Monday, October 27, 2014

What I Learned from Nancy Drew

I have dyslexia and was lucky enough to be in a school system that checked for this in 1966 when I was in third grade. I took some special classes and by fourth grade I was an avid reader. I started reading Helen Fuller Orton’s mysteries and when I had read all of those in the school’s library, I graduated to Nancy Drew. When I had finished all of the Nancy Drews in the school’s library, I started buying them at Kmart for $1.59 each. I earned money babysitting for children in the neighborhood at fifty cents an hour.


I collected the entire 64-book set of the Nancy Drew books in hardback and about the first five in paperback. Through the years, something will come up in conversation or reading and I’ll think, ”I learned that in a Nancy Drew book.” For example:  In The Secret of the Golden Pavilion, we learn that the silversword plant only grows in one place—the Haleakala Crater on the Hawaiian island of Maui—and on the island of Hawaii, there is a fern forest with ferns the size of trees; in The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes, Nancy learns how to play a chanter, a part of a set of bagpipes, and explains how bagpipes work; in The Mystery of the Fire Dragon, Nancy learns of dragon lore and that dragons with five claws are royal. You just never know when a Jeopardy answer can be solved with a Nancy Drew question.

Links of Interest:
The Nancy Drew Unofficial Home Page
Nancy Drew Sleuths
Beyond Nancy Drew: A Guide to Girls' Literature

Lynn Piper Carpenter
Five Points West Library

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