Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew, Girl Sleuth

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#bookshelfie This is my Nancy Drew yellow book collection that has taken me many years to complete!

Throwback Thursday- Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew has been one of my favorite book series for years! I discovered these books somewhere around the pre-teen years and became addicted, as many others do. What is it about the Nancy Drew series that has made it last the test of time? After all, the first Nancy Drew book came out in 1930 and 80+ years later, new Nancy Drew books are still coming out, along with computer games, merchandise, graphic novels, etc.

Nobody can deny that Nancy Drew is one of the most feminist book characters of her time. (I actually wrote a paper for my Children’s Literature class in college titled, “Gender Roles in Nancy Drew”) Here was a girl who was barely 18 and she solved mysteries on her own, didn’t need permission from her father or her boyfriend to go places and do things (though she sometimes asked out of respect for them), and got herself into crazy, dangerous situations, but always came out of them alive. I have been amazed over the years from reading all the skills Nancy Drew has- from skillfully evading cars that are tailing her to having kick-butt self-defense skills. Nancy is always the driving force in her books; it is her tenacity, gumption, hard work, and intelligence that gets the mystery solved. Nancy never gives up.

The main secondary characters in Nancy Drew books are just as lovable. Her housekeeper Hannah Gruen is the mother figure for the mother Nancy never had (tragic backstory!). She is warm, caring, and a great cook. Hannah embodies most women of the time. She stays at home, cooks, cleans, and worries constantly about Nancy and the situations she puts herself in. Nancy is a great contrasting female to Hannah’s personality. Nancy’s father is a high-powered, successful lawyer who trusts his daughter immensely. His powerful connections (and wealth) have helped her on many a case. On top of that, he is a very devoted father. Nancy’s boyfriend, Ned, is the other man in her life (sure to be a Mancrush Monday post soon enough!). He, too, trusts Nancy to handle the dangers her cases bring her, while showing an appropriate amount of concern that demonstrates he really does care for her. He’s also described as handsome, popular, athletic, a college boy, and involved in many school events. Although the romance in the (original) books is very restrained (they act more like friends most of the time), I fell madly in love with Ned Nickerson. Finally, there are Nancy’s two best friends who are cousins and opposites. Bess loves to eat, is easygoing, very girly, and sometimes boy-crazy (the books often describe her as “pleasantly plump”), while George (yes, she’s a girl) is a total tomboy. Their contrasting personalities demonstrate how Nancy has the perfect balance of lovely femininity and “go get ‘em” masculinity.

Though the Nancy Drew books are somewhat formulaic (the mark of many children’s book’s series), it is the character of Nancy Drew that makes one want to keep reading. I would highly recommend this book series for parents of young girls. Nancy truly shows them they can be anything they want to be and shouldn’t let anyone stand in their way.

Click below to purchase the very first Nancy Drew book!

***The photo above is from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

 

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