(August 10, 1920 – September 29, 2010)
BiographyHicks was born in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1920. 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.
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, the first of a series of books about a boy who relies on his "Magnificent Brain" to solve problems. 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).
Hicks wrote one non-fiction children's book, The World Above (1965), which discusses the Earth's atmosphere and the universe beyond. In 1971, he began the Peter Potts series, which follows the misadventures of a small town boy who often gets into trouble "by accident". Hicks also wrote a two-act play, Alvin Fernald, Mayor for a Day (1992), which was based on one of his Alvin Fernald books.
On September 29, 2010, Hicks died at his home in Brevard, North Carolina at the age of 90.
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
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