Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Max Elliot Anderson  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1946 in St. Charles

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Illinois Connection

Anderson was born in St. Charles and lives in Rockford, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

As a child, Max Elliot Anderson was a reluctant reader even though he grew up surrounded by books. His father, Ken Anderson, was the founder of ''Gospel Films'' in Muskegon, Michigan, and later, ''Ken Anderson Films'' and he also wrote more than 70 books. Max went to college and graduated with a degree in physcology but he went on to work in the production of films, video programs and television commercials. He has been involved in the production of some of the most successful Christian films for children including but not limited to ''Hobo and the Runaway'', ''The Mystery of Wiloubhy Castle'' and ''The Great Banana Pie Caper''. He won ''Best Cinematographer'' for his work on the feature film, ''Pilgrim's Progress'' - the first feature film for actor Liam Neeson and he has won three national Telly awards for his productions of ''Youth Haven'', a ''Safe Place for Kids'', and ''Tracy's Choices''. He was involved with a PBS television special that won a nomination for an Emmy, and the double album won a Grammy.While being a successful producter of films, video programs and television commercials, in 2001 Max wanted to discover why he grew up a reluctant reader. In short, he found he wanted the action, suspense, and humor of a film in a book form. As a result of this, Anderson worked hard to develop a successful adventure series of books that holds the interest of 8 to 13 year olds - especially boys.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Newspaper Caper
ISBN: 193669526X

Comfort Publishing, LLC. 2011

Tom Stevens was a super salesman. He and his friends delivered newspapers early every morning. Along their route, the boys often saw some pretty strange things. Then one day, they actually became the story in the papers they delivered. Early in the morning, while it was still dark, the three boys stumbled across some suspicious activity. A tow truck begins to hook up an expensive car in someone's driveway along their paper route, but when the tow truck driver sees the boys, he drives off leaving the car behind. Tom reads in the paper the next morning about a string of car thefts around the area. He begins to see a connection between a local car repair shop and the thefts. The boys' adventures begin as they take matters into their own hands and investigate the car thefts. They befriend an elderly widow whose car was stolen, and encounter vicious guard dogs and the thieves themselves at the chop-shop. But it's Tom who proves to be the one who carries this mystery to its dangerous conclusion. Will his investigating skills be enough to help him solve the crimes?

Terror At Wolf Lake
ISBN: 1936695960

Comfort Publishing, LLC. 2012

Eddy Thompson's hero is John Dillinger, one of the most dangerous bank robbers in American history. So it's no surprise that Eddy cheats on anything, anytime, anywhere. With school out for Christmas, Eddy's father invites Chet, Rusty, and their fathers to drive up to a cabin he owns on Wolf Lake, Michigan, for ice fishing, tobogganing, and winter fun. But something happens there that will change Eddy's life. One day, two real bank robbers toss their stolen cash over the Eddy's fence in hopes to come back for it later, as police sirens race toward them. Of course, Eddy wants to keep it, and that's when their troubles really begin. With so much danger closing in and with the help of his friends, Eddy realizes how wrong it is to cheat. But the terror doesn't end there and follows them all the way back to New York City.

North Woods Poachers
ISBN: 1936695057

Comfort Publishing, LLC. 2011

The Washburn families have been coming to the same cabins, on the same lake, catching the same fish, for about as long as Andy can remember. And, he's sick of it. This summer would be different he decided. Only he never imagined how different. In the end, Andy learns the concepts of family tradition and the importance of justice. Naturally, no one will ever forget about Big Wally. He's a fish of course.

Mountain Cabin Mystery (Tweener Press Adventure Series #4)
ISBN: 0972925635

Baker Trittin Concepts. 2004

Scott and his friends had waited over two years for their first wilderness camping adventure. Curiosity and a Kodak moment was enough to cause them to leave the train surrounded by dense fog.

Big Rig Rustlers (Tweener Press Adventure Series, No. 5)
ISBN: 0975288016

Baker Trittin Concepts. 2004

A chance to spend spring break on a Wyoming ranch was a welcome change. The roundup, a rattlesnake, high tech cattle rustlers and the uncle's different role model.

Secret of Abbott's Cave (Tweener Press Adventure Series #6)
ISBN: 0975288008

Baker Trittin Concepts. 2005

A detective, a police scanner, and a cave offered possibilities for danger and excitement. Once inside the cave, Randy and his friends decided they weren't heros after all.

Legend of the White Wolf
ISBN: 1936695693

Comfort Publishing, LLC. 2012

One day Brian Fisher discovered a white wolf pup caught in a trap and set it free. Since then, Brian was convinced that he and the wolf shared a special bond. Stung by the disbelief of his family and friends, Brian sets out to confirm that his fantastic story is true and ends up getting a lot more than he bargained for. He soon finds himself caught out in a snowstorm and attacked by a mountain lion. When a group of lawless hunters begins killing off the wolf population, Brian is caught right in the middle! Take an eleven-year-old boy, a mysterious white wolf, a dangerous band of illegal hunters, and all the excitement of the rugged outdoors near Yellowstone National Park. Put it all together in a book and you have an adventure story even the most reluctant of readers will pick up and enjoy.

Reckless Runaway (Tweener Press Adventure Series)
ISBN: 0975288040

Baker Trittin Concepts. 2005

The story of a boy who runs away from home to prove a point to his parents.

Lost Island Smugglers: A Sam Cooper Adventure, Episode 1 (Sam Cooper Adventures) (Volume 1)
ISBN: 1942513259

Elk Lake Publishing. 2015

Sam Cooper had just moved to Harper's Inlet when he met Tony. Tony's father owned a marina. Sam, Tony, and Tyler took scuba lessons together. Tony got them in for free. After they completed the course, the boys decided to try out their new skills in the real world...the ocean. The only problem was, no one had permission. While Tony's father was away on a buying trip, the boys took one of the rental sailboats out for their diving adventure. Everything went well until the biggest storm Tony had ever seen blew up from out of nowhere, and the boys found themselves stranded on Lost Island. But, if they thought the worst had happened, they were wrong. The boys discovered a secret hideout that was used by men in high powered speedboats. Sam and his friends knew the men were up to something, only they didn't know what. They had to find a way to stop them, but how? And, even if they did, the boys could never tell anyone about it. Join Sam Cooper, Tony, and Tyler on their scary scuba, ocean, island adventure

Captain Jack's Treasure: A Sam Cooper Adventure, Episode 2 (Volume 2)
ISBN: 1942513267

Elk Lake Publishing. 2015

Sam Cooper lives right near the ocean, on the Treasure Coast of Florida. All he’s heard about since he moved here are the fabulous treasures that have been found, and those still waiting to be discovered. Sam, Tony, and Tyler, are convinced that they will be the ones to dig up the next great find. They meet a crusty sea captain named Jack who’s fixing up an impossible looking old tub. What is Captain Jack’s mysterious secret? And what is he really planning to do with that boat?

River Rampage (Volume 3)
ISBN: 193560015X

SharksFinn Books. 2013

“Sam Cooper Adventures are like good, family movies . . . as an ordinary kid finds himself in exciting and extra-ordinary adventures!” Bill Myers - Author, McGee & Me, Eli Sam Copper and his friends have the chance of a lifetime to go rafting down the mighty Colorado River. The rains have been heavy this season, making the raging river even more treacherous. The boys become separated from the main group, their rubber raft is going flat, and now they’re on their own. They have their hands full with a crusty prospector, his gold mine, a gang of outlaw bikers, and a desperate river escape on their makeshift wooden raft. Think that’s the worst that could happen? Well, it isn’t.

This Property Is Condemned: A Sam Cooper Adventure (Sam Cooper Adventures) (Volume 4)
ISBN: 194443030X

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

A sign outside the old Remmington Mansion read, “This Property is Condemned.” Sam Cooper couldn’t figure out exactly what that meant. Even after his father explained it, he became more puzzled than ever. So, along with his friends, Tony and Tyler, he set out to solve the mystery. Sam thought the old place was abandoned. But, when the boys went to investigate, a curtain moved, and they discovered old Mrs. Remmington still lived in the crumbling house. Sam was the kind of person who would try to right any wrong or help anyone who was in trouble. And Mrs. Remmington was in a lot of it. So, he organized the whole town to go out and fix the place up like new. But that’s when his problems really began. Why did those men try to scare the old woman into moving? And, why were they threatening Sam and his friends? No matter what it took, Sam was determined to find out.

At the Buzzer: A Sam Cooper Adventure, Episode 5 (Sam Cooper Adventures) (Volume 5)
ISBN: 1944430385

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

Sam Cooper had rehearsed a thousand times in the back yard how he would win the big game with a three-point shot and be a hero. Still, he wondered what would happen in a real game. Sam’s friends all played on the basketball team at school. Sam was concerned about his best friend, Perry, for a couple of reasons, and he was going to do his best to help his friend. On the way home from a survival church camp weekend, the boys’ van is nearly involved in a fatal accident with an eighteen-wheeler on a rain slick road. The boys have to confront life and death for the first time in their lives. Later, while they practiced basketball at Sam’s house, Perry fell, resulting in a severe injury. Instantly his plans to use basketball as the ticket to his future were changed. Perry was the big man in the middle. Without him, the team had to change the way they played. Would they be able to win the championship? Would Chris take the final shot like he’d practiced his whole life? Did it go in…or didn’t it? The answer will surprise you.

The Cat Burglars: The Accidental Adventures, Episode 1 (The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson, and His Friends, Riley and Jordan) (Volume 1)
ISBN: 1944430407

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

In The Cat Burglars, the first episode of the exciting new series “The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and His Friends, Riley and Jordan,” readers follow Kurt, Riley, and Jordan as they try to solve the mystery of escalating burglaries in their neighborhood, all strangely tied in to Pletchers’ Bed and Biscuit where the boys work taking care of animals during their summer vacation. As the trio tries to balance spying on suspicious adults with doing their jobs and not worrying their parents, the boys find themselves in more danger than they ever could have imagined.

Funny Money: Accidental Adventures: Episode 2 (Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and His Friends, Riley and Jordan) (Volume 2)
ISBN: 1944430520

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

In Funny Money, the second episode of the exciting new series “The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and His Friends, Riley and Jordan,” author Max Anderson once again takes readers along on the fun but sometimes dangerous adventures of Kurt, Riley, and Jordan as they try to solve the mystery of counterfeit money turning up in their neighborhood. The trio finds themselves spying on a suspicious group of men, coming and going in a vacant building, at various hours of the night. Their decision to sneak into the building to find out what’s going on puts them all in a very precarious position. Don’t miss this exciting new episode in the ongoing series of Kurt Benson and his friends!

The Secret of Grandmother's Grandfather Clock: Accidental Adventures: Episode 3 (Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and His Friends, Riley and Jordan) (Volume 3)
ISBN: 194443044X

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

Kurt Benson is at it again, only this time with his cousin Josh as his mystery-solving sidekick. When an unexpected family tragedy launches the boys into a full-blown investigation, they quickly find themselves in more danger than they could ever have imagined. But Kurt’s love for his grandfather urges him on in his quest for the truth—and in his efforts to save his grandparents’ farm. Will an old grandfather clock and a very special model airplane unlock the mystery before it’s too late?

Summer Camp Trouble: Accidental Adventures: Episode 4 (Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and His Friends, Riley and Jordan) (Volume 4)
ISBN: 1944430466

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

Kurt Benson and his friends Riley and Jordan used to look forward to summer camp each year up in Wisconsin. But that was before the camp opened up to kids who came from some pretty rough homes a couple of years ago. Then, this summer, things got a little more interesting when a rich kid showed up. He didn’t come by bus, minivan, or car like most campers. This guy arrived in a helicopter. Plus, his suitcases were filled with candy bars and other things he used to get kids to do things for him. This summer, some of the roughest boys Kurt had ever seen came to camp. Right from the start, they caused all kinds of trouble. Then, one night, there was a huge explosion as fireworks went off. They were supposed to hit Kurt’s cabin, but something went terribly wrong. Why did Kurt risk his own safety to save the life of one of the worst guys at camp? His actions would change Rudy’s life from that point on.

Danger Mountain: Accidental Adventures: Episode 5 (Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and His Friends, Riley and Jordan) (Volume 5)
ISBN: 1944430482

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

Kurt Benson’s cousin Dillon lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Kurt was coming to Colorado with his father on a business trip. Dillon’s father had often warned him to stay away from Danger Mountain because climbers would hike toward it, and never return. Just before the boys left the outfitter shop, a strange group of men started out ahead of them. Dillon’s father had rented the men almost everything except their mules. Early into the hike, the boys left the main trail so they could get a glimpse of Danger Mountain. And that’s when they saw some of those same men chasing another man up to the edge of a cliff. A shot rang out, and the man went over the side. The boys screamed, and the men began chasing them. The chase lasted several days. Dillon wondered if his father would remember their secret meeting place, and would they ever be able to reach it? Then, when the helicopter landed, it was those terrible men who climbed out. Dillon thought he and his friends were doomed. The boys were not prepared for what happened next.

Shadow of the Fat Man: Accidental Adventures: Episode 6 (Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and His Friends, Riley and Jordan) (Volume 6)
ISBN: 1944430504

Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.. 2016

Kurt Benson and his friends, Riley and Jordan, helped out sometimes at Weaver’s Hardware Store. It only filled half of the building. The other half housed a restaurant. Both businesses shared a common basement. And, it was in that basement where Kurt and his friends overheard a plot for a bank robbery. The men upstairs agreed to meet again in the same booth, so, Kurt and his friends decided to be there to listen in on their plans. Kurt wanted to tell what he knew, but, for the moment, he wasn’t exactly sure what the plan was, when it would happen, or who the men were. The boys overheard the plans where the crooks intended to steal the money from a vault, stick it into plastic, trash bags, and toss those bags into a waiting garbage truck that one of the gang would have out in the alley. When they tried to tell their story to the police chief, he informed them that he couldn’t arrest anyone simply for what he thinks they might do. Now it’s up to Kurt, Riley, and Jordan, in another accidental adventure, to catch those robbers in the act…but how?

Barney and the Runaway
ISBN: 0984559841

Comfort Publishing, LLC. 2011

Mike hated the way his parents were always telling him what to do. Along with his dog, Barney, he decides to teach them a lesson by pretending to run away for a few hours. The plan gets complicated 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. After his experiences away from home, Mike learns the importance of family, and that you dont appreciate what you have until its gone.

When The Lights Go Out
ISBN: 1936695472

Comfort Publishing, LLC. 2011

Peyton Aldrich's father is an Army colonel, who specializes in Army intelligence. His work is always top secret, which means he can't even discuss it with his own son. Nevertheless, Peyton idolized his father, who believes that after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe. Now, Peyton, along with his family, find themselves stationed at a new army base, in the middle of nowhere. After his arrival, Peyton finds two friends, Gill and Dave. Together they decide to train like Rangers, and search for some kind of mission to accomplish on their own. 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. 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 is a story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget 9/11.

The Scarecrow: A Story That Teaches In This World You Don?t Have To Be Alone
ISBN: 1478301309

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012

Billy lived in a pitiful place in the city with his mother and younger sister, Becky. Finally, his mother could no longer take care of the children. One fateful day, a judge ordered that they had to be removed from the house. The children thought that would be okay until they learned that they wouldn’t be going to the same place together. Billy found himself on a remote farm with an aunt and uncle who never had children. He withdrew and didn’t speak at all for a long time. As his uncle gave him a tour of the farm, Billy was startled when he first saw the scarecrow. He wasn’t certain at first, but he was pretty sure the scarecrow whispered something to him. Later, in his mind, he and the scarecrow became best friends, and did everything together. This concerned Billy’s uncle who, in time, showed him he could have a friend who would stick closer than a brother.

The Sense Of Humor: Let Humor Fast Track You to Healthier, Happier Living
ISBN: 1942513976

Elk Lake Publishing. 2016

During these uncertain times, what people need most is a good laugh. Imagine what would happen if you understood there is an untapped force, contained within you, that has the power to totally change your life. And what if you discovered all you had to do in order to unlock this secret is simply to start using it? So it is with humor. The Sense of Humor is designed to demonstrate the sense that humor can make in the life of anyone who is willing to use it. Humor will deliver direct health benefits to the user. Outside of this primary benefit, humor will touch the lives of everyone around the user in positive ways for relationships, families, education, at work, in ministries, and so much more. The Sense of Humor cuts across social, economic, ethnic, and educational barriers. Music had been said to be a universal language. So, too, is laughter



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact the author via

  • US Post Max Anderson, The Market Place, P. O. Box 4126 Rockford, IL 61110
  • Email
  • Max is available for school visits in and around the Rockford, Illinois area. His program is unique and the responses have been very positive. He prefers reading nights where students and their parents attend together, and where copies of his books can be sold.