My favorite children’s book? Nancy Drew of course!

by Karen Topakian

My favorite children’s book? That’s easy. Nancy Drew. Not only did I read the complete set more than once in my formative years. But my partner and I actually own many volumes.

Why do I love Nancy Drew so much? Because she was:

A good friend: “I’ve been busy lately,” Helen explained. “Trying to sell six tickets for a charity ball. But haven’t had much luck. Would you like a couple?” A sudden idea flashed into Nancy’s mind at her friend’s words.” Helen,” she said excitedly, “I’ll buy two of your tickets and sell the rest for you.”

Agreeable: During breakfast Mr. Drew said, “Nancy would you do a little errand for me this morning?’ “Why of course, Dad.” “I’d appreciate it if you would drive these legal documents over to Judge Hart in Masonville.” “I’ll be glad to go.” Promised Nancy willingly. “Besides it’s such a wonderful day. I’ll enjoy the trip.”

Brave: Walking directly to the closet, he flung open the door. Instantly he spotted Nancy and angrily jerked her out. Nancy realized that she was in a desperate situation. But she steeled herself not to show any of her inward fears.  “I must keep calm, she told herself firmly. Aloud she explained coolly, “I heard someone coming and I just felt a bit nervous.”

Competent: Though Nancy was able to change a tire, she never relished the task. Quickly she took out the spare tire from the rear compartment, found the jack and the lug wrench and went to work.

With a sign of impatience at the unexpected delay, Nancy examined the boat’s motor. For over an hour she worked on it, trying every adjustment she could think of. But her efforts were useless.

Complimentary: “I’ve never tasted anything more delicious in all my life,” Nancy said enthusiastically.

Discreet: Nancy didn’t answer at once. She had been taught never to gossip. “Ada and Isabel were in high school with me. They were never my close friends. We – uh  – didn’t see eye to eye on various things.”

Helpful: “Dad, I’ll know that fellow if ever I see him again,” Nancy concluded. “Would you like me to capture him for you?”

Kind to animals: Nancy suddenly saw a sight that appalled her. Wedged between to stones of a broken wall was a police dog puppy whining pitifully. Nancy dashed forward and released the little animal. As it continued to whimper, she cuddled the pup in her arms and began to examine its paws. “Why you poor thing!” Nancy said, seeing a tear in the flesh of one hind leg. “This must be taken care of right away.”

Kind to sick people: “Here let me arrange the pillows for you.” Gently Nancy moved the old woman into a more comfortable position…“Let me see your ankle. Oh my, it is swollen! I’ll bandage it for you.”

Quick on her feet: Nancy leaped out of her car and dashed across the road. At the foot of the embankment, she could see the curly-haired little girl lying motionless, the right side of her body in the water. “I hope-“ Nancy dared not complete the harrowing thought as she climbed down the steep slope. When she reached the child, she saw to her great relief that the little girl was breathing normally and no water had entered her nose of mouth. A quick exanimation showed that she had suffered no broken bones.

Strong: “I might use this rod as a wedge in the crack,” she thought hopefully. The young sleuth inserted one end in the space between the hinges and the door, and threw all her weight against the rod. At the first the door did not move in the slightest. As she applied steady pressure to the rod, a second time, she saw that the hinges were beginning to give. Encouraged, Nancy again pushed full force on the “lever.”  Once more she threw her weight against the rod. A hinge tore from the casing and the door sagged.

Though sadly Prejudiced: “They were short and heavy-set. One had dark hair the other light. They had kind of large noses. That’s about all I noticed.”

I pulled these quotes from The Secret in the Old Clock and The Clue in the Jewel Box.