RIP Donald Sobol

Sadly, children’s writing has lost another celebrated author.  Donald Sobol died on Wednesday, July 11th.

Personally, I’ve always found Sobol to be very inspiring.  Why?  Because he didn’t start out as a children’s writer.  During WWII, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers.  After the war, he was a copywriter at the New York Sun until he started working there as a reporter.

It wasn’t until 1957 that he started writing mysteries.  Encyclopedia Brown was inspired when he was doing some research at the library and the librarian handed him the wrong book.  I’m not sure what he wanted, but what he got was a puzzle book with puzzles on one side of the page and solutions on the other.  Why not use this idea in a mystery series?

Why not indeed.  Sobol wrote the first book in the series in 1963.  He wrote more than 80 books and in 1976 won an Edgar Award for Encyclopedia Brown.  Encyclopedia Brown is published in 12 languages and is featured in many classrooms and children’s libraries.  2013 will bring us the 50th anniversary of the Encyclopedia Brown series with the publication of  Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme.

I wonder — just how soon can we pre-order our copies?