So far, here are some topics we've gotten to: We've started discussions on classic Nancy Drew books and have gotten to Old Clock and Hidden Staircase, discussed behind the scenes of Old Clock at the Syndicate, spotlight on Nancy Drew villains, started a project for January--reading/discussing Melanie Rehak's Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, discussed Bess Marvin, Things We've Learned From Nancy Drew, we've got a trivia contest going on the first 5 classic books for prizes, Nancy Drew 101: Collecting Tips, Nancy Drew's creator Edward Stratemeyer, and we're starting a 4 week Nancy Drew crafting project. Something for everyone.
Come join us and enjoy the nostalgia, read along and discuss the classic Nancy Drew books--we're doing 4 to 5 per month--and much more! :)
In honor of the 80th anniversary of Nancy Drew, the Today Show via Al's Book Club for Kids, will be doing a book club segment on the first Nancy Drew book (The Secret of the Old Clock) and the first Hardy Boys book (The Tower Treasure). View the segment (it's near the end of the video) in which they introduce as their next books for the club the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books here.
Typically Al Roker has on a kids' book author who talks to Al and then takes questions from the kids--there are around 5+ kids in the book club that appear in the segments regularly.
Well, being that Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon are not actual authors and since they are focusing on the classic books, none of those ghosts are around anymore! So they are having me on as a fan/expert to talk to the kids about the books.
I'll be flying to NYC at the end of the month. The taping will take place on Friday, January 29th during the Today Show.
I'm really thrilled to be able to go and visit the set and chat with Al and the kids about these timeless classic mystery books!
Hope you all will tune in. They will have video of the segment most likely on the website once it airs.
I'm adding a preview of what's going on at my 365 Days of Nancy Drew Blog Party below.
Join the Nancy Drew Blog Party that celebrates 80 years of Nancy Drew all year long with: Classic Nancy Drew Book Discussions (all 56), Nancy Drew Collecting, Behind the Scenes Mysteries, The Characters, Places, and Suspense we all love, Contests and giveaways, Monthly Projects and Crafty Endeavors, and an 80th Anniversary party! I'm going to work my way through classic and modern Nancy Drew within the books and behind the scenes. So hop in your roadsters and enjoy this nostalgia ride back to River Heights along with me!
A musty closet, a missing will, singing lessons. Let's discuss.
Today we jump right in to classic Nancy Drew with a discussion of The Secret of the Old Clock. Have you read Old Clock lately? If not, I'd recommend reading the first volume in the series--where it all began. Published April 28, 1930, it set the tone for what would become one of the most popular and long running Stratemeyer Syndicate series.
When the Topham family inherits all of Josiah Crowley's fortune, something isn't right about the whole affair. Josiah promised other friends and relatives that they would inherit. In Nancy's first case, she searches for a hidden will in order to help restore the inheritances to the rightful heirs. Being locked in a closet by robbers and a narrow escape with an old clock lead to Nancy solving this baffling mystery!
As a first book in the series, it has all the makings of a suspenseful mystery--cliffhangers, a missing will, a menacing band of robbers who lock Nancy in a closet, car chases, and even gunfire in the original version.
If you haven't read the original version, I'd recommend it. Not only is the characterization better, the scenery and setting more descriptive, but it has a real timeless quality to it. Not that the revision doesn't have that same timeless quality to a degree, but it is choppier and includes changes that aren't as interesting as the original version.
Original vs. Revised - 5 Interesting Clues:
1. The revised includes a (dare I say somewhat annoying) little girl named Judy being cared for by the Turner sisters who Nancy rescues at the book's beginning. Boring!
2. What a coincidence! Revised River Heights has a famous music teacher--Signor Mascagni.
3. In the revision, Jeff Tucker becomes a country bumpkin and kids everywhere ran to look up "hornswoggled" in their dictionaries.
4. We can't have villains engaged in a drinking orgy! In the revision, the only orgy was of the eatin' kind!
5. 1930s Nancy was much more bold, brash, and less likely to uphold the law.
3 Mysterious Things About Nancy:
1. We learn that Nancy has a few mechanical skills--she can change a flat tire and work over a boat's motor.
2. She has 2 enemies--The Topham Sisters (Ada and Isabel).
3. She's knowledgeable about many things--having studied Archimedes and psychology in school.
An Important Lesson We Learned From Nancy:
When sleuthing in isolated locations, be sure to tell someone where you're going in case you get locked in a closet and left to starve!
Sleuthworthy Rating On a Scale of 1-10:
6 - I could have used more suspense and more villain foibles, some of my favorite mystery devices. I preferred the original and could have done without the sub plots of singing lessons and the police dog and puppy cliffhanger. I liked the scenes around Moon Lake and the name "Black Horse Inn" lent an air of mystery.
What do you all think? Was it one of your favorites? Did you prefer either the original or the revised? As a first mystery in the series, how does it compare with later volumes?