Kudos to Nancy Drew

Few literary heroines have enjoyed the spotlight as long and as successfully as Nancy Drew. The titian-haired sleuth, who first arrived on the scene in the 1930s, can count among her fans Bette Davis, Barbara Walters, Hillary Clinton, Mary Tyler Moore, Joan Mondale, Fran Lebowitz, Beverly Sills, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Now a new generation of girls are encountering Nancy in graphic novel form.

In 1995 Papercutz launched a manga-influenced series of Nancy Drew novels. Lately the updated Nancy has won some kudos with No. 15 ("Tiger Counter" – the story of a missing cat) scoring a 2009  iParenting Media Award and Nancy herself (as impersonated by Emma Roberts in the 2007 film "Nancy Drew") landing on Entertainment Weekly's "20 Coolest Heroes" list (at slot #17 – one higher than Batman.)

For those who prefer Nancy in her more traditional form, everything from "The Secret of the Old Clock" to "The Password to Larkspur Lane" can be found both on Amazon, in book stores, and at garage sales. And for adult readers who would like to dig a bit deeper into the girl detective's background, there's "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her," an absorbing read by Melanie Rehak.

For those who don't read English, there's plenty of Nancy in translation. (She's "Kitty Drew" in Sweden and "Alice Roy" in France.)

No offense to Nancy descendant Veronica Mars – who's great in her own way – but it's hard to imagine that we'll still be talking about her 80 years from now.

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