Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

Why Max Elliot Anderson Writes For Tween Boys

Why Max Elliot Anderson Writes For Tween BoysMax Elliot Anderson grew up as a reluctant reader. After his own experience and surveying the market, he sense the need for action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 – 13, especially boys.


Using his extensive experience in the production of motion pictures, videos, and television commercials, Anderson brings the same visual excitement and heart-pounding action to his stories. Each book has completely different characters, setting, and plot.


Anderson has published eight books so far with many more on the horizon. He shares how his distaste for reading as a boy led him to writing childrens books in this TeachHUB exclusive.

Related Articles
Young girl writing notes while looking at a laptop with open books around her.
With the move to eLearning, educators must find creative ways to keep student...
Two young boys reading a book together in their elementary classroom.
Differentiated literacy instruction is vital in elementary classrooms to reach...
Young boy working at a table listening to a video lesson with his teacher and classmates.
Remote learning can make assessment of student learning more difficult but not...
Student working on math problems watching her teacher on a laptop.
The sudden shift to online learning presented many teachers with end-of-year...
Young boy sitting at a table drawing on paper with a marker.
Remote learning causes challenges for all students but especially special ed....

Why I Write Books for Boys

It is clear that some of the most critical patterns for a lifetime are decided during the tween years. This is that awkward time between still trying to be a “little kid” and being all grown up.


As a child, I grew up as a reluctant reader. In a family of seven children, I wasn’t especially pushed to read, so I never formed good reading habits. This was ironic because my father has published over 70 books. A number of these were written for children.


A few years ago, I decided to look into some of the reasons for my lack of interest in reading. My findings led me to begin writing action-adventure and mystery books, for readers 8 - 13, that I would have liked as a child. My books are highly visual, with lots of humor, dialog, and plenty of heart-pounding action.


Marketing executives will tell you to find a need and fill it. My decision was to craft books that would especially excite the interest of boys.


After a detailed study into why I didn’t like to read, and looking at books that were written for children, I set out to write the kind of stories I would have read when I was a child.

What Turns Boys (and Reluctant Readers) Off to Books 

During my study, I discovered books with large blocks of copy, making it easy for a reluctant reader to lose his place on the page. Books tended to be produced on a brown shade of paper with small type. A reluctant boy reader is not going to be interested in endless sections of detail and description. He wants something happening on every page, fast action, and humor. Many of the books were written with girls as the primary audience. The books for boys tended to include dragons, wizards, or the dark side.


How My Books Are Different

As a result this research, my books are larger than most, the paper is bright white, and the type is larger. Sentences and paragraphs are short. The books contain a lot of dialog and humor, along with heart-pounding action and adventure. Most chapters end in a cliffhanger, nearly forcing the reader to start the next chapter.


The biggest surprise, outside of the fact that reluctant reader boys love these books, is that avid boy readers, girls, and even adults do too. I believe it’s our responsibility to do everything we can for the next generation, to leave this world a better place than when we found it. I hope my books will have a small part in that process.


My first eight books are

These 8 titles will be republished this fall by Comfort Publishing. But this is not a “series” in the traditional sense. Each book takes place in a different part of the country with different characters, settings, and plots. Readers and reviewers have likened my books to The Hardy Boys, modern day Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Star Wars, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.


A brand new series will begin this July or August. It’s the Sam Cooper Adventure Series. Book #1 is Lost Island Smugglers. This will be followed by Captain Jack’s Treasure, and River Rampage before the end of the year. Eight of my books have been ranked by Accelerated Reader.


Remember, readers are the leaders; others follow.


Check out his pubilshed books and keep an ear out for what's on the horizon on Max's webpage (choked full of reviews) and the very popular Books for Boys blog (Recently # 1 on Google).

How has your experience as a reader shaped your adult life and your career? Share in the comments section!

Today's Poll

Which types of articles would you like to see from us in 2020?
Classroom Management
Classroom Activities/Games
Teaching Strategies
Technology in the Classroom
Professional Development
Total votes: 244