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Book Review: The Hidden Staircase: Nancy Drew Mystery Stories No. 2

Common Sense Rating: ON for ages 9+ Stars: 3 out of 5 (About Common Sense Ratings)
Written By: Carolyn Keene  Illustrated By: none none  Release Date: 05/01/1959  Genre: Fiction 

Common Sense Media Review

Nancy Drew, a name synonymous with female-teen sleuthiness, provides a model for young readers of determination, courage, and problem solving. She makes friends easily, garners the admiration of the chief of police, gets confessions out of criminals without breaking and sweat, and most of all, she's her father's daughter.

These mysteries, in circulation since the 1930s, are each page-turners, where Nancy naturally comes out on top. They're predictable and sometimes repetitive, but when Nancy gets herself into a dangerous situation, the reader will follow along with nail-biting interest. The syndicate behind author Carolyn Keene has figured out a formula that works and has stood the test of time.

The scary scenes -- like when a truck chases Nancy down, or when Nancy confronts a criminal -- are less frightening than anything found in a Harry Potter book. So tween mystery buffs should definitely consider working some classic Nancy Drew into their libraries.

From The Book

"I'm going to search for an underground passage leading to the mansion. It's just possible that we hear no hollow sounds when we tap the walls, because of double doors or walls where the entrance is."

Aunt Rosemary looked at Nancy intently. "You are a real detective, Nancy. I see now whey Helen wanted us to ask you to find our ghost."

Nancy's eyes twinkled. "I may have some instinct for sleuthing," she said, "but unless I can solve this mystery, it won't do any of us much good."

Turning to Helen, she suggested that they put on the cold clothes they had brought with them. Attired in sport shirts and jeans, the girls left the house.

Plot Summary:

When Nancy's friend Helen tells her about a ghost haunting her great-aunt's mansion, she's determined to check it out. But she's sidetracked when a suspicious character tells her that her father is in danger. Sure enough, her father is kidnapped and as she rushes to find him she also finds a connection between her father and the ghost.

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CeReality: 5 Families, 5 Stories, 1 Critical Meal

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