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Clifford B. Hicks is an American writer and magazine editor, best known for his children's books chronicling the adventures of Alvin Fernald.



Hicks was born in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1920.[1] He graduated cum laude from Northwestern University, then served as a U.S. Marine during World War II, earning the Silver Star. In 1945, he joined the staff of Popular Mechanics magazine, and became a special projects editor in 1963. He wrote the magazine's Do-It-Yourself Materials Guide and edited the Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia.[1]

In 1959, Hicks penned his first children's book, First Boy on the Moon, which was dubbed Best Juvenile Book of the Year by the Friends of American Writers. The next year, he wrote The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald,[1] the first of a series of books about a boy who relies on his "Magnificent Brain" to solve problems.[2] The books inspired a pair of two-part Disney television movies: The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton (1974), and The Whiz Kid and the Carnival Caper (1976).[3]

Hicks wrote one non-fiction children's book, The World Above (1965), which discusses the Earth's atmosphere and the universe beyond.[4] In 1971, he began the Peter Potts series,[1] which follows the misadventures of a small town boy who often gets into trouble "by accident".[5] Hicks also wrote a two-act play, Alvin Fernald, Mayor for a Day (1992), which was based on one of his Alvin Fernald books.[1]

Children's books authored by Clifford Hicks


Alvin Fernald series

  • The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald - 1960 (illustrated by Charles Geer)
  • Alvin's Secret Code - 1963
  • Alvin Fernald, Foreign Trader - 1966
  • Alvin Fernald, Mayor for a Day - 1970
  • Alvin Fernald, Superweasel - 1974
  • Alvin's Swap Shop - 1976
  • Alvin Fernald, TV Anchorman - 1980
  • The Wacky World of Alvin Fernald - 1981
  • Alvin Fernald, Master of a Thousand Disguises - 1986
  • Alvin Fernald's Incredible Buried Treasure - 2009

Peter Potts series

  • Peter Potts - 1971
  • Pop and Peter Potts - 1984
  • Peter Potts Book of World Records - 1987

Other children's books

  • First Boy on the Moon - 1959
  • The World Above - 1965


  1. ^ a b c d e "Hicks, Clifford B." Contemporary Authors Online. August 28, 2001. Retrieved on January 27, 2010.
  2. ^ Matt Blum. "GeekDad Wayback Machine - The Geekly Reader: Danny Dunn and Alvin Fernald". Wired. July 30, 2008. Retrieved on January 25, 2010.
  3. ^ Dave Smith. Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia. Disney Editions, 2006. 734-735. [ISBN 0786849193]
  4. ^ Polly Goodwin. "The Junior Bookshelf". Chicago Tribune. September 12, 1965. J15.
  5. ^ Nancy Polette. Picture Books for Gifted Programs. Scarecrow Press, 1981. 139.

External links


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