Nancy Drew – My First Chapter Book

Did anyone read The Nancy Drew Notebooks? If you did can you pleaaaase show some love down below? It’s just that I haven’t met many people (even online) that love these junior version of everyone’s favourite girl detective.

The original Nancy Drew mysteries were created in the 1930s with the first novel published in April, 1930. The Nancy Drew Notebooks ran from 1994 to 2005.

I first discovered these at a library book sale. The deal was, how many books you could hold in your hand was a dollar. So if you could hold 50 books, you only need to pay a dollar. Best sale isn’t it. But if you only found one book that interest you, that’s still a dollar. So the natural thing to do was to take advantage of your dollars worth. I had a small pile of chapter books.

This was one of the books in my pile. That’s obviously a painting of real people, but I don’t want to read and picture ‘real’ people renacting the scenes in the book. No! I want cartoons! So the book was left to the side whilst I read the children books that had cartoon illustrations. One day I finished them all and I had nothing left to read during the summer holidays, so I read the snippet. And hey, what do you know, it actually kept me reading.

Let’s discover what Nancy Drew’s childhood was all about, shall we?

#7 Trouble At Camp Treehouse

Nancy wants to go swimming at Camp Treehouse but she doesn’t want to fight with her best friend because Bess hates swimming. They are in their cabin. Ah, camp. This camp story is way better than Camp Counsellors. Nancy’s new friend Lauren says, “You can come swimming with me.” I instantly don’t like Lauren. Can’t she see this is a matter between two best friends and not a newbie (I have my personally issues here).

Their camp counsellor Mary Ann walks into the ‘Bluebird’s’ cabins which is made up of: Nancy, Bess, Lauren, Dana (impatient child), Nora and Joanna (two best friends that dress alike). It’s the first day of camp and everyone needs to sign up for activities. [I never went to camp like these, so all this was very interesting to me.] Everyone is ready to leave the cabin except Lauren, who is red in the face.

“My camera has been stolen!” she cries.

Her bag contains many rolled up items; rolled up sweatshirt, socks, jeans, shorts. There are also her bathing suit, plastic bag with soap and toothbrush, but no camera. No one in the Bluebird cabin would steal her camera,or would they? Apparently this Lauren girl loses everything so she might have lost her camera as well, but who knows for sure. Nancy speaks to Nora and Joanna while Bess speaks to Dana about the camera over breakfast. Dana, Nora and Joanna played cards together last night and Nora and Joanna went to the toilet for fifteen minutes. Nancy writes this in her notebook. Bess tells her to include David Mulholland because he’s such a prankster. He might have stolen it as a joke.

At the treehouse, the male councellor asks if anyone can return Mary Ann’s sunglasses to the Blueberry cabin. David quickly volunteers in hope of setting up a prank for the girls, so Nancy and Bess follow. But David isn’t sure where the girls’ cabin are. The girls decide that he probably didn’t steal the camera after all.

When the girls went to play volletball, Lauren rolls her locket up in tissue. After the game she cries because she thinks she lost it, but it was only Bess protecting it in her own pocket.

Nancy goes back to the cabin and writes down clues and suspects into her blue notebook. I loved the idea of a detectives notebook so much I even owned one myself. Nancy thinks over this mystery and believes maybe it’s just too hard to solve. Nancy, if you can’t figure this one out, no one *cough can!

At the campfire, Nancy sees Dana holding a camera! She follows her but it turns out Dana just found a camera lying on the floor and thought it was Laura’s. It wasn’t.

Finally, the last day of camp has arrived. It is Nancy’s last chance to go swimming so she does, even though Bess is now upset. Aww. Lauren took her watch off and rolled it up in her towel. Her mother “said it’s the best way to take care of things and not lose them”. Nancy just got a bright idea. She runs back to the cabin and shows Lauren her camera is in her rolled up sweatshirt. Mystery solved!

What. The. Hell.

If Lauren knew to roll items safely, wouldn’t the first place she should look is in her rolled up clothing? Wouldn’t she empty her bag and unroll everything?! What were you thinking Lauren! Or not thinking.

This is what I love about The Nancy Drew Notebooks. You can read a mystery and find the solution in less than a day. Nancy also writes a reflection in her notebook after each case, which I believe is sweet. I love Anthony Accardo’s illustrations. Nancy and Bess are so pretty!

Hoorah! Bess isn't scared of water anymore.

Skellig by David Almond

Skellig was David Almond’s first children’s novel that was published in 1998 in Great Britain. It went on to win the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year.

Skellig is about Michael who finds a man living in his battered dusty garage. His family just moved to their new rotten home, which is in need of repair. He has lunch in the garden; a can of coke and a sandwich. I found this simple and enticing. It’s such a classic european lunch. I wounded up craving for coke (but I like pepsi) and a turkey sandwich.

Michael went into the garage that looks like it’s about to topple over, even after his parents said not to. He finds a man with bluebottles in his air, behind a tea chest. He’s thin and pale and incredibly rude. Michael tries to be nice to it but the man doesn’t want to be bothered. He just wants to be left alone and die. If I were Michael, I would tell my parents that a strange man/creature was living in our garage! But no, Michael decides to keep it a secret and to feed it his left over chinese take-away in the middle of the night. The man calls himself Arthur for Arthur Itis, and he calls spring rolls and pork char sui ‘food of the gods’. It’s 1am. This is making me hungry.

Michael’s baby sister was born prematurely and must undergo heart surgery. He’s worried that she won’t survive and stays away from school to keep his misery to himself. He makes a friend with Mina who is homeschooled. I believe she’s secretly jealous of Michael’s school mates, because when Michael actually attends school she doesn’t get to see him as much as she wishes. While thinking of his baby sister, Michael tells Mina about Arthur because he wants to help him get better. They take him to a adanboned home and discover that Arthur has wings! He’s an angel!

The moral of this story is to show kindness, and kindness will be shown to you. Michael fed and cared about a man that ate rats and bugs; something a regular person is not known to do. In the end Michael got what he deserved.

It’s a beautiful tale and I can see why Almond won so many awards. To be honest, this took me two to three months to read. It’s not particular long, it’s a children’s novel, but the writing was slow paced and simple. I was never engaged with the story.

If you enjoyed this book, leave a comment.