The repurposed book-style Kindle cases that sell best in my Etsy shop are those made from old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Especially editions from the 1960s and earlier.
But I have a dark secret.
I've read only one Nancy Drew book -- Secret of the Old Clock, the very first one. My brunette pre-teen self just couldn't identify with the perky blonde detective.
|1930s-era Nancy Drew spies on bad guys from behind an oak.|
And until a few weeks ago, I'd never ever read a Hardy Boys story. Not surprising -- why would a Northwest grunge-hearted girl want to read about 2 clean-cut, prepped out brothers solving crimes in the Northeast?
That all changed when I spent a week with 9-year-old Sean and his mom, my best friend from high school. Sean loves scary books. When we visited his local library, a young girl recommended While the Clock Ticks. It's the scariest of all the Hardy Boy Books, at least according to her. (Another mystery involving clocks? Really?)
|Sean is a super-cool 9-year-old|
That night, we began the story -- Sean reading one page aloud, then his mom, then me. I knew the names of the main characters -- Frank and Joe Hardy. Pretty white-bread, but nothing compared to their friends' names -- "Biff" and "Chip." I had to stifle a laugh.
|Frank and Joe just ooze wholesomeness, don't they?|
The story was serpentine. Lots of characters to keep track of (almost all boys and men), creepy settings (an uninhabited mansion with a secret room),stolen treasure (a jade chess set). And, of course, fast cars and beached boats.
But we were hooked. There's nothing like a nightly ritual. We laughed at the stilted language (one character "seethed in chagrin"). Sean learned about lots of old-fashioned technology (and had to listen to his mom and me reminisce). Maybe most important, the mystery did keep us guessing. Not bad for a 40+ year old story.
|I'll keep makin' em.|
So I wondered -- should I stop de-constructing (ok, destroying) used Hardy Boys books, now that I can see the stories themselves aren't so bad? Even entertaining and relevant to 21st century kids? Nah. But I appreciate them more, and maybe I'll read some of the stories before I rip them apart.
Perhaps it will be the next Hardy Boys mystery -- Secret of the Upcycled Book.