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January 07, 2014



I got hooked on The Hardy Boys first, but I certainly enjoyed plenty of Nancy's adventures. Then I met Trixie Belden and never looked back.

All these books have their flaws, but they are also entertaining for kids, and that's the most important thing, right?

Karen in Ohio

In second grade, while the other kids were still learning to read, my brilliant teacher sent me to the school library. I was reading chapter books by then, so I devoured all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins books our library owned during that time.

Thank goodness that librarian saw fit to shelve those books. They were wonderful.


I grew up in a very strict family, with a traditional view of the role women and girls should play in society and the family. Reading Nancy Drew showed me that my belief that girls could do anything boys could do was accurate, and her adventures and her spirit made her a role model for me. I also went on to read the Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames, but it's no exaggeration to say that Nancy Drew influenced my whole life. I'm enormously grateful for those books. No, they're not perfect, and they did reflect some of the insensitivities of their times, but I believe the good they did for so many people outweighs any negatives.


Well, that was a short steep slide from gratitude - "Hey, recommendations!" - to dismay - "Judy, Louise, Jean, Cherry Beverley, Mopsy, Flopsy, Vickie, Trixie and Cottontail? I haven't got a prayer!".

Just kidding. Thank you, Dean. And I'm definitely going to search out an original.

Martha Grady

I traveled with Nancy flat on my back on the living room couch at home. I loved the books and probably still have some in a box deep in storage. I loved her freedom and the CAR! To this day I consume mystery books and can hardly wait for January 28th.

Ardath Weaver

These plucky heroines were the original strong independent girls whose exploits inspired many of us to ask questions and persevere! I LOVE Nancy Drew in particular and have saved every book published from the original classics through the modern 100s - and what fun when Nancy collaborated with the Hardy Boys long after I was a girl!

Kathy Reel

Nancy Drew books were my first introduction to my favorite genre of mystery. I loved those books. I even wrote a play based on the girl detective scenario in elementary school, and it was performed in the school gymnasium. I read the books in the early 60s and can't believe that I don't have any of them now. I have others, like Trixie Belden. My new mission is to seek out vintage Nancy Drew books.


I somehow did not discover Nancy Drew until recently, and quickly realized there are so many that my new plan is to read the ones friends recommend as their favorites . . . so Ranch time for me. Thanks!

. . . wondering if I would have done anything different with Nancy Drew as a role model . . . .

Ritter Ames

Read Nancy Drew first--oldie, moldie garage sale purchases from the 30s & 40s, and loved them. But was put off when I picked up a couple of the 60s redo volumes, and didn't realize at first why I didn't feel the magic anymore. A favorite aunt not only explained what the problem was with the newer Nancys, but also introduced me to Trixie Belden. That was it! Trixie and the gang became my mystery posse of choice. I still periodically read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but it was the Trixie books I read again and again. Still have the full set!

Kristin Lundgren

Thanks you for this post. You brought back a lot of memories. I grew up with Nancy Drea, and ALL of the other ones you metioned, some of which, like the Dana Girls or Vicki Barr, you rarely hear mentioned. I do believe that they were responsible for my obsession with exotic locales, and my love of mysteries. My youngest daugter took a liking to them as well, and had me drag out my 1960s editions, and put them in a small little bookcase. I have almost all of the first 50. She still has them, at age 20, in the house she shares with her boyfriend while in college. It is by her front door, so you can't miss it. I would recommend Nancy Drew to many adults. Still fun to read.


I remember being on vacation the summer after 1st grade and being bored out of my mind with nothing to read because Mom wouldn't let me read her Phyllis Whitney book she brought along. She went to the store in town and brought back 2 Nancy Drew books and I was hooked. I loved Nancy, Cherry and Sue. Never could get into Trixie. Still regret getting rid of my vintage collection of Nancy Drew books.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Absolutely! Nancy was my first real friend..and Cherry Ames and Sue Barton, too! And wet there..Donna Parker? Vicki Barr, girl stewardess! Of course!

When you rad Nancy Drew now, what do you think?

And here's a funny thing--in mu book Drive Time,I have a main character named Millie Wirt. On purpose, of course.

Greg Herren

Loved this! I just finished my collection of The Dana GIrls, thianks to ebay.

Dana Cameron

Yes, Dean! The Secret of Shadow Ranch was an important "first-Nancy" moment for me, too! Whatever folks say about her, she had AGENCY, something I needed to see way back when. Love those covers!


I loved Trixie Belden the best!! I've now started collecting the Cherry Ames series (which are hard to find!!). Love all your books!

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