The Summer of Nancy Drew

by Jody Feldman

Not nearly the whole collection. I kept my favorites before giving the rest to yet a younger cousin.
It was the summer between 5th and 6th grades, the start of maybe the most difficult time I had growing up. We’d just moved to a great new house where my brothers, my parents, our dog and I no longer needed to share a single bathroom (not that the dog used the bathroom in the normal way; she liked to drink from the toilet and the bathtub). But it also meant moving from a neighborhood where you only needed to take one step out your front door before a swarm of kids had the exact same idea: it was time to play outside. Alongside a lack of neighborhood camaraderie at the new house were all the nerves that came from moving from a solid group of friends into the great unknown of another school that, rumor had it, was full of cliques. The rumors were true, the adjustment was hard, but that’s another story for another day.

That summer, though, my aunt brought over two large boxes of books, what turned out to be nearly all in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series published to date. They’d been passed down from cousin to cousin to cousin. Now it was my turn.

It was late one afternoon when I picked up my first Nancy Drew. After that, nearly every day that summer went as follows:
1. Early morning: finish the book I started the previous day
2. Late morning: go outside and tan (yes, I know) and cool off in our poor excuse for a pool
3. Midday: eat lunch and go back outside
4. Afternoon: come in to cool off and read the first half of the next Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys

Yes, I grew weary that Nancy’s relationship with Ted never moved forward. Yes, I questioned how these kids could always get into so much trouble. Yes, I still remember what to do if someone forcibly goes to bind my hands. But I got through every one of those books that summer.

I found a comfort in this routine... probably the stability I needed as I prepared for the next chapter in my life.
Several years younger than what I'm talking about, but you get the idea. (I'm on the left.)


  1. Summers with Nancy...oh how wonderful they were...

    1. They/she gave me a sense of purpose without the pressure of really doing anything :)

  2. Once you find a series you love, you are set for the summer. For me, it was the "Adventure" series of British author Enid Blyton: Castle of Adventure, Island of Adventure, Sea of Adventure, Circus of Adventure. Ahhh...

    1. I keep hearing how her books were some people's favorites. It may be time for me to check them out!


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