Subscribe to The Horn Book

Writing Backward: Modern Models in Historical Fiction

I expect we can all agree that historical fiction should be good fiction and good history. If we leap over the first briar patch by calling good fiction an “interesting narrative with well-developed characters,” we are still left with the question of what is good history. Alas, there are nearly as many thorns here as […]

Nancy Drew and Her Rivals: No Contest (Part II)

What seem to me to be the telling differences between Nancy and her cohorts fall, very roughly, into two categories. The first is autonomy; the second is a steady, profound, but largely covert and, I think, largely inadvertent feminism. Harriet Adams’s imitators didn’t miss the point about autonomy — which was, after all, plain as […]

Nancy Drew and Her Rivals: No Contest (Part I)

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Harriet S. Adams may have been, next to Hemingway, the most sincerely flattered author of the 1930s. Though her father, Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, originated the Nancy Drew mystery series with three books published shortly before his death in 1930, thereafter, according to […]