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What reading ability for Nancy Drew books?

(16 Posts)
Wigeon Mon 04-May-15 21:19:58

I am looking for the next set of books for my DD to read to herself. She has said she really wants something with "mysteries", and I've heard of Nancy Drew, but not sure what reading ability you'd need to be to cope with it.

DD can read easy Roald Dahl no problem (George's Marvellous Medicine, Twits etc), has read all the Oliver Moons, has got completely absorbed by David Walliams (although with those I am fairly certain that even if she can read most of the words (more or less), her comprehension is pretty ropey in parts). She loves reading the Secret Seven (more than Famous Five).

Could she read Nancy Drew books yet? I don't think I read them as a child and I have no idea how complex the language is, or themes / plots are.

Alternatively, any other ideas for books with mysteries, suitable for a child who is on Secret Seven type books!

Ikeatears Mon 04-May-15 21:22:17

Nancy Drew would be fine - I was reading Roald Dahl, Nancy Drew, Secret Seven all around the same age (probably 7+) I loved Nancy Drew - not sure how dated they are now though?

mrz Mon 04-May-15 21:26:45

There are younger age books -Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew

MadAboutMathsMum Mon 04-May-15 21:36:40

DS is 8 and has just got into both the Saxby Smart Detective stories and the series by Enid Blyton which starts with The Island of Adventure, not sure how they compare to Secret Seven though as I never read them, but he has read lots of Dahl.

littleducks Mon 04-May-15 21:46:38

Nancy Drew has lots of references about being attractive and getting the right boyfriend though If i remember correctly.

You might be better off with the younger range collection

ragged Mon 04-May-15 21:55:18

I have a lot of my childhood Nancy Drew books, DD liked & read them around age 10-12.

For my 6yo DD I'd be happy with magic kitten stories. Excellent reader or not. DD herself chose Dirty Bertie & Horrid Henry at that age. Calvin & Hobbes soon thereafter she's not a little rotter, honest.

Wigeon Mon 04-May-15 22:19:49

Thank you, this is all veryhelpful. How can I tell which the Nancy Drew for younger readers are? Don't particularly want her reading about how to be attractive to boys quite yet...

RamblingFar Mon 04-May-15 23:14:18

I'd say Nancy Drew (at least the orginal stories) are a higher reading and maturity age. I'm sure I read them after the Famous Five.

Enid Blyton wrote a lot of non-Secret Seven and Famous Five mystery books, a quick Amazon search brings up box sets of her mysteries. I'd say most of her books are on the same level.

I read one David Walliams book to my Year 2 class, but although they loved it on one level, their comprehension wasn't really there and I had to simplify and explain sections as I was going along. We've since moved onto Famous Five and admittedly I'm doing the same there (though lots of that is a 1930's language issue).

There's the Series of Unfortunate Events, that aren't strictly mystery, but include elements. However the maturity level may be too high again. They are quite easy to read, but also quite dark in places.

There's the Harriet the Spy the spy series. I read them in Juniors and loved them then. I can't remember how tricky they were to read, but I don't remember finding them particulary challenging. I also read the Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators series at that age, but again can't remember that much about them.

Personnally I'd encourage her with the rest of the Enid Blyton ones for the moment if she enjoys them. By the time she's read her way through them all, she'll be ready for the other series. Enid Blyton aren't the best written books, but enjoying reading at her age is probably more important that what she is reading.

mrz Tue 05-May-15 06:41:57

Apparently the books were written with an 8-12 target group but they are quite dated now so younger children could need help with vocabulary.

mugglingalong Tue 05-May-15 06:59:10

For contemporary books I would recommend the Helen Moss Adventure Island series (think Enid Blyton with mobile phones and internet), Mysterious Bennedict Society (some complex words but they are usually explained as part of the book). Dd also enjoyed the early Roman Mysteries up to about the tenth one after that characters were being killed off. It is set in Roman times so no mobiles!

Nowfeeltheneedtopost Tue 05-May-15 08:01:47

Judy Moody, Girl Detective (by Megan McDonald) is a series my DD loved. About secret seven level but with contemporary language. Also Holly Webb has a series of mystery books like "Emily Feather and the secret mirror" which are great.

MadAboutMathsMum Tue 05-May-15 09:19:23

If you have a kindle (although think there may now be print versions) there is a new series of books about Lucy the Explorer. I think they are aimed at pre-teens (lots of photos through the book that Lucy posts on Instagram) but both my 6 and 8 year old enjoyed the adventure/mystery ones set in Greece and Wales.

Abriata Tue 05-May-15 10:02:14

Reading level isn't too difficult but some of the content is more appropriate for older children.
The Roman Mystery series is very good both for "mystery" as well as for history. Some of the content, too, is a bit grown-up, but my son didn't understand the allusions when he read them at around age 8.

TooManyHouseGuests Tue 05-May-15 10:10:17

You could also try the "American Girl Mysteries," series. There are dozens of these all based on a different girl, in a different period of American history. The mysteries are exciting but not too scary and are about right for an 8/9 year old girl.


DeeWe Tue 05-May-15 14:33:44

Adventure series is much harder than SS, I'd say FF and Find outers are between them.

Nancy Drew I would say that the majority of children can read them before it's really suitable.
There's a lot of I'm going on a diet so I'm cute" from Bess, you get huge descriptions on how ravishing Nancy is as well as a certain amount of boy stuff.

Actually slightly winds me up: In Hardy boys you get the descriptions of how tough they are, in Nancy Drew, what they're wearing. Considering they're written by the same consortium basically it really is blatent.

Wigeon Tue 05-May-15 18:46:48

This is all fabulously helpful, thank you very much. She is only 6 - going to be 7 next month, so I definitely don't want mature themes. She would LOVE some new mysteries for her birthday, so I'll investigate all of them suggestions.

Had totally forgotten about non- Famous Five Blyton, so will definitely go with those too. I'm not too bothered for literary merit at this point - she reads a bunch of stuff, we read good stuff to her, just keen to encourage her burgeoning love of reading.

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