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.
If you would like to play Fiction Fridays, click on the badge below to see how: