Tuesday, May 1

The Mystery of the Many Nancy Drews

Eva loves mysteries so it is not surprising that she stumbled upon Nancy Drew.  I'd told her about Nancy Drew mysteries and concluded that they were a bit too old for her.  This topic lie dormant for a few months until one day, about a month ago, when she decided she wanted to try one.  She started with the original Nancy Drew series; the ones you and I remember reading as a kid.  These were pretty slow going and I suspected she wasn't getting all the vocabulary or story.

At the library we noticed a jr. Nancy Drew series called Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew.  Eva attacked these and has been making her way through all 31 of the books since.  Today I discovered yet another Nancy Drew version.  This one is called Nancy Drew Girl Detective.  This series is aimed at 8-12 year olds.  I checked out a couple of these for Eva to try.  They seem more complex than the Clue Crew series but not to the level of the originals.

At our local library all the Nancy Drew books are kept on one shelf so it is easy to compare them.  While browsing I also noticed an additional version - the Model Crime series and the Identity Revealed series.  I also saw Nancy Drew graphic novel.  Whew.  In case your child is into mysteries too, here is a guide to the various Nancy Drew book series available.

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories
Published: 1930s*
Target Age: 8 and up (I personally think it is more like 10 and up)
*Since 1991, Applewood Books has been publishing exact replicas of the Original Nancy Drew Mystery Series from the 1930s--twenty to date. The originals feature a sixteen-year-old Nancy who was a bit more independent than her 1950s "revised version" who was eighteen and much more demure."  Taken from Amazon.com 

The Nancy Drew Files
Published 1986-1997
Target Age 11 and up
124 books in this series.  Said to have more adventure, romance.  

 Nancy Drew Girl Detective*
Published 2004 - 2007
Target Age 8 and up
* Somewhere in the middle of this series the title turns into Nancy Drew:The All New Girl Detective

Nancy Drew Girl Detective*
Published 2008 - 2012
Target Age 8 and up
*These books have a photograph of a girl on the cover. 
This series is then divided further into smaller series.  There is the Model Mysteries, Identity Mysteries, Eco Mysteries, Secret Sabotage Mysteries, Malibu Mayhem,

Nancy Drew Graphic Novels: Girl Detective
Published 2005- 2010
Target Age: 8 and up
This series is NOT authored by "Carolyne Keene."  These are by Stefen Pertrucha

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew
Published 2006-2012
Target age: 6 and up
There are 31 books in this series.

Are you wondering how "Carolyn Keene" could author all these books for all these years?  Carolyn Keene is just a pen name under which many ghostwriters wrote the Nancy Drew series.  The same goes for Franklin W. Dixon, "author" of the Hardy Boys series. 

For you die hard Nancy Drew fans here are some more links:
Nancy Drew Sleuth
Nancy Drew Wiki


LiEr said...

Thanks for this post, Katy! My 7-year old has just started Nancy Drew (I think it's the Girl Detective series) and I was curious as to how it was different from the hardcover series I read as a kid. Now I know. Also, I found out that the same person created both the ND and Hardy Boys characters, which probably explains the crossovers in some books, if I remember right. Another very, very good series of books is Alfred Hitchcock's Three Investigators. Have you read them? The first 20 or so were much better than the later ones, because the original author was better. I loved them as a kid and stil re-read them now as an adult. Lots of clues, deduction, riddles, secret hideouts and daring risks etc. No romance, though ;)

likeschocolate said...

Love the new covers for the clue crew. I liked the stories, but never liked the artwork on the front of the books. I also liked the hardy boys, but that was because Shawn Cassidy was the main character on the tv show.

ksjjpalmer said...

Jacob has been moving through the original Hardy Boys. We take turns reading each page. He does better with them when we are reading them together. I'll bet he would read all of the Nancy Drews that Eva is currently reading. I wonder if they made that level in Hardy Boys as well? hmmm....
Do you go to the Greenwood Library?

WillandKateandJennifer said...

Oh, I LOVED Nancy Drew when I was little. I read every single one, most of them more than once. I used to leave the library with five or six at a time. I can't wait for my kids to discover them. I hope they'll love them as much as I did! I read the Secret of the Old Clock a couple of years ago and was surprised at how dated it was (I still loved it, though.). I wonder if they've updated the newer series?

Dana said...

The mystery is solved!

I wanted to tell you that your last post about what's been read in your home inspired me to straighten up my read aloud act! Post will come soon... :)

Valerie said...

My 10 yr old daughter read the original series last year and continues to re-read them all the time! She says those (the originals) are by far the best! Although I think the reading level may have been a bit high originally for her (at age 8 & 9).
Another series she likes is a local mystery series-- "Hannah West" by Linda Johns. It's fun for her because there are all the landmark places and each book takes place in a specific Seattle neighborhood (Belltown etc).
Speaking of books (non mystery), another REAL favorite is "The Penderwicks" a series by Jeanne Birdsall (3 books) It is a little like the March sisters meet the 21st century (I see a lot of resemblances!) She reads these over and over. Last I would mention the book "Mandy" by Julie Andrews Edwards...the sort of book certain girls hold dear (orphan childhood, a secret cottage etc...:)

katy said...

LiEr - I haven't heard of the Alfred Hitchcock series you mentioned. I'll see if I can get a few from the library. Thanks for the suggestion.

Likeschocolate - Ah, Shawn Cassidy, what is not to like about him? :)

Susan - There is a jr. level Hardy Boys as well for 8 and up. Haven't seen them at the library but then haven't looked :) Here is an amazon link:

Jennifer - I only read 1 Nancy Drew - don't even remember what one. Guess it is never too late to read them now!

Dana - Can't wait!!

Valerie - I love your book recommendations. Thank you for sharing. I just loved Edward Tulane. I feel like The Penderwicks is haunting me. It keeps coming up. It is definitely a sign that we should read it. A Seattle series sounds just great. We'll check one out for sure. Thank you again for your comments.

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