A bookish inheritance. . .

When I was in Elementary School, I was fortunate enough to receive a box of books from my Great-Aunt who had saved them from her childhood and, having had 2 boys, never gave them away. I say fortunate because those 10-20 books were “out of circulation” for the normal reading lists, etc. and several of them made enough of an impression on me that I still remember them.  Here are the ones I really remember:

  1.  Cherry Ames, Visiting Nurse. I just recently found out that this was part of a Nancy Drew-esque series. I remember loving the spunk and sense of adventure Cherry had as she found a new home in GrenwichVillage, started working as a Nurse, and enjoyed her independence.
  2. I can’t remember the title of these next three, but as I move this weekend I hope to find this box. (Sneaking suspicion it’s in storage).
    1. Mystery book # 1- A girl began working as an accountant for a greeting card company, and as she rotated around from payroll to comptroller she discovered and foiled an embezzlement attempt, falling in love with one of the artists along the way.
    2. Mystery book #2- A group of 4 girls (Wilderness guides, something or another) set out on an annual camping trip, find a mystery and solve it, smartly rapping the villains over the head with their flashlights.
    3. Mystery book #3- 2 friends join the WAVES during WWII and ship out for Britain. For a LONG time I didn’t realize this one was based on a real organization b/c school never talked about the WAC, WAVES, or WASPs.
  3. Several of the original non-updated Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys books (I remember asking what a coupe was and why they didn’t just say car, lol).
  4. Becky Bryan’s Secret The daughter of a rich businessman tries to go incognito and gets a position on the HS newspaper. Local girl is jealous, drama ensues. Somehow, there’s a tight-rope walk event, a scathing review of the modern press, and in the end it all works out. 🙂

Anyway, I grouped those together b/c it strikes me that for books written in the 1930’s & ‘40’s, these female protagonists all had careers/aspirations, personality, and gumption. They were NOT Donna Reed-type “I just want to be a good wife/mother” characters. Yes, they wanted to fall in love eventually, but they wanted adventure and independence first. Seeds of the women’s lib movement? Not sure. But it was definitely a switch from Louisa May Alcott and the extolling of the woman’s role in the home. 

    1. Several of the Bobbsey Twin mysteries. Bert,Nan, Flossie and Bobby solved mysteries and saved the day. With a minimum of bickering. (For a while, I really wanted siblings…then through observation, I changed my mind).
    2. Snow Treasure– this one at least has been re-released. It’s a reality-based tale about children in Norway helping to smuggle gold out during the Nazi occupation. Good stuff.
    3. Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm.  Classic orphan tale.
    4. Nan of the Gypsies, Another orphan story. (Theme much? Were there a lot of these out there?)
    5. The Mystery of Myrtle Grove. Another family solving mysteries…
    6. Quiz Kids and the Crazy Question Mysterya group of kids from a RADIO quiz show solve a mystery…there’s a castle involved. crazy stuff.

Anyway- I’m sure you do this anyway, but if you see a box of yellowed, dusty books, take a second to browse. You never know; and secondly, never hesitate to pass a book along. I’ll always be glad I got these. 🙂


One Comment on “A bookish inheritance. . .”

  1. charlywalker says:

    I think I donated some of those….lol

    Thanks for the memories..

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