier time in school, especially on testing and in reading comprehension, had I been a reader,” Anderson admits. The problem, though, was that he just never found any books that interested him.
“When I first set out to begin writing, it was to see if I could encourage just one reluctant boy reader to become a reader,” Anderson says. “If I could do that, I figured I would have been successful.”
Anderson uses the elements of mystery, suspense and a few good, old fashioned scares from his childhood radio shows as the basis for his novels – from a stolen car plot in The Newspaper Caper, to a foiled terrorist plot in Mountain Cabin Mystery, to an international wildlife poaching operation in North Woods Poachers. Readers tell Anderson that his books read like exciting movies – which he says helps him bridge the gap between today’s electronic distractions and a need for kids to develop good reading skills.
“We have a generation of TV watchers and video game players. Somehow we have to recognize the severe decline in readership and do something about it,” says Anderson. His latest release, Big Rig Rustlers, is his fifth published novel for young readers, with another, The Secret of Abbott’s Cave, waiting in the wings. “My books are a small step in that process. They bridge the gap between traditional books and the visual world where our kids spend most of their time.”
Max Elliot Anderson’s current books – The Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, North Woods Poachers and Mountain Cabin Mystery – as well as his new releases, Big Rig Rustlers and The Secret of Abbott’s Cave, can be purchased at and through bookstores in the US and Canada. For more information, visit HYPERLINK “”


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