Gramma and Papa (my parents) like to garage sale shop. When we arrived at their house in Texas for some summer vacating they had stacks of new-to-me Nancy Drew books. Needless to say, Natalya has been on a Nancy Drew read-a-thon. Not just Nancy Drew Mysteries but Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys Super Mysteries and even a few The Hardy Boys books themselves.
These are a few of Natalya Darnell’s thoughts on Nancy Drew (& company).
created by Edward Stratemeyer, 1930
ghost-written by several authors beginning with Mildred Wirt.
N: Nancy Drew is an enjoyable character from the Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene. I find the series wonderful and I suggest late-7-year-olds to 13 -year-olds to read these fabulous books. Adventures and Mysteries and Crime are set into these chapter books.
L: 7-13 year-old girls, boys, or both?
N: I think girls. I think boys could like them, but any girl will like Nancy Drew.
L: Why do you think boys wouldn’t read Nancy Drew?
N: There is more action in HB. More physical: karate chops, punching, etc. ND can be physically active, kick butt and everything, but not in every volume like HB has. They fight more. Nancy Drew has more girly stuff in hers. The Nancy Drew main character is a girl, and her close friends are girls, and the only boys are her dad and Ned Nickerson [Nancy’s boyfriend].
L: You’ve been reading the Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys Super Mysteries and The Hardy Boys, too. [note: The Hardy Boys are a book franchise created by Edward Stratemeyer as well; a mystery adventure series for boys.] What are some of the noticeable differences besides those physical differences?
N: The HBs dad is a detective. ND’s dad is a lawyer. The HBs have a mother and an aunt. ND’s mom died, but there is a housekeeper, Hannah Gruen who is like a mother. The HBs get around on motorcycles and have a speed boat named The Sleuth; they use a lot electronic gadgets. Nancy walks or gets rides. She has a car, and there are chases in both, but the boys have a lot of high action moments.
L: In the end, they seem to have a lot in common.
N: They both have friends. Their dad’s are involved. Nancy has Bess and George; The Boys have Chet and Tony and Biff [fantastic names!]. They both solve mysteries.
L: What about Nancy Drew’s mysteries? Can you figure them out by the end? Are they solvable
N: Depends how good you are.
L: The Average Person:
N: Still hard for the average person. They can be really difficult to solve, but you can solve them if you really work on it.
L: What about the villains. Aren’t some of the mysteries pretty scary?
N: The villains are creepy, are violent. They won’t let people get in their way, or find them out without trying to stop them first. [N is fairly nonchalant with this answer.]
N: I think the older Nancy Drew Mysteries is better for older readers.
L: How about the pace, the action…
N: There is a lot of action. A lot of suspense and danger.
L: Yeah, but is there a lot of set-up and then the mystery begins and…
N: It depends, sometimes the mystery or action starts right away.
L: You want to keep reading it, or will you put the book down? [which is a silly question for reader N.]
N: Once the mystery starts you are sucked in.
L: You have read at least an armful of books from each of the Nancy Drew Series to include the comic versions. Do you like one better?
N: No. They are all wonderful.
L: So, if you could say “If you like Nancy Drew you will like _____,” or vice versa, who would you put in the blank?
N: I don’t know.
L: Why do you think Nancy Drew is so popular, and has been for so long?
N: She’s a girl detective and she solves good mysteries.
…Not that you need to fill in the blank; the Series is fairly inexhaustible.
Nancy Drew Mystery Series (175 volumes, 1930-2003) ; Nancy Drew: Girl Detective ; Nancy Drew Files ; Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Super Mystery ; Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys Super Mystery [N has a version that is choose-your-own adventure.]
Vampire-mania has gripped River Heights, with teenage girls going wild over the new DieLite novels and movies. But what happens when a supposedly real handsome young vampire arrives on the scene? Will Nancy expose him as a fraud — or fall under his dark spell? As if that wasn’t enough– there’s something dark and sinister happening while everyone’s distracted by the vampire madness. Could this possibly be linked to what’s happening in Bayport, home of the Hardy Boys? Spoiler warning: there are no vampires, blood or gore in this graphic novel.
a few interesting quotes found on “Nancy Drew’s” wikipedia page.
Many critics agree that at least part of Nancy Drew’s popularity depends on the way in which the books and the character combine sometimes contradictory values:
For over 60 years, the Nancy Drew series has told readers that they can have the benefits of both dependence and independence without the drawbacks, that they can help the disadvantaged and remain successful capitalists, that they can be both elitist and democratic, that they can be both child and adult, and that they can be both “liberated” women and “Daddys’ little girls.”
As another critic puts it, “Nancy Drew ‘solved’ the contradiction of competing discourses about American womanhood by entertaining them all.”
Natalya Darnell is L’s lovely 9 11/12ths year-old daughter who is an avid reader of all sorts of books, but loves her mysteries. She has a green detective’s coat, her own spy glass, and has held many mystery adventures of her own, and dreams of plenty more.
omphaloskepsis hopes to have N as a regular-enough contributor.