LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Happy Birthday, Nancy Drew!

Happy 85th birthday, Nancy Drew!

My mother owned all of the Nancy Drew books. Her parents starting purchasing these for her when she was a girl, and she continued to purchase the books for my sister, Sarah, and I. I whiled away many hours reading each and every one, curled up in some quiet corner in our farmhouse, and I sometimes read each one more than once.

In more recent years, my sister Sarah’s daughter, Kathleen, read all of them.  My daughter never seemed to get interested in them as she was, like so many of her generation, caught up in the Harry Potter books.

We stored them in one of my father’s old footlockers, and I’m sure Sarah has them at her house to this day.

Here is a nice story about the Nancy Drew books, written by Theodore Jefferson (what a great name!).  85 Years of Nancy Drew

Once, the Dickinson State University public relations director interviewed me about my career as a librarian. Somewhere I must have a clipping of the story he wrote for The Dickinson Press. I told him, and he quoted me, that a part of the explanation for why I became a librarian could be found in the hours of enjoyment I found in reading the Nancy Drew books. Following clues to find answers for patrons seemed very much like Nancy following clues to solve her puzzles.

Not long ago, I burst my husband’s bubble about the so-called writer of these books, Carolyn Keene. He was shocked to learn from me that “Carolyn Keene” is simply a pseudonym. All these years after he encountered the books at the Hettinger Public Library, he was sure Carolyn was a living, breathing genius.

According to Wikipedia, “The Secret of the Old Clock” is the first volume in the “Nancy Drew Mystery Stories” series written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, first published in 1930.

If I didn’t have such a long backlog of books to be read, it would be very tempting to reread the family’s Nancy Drew volumes. What the heck, I just might do it next winter!

Leave a Reply