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Nancy Drew and the Case of the Politically Incorrect Children's Books.

When I was 10, I loved the The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries on TV. My first seditious Jewish act was playing hooky from a Holocaust memorial service, pretending to be sick so I could stay home and watch a rerun (a rerun!) of an episode in which Shaun Cassidy's shirt was unbuttoned.

But I turned up my nose at the Hardy Boys books. I was a Nancy Drew girl, all the way. In print, when not being played by the floppy-haired 1970s equivalent of One Direction, the Hardy Boys were boring as Weetabix. They were upright Boy Scouts, doing what boys were supposed to do. Nancy, on the other hand, was singular. If Harry Potter was The Boy Who Lived, Nancy was The Girl Who Dared. She was brave, rash, fierce. She had a snazzy car. She solved crimes that flummoxed the cops, snuck around in old abandoned houses, got locked in closets by bad guys and she always kept her cool. Her mom had died when she was little, but her dad adored and trusted her and gave her free rein to save others. She was in charge, not her boyfriend, Ned Nickerson. She was beautiful, but she wasn't an object. She was a doer.

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Author:Ingall, Marjorie
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Dec 18, 2013
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