Nancy Drew Clue Crew

I’ve been so busy with grading lately that rather than invest time in longer books I’ve been sneaking in really short ones, namely the stack of Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew books that I picked up at the spring library sale. I know that if I pick up an actual novel I’ll get sucked in and neglect either work or sleep (not that this is from experience…)

image from Simon and Schuster

So far I’ve read a mix of volumes and noticed a few things in common: the crimes are trifles on a large scale but very serious to those involved. I guess it’s a precursor to Nancy’s taking on the zucchini case! Because of this catching the culprit is basically a slap on the wrist and accepted apology, but it works because usually Nancy is only investigating to clear someone else’s name.The series is also predictable in its continuity elements, which is always important to younger readers. For example, the rule about staying within five blocks from home is mentioned in most volumes, as are their standard sleuthing procedures like computer files and evidence drawer. The same classmates are mentioned in various books, not just Deirdre and Ned.

The plots, on the other hand, vary somewhat. Valentine’s Day Secret is the prerequisite Bess/George fight, while The Zoo Crew had me marveling at the stupidity of certain adults. (SPOILER) Really, it took an eight-year-old to realize that chimps trained to open doors are probably responsible for stealing other animals’ toys at night? It also felt like a take-off of the plot from The Circus Scare. Fashion Disaster and Wedding Day Disaster both feature French pedigree poseurs, though in completely different contexts. My personal favorite was Lights, Camera…Cats, about a missing animal star, even though the author seemed to think that words like “superawesome” and “superfamous” don’t need spaces (a little piece of me died).

I would never buy these new, but they’re fun little mysteries in the vein of Nate the Great or Cam Jansen, and kids will like them. I wonder what the new Hardy Boys series for younger readers will be like?

Published in: on May 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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