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I Want my Nancy Drew

Posted Aug 16 2010 5:56am

In the Spring, Yo-yo’s grade 3 class had a used book sale to raise money for a gardening box in their classroom. With my two year old in tow, I happily volunteered to help out on the day of the sale. I have volunteered a couple of times in that class, and I always love how the kids dote on Moonie. There are always at least a couple kids following her around and take care of her. It’s very sweet. I love that she gets to be with me and experience these kinds of events at the school.

At the used book sale, I picked up a handful of books, including a set of three Nancy Drew books. Yo-yo is beginning to read chapter books. I’d told him before about Nancy Drew books and how I used to read them when I was around his age. These books were my favourite and I’m sure I’ve read every single one. So when I saw those Nancy Drew book, I snatched them up without a second’s thought.

Later on, when we were home, I took a closer look at the books. One of them is called Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #1 Sleepover Sleuths. Hmm … Clue Crew? Sleepover Sleuths? This wasn’t ringing a bell, so I read the back and flipped through a few pages. As it turns out, it isn’t the Nancy Drew that I know and love. This from the back cover:

“Nancy and her two best friends, George and Bess, are so excited! They have been invited to Deirdre’s sleepover party! There will be pizza, cake and even a pajama fashion show. But the most exciting thing is that the party has a City Girls doll theme. All of the guests are bringing their dolls with them!

But then Deirdre’s City Girls doll – Hollywood Heather – goes missing. Is her sleepover ruined? Or is there a detective in the room who can make sense of this mystery?”

The modern day Nancy Drew is 8 years old and is busy solving the “mystery” of where some stupid doll went. Ugh.

What happened to the cool, brave, smart, late-teenaged Nancy Drew that I knew and loved? The one that drove a convertible and raced off in the night chasing bad dudes, putting herself in harm’s way and saving the day? The one who was fearless and outspoken?

Nope, the old Nancy is gone; traded in for an eight year old at a sleep over party with some fancy-schmancy, no doubt expensive, name brand doll. Blech.

This annoys me. Why did they change my Nancy? Times have changed, I suppose. Surely the original Nancy Drew books are not politically correct. I expected an updated version of Nancy, but not this. Essentially what they’ve done is created a whole new series, hoping that the name will make suckers like me buy the books without looking at them. Or maybe (sadly), this is what sells nowadays.

Apparently there are other new Nancy Drew series, Nancy Drew Girl Detective is said to be the series to replace the original and there is also a graphic novel series. A search of the Toronto Public Library only lists the graphic novel series, so I’m going to check it out. If I can get my hands on a copy of Girl Detective I’ll let you know. Maybe it will be the updated version of Nancy I was expecting.

A friend of mine, having heard me rant about this outrage, saw and picked up for me classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys; the first two of each series. I am now the proud owner of Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew books The Secret of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase as well as Franklin W. Dixon’s Hardy Boys books The Tower Treasure and The House on the Cliff.

I’m starting with The Secret of the Old Clock (it is, after all, number 1 in the series) and I can’t wait to dive into it. I don’t know if Nancy will be as I remember her but she will surely be more impressive than the  new clue crew Nancy.

As I flip through the books, they are just as I remembered; a distinctive type of artwork on the cover, the yellow spine, the black and white pencil-like drawings throughout the book, the classic typewriter font.


I love you Nancy Drew.

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