Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nancy Drew Series

Nancy Drew Book Series

This is among my favorite mystery stories for teenagers. Written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, the main character, is Nancy Drew an 18 yr old amateur detective. Her father, Carson Drew is a lawyer in upper middle class River Heights. Nancy's mother died when she was 6 and housekeeper Hanna Gruen helped raise her. Bess Marvin and George Fayne, two girl cousins, help Nancy solve cases. A friend named Helen appeared in the early books 1-5. She has a boyfriend in some of the books, Ned Nickerson, who is a star athlete.

The original series includes 25 books published between 1930 and 1956 each with 210-235 pages. The Nancy Drew character ha undergone various makeovers through the years. The early books portrayed as impulsive and flippant while the latter books portrayed her as calm but still adventurous. In fact, the creator of the series felt her character may not be well- received. In the 2004 series, she becomes impulsive once more and forgets simple tasks getting so involved with her mysteries. These books are written in first person. The latter books also removed racial stereotypes or eliminated minority characters altogether. Nancy Drew was a character well-ahead of her time. She seemed to have it all when much of the country was struggling during the Depression. Who wouldn’t want to be her in any decade? She doesn’t have a job and she is very privileged. The likeable thing about Nancy is she has a kind heart and doesn't her social class  go to her head.

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