A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series is a great mystery series for young readers. In the original Nancy Drew series, she was 16, then in a later version, 18. Here she's 8 and in third grade. The writing is engaging but not too complicated: The clues in the mysteries are easy to remember, so some readers will solve the mystery before the Clue Crew does. There’s nothing edgy or scary in the cases the girls take on -- The mysteries the Clue Crew solves are gentle, and not a bit scary -- no crawling in dark warehouses for this Nancy Drew. It's all about runaway horses and missing gadgets and disappearing snowmen. Any hurt feelings are addressed quickly, and the emotional conflicts only rise to the level of “not invited to her birthday party.” The Crew members have a reasonable amount of independence for third-graders; they are allowed to walk up to five blocks without an adult or to roam unsupervised at the fair as long as they use the buddy system. At the end of each book in the series, there are instructions for a craft that relates to the mystery.
What's the story?
In the NANCY DREW AND THE CLUE CREW series, third-grader Nancy Drew joins forces with her two best friends, Bess and Georgia (but please call her George!) to solve the mysteries that come across their path. Most of the cases involve finding things that have disappeared -- ballet slippers, kids’ toys, a horse from a locked pen -- and the girls have to keep organized case files and maintain friendships while hunting for clues.
Is it any good?
The mysteries that the Clue Crew takes on are just complicated enough to have a few twists in each story, but they’re situations a young reader might find herself in. Who put the mean note in the pocket of Bess’s stuffed bear? Where's the doll that went missing at the sleepover? What happened to the recipe for the ice cream contest?
There’s very little social drama among the girls in Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, which is refreshing. When there’s a conflict or hurt feelings, the girls talk it out and squash rumors quickly, rather than letting the drama escalate. It’s a great model for navigating young friendships, and showing how important communication and honesty are.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mystery stories. What's fun about seeing a kid solve mysteries in her neighborhood with friends her own age?
What other mystery books have you read and enjoyed?
In Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, how do the girls handle it when one friend is mad at another? Have you ever accused someone of doing something wrong or mean, only to find out the whole thing was a misunderstanding?
- Author: Carolyn Keene
- Illustrator: Macky Pamintuan
- Genre: For Beginning Readers
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Aladdin
- Publication date: October 3, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 9
- Number of pages: 82
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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For kids who love mysteries ad strong girls
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