Nancy Drew Series Topics for Discussion
by Carolyn Keene

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Solving Nancy Drew's cases requires finding and interpreting clues, and frequently Nancy is led to those clues by a combination of intuition and good luck. In each instance, how important is Nancy's skill in deduction? How important is coincidence?

2. In each of her cases Nancy works with adults, as well as people of her own age. What types of relationships does she develop with adults such as her father, her clients, the police chief, and the housekeeper? What similarities and differences can be seen in these relationships?

3. Many readers wish they could be like Nancy Drew or at least have a friend like her. Which of Nancy's personal characteristics would make her most valuable as a friend? Which characteristics would the reader most envy or want to imitate?

4. Nancy seems to possess whatever talent is required to solve the mystery at hand: among other talents, she is a skillful musician, an expert horsewoman, a gifted artist, and an excellent driver. Some critics suggest that these talents make her seem more like every young girl's fantasy and less like an actual person. Is Nancy Drew a believable character, or is she too good to be true?

5. Some women who read Nancy Drew stories when they were younger insist that Nancy Drew was an early example of the increasing independence of women and young people. In dealing with the various male characters in the books, how dependent or independent does Nancy seem? How do the personalities of the individual men affect their relationships with Nancy? Is Nancy a thoroughly modern teenager?