Thursday, June 2, 2022

Snake Island, an exciting middle grade adventure/mystery, is now available from Elk lake Publishing.

Snake Island, an exciting middle grade adventure/mystery, is now available from Elk lake Publishing.

The Story: Rod Campbell loved to go tubing with his friends down the lazy river outside of town. They often wondered about Snake Island as they drifted by.

Then, one day Mr. Patterson rushed out in front of the boys as they rode their bikes. People around town said he was a little crazy since he’d come back from the war. Some said his injuries had affected his brain. But Mr. Patterson warned them about the island.

Rod talked his friends into camping out on the island since it was near his grandfather’s farm. If they could last the whole night, then there wouldn’t be anything to be afraid of they reasoned.

On the night of the campout, someone came to the island, dug a hole, and rolled a large piece of carpet in. Then he began covering it up. The boys were terrified when they realized the man digging the hole was Mr. Patterson.

They raced off the island. The next day they learned that the richest man in town was missing. Police suspected murder.

Rod and his friends reported what they saw and Mr. Patterson was accused of the crime. But did he do it? And what did he bury in that hole?

People are talking about Snake Island 

I absolutely loved this book. It kept me on my toes. I kept wondering what the boys would find on the island. Then I wondered what kind of danger they would find themselves in. One thing about this author’s books is they are not only filled with adventure, but also have some sort of mystery to them. This is a must read book.
—Sandra K. Stiles 

Started reading this and am enjoying it. There are four boys in the town and are friends with one another. They hang out, go swimming, biking and all around like each other. 

Love that they can visit the grandfather’s farm and plan to camp out on Snake Island. Like history behind it all and its real name: Hobo Island and why and when it occurred. 

Love the bond the guys have. They do get to spend the night on the island but things aren’t as they seem and trouble happens, worse than what they feared. 

Scary at times, even for me but love how it all works out. 


Another great one by Max Elliot Anderson—a middle-grade mystery reminiscent of the old Hardy Boys mysteries. Five stars. So—the four boys go camping on the island. It’s sorta a rite of passage for kids, seeing if they can brave the night on this uninhabited—they hope—former hobo jungle. They 

were doing fine until Mr. Patterson shows up ...
In their wildest dreams, the boys didn’t expect this level of scariness! Now you have to buy the book 

to find out what happens next. 

—Anne Baxter Campbell 

Snake Island is available on Amazon: 

Max Elliot Anderson grew up hating to read. Now he has written dozens of mysteries and adventures for middle grade readers, especially boys. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Exciting adventures and mysteries great for summer reading

Exciting adventures and mysteries, with cliffhanger chapter endings, that’ll keep middle grade readers coming back for more. Great for summer reading. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Looking for good, clean adventures or mysteries for a young reader?

Looking for good, clean adventures or mysteries for a young reader in your life? Let 2022 be the year you introduced them to books that kids say are like “being in” an exciting movie. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Dedicated To The Memory of 9/11, And The People Who Lost Their Lives That Day, So We Never Forget.

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. And with it comes mounting chaos. This book will help give perspective to young readers, helping them understand the things that really matter in life.


When the Lights go Out

Author: Max Elliot Anderson

Audience: 8 – 12; especially boys

Words: About 36,500 

Peyton Aldrich has just moved to a new army base with his parents and younger sister. He doesn’t understand why his father has been sent to such a rundown place in the middle of nowhere. After all, his father was a colonel, with top security clearance, who completed the elite Ranger school. And his training had been in Army Intelligence. Yet, here they were.

Peyton was never allowed to ask his father anything about what he did in the army. Nor was he allowed to ever get in the way. There were many secrets that his dad couldn’t even tell his own family.

Peyton idolized his father. One day, he hoped to grow up to be just like him. His father had told him that the army may not be for everyone, but after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe.

Peyton finds two friends. Gill is the son of the base’s motor pool sergeant, and Dave’s father is the base chaplain. Together they decide to train like Rangers, and search for some kind of mission they could do. Little did they know that a mission was about to put the boys right in the crosshairs of a dangerous terrorist plot, when a secret weapon would be delivered to the base on its way across the country.

There was no way Peyton could tell his father what he knew. After all, it could cost him his job. Peyton, Gill, and Dave have to take matters into their own hands, and they do.

Will the terrorists find out who is trying to expose their evil plan? Will the boys be able to stop them? And what will happen to Peyton’s father when the general finds out what the boys did?

When the Lights go Out.” A story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget 9/11.


A Boy - A Dog - A Circus...What could go wrong? Barney And The Runaway

Barney and the Runaway has been re-released. 

Barney and the Runaway

Author: Max Elliot Anderson

Audience: 8 – 12; especially boys

Words: 25000


Barney and the Runaway tells the story of Michael Ellis, who has recently told his parents to start calling him Mike from now on. He especially hated the way they were always telling him what to do. Mike decides to teach his parents a lesson by pretending to run away for a day with his dog Barney. 

The plan gets a bit more complicated than planned when Mike and Barney hide in a railroad boxcar, fall asleep, and end up in Georgia with a circus in the middle of the night. Fortunately for the runaways, Big Bob the Clown takes Mike and Barney to safety in his wagon. Mike decides that living and performing with the circus might be a good idea until Big Bob opens Mike’s eyes to his unfortunate past. 

Mike’s encounter with this grown up runaway, in the circus, helps him to understand that his parents truly love him. Then Mike and Barney save the circus. Through it all, Mike learns the importance of family.

Parents often punish their children, but only because they love and want what is best for them, not because they don’t care. Even though the life of a circus performer with a circus family may appear fun, if given a choice, most would agree that living in a warm home with loving, caring parents is the preferred choice. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” After Mike overhears some unsettling news and both he and Barney are involved in a scary and dangerous crime, Mike learns his lesson before it’s too late.


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

My GIFT to parents and teachers of struggling, reluctant readers…especially boys.

My GIFT to parents and teachers of struggling, reluctant readers…especially boys. People have reported that these books were instrumental in turning many of these kids into readers. That’s probably because I grew up as a reluctant, struggling reader myself. After devoting my life to the production of dramatic films, video programs, and hundreds of TV commercials, I began writing the kinds of books I would have enjoyed as a kid. Try one, and see what it does for the struggling reader you love or just care about.

Find them on Amazon at: 

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Story Of A Teacher, Students, a Classroom, with Adventure & Mystery Books For Readers 8 - 12

Most people, who know my story, know I grew up absolutely hating to read. This in spite of the fact that my father was a prolific author. Some of his books were for kids, but I didn’t read them.

It was much later in life when I realized why I hadn’t enjoyed reading as a child. That’s when I began writing the kinds of adventures and mysteries I would have enjoyed back then. Action, adventure, dialog, and humor that was short on details and descriptions.

Being honest, it’s been a slow process finding my way into the market for my books. But what I have found is, once teachers, parents, librarians, and kids discover my books, they’re hooked to put it mildly. Let me illustrate.

At the beginning of this year, our son moved out of Chicago and into one of the suburbs. This meant his 9 year-old daughter would have to be the new kid in a new school. Earlier in the summer, she had come across some of my books, on her dad’s bookshelf, and began reading them all on her own. 

When she got to school, she told her teacher that her grandfather wrote books for kids. When her teacher expressed interest, I sent seven of my books for the classroom bookshelf.

My granddaughter FaceTimed us this past week to report on what had happened. 

“All the books disappeared right away,” she said, “and everyone loves them. They’ve even said they want to read every one.”

Of course, this made my day, my week, and more. But it got me thinking how amazing it would be if more teachers across the country would give these books a try in their classrooms. Here’s another example of a teacher’s experiences with my middle grade adventures and mysteries. She writes an open letter to fellow teachers.

Dear Teacher,

   My name is Sandra Stiles. I am a middle school Language Arts teacher in Bradenton, Florida. I have always had a passion for reading. That passion doesn’t always transfer to your own children. My daughter was a struggling reader. It took another teacher to introduce her to an author whose books she devoured.  

    I am here to tell you about that author who has my students reading and fighting over his books.  Max Elliot Anderson has been one of my favorite authors for several years. Not only do I love his books, but my students love them as well.  I have three classes of students who have a remedial reading class, then they come to me for Language Arts.  

     When I did my first book pass with my students I made sure to have one of Max’s books in each pile to introduce them to his books. Both boys and girls love his books. Almost all of his books are not only filled with adventure, but also mystery. 

     One of my lowest readers has made it a goal to read all of Max’s books I have on my shelves. He has read eight books so far. The really cool part is that he started talking to some of the girls in the class. Now he has them reading them, too.

     Max has two major series, “The Sam Cooper” series and “The Accidental Adventures” series.  Both of these have characters that all kids - boys and girls alike - will love. There are also several standalone titles.

     I can’t say enough about his books.  I highly recommend them to classrooms everywhere.

Sandra Stiles


ELA teacher/Dept. Chair

My books are readily available on Amazon

I hope you’ll give them a try soon, and see the excitement that happens in your own classroom.

Thank you,

Max Elliot Anderson  

Speaking to students at an author school visit.

Max Elliot Anderson
Middle Grade Adventure & Mystery Author