Family Nature

I Want my Nancy Drew

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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6 thoughts on “I Want my Nancy Drew

  1. Barbara

    Aaaah… I remember Nancy. She was fearless and confident and all the things I wanted to be. NOT some silly little girl concerned with fashion, sleepovers and dolls. NOT COOL.

  2. Lisa Marie

    I LOVED Nancy Drew! She was awesome. In fact, one Hallowe’en that I decided to go out trick or treating (we didn’t often), I went as Nancy Drew – lol. I guess it was a cheater costume – jeans and a tshirt with a magnifying glass and flashlight. haha. 🙂 I can’t wait til the kids are big enough to read Hardy Boys together. Classics!

  3. Larry

    I found this on

    The Nancy Drew Starter Set is the perfect gift for aspiring detectives, or longtime fans of the series The first six books are packaged together in a collectible box set with an updated design. Titles included are “#1 The Secret of the Old Clock,” “#2 The Hidden Staircase,” “#3 The Bungalow Mystery,” “#4 The Mystery at Lilac Inn,” “#5 The Secret of Shadow Ranch,” and “#6 The Secret of Red Gate Farm.”

  4. Patience

    I like preclassic Nancy. The books you mention are actually revisions of the original series written in 1930 when Nancy was described as 16; not eighteen and drove a roadster. They are longer stories (over 200pgs rather than about 175) and are like period pieces but in the end; Nancy is independent and resourceful as she was meant to be.
    When I look for used books or in the library; I only look for the ones written pre 1959. You can check some of these out of the library if you look for books written by Carolyn Keene and Russell Tandy.
    I’ve been reading Nancy since I was 9 and still like the books but they never appealed to my older girl so maybe I have a chance with Talitha.

  5. rodgerlevesque

    Funny coincidence, while we were vacationing on the island this past week, Rene and I were walking in an alley and there, a little worse for the wear, but totally usable/readable, was an early hardcover Nancy Drew mystery. So I stuffed it into a side pocket of my backpack.

    Kate read it to the kids in the tent at night, but Rene did read ahead on his own during the day. He had to be kept from spoiling it for the girls, and Kate, herself, if I was hearing her tone right.

  6. Winston

    I think the teen-age Nancy Drew is still around. This is just a spin-off series for younger kids.