Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

by Melanie Rehak

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Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nancy Drew has been a household name for decades. In the novel Girl Sleuth author Melanie Rehak explains how Nancy Drew came to character and exactly why she is what she is today. This novel went into great detail about the women who created her and the struggles and hardships they faced throughout their lives and throughout creating the tales of Nancy Drew. Nancy Drew was brought to life by the works of these ladies and became real to so many children not only then but now. Nancy Drew gave the inspiration and let every child believe that they could do anything they put their minds to. This novel took a trip back to the past and even as interesting as it was it was all the more educational, telling of the struggles that not only the creators of Nancy Drew faced but also the struggles of all women. This novel took a look inside many of the Nancy Drew tales and how they were created. There were many many women who influenced the creation of Nancy Drew and some men as well. This book was very well written and kept me engaged. It is also very impressive how well researched it is and how Melanie Rehak left no detail out. Though Nancy Drew may have been an extraordinary fictional character the tales of these women is nothing less than as real as real can be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a selection of our book club and while I was interested (I loved Nancy Drew and can directly attribut my love of reading to her books), I was a bit concerned that it would be dull and dry. I needn't have worried.From the first page, the story of these remarkable women was interspersed with the history of their times and their lives. The early days of the fight for the right to vote, going to college at the turn of the century, making a living, holding down a job and taking care of a family.... does this sound old? I loved Nancy Drew as a child but the story of these woman was even more interesting than the story of Nancy. My one complaint would be that I would have like to see more pictures of these women adn their families and associates. Minor really. The book is well written, entertaining and well researched. My teen was writing a paper on the 19th amendment and found this book a wealth of info. Fascinating. Worth the read and more. Now I want to re-read those old Nancys!
harstan More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting biography in that Melanie Rehak looks into the creation of one of the most popular fictional detectives of all time, Nancy Drew and the creators who wrote the stories. As with the Hardy Boys, the Girl Detective story lines followed a precise formula to include fun but impossible twists and red herrings as well as escapes that MacGyver would have been proud to have made. Still Nancy Drew became and is an icon as the courageous teen willing to risk much for what she believes is right.................... Edward Stratemeyer, the genius who established the Rover Boys and the Bobbsey Twins novels, developed the formula (with help from his assistant) for a girl sleuth combining the Ruth Fielding tales with the boy detectives Hardy Boys. He hired journalist Mildred Wirt, who authored the Fielding books for him, to ghost write the Nancy Drew thrillers starting in 1930. She scribed the first dozen with an emphasis on an energetic never quitting Drew, who did not fear getting dirty. After Stratemeyer died, his daughter Harriet wrote the stories with a different but still energetic Drew that accentuated the teen¿s deportment as much as solving the mystery. Ms. Rehak provides a fun look behind the scenes that anyone who read (or watched the TV show) the Drew novels including this reviewer will appreciate................... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
For the original baby boomers who turn sixty this year, 'Girl Sleuth' was a walk down memory lane. My mother's generation, my generation, my daughter's generation, and now my grandaughter's generation have loved and continue to love Nancy Drew. To finally have the complete story told in such a delightful manner has made the 'walk' that much better. I could share numerous stories connected with the reading of each book. The most important influence Nancy had on many of us was that we never doubted we could do or be anything! Long before the Women's Movement, I wanted to be a scientist (never a teacher or nurse). Unfortunately, I began my career in the sixties and that ment teaching not medicine. Thanks to Nancy, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Katherine Hepburn, I had the role models I needed and have had a successful career educating future female physicians and scientist. I am a sicence teacher. Next month I begin my thirty-fifth year of teaching. Thank you Melanie and Nancy for convincing me I lived up to the dream!
mommablogsalot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This just simply wasn¿t the book I wanted it to be. I loved Eating for Beginners so much but this didn¿t have that same fantastic wit that I¿d grown to love in EFB and the book was much more about feminism and women¿s suffrage than it was about Nancy Drew ¿ not an uninteresting topic, just not what I¿d been hoping to read and ultimately it felt more like that stodgy traditional ¿nonfiction¿ that I was forced to read in school.
MusicMom41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book entertaining and informative. It was a combination social history, an account of the development of group that became a powerfu forcee in children's fiction in the early 20th century, a little bit of biography of the principal people responsible for Nancy Drew¿s creation, and a lot about Nancy Drew and her mysteries, including how she was the product of the "rise of feminism" and also partly the impetus. I never realized the influence she had over the views of women from the time of the Depression through the rest of the 20th century. I just remember loving her books.A personal note: I was a huge Nancy Drew fan from the time I was eight until I was nearly thirteen, reading and rereading the 32 books I had collected during that time. The summer before I was to enter high school my Dad got transferred from California to Oregon and my folks did the packing while I was at summer camp. When we unpacked in Oregon I was horrified to find out Mom had given away my Nancy Drew books because she thought I had outgrown them. At the very end of this book I discovered I wasn¿t alone in this tragedy. ¿as a Washington, D.C., rock band called Tuscadero made clear in a 1995 song called ¿Nancy Drew.¿ Its lyrics recounted ¿horror of discovering your mother threw out your collection of the teenage sleuth¿s books.¿ (p. 310)
ChickLitFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this account of two women and their complicated relationship, and their joint creation of the Nancy Drew series I read in younger days. These were women before their time, breaking barriers and persisting in their work even at times when women were expected to return to their homes. The author explains the historical context of women's roles in society throughout most of the 20th century in parallel with these womens' stories. I did find some of these history lessons boring, and would occasionally put the book down during these stretches. I always picked it back up though, to find out what happened to these women, and the author always returned to their more personal story.I'd recommend this for any fan of the intrepid Nancy Drew, and also to those interested in writing and publishing.
bearette24 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a well-written, fast-paced biography of fictional Nancy Drew and the two women who primarily wrote about her: Harriet Stratemeyer Adams and Mildred Wirt Benson. Benson emerges as the more sympathetic, though both women exemplify the confidence and perseverance for which Nancy is famous. I also learned many interesting tidbits about history and feminism.My only complaint was that the book started slowly, and didn't really address Nancy Drew as a topic until page 92 or so. The chapter on Harriet's college years at Wellesley was particularly excruciating, aside from an entertaining bit where Harriet, in a Nancy-like turn, exhibits bravery under pressure when a fire hits an important building at Wellesley. Other than the slow beginning, however, the book was perfect -- and may even spike Nancy Drew sales.
librarychicgeek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little overly thorough at times, this was a fascinating look into the history of Nancy Drew and the people who created and shaped her.
rennerra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable read about authors(s) of Nancy Drew and the system of developing the books. Love this type of biographical look at women on the "fringes" of history. Well-written, fast-paced although it did start out a bit slow.
Morena on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book!!! I *devoured* Nancy Drew as little girl, and found that I didn't miss having the idea of "Carolyn Keene" in my mind. The women who actually brought my favorite role-model to life were themselves interesting and quite fun to read about.I also enjoyed how Rehak showed how much changed in the series depending on which editions you were reading. I read the yellow hardback 1970s versions during the mid-90s, and knew Nancy as a titian-haired 19-year-old with a blue Mustang. But seeing how she evolved was one of the things I liked most about the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very easy to read, I learned a lot about the lives of women working throughout the ages and the influence of Nancy Drew.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago