Celebrating 85 Years of Nancy Drew

I don’t remember the first time I read The Secret of the Old Clock, the first in the Nancy Drew series, but I do remember devouring the series the way I now devour Godiva Chocolates (can’t get enough and approach cautiously unless you want to be injured for interrupting me). For the first time in my life the main character who went out and solved the problem was a female. Don’t get me wrong, prior to the Nancy Drew series I had read most of the Boxcar Children series but Jessie follows her brother’s lead in that series whereas Nancy leads the way. It allowed me to see that girls should be asking “why” and “what if”, questioning the world around them and paying attention to what is going on. I still have my original copy (which was my mother’s first),  a dogeared well used hardbound edition. I read some Hardy Boys novels but I didn’t devour the series like I did the Nancy Drew series. Although I will admit I really wanted Frank of the Hardy Boys and Nancy to get together (I always felt like Ned was a little wishy-washy for Nancy) and when I was in middle school I LOVED the Nancy Drew-Hardy Boys Super Mysteries.

This week marks the 85th anniversary of the publication of The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene. There is a wonderfully written essay by Theodore Jefferson about “The Girl Who Started it All” found here and a nice tribute on The Mighty Girls Facebook page here. I love to see the books I enjoyed in my younger years still being enjoyed today! I also love it when publishers embrace newer (ebooks are not really new anymore but some older published books haven’t been updating older print books into new formats) formats and you can get The Secret of the Old Clock in hardcover, mass paperback, ebook, audible CD and audible download.  In addition to the original novels, Nancy Drew has also been the star of a film (2007 starring Emma Roberts) and an entire series of mystery video games (Jillian, a reviewer here at Novel Reaction, is addicted to them and I think has almost all, if not all of them).

When my younger sister Jordanne and I found the newer artwork at a book story I was seriously tempted to get a new copy just because I love the 1930s outfit they put Nancy in. After writing this, I may just have to dig out my copy of The Secret of the Old Clock and reread it for old time’s sake this week. Did you read the Nancy Drew mysteries? Any other books you grew up reading that made a huge impact on your life?

Dig! by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha Review

Follow Mr. Rally and his trusty sidekick as they dig all day in this read-along adventure! As he gets ready to dig, Mr. Rally counts his five different jobs for the day, and little ones can count with him while he makes his way across town.

Dig! is a cute construction story. I really like how the story rhymes but not obnoxiously so. There are certain phrases that are repeated throughout the story which makes it more familiar for the really young child being read to. In addition to being able to count the jobs Mr. Rally does, his dog gets a bone in each scene that will easily allow interaction of the child in finding where Lightning is getting the bones and counting them along with the counting of the jobs.

The art work is cute with several things going on on each page but not enough that it overwhelms the child and they can’t focus on specific items on the page.

Dig! is currently my son’s favorite book (he is eight months old), I have read it so many times that I can recite the entire thing by memory but he loves it. If I am reading him another book and Dig! is where he can see it, he will sit there and stare at Dig!, ignoring the book I am currently reading to him,until I pick it up and read it to him, he loves it that much.

digRating: Star 5copy

Title: Dig!

Author: Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha

Artist: Marc Rosenthal

Format: Board Book, Hardcover

Page Nos.: 30

ISBN: 978-0544173880

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: February 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

New Genre Coming to Novel Reaction

View More: http://erikasnow.pass.us/james-6-days--september-2013

Novel Reaction will celebrate its fifth birthday/anniversary (what would you call the starting of a blog?! Anyways I digress) this June. I started Novel Reaction as a place to just post the occasional review and author spotlight, since then it has grown into so much more than I ever could have imagined when I started it five years ago. I remember when I started posting a review once a week and I was worried about having enough to say that I could continue to regularly post once a week (Haha! I should know my ability to ramble on and on better than that!).  For awhile there were five reviewers besides myself providing reviews, as a result of that I had the freedom to be really picky about what was posted review wise (I was trying to provide more clean romance novels even though I read a lot of the mainstream romance novels) but about a year ago I lost all of my reviewers except one (Jillian) to life events happening (jobs, kids, etc.) at about the same time and I even took a break for about year while I took the Arizona Bar (twice) and was ill with pregnancy. At first I was really disappointed that Novel Reaction was changing so much but then I realized that it is just like everything else in life, there are seasons when certain things make sense and then things change and that is okay. Novel Reaction is going to be changing again (but in a good way) in that I have decided to review a children’s book once a week.

View More: http://erikasnow.pass.us/james

I love books! Obviously or I wouldn’t be here weekly writing reviews. I find myself in the fabulous position of sharing that love of books with my son (he is currently eight months old) and it has amazed me how at even such a young age I can tell when he really likes a book or just is okay with the book. With me reading so many children’s books (and some of them over and over and over again) I realize, more than I did as a child, that like all other genres there are some fabulous books out there and some not so fabulous books. I decided that I wanted to share the gems that I have found with you, my readers. In addition to providing my thoughts on the book I will provide my son’s reaction (as much as possible) to the book. If there are any books I need to read to him please share, this is a new genre that I haven’t spent any time with since my youngest sister (Jillian who reviews here) out grew them.