In real life the phrase, “get a clue” wouldn’t necessarily be a complimentary one. But in the life of fictional super-sleuth Nancy Drew, it’s a staple in everyday life.
May begins the celebration of icon Nancy Drew’s 80th birthday. This fictional teenager was hip, fun-loving, popular, responsible and also an amateur sleuth. If she were a real person, she would be 98 years old! This wildly popular series was created in the 1930’s and supposedly written by author Carolyn Keene. The series was incredibly popular and to date there have been more than 500 books written involving teenage sleuth, Nancy Drew. This character remains a generational favorite with today’s readers.
But who is Carolyn Keene, author of the Nancy Drew mystery stories? And how did it all begin? I remember many rumors as a child that Carolyn Keene was not a real person and the series was actually ghostwritten. Lo and behold, I’ve now discovered that was true!
It all began with Edward Stratemeyer, a writer and publisher of books for kids. He had so many exciting ideas he didn’t have enough time to write them all. So he hired writers called ghosts to bring his stories to life. So truth-be-told, the Nancy Drew books were written by ghost writers and Stratemeyer gave all of them the name Carolyn Keene. The main creative force behind this prolific series was a young woman named Mildred Wirt Benson. She was born in 1905 and grew up in a small town in Iowa. A tomboy, Mildred craved adventure and often joined the boys playing sports. One of her favorite things to do was read. She read everything she could get her hands on from classic books to kids’ books like Peter Rabbit and Little Women. (source-LA Times)
In summary, Stratemeyer asked Mildred to write “The Secret of the Old Clock” -the first Nancy Drew book. Bensons did so and began to form the mystery “formula” that is so prevalent in the series. Benson then wrote the second and third books in the series; “The Hidden Staircase” and “The Bungalow Mystery,” which were published 1930 when Benson was only 24. She would go on to write 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew books (volumes 1-7, 11-25 and 30).
Nancy Drew became a hit and by 1934 was outselling boys’ series like the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift. Now, 80 years later, there have been more than 500 Nancy Drew mysteries written and no end in sight for America’s favorite teenage sleuth.
Over the last few weeks, not only have I read quite a bit of wonderful information about this delightful series, I’ve noticed many, many adult readers piping up with a mention of their favorite Nancy Drew books along with just as many comments about, “I still have my series from childhood!” Many of us who were Nancy Drew fans in our younger years still have our collections and have saved them for the sole purpose of passing them on to our own kids. I just love the fact that this iconic series is not only quality reading for young minds, but also have become “keepsakes” for generations of families to enjoy.
So with that in mind I wish to rally all Nancy Drew readers young and old! I would love to see YOUR Nancy Drew books/collections, learn which ones were your favorites and hear how they have become a valued asset in your life. For the rest of May, I invite readers to share photos of their favorite Nancy Drew books along with the hashtag #DrewToYou on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. What a fun way to share a piece of your life and your love of books with thousands of like-minded readers!
I am very excited to not only see your favorite Nancy drew picks, but I have planned to highlight some of the best ones in my weekly Jump Into a Book series Weekend Links.
So get ready to, “show us your Drew!” #DrewToYou
More Nancy Drew resources and articles can be found HERE
Let’s celebrate the wonderful upturn in the weather with a Super Spring Sale! I have two of my most popular books on a super special sale until May18th!
The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until May18, 2015 ! http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT
Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX
Your choice, $17.95 each!
Looking for a unique way to keep your kids busy this summer…and engaged with nature? The At-Home Summer Nature Camp eCurriculum is available for sale! A creative, affordable alternative to pricey summer camp, this 8-week eCurriculum is packed with ideas and inspiration to keep your kids engaged and happy all summer long. In one easy-to-follow PDF, […]
Hello and welcome to our Secret Garden! Every Wednesday you can drop by here and find new and special happenings in the Secret Garden. There will be crafts, great food, fun and laughter. So please be sure to come by and see us in our Secret Garden created just for you. Ah, finally the weather […]
Last week I put the below video on my personal Facebook page. I was completely awe inspired by the communication between these instrumentalist and the whales. So inspired I put on my Facebook that I’d like to have this very experience !!! Fellow book-lover Mia Wenjen of PragmaticMom wrote on my Facebook wall that I […]
Children’s Book Week is this week, May 4-10, 2015! Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of children’s books and reading. Established in 1919, it is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. The program is administered by Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the anchor sponsor. In […]
The Girl with a Brave Heart: A Tale from Tehran by Rita Jahanforuz A book review from Hannah Rials As a baby, Shiraz’s mother died, and her father soon remarried, giving her a new mother and a sister to grow up with. But when her father died, everything changed. Shiraz’s stepmother forced her to do […]
In Just Like Me Climbing a Tree: Exploring Tress Around the World, award-winning author/illustrator Durga Yael Bernhard travels around the globe visiting 12 beautiful and favorite trees. Exploration and inquiry are the keys to unlocking the secrets and treasures of the trees. Each page asks a question: What if we swung from a tree branch as monkeys […]
This week on Secret Garden Wednesday, we’re celebrating everything roses. When I think of the Secret Garden I think of roses and their wonderful beauty. Inside the Secret Garden there are roses growing everywhere and are happily attended to by Mary, Collin, and Dickon. I grew up in Portland, Oregon and every year to this […]
I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to share The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan with you for National Poetry Month. The Dreamer is an invitation into the imaginative world of Pablo Neruda. Pablo Neruda is one of my favorite poets !! The Dreamer has allowed me to share my love of this […]