February One A Day – Day 19 – Call Me Nancy Drew

Prompt: Favorite Childhood Book?


The Secret in the Old Attic
The Secret in the Old Attic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can remember getting to my granny’s house first thing in the morning and crawling into her lap for her to “read me story” but the most memorable book from my childhood has to be Carolyn Keene‘s “The Secret in the Old Attic” which was the very first Nancy Drew book I ever read.  It was an old hardbound edition with a navy blue cover – no dust jacket and it had been my Aunt Dee’s.  Once I discovered and read it, then found out it was part of a whole series I was beyond delighted.  Over the next few years I read every one of the then 50-something books in the series.  It got to the point where I could read one in a couple of hours but I read every single one even for a while after I aged out of them.


I didn’t think much of the T.V. series – can’t recall even watching a single episode but I devoured all of the books.  To this day I still prefer to read the book vs. see the movie.  I’m not a movie person at all but am very much a book person.

Aunt Dee was thrilled that I’d fallen in love with the Nancy Drew series and I’d borrow them three at a time from the local library or my school library, depending upon the time of year.  I owned quite a few of them as well, actually I have copies of about 3/4 of the original series as it was up until about 1970 or so.  I have no idea what’s happened with the series since then, other than there was the t.v. show and the revelation that there were a team of writers who continued writing Nancy Drew stories under the Carolyn Keene nom de plume even after the creator had passed away.  I could even be wrong with the specifics on that but seeing several related articles pop up here while editing this post has made me want to do a little Nancy Drew research.

In fact, my daughter is at the right age to introduce her to Nancy Drew…..wouldn’t I just love it if she fell in love with the series like I did??

I think that first book was probably earlier than the one pictured at right because as I said, it didn’t have a dust jacket and this cover resembles the covers on the early books after they began to put the picture or illustration right onto the front cover of the book.  And this was, of course, the way the new ones were coming out at the time I started reading them but the picture below shows the cover of a much older version of “The Secret in the Old Clock” which was another one of my favorites.

Wow, this is conjuring up memories of Nancy and her lawyer father, the housekeeper Hannah Gruen, her friends George and Bess, boyfriend Ned, her convertible, the fact that she could pack for an over nighter at the drop of a hat and usually had a little black dress as well as clothes suitable for exploring caves and attics with her in that suitcase.  Gotta love it!!


cover:  Nancy Drew--The Secret of the Old Cloc...
cover: Nancy Drew–The Secret of the Old Clock * Carolyn Keene (Photo credit: Carla216)




  1. Wow. That’s exactly what happened to me. I wasn’t much of a reader till one day at a friend’s house, her mom made my friend do some cleaning. I was by myself sitting by their bookcases and saw three blue cloth books. Seemed interesting so I took one out, I think it was the Hidden Staircase, and in no time I was hooked! I devoured them. I got some from the library and some I bought at the local drug store (these were the yellow ones). I still have them packed away somewhere. Sadly, my two daughters weren’t interested in books. However, my granddaughter who is 10 now, is the right age for these. I think I’ll go find them and introduce her!

  2. aha! I knew there was more to the Carolyn Keene thing – there was no Carolyn Keene – the stories were outlined, written and edited by a small group of 2-3 people through the years and that changed through the years. The first one that I read was published in 1944. So cool! I know nothing of the books published by Simon & Schuster which seem to be a different series altogether although sold as a continuation of the series…..

  3. Once the weather clears up and the yard sales star I think I’ll hunt down some Nancy Drew books. After I gift a few of the ones that I got last summer which I just don’t have time to read. There is a book site you might enjoy where you might find the books you are missing.
    It is free to join and I’m there as JulsePaige as well.
    It is nice sight where you are encouraged to find, gift, and release to freedom books, books, and more books.

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