Keith Carlton Robertson

In early adolescence, some of my favorite book were the Henry Reed series by Keith Robertson. Originally written in the 1950s and 1960s, the books are set in an all-white suburban utopia where women are stay-at-home moms and the only thing kids have to worry about are grumpy neighbors. I recently reread the Henry Reed series, and while I enjoyed them I’d be reluctant to recommend them to today’s early adolescents; nevertheless, if you read these books as period pieces, they remain charming stories.

I’d classify Robertson as a minor but talented mid-twentieth century children’s book author. As is true for so many children’s book authors, he has now fallen into obscurity. He published more than 30 books from 1948 through 1986, including 5 books in the Henry Reed series (one of which was published posthumously) and 4 books in the Carson Street Detective (or Neil and Swede) series. Most of Robertson’s books were aimed at the children and young adult markets, but he also wrote 6 mysteries for adults under the pseudonym Carlton Keith. Eight of his books were good enough to receive starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews.

There are so many minor but talented authors who fade into obscurity; yet in Robertson’s case, I couldn’t even find a good bibliography of his published works. He may not be worthy of serious critical study, but here at least is the best bibliography I was able to compile of his published books:

Keith Carlton Robertson bibliography
This bibliography does not include any of his publications in periodicals; it may not include all his published books. Sources for this bibliography include Kirkus Reviews, WorldCat, and other sources.
* books with a asterisk received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews
Ticktock and Jim (1948) *
The Dog Next Door (1950)
The Missing Brother (1950) *
The Lonesome Sorrel (1952) *
Lost Dog Jerry (1952)
The Mystery of Burnt Hill (1952) [Neil & Swede series]
Mascot of the Melroy (1953)
Outlaws of the Sourland (1953)
Three Stuffed Owls (1954) [Neil & Swede series]
The Wreck of the Saginaw (1954)
Ice to India (1955)
The Phantom Rider (1955)
The Pilgrim Goose (1956)
The Pinto Deer (1956)
The Crow and the Castle (1957) * [Neil & Swede series]
Henry Reed, Inc. (1958) * [Henry Reed series]
The Diamond-Studded Typewriter, or A Gem of a Murder (1958) [writing as Carlton Keith]
If Wishes Were Horses (1958) *
The Navy (1958)
Missing, Presumed Dead, or The Missing Book-keeper (1961) [writing as Carlton Keith]
Henry Reed’s Journey (1963) * [Henry Reed series]
Rich Uncle (1963) [writing as Carlton Keith]
The Hiding Place (1965) [writing as Carlton Keith]
Henry Reed’s Baby-Sitting Service (1966) * [Henry Reed series]
The Crayfish Dinner, or The Elusive Epicure (1966) [writing as Carlton Keith]
New Jersey (1968)
The Year of the Jeep (1968)
A Taste of Sangria (1968) [writing as Carlton Keith]
The Money Machine (1969) [Neil & Swede series]
Henry Reed’s Big Show (1970) [Henry Reed series]
In Search of a Sandhill Crane (1972)
Tales of Myrtle the Turtle (1974)
Henry Reed’s Think Tank (1986) [Henry Reed series]