World’s Strangest

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Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Sad Readers

Sad news, detectives. Donald J. Sobol, the creator of Encyclopedia Brown, passed away on July 11 at the age of 87. Sobol wrote 28 books starring 10-year-old Leroy Brown, with the next one, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme, scheduled to come out this fall. In honor of Sobol, here are a [...]

17 Famous Literary Characters Almost Named Something Else

“Bladorthin the Grey” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Gandalf the Grey,” does it? Good thing J.R.R. Tolkien decided to do some name swapping. Turns out he’s in good company: here’s the story of Gandalf and other famous characters who experienced an identity change before publication. 1. The only Pevensie child [...]

Dr. Seuss’ Letter to the Children of Troy, Michigan

In 1971, Marguerite Hart, a children’s librarian in Troy, Michigan, wrote to many celebrities and political leaders and asked them to send back inspirational messages to the children of her town. 97 wrote back, among them Vincent Price, E.B. White, Pearl Bailey, Douglas Fairbanks, Isaac Asimov, and Pearl Buck. You can read them all at [...]