Book Review of
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her
A plucky “titian-haired” sleuth solved her first mystery in 1930. Eighty million books later, Nancy Drew has survived the Depression, World War II, and the sixties (when she was taken up with a vengeance by women’s libbers) to enter the pantheon of American girlhood. As beloved by girls today as she was by their grandmothers, Nancy Drew has both inspired and reflected the changes in her readers’ lives. Here, in a narrative with all the vivid energy and page-turning pace of Nancy’s adventures, Melanie Rehak solves an enduring literary mystery: Who created Nancy Drew? And how did she go from pulp heroine to icon?
The brainchild of children’s book mogul Edward Stratemeyer, Nancy was brought to life by two women: Mildred Wirt Benson, a pioneering journalist from Iowa, and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, a well-bred wife and mother who took over as CEO after her father died. In this century-spanning story, Rehak traces their roles—and Nancy’s—in forging the modern American woman.
I never knew much about Nancy Drew’s author or should I say authors. Nancy Drew has a unusually story behind her making and authors. Her continued popularity over the years has surprised many. But why should it? I believe most girls enjoyed reading about a young girl who was fearless as she beat the criminal at ever turn. At least, she didn’t get kidnapped at every turn like the Hardy Boys who came before her. I love this book and enjoyed learning about an unusual part of history.
I bought this ebook when it was on sale a few weeks ago and am so glad that I did. Grace read it first and I was fascinated by the things she told me about it. I knew I had to read it. Like most girls that grew up in the 1970’s I read pretty much all the Nancy Drew books. They were some of my favorite books as a kid.
I knew a little bit about Nancy Drew, but not a lot, so I found Girl Slueth very interesting. It was a fascinating look behind the scenes at how Nancy Drew came about, the authors that wrote the books, and how she has stood the test of time. It also covers a lot of information about the children’s publishing world, especially in the early 1900’s. If you loved Nancy Drew as a child or love learning about writing and publishing I think you will enjoy this book.