Feb 24, 2012

Fiction Fridays: Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Dance Off

This week I'm featuring a book I am reading to A as a chapter a night. I picked it for her when I was looking for a chapter book she might like, and noticed this one featured dancing, a talent show and mystery-solving, which are all what she is heavily into at the moment.

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #30: Dance Off
Carolyn Keene, 2011 (Aladdin)

"Why do we have to wear these goofy pink coats?" George Fayne asked.
She frowned at the vinyl coat draped over her arm.
"What detectives walk around in these?"
"Dancing detectives!" Nancy Drew replied.

I have mixed feelings about Nancy Drew. I read lots of the books when I was a kid but I never really warmed to her - she was too perfect. Way too grown-up and together for supposedly an 18 year old (a little like most of the other girl detective series I read, including Linda Craig, Cherry Ames and others I can barely remember now - but my absolute favourite was the younger, more modern and more "real" seeming Trixie Belden).

The Clue Crew series is a repackaging of Nancy Drew for younger kids. They are still written by "Carolyn Keene" who is obviously a completely different set of writers these days, and they are illustrated with cartoons in current style every few pages. Nancy and her friends are now in primary school, and they say things like "fave" and "totally!"

George Fayne is no longer a "tomboy", but a "computer geek".
Bess Marvin is no longer "plump".
And Nancy Drew doesn't yet have a boyfriend, just a crush on a Bieber-like character fronting a kids' talent show in this book, who may or may not (I'm going with not) be the person sabotaging the kids' auditions for evil purposes.

I'd say these books are pretty fun for older kids - mine are slightly too young, so as we read each night we are doing a lot of backtracking and discussing around plot points and who knows what and who said what and who is connected to whom, as they are finding it all a bit confusing. There is a lot of "Who did that mama?", "Why did she say that?",  "Who's he again?" etc.

But despite that I can say that A is loving the book. She loves the concept, loves the pink coats, loves the name Nancy.  Nancy is A's middle name (named for Y's mum) and she has made me re-tell again and again the story of how we came up with their names and why she got Nancy for a middle name, and how she wished it was her first name instead!

Thay's the beauty of books - even when they're not quite right, you can still get so much out of them.

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  1. Sounds like an interesting book I've never heard of them bit definitely one to look out for when my little girl is at that 'bigger book' stage! I do t think the boys would like them!

    1. Thanks Nikki. No I agree, not a "boy book"! Great books for boys though are the Zac Power ones - they're excellent.

  2. Agreed Content Valube to time spend to your blog. By Wholesale Printing

  3. ....Yes, Trixie Beldon! I LOVED those books ..... are they reprinted these days or have they died?

    1. Hi Kath,
      Yes they were re-printed in the 90s last, I think. I found a couple by accident in our local library a couple of months ago and borrowed one (felt a bit guilty in case some tween missed out but I was so curious!) it was fun to read it again but I was surprised to discover the books were written in the 60's - in hindsight it's obvious and explains the odd little detail that puzzled me as a kid reading them - but I always thought they were "current day" when I was a kid.



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