Nancy Drew

And for this week’s post…something completely different.

Let’s call it a blast from the past.

OK, enough already with the cliches.

As I was scanning my shelves for a book to review, for no particular reason, I thought back to the Nancy Drew books I read as a child.

Would they stand up to today’s standard of “good writing”? Probably not. But that’s not what I remember.

I remember the brilliance of the cliffhanger at the end of each chapter – long before I knew what to call it. It grabbed me by the throat. I had to turn the page. Just one more chapter…

Though I read many of the original 30+ volumes, did I get caught up on the repetition of details, the implausibility that one person could experience so much in just one year (she never aged), or the formula each book followed? Not on your life. It simply didn’t matter.

And I had some of my most hardy belly laughs because of Carolyn Keene, the authors’ pseudonym. My best friend and I would sprawl across my bed, each with a ND book in hand. We would open to page 1 and each of us, one after the other, would read a line…not a sentence, mind you – a line. Some of the resulting sentences made absolutely no sense. Others, however, were side-splitting. (I wonder if I’d think the same today.)

All in all, I largely credit my love of reading with the adventures of this young woman. And isn’t that what “the best” books do? They get us reading. They keep us reading. And they always retain a special place in our hearts.

So, what books grabbed your attention long ago?



The Cardboard Shack Beneath the Bridge

This past week I had the privilege of hearing Tim Huff speak at the Write! Canada conference in Guelph, ON. Tim works with the homeless and seeks to educate others about this all-too-often misunderstood and neglected segment of society. He does so in a down-to-earth, humorous way. It’s the classic “you’ll-laugh-you’ll-cry” kind of presentation.

Tim also writes for adults and for children. The Cardboard Shack… was written to educate our sons and daughters. However, as parents and caregivers read the text, we too will find ourselves being educated–and reminded that homeless people are still people.

The book includes “Page-by-Page Discussion and Information Helps.” Instead of offering pat answers, the comments and questions are open-ended. They’ll get our children thinking. And they’ll do the same for us.

And as Tim says, “Discuss it with your teacher, and share it with your friends. Be kind. Remind your family that caring never ends.”

By purchasing The Cardboard Shack... we, too, can help these precious people. Part of the proceeds go to Youth Unlimited, The Daily Bread Food Bank, The Ladybug Foundation, and Frontlines. And while that’s wonderful, if we allow the book to stir our hearts, we may find ourselves seeking ways to be even more personally involved.

After all, Matthew 25:37-40 (KJV) says, “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (italics mine)