Happy 90th Birthday, Nancy Drew!

Happy 90th Birthday Nancy Drew!

This teen sleuth has been solving mysteries in and around her fictional home town of River Heights since April 1930! 

Starting with The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase, and The Bungalow Mystery which were all released on April 28, 1930, there have been over 500 (what!?) books written by a variety of authors under the pen name of Carolyn Keene. 

Since the original 56 tales, there have been multiple rewritings and spin offs including the most recent series of ‘Nancy Drew Diaries’ which can be found as eBooks and eAudio on OverDrive/Libby (and on library shelves when we reopen) These stories are reimagined in the 21st century and have been updated to consider technology and other modernities that didn’t exist when the original series was written. After all, many of Nancy’s original exploits could easily have been solved simply by owning a cellphone!

Nancy has been a strong female role-model on screen as well, with a film series starting in the 1930s, a TV series (with the Hardy Boys) in the 1970s, a film in 2007, and a new series whose first season aired just last year!

There are also cool Nancy Drew computer games by HER interactive – which are full of tricky logic puzzles and mini games. I’m halfways through “The Tomb of the Lost Queen” set in Egypt, where Nancy is working as an intern on an archaeological dig, and I’ll admit it’s a struggle to pull myself away. I’ll also admit I’ve had to Google walkthrough instructions at least twice when I’ve gotten stuck! Sadly, the games aren’t free, but a bunch of them are discounted during lockdown, so if you’re looking for something that will balance homeschool learning, and educational screen time – they’re challenging and fun for adults and kids! 

If you haven’t read and Nancy yet – give her a go, if you like mysteries and strong female characters – she’s still an awesome read – even after 90 years. Here are some of our favourite Nancy Drew titles available now on OverDrive:

Overdrive cover The Secret of the Old Clock, Carolyn Keene (ebook)

A special treat for Nancy Drew fans! Out just in time for Nancy’s 80th anniversary, we’re releasing a limited number of copies of The Secret of the Old Clock, the first book in the series. It’s the exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for 80 years, with a terrific new look and bonus material! Collectors won’t want to miss this.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Baby-Sitter Burglaries, Carolyn Keene (ebook)

Nancy tries to prove that a babysitter is being framed when three houses in River Heights are robbed–and the only connection the police can find is that the babysitter was employed at each.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Puppy Problem, Carolyn Keene (Audiobook)

The Nancy Drew Notebooks enchant listeners with the antics of 8-year-old supersleuth Nancy Drew and her friends George and Bess. Nancy has a new puppy that needs lots of training, patience, and love. But when the chocolate-chip muffins go missing, Nancy’s new puppy is blamed. The girls know that the puppy is innocent and they are determined to find the real thief.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Famous Mistakes, Carolyn Keene (ebook)
Nancy and her friends are out to find a comedian’s saboteur in this seventeenth book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to the classic mystery series. Complex social media charts, undercover outfits, and intense button study send Nancy, Bess, George, and Ned on a wild ride through River Heights to uncover the truth about missing comedian Brady Owens. But nothing is what it seems in this game of comedic timing. Can Nancy find the culprit before it’s too late?

(adapted from Overdrive description)

OverDrive Kids’ Reads – check them out!

Hi everyone! Even though our libraries are closed at the moment, we still have thousands and thousands of books and audiobooks for you to read and listen to online through our Kids’ Reading Room on OverDrive! Awesome new titles are being added all the time, and we even have a special Book Club collection with unlimited loans, so they’re always available, no matter how many other kids have borrowed them! All you need is a Wellington City Libraries membership — click here if you don’t have a library card and would like to join online.

Here are some of my favourites from the Kids’ Reading Room:

Flunked / Calonita, Jen
Age range 10 to 14 
This is the first book set at the Fairy Tale Reform School, where all the teachers are former villains from classic fairy tales, like Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother, and The Big Bad Wolf. It’s kind of like Harry Potter, but with less of the learning-how-to-use-magic-responsibly, and more of the learning-how-not-to-be-evil. Super funny, absolutely wicked, and with a cast of quirky characters you won’t soon forget, this is not a series you want to miss!

Women who dared : 52 stories of fearless daredevils, adventurers, & rebels / Skeers, Linda
Age range 8 to 14
There’s some awesome nonfiction (books about true stuff!) to be found on OverDrive if you know where to look, and this is one of them! Take a deep dive through history and learn about some of the amazing women who have made the world turn, but that you might not have heard of. Learn about the first woman to go into space (Valentina Tereshkova), the first woman to become a professional stuntperson (Helen Gibson), and many, many more. Go to the OverDrive Kids nonfiction browser here to find more books like this!

P is for pterodactyl : the worst alphabet book ever ; all the letters that misbehave and make words nearly impossible to pronounce / Haldar, Raj
Age range 6 to 12
This isn’t your average alphabet book, that’s for sure. In this book, we explore the wonderful world of the silent letters — the “k” in “knight,” or the “g” in “gnat” — that make spelling so, erm, fun. Pair it up with some beautiful illustrations and great wordplay, and you have the perfect concoction to soothe any word nerd as we all spend some more time indoors.

The witches / Dahl, Roald
Age range 8+
OverDrive is full to the brim with classics as well as brand new books, and this is definitely one of the classics! This audiobook version of Roald Dahl’s hilarious tale of magic, defiance, and a top-secret plot to unravel the plans of the Grand High Witch is sure to frighten and delight. Follow this link to find nearly 2,000 more children’s audiobooks to read and enjoy.

While we’re all staying inside, Wellington City Libraries has you covered for online entertainment with books, audiobooks, activities, games, learning resources, streaming video and movies, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates on our awesome range of eResources, and visit MyGateway to explore them for yourself!

Kids’ Club Review by Eve: The magic school bus. In the time of the dinosaurs

The magic school bus. In the time of the dinosaursThe magic school bus. In the time of the dinosaurs, by Joanna Cole ; illustrated by Bruce Degen

This book we are talking about is in the Magic School Bus series. The series are about an imaginary and adventurous book. The book starts off that they want to find a Maiasaura. The thing I do not like about it is that there are too many speech bubbles. The thing I like about it is that it has a CD.

4 stars

Reviewed by Eve from Karori and Karori West Normal School , 7 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Gaurav: The bridge home

The bridge homeThe bridge home, Padma Venkatraman

This book is just amazing. This was written so well by Padma Venkatraman and really got me imagining the story like it was true. Althrough it was like a letter written to Rukku from Viji (the main characters) and was very detailed. The story line was just too good and I loved reading it. This book needs to be read by every single person on the world.

3 stars

Reviewed by Gaurav from Johnsonville and Raroa Normal Intermediate , 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Molly: the girl who drew butterflies: how Maria Merian’s art changed science

Syndetics book coverThe girl who drew butterflies : how Maria Merian’s art changed science / Joyce Sidman.

Back in the 17th century, it was really hard for a woman to succeed. This was not the case for Maria Merian who was considered to be the first ecologist. Maria was really talented at drawing bugs and her work documented the life of butterflies. I am not a huge fan of non-fiction books but this was really interesting and the book had beautiful illustrations.

4 stars

Reviewed by Molly from Karori and Karori Normal School , 12 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Anna: the girl who drew butterflies: how Maria Merian’s art changed science

Syndetics book coverThe girl who drew butterflies : how Maria Merian’s art changed science / Joyce Sidman.
This is an interesting non-fiction book about an amazing person called Maria Merian who drew bugs from a young age. this is about her life and her contribution to science. She was amazing. I am a huge fan of this book as it is fascinating how a woman back then managed to achieve so much.

4 stars

Reviewed by Anna from Karori and Karori Normal School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Anna: Small spaces

Small spacesSmall spaces, Katherine Arden

When Ollie saves a book from being thrown into a stream, she does not realise she is about to become part of a mysterious adventure. The book is about a farm and a girl who has two boys in love with her. when Ollie goes on a school trip to a farm, she discovers that the woman who was throwing away the book actually owns the farm and the graves of the girl and two boys are there. I really enjoyed this book as it was well written and engaging.

4 stars

Reviewed by Anna from Karori and Karori Normal School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Molly: Small spaces

Small spacesSmall spaces, Katherine Arden

This book is about an 11-year-old girl called ollie. She finds a woman who is going to throw a book in the river so she takes the book. The book is called Small Spaces which is a about a farm. On a school trip. Ollie discovers that the owner of the book owns the farm they are visiting and that the graves of the people in the book are the characters she is reading about…….This is a very enjoyable read that is gripping. I rated it 5 stars.

5 stars

Reviewed by Molly from Karori and Karori Normal School , 12 years old