Old Children's Series
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Has anyone formed an obsession for the old children's series? Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden, Happy Hollisters, Boxcar Children, etc.
As a kid, I read most of these, some that had belonged to my own mom. Now I can't seem to stop collecting them....I'm working on a complete collection of each but I have a long way to go.
I love the old series, too. Am currently working on getting a full set of The Five Little Peppers series on e-bay; a long term-process -- looking for a particular edition, have to pass if the price goes too high, etc.
Also am trying to complete the set of Andrew Lang's Fairy Tales. (The Red Book of . . . , The Blue Book of . . . , etc.)
Does anyone know of a series of a family with three children, and the name of the oldest boy was Augustus and the name of the middle girl was Gloriana? The parents had a thing about Roman history, or something. They had various adventures, but the only one I can remember is: they were spending time in the desert, and their father showed them how to beat thirst by sucking on a pebble. (Vague, I know.)
mrlibrarian, have fun with your collecting! It's so satisfying when you score a new one!
Your description sounds vaguely familiar. Were the parents college professors?
Yes, it seems to me like they were.
(Are you almost able to say it's on the tip of your tongue?)
Yes, it is on the tip of my tongue. I think I remember reading one of them way way way back. Was it an older series, say from the 50's or thereabouts?
Yes, again. I read them in the early sixties.
(Thanks for thinking about it! It's been over a year that I've been trying to remember what they might be called.)
Yes, I love the Boxcar Children, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. I never read the Happy Hollisters. I also loved Cherry Ames, which were my mother's books-I believe that they were written in the 50s. There were two other books, whose author I don't remember, that I absolutely loved. Summer Pony and Winter Pony They were full and filled the void of the girl who wanted a horse. I had the whole Trixie Belden series (thru 34 I think) and Nancy Drew thru 94 I think. Loved to read, always had a nose in a book. I miss being able to lounge on the couch all day caught up in a book. One day,when my kiddos are older!
Did you ever find this? I'd like to know what they were called?
There is a reference book that lists series of children's books. I don't have it here at home with me, but a couple of years I was looking through it (page by page to get reminders of books I had loved) and I rediscovered the Beanie Malone series. There is a publisher who has recently reprinted all those and several other series.
I always loved Cherry Ames and Sue Barton books (although I knew even then I was too squeamish to be a nurse). I also have a few Nancy Drews, a Honey Bunch (from the 20's or 30's), I also have a Janet Lennon book (she goes to a dude ranch) somewhere, and the first of a series about a girl going to New York to be an actress (Julie? Susan? Can't remember.)
#12 - I had forgotten Cherry Ames! After I exhausted the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Bobsey Twins at my grammar school library, I read all the Cherry Ames. I thought I would like to be a doctor or a nurse until I went with my aunt, who was a pediatric surgeon, on her rounds. Much too much sadness and gore for me. I sure admire those who can do it though.
I think the teenaged actress series might have been Peggy Lane. (I found one at a garage sale last week!!)
15Jennie_103 First Message
I'm a complete old-series addict but UK authors rather than American ones! In fact, out of all the authors mentioned above, I've only read Sue Barton and Nancy Drew and that was a long time ago.
My personal favourites are Elinor M. Brent-Dyer and Elsie J Oxenham who both wrote enormous series to collect! Saying that I also collect hundreds of other series authors too - Geoffrey Trease, Noel Streatfeild, K. M. Peyton....
(I'm sorry if not all my touchstones work - I'm new to this and I can't figure out how to change which author they relate to!)
DD1 is about five books into Walter R. Brooks Freddy the Pig series and loving it.
Just remembered one nobody's mentioned. The Milly Molly Mandy books. I loved the maps in the end pages!
Love Trixie Belden and read most of the boxcar children. One of my favorites is Honey Bunch or Honey Bunch and Norman. I hardly ever see them at the used book stores but when I do I always grab them.
#15 Jennie_103 - To change the author in touchstones, click on "others" beside the author's name. Then scroll down the list until you find the correct one and click on it. Sometimes they don't give an "other" option though. It's not the end of the world. :)
the complete Lang series has been reprinted by Dover Press. They are also on line. Every one of them. I
When I was a child in the Southeast, we did not live near a library and so my only books were those given to me by older relatives. They included the Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue series, The Bobbsey Twins, The Little Colonel books and a series of biographies for children - all the books of the latter came with an orange cover. There was also a series featuring a little girl named Honeybunch.
I was a complete bookworm as a kid, known by all the librarians because I checked out huge stacks of books every single week! Some of my favorites were Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children, Babysitters Club, the Betsy-Tacy series, Trixie Belden (if I ever have a daughter, it's going to be hard not to name her Beatrix so I can call her Trixie, haha!), Gone-away Lake, Encyclopedia Brown, the McGurk series by E.W. Hildick, the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard, the Little House on the Prairie books, Girl of the Limberlost, and the Bobbsey Twins. I'd LOVE to have complete sets of all of these, for my own nostalgic enjoyment and in the hopes that I one day have children who want to read them.
When I was a kid I read a story about an unhappy girl or maybe and unhappy group of children. One of the kids, a girl I believe falls down a well where she meets a lovely older woman who befriends her. I believe a bunch of unhappy children wind up down the well. I know my memory is vague but is anyone familar with this story?
Glad someone finally mentioned Encyclopedia Brown. Those were my favorites as a youngster.
I also loved The Mad Scientists' Club by Bertrand R Brinley.
I recently bought all the books from both series and started to read them to my five-year-old son; he loves them and for me it really brings back some warm childhood memories.
Yes! I loved Beverly Gray. I didn't think there were any readers left.
What about Judy Bolton? Now, there was a detective; she seemed a bit more sophisticated than Nancy Drew.
When I was little I was so jealous of my cousin who had the entire Sweet Pickles set. I remember the art in those books was just fascinating to me.
Hi Children's Lit. enthusiasts. I have a favorite collection (not so much a series) called The Dandelion Library. They were two classic stories in one book, upside down from one another. My favorite was "Johnny Crow's Garden." Anyone else old enough to remember these?
I don't know it, but you have peaked my interest. I'll put it on my holiday list.
Anyone see the "new" Nancy Drew series books? Why would they ruin a perfectly good series?
I have not seen it, what is different? I think there is a new movie coming out.
Nancy Drew has been revamped and "updated" more often than a 4-door Chevy. What have they done now??
I like this Nancy the best. The movie combines the old with the new very well. It ridicules the parts of the language that todays girls mock when forced to read something "old." She is more innocent in the movie then the books to me anyway. She was always so grown up in her thoughts.
Now that I wrote that I see that we really don't know her thoughts in the movie. Wish we did.
It is very up-to-date. BTW I loved your comparison to revamping a Chevy.
I loved the Boxcar children series!! I've collected the first 5 or so originals from EBAY. I would have to say they are the reason for my love of books!! Also, the Little House books...when they originally came out....wow...what an adventure I went on with the Ingalls family!!
34brontehev2 First Message
I love Beverly Gray! Her books were so much more realistic than the Nancy Drew books. If nothing else, Beverly actually ages and progresses as a character, and she isn't so saccharine/perfect as Nancy.
Did anybody read the Freddy the Pig series? They were written in the 20s and 30s, and my Dad loved them as a boy, so I read them and loved them too. I also read every single one of the Cherry Ames, Happy Hollisters, Boxcar children and Laura Ingalls books. Also the Beverly Cleary Ramona books. I also remember some Cherry Ames-type series about a stewardess in training who then becomes a real stewardess and solves mysteries, but I can't remember the name of it (anyone?). Never did get into Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.
This is soooo embarrassing, anyway, there is a website. An official Cherry Ames website www.netwrx1.com/CherryAmes. Or you can just google it.
I looked at the book list and only saw Flight Nurse, but that was for taking care of soldiers, not commercial stewardess. I do have my fav story and I have it as an original edition! Anyway, there was a time and place for them.
Another series I still love is L.M. Montgomery's Anne books. I'm slowly collecting all the books by her in the format I remember, which were published by Angus & Robertson in hardback in the 60s and 70s. It was always a joy to receive one of those for Christmas or my birthday. My favourite one is Rilla of Ingleside.
I also really love Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-kind family. I can still recall the clever way the mother got the girls to clean and dust, and the absolute horror all the girls felt when a precious library book was damaged accidentally.
Herge's Tintin series of two dozen comic books is great for children of all ages. Marvellously illustrated, the stories are exciting and educational too.
Tove Jansson's Moomin series is 50 years old, and has a magical feel that children really respond to. I have never been all that keen on them myself, but the Beatrix Potter books - The Tale of Peter Rabbit, etc - are a century old and still very popular with kids. Roger Hargreaves' Mr Men books from the 1960s - Mr Happy, etc - can be fun for small children and seem to be making a comeback. Or how about Mary Norton's The Borrowers 1950s/60s series? One series I used to love was the Rupert books, by various authors. I believe they began in the 1920s and, besides the strip in a UK newspaper, a Rupert Annual has been published every year since then.
When I was little my grandmother lived with us. Everynight my sister and I would cuddle upt to grandma in bed and she would read to us. One of the first thing she read to us was The Bobbsey Twin books. She also read us The Five Little Peppers. A few years ago I bought the first three books of the Bobbsey Twin books thinking my daughter would enjoy having them read to her. We didn't get past the first book for some reason. Part of the problem may have been the Victorian setting. I had to explain a lot of things. She is now old enough to read them herself if she gets the urge. Her older sister blackmailed her into reading the first Harry Potter book and now she is hooked on them.
Hello, I just joined Library Thing.
I wouldn't say that I'm obsessed with old children's series, but there is one I'm particularly interested in, and that is the Power Boys mysteries by Mel Lyle, published by Whitman Publishers between 1964 and 1967. I never went to a public library until I was out of high school and there were no local book stores, so children's books came from the Scholastic Book Club through school, or Whitman books bought in the toy department of the old discount stores.
I'm not sure why my sister and I got Power Boys books instead of some of the series meant for girls. Perhaps my father bought them for us at Christmas time and he thought they were more interesting sounding then some other books available. (He also bought us a lot of the Whitman books based on TV shows.) I've had three of the books since childhood, and purchased the other three within the past decade.
I have a few books from older series, but this is the only complete series I own. I live in a one room apartment and have to limit what I own, so a six volume set is do-able in my little place.
Does anyone know where I can get information on the old Whitman book series? I'm trying to do some research on author Mel Lyle, to learn (among other things) whether that was his real name, or a name assigned by the publisher. There are lots of websites and information available on the better-known book series, but poor old Whitman books gets left out of the reference books.
I'm kind of new to this, and I know I"m a little late here, but I LOVED Betsy-Tacy and it's nice to know I'm not the only one!
Yes yes yes I'm OBSESSED! I collect Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, Louisa May Alcott, The Wizard of Oz books, Honey Bunch, and something called The Motion Picture Chums series. It's fun! There's a place not too far from me that sells all used books and has a massive selection of childrens books. Needless to say, they get a lot of my money!
I'm embarrasingly keen on collecting children's horse series. I like the Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell and the Brumby series by Mary Elwyn Patchett. I also love all those pony books by Jill Ferguson, and the Pullein-Thompson sisters. I have decided to collect all the old pony books I can find on eBay for my own pleasure :-)
Yay 47 pony books RULE! I have been re-collecting all my old ones although the Black Stallion ones end very oddly and i had to get rid of them!
# 49 the last book, whose title escapes me, ends with the End Of The World - literally - a phone ringing in an empty cabin, the Stallion rearing in fright in the middle of an earthquake... I think Farley REALLY didn't want to write any more and thought this was the way to do it but it was really upsetting reading that as an adult, let alone if I'd got it as a child!!
#50 - that sounds very odd indeed! I must admit that I only liked properly the first Black Stallion book and The Black Stallion's Filly. Are any of the others worth reading?
The book is apparently The Black Stallion Legend. "The black stallion helps save an Indian tribe during a time of disaster, thereby fulfilling an ancient prophecy."
No wonder I hadn't heard of it --- this one was published about 25 years after I'd last read one of the books. :-)
Reviews on Amazon make it sound quite interesting, with comments on the ending ranging from "heartwarming" to "horrifying."
I see this is an old message but I just had to chime in - I love old series! I have collected many. Some I had when I was young and some I've discovered later. Many I've read and many on my to read pile. Some of my favorites are Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden, Little House on the Prairie, Janet Lambert, Bobbsey Twins, Rosamond du Jardin, Ramona, and many more! Would love to hear from other fans of series books especially girls books from the 40's-60's.
The Boxcar Children series uses un-edited grammar and old time words, that I think makes the series VERY special and unique. Please enjoy!! :-)
Author was born in 1890 or 1899, I don't remember which one.
Zowie #39, I loved those stories. I always despised Rachel and wanted Marilla to soften up, but it turned out alright in the end. I really enjoyed Rilla of Ingleside... But there was one story I was particularly fond of in an anthology I think... something about a boy playing a fiddle for a man who was dying and then music was horrible at first and then turned out to be beautiful in the end??? Augh, it was a looong time ago when I read these, but they are super books
I am looking for the Augustus series, too. It was in the late 40's that those books were read to our 6th grade class everyday after lunch. I loved them. Let me know if you know the author...I can't find this series anywhere.
I've never got into an old book series, even though I've read books that are in series. I am getting into The Wizard of Oz sereis though.
I think The Wizard of Oz is wonderful. It has a great set up, dreams, witches, crystal ball, and those flying monkeys. Then when Glinda asks Dorothy "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" Oh, I could go on and on. It's like the perfect therapy session. teehee
Anyone else read The Abbey Girls series? I used to read my Mum's old copies when I stayed with my Grandparents. I'd love to know how many books were in the series. I read 8 or so, and they were completely out of chronological order - the first one I read was Jandy Mac Comes Back. I loved reading the later stories, when all the girls grew up and had babies; you could just tell how much fun Elsie with all the names!
My mom still has a couple of her children's books: Bambi and Little Women. Great stories!
I realize these messages are a few years old, but I'm actually selling a large collection (28 books) of Honey Bunch, possible first editions, on ebay. Here's the link to my collection, if you're interested! http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320621064436&ssPageNa...
If you remember your actress books being in the same picture cover format as the Nancy Drews, but with a bright pink spine, they're the Peggy Lane books by Virginia Hughes. First in the series was Peggy Finds the Theater.
There was another series, by Helen Dore Boylston, who also authored the Sue Barton books, the actress protagonist was Carol Lane. First in this series was called Carol Goes Backstage in the US, retitled Carol Goes On Stage in the UK. The short series (only four books) is more mature and nuanced than the Peggy Lane series, and well worth seeking out. They're recently back in print in paperback from Image Cascade publishing.
I loved several of the series listed above including Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew. A few of series I think are missing are the Babar books about a world traveling elephant, The Littles and the books about Madeline. I also liked Tom Swift and Miss Pickerell. One series I remember reading and would like to collect again is the Cowboy Sam books. I have several recent series including Animal Ark, Guardians of Ga'hoole, and Series of Unfortunate Events. I could probably list a 25 or 30 more if I had room or time each deserving of a place in this list.
Picture book series like Babar and Madeline usually appeal to a different audience, in general, than those who like Tom Swift and Nancy Drew. Of course there are people like yourself who grew up with all of them and they are part of what some people call a "Golden Shelf". However, when talking about "series books," the chapter books are usually what is meant.
I think a new thread here on "picture book series" could elicit a lot of responses.
The Golden Shelf. What a wonderful phrase. I've never heard it before, but that will be my next Collection.
I remember how Augustus and his family managed to get out of an arroyo just in time before it filled with water!
Didn't they travel about in a bus?
Just lucky I saw t his! That series was Augustus and it had at least 6 books that I know of: Augustus and Desert, Augustus and the River, Augustus and the Mountain, Augusuts and the Navy, Augustus Hits the Road, and more. The author's name was Le Grand. Hard to find, but Amazon has a few of these books.
I found a big slew of Three Investigators books in a charity shop last week, and so have ended up with two duplicates: The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow (1980 impression, sticker on the front, fair copy, I'd say) and The Fiery Eye (1992 ed., ex-library copy). Both have my name and the date written neatly in ink inside the front cover. I'm happy to send these to any collector if you'd like them!
The Three Investigators is a fun series. I have these volumes. From your description, I wonder if perhaps these are paperback copies? All 43 originally came out in hardcover from Random House. Volumes 31-43 are routinely seen as former library copies though 1-30 can usually be found in non-library copies without much difficulty. I do have some of the 31-43 that I would like to upgrade to very good (8/10) or fine (10/10) non-library hardcovers.
I trust you will find a home for your copies of these two books.
Yes, I love them - I never really liked any of the other series, either. I remembered them from my dim and distant youth, but only the name "Jupiter Jones". Thank goodness for the Internet and the ability to search for such treasures!
These are indeed pb. I have never found hb here. But also I had never found more than one at a time until I wandered into a particular charity shop on our high street and found the motherlode - 27 including two duos of the later Crime Busters books. I have a couple of trilogies that I would like to update into individual volumes - unfortunately I only managed to replace 2 out of 3 in one of them. I don't like the way they don't include consecutive stories, but I pick the books up where I can!
finding the motherlode ... ahhh, I have been away from the thrifts too long. Tomorrow!!
It was SO EXCITING! And I was meant to be buying secret santa stuff for someone else at the time ... (I did do that, too!)
A series missing here is the Meg Duncan mysteries -- Meg and the Disappearing Diamonds for example. There are only 6 but they were some of my favorites as a kid.
I was a huge Nancy Drew fan but seem to have missed large swaths of the rest of these. I'll have to check some of them out!
#77 by merrystar>
Meg Duncan (and Robin Kane for that matter) have certain things in common with the Trixie Belden series. Often a person who likes one of them likes the others. Schoolgirl Shamuses is a hard book to find because it was a small series collector oriented press but it has some interesting info about all of the Trixie Belden-related series.
Some time ago, on another Group, I started a thread to mention I had decided to re-read the books I loved as a child.
enid blyton - Famous 5, Secret 7, faraway tree etc.
w.e.Johns - "Biggles"
Hugh Lofting - "Dr. Doolittle"
Well, in that thread I mentioned something like..."...I closed the books after a few pages, prefering to keep my golden glow memory of the works..."
Except for Dr. Doolittle. He was still readible by an adult. I hope to one day get a complete set of Hardbacks. I peruse ebay etc. looking for reasonably priced copies. This is a long term project. ie. 'no hurry' :-)
#79 by guido47>
"...I closed the books after a few pages, prefering to keep my golden glow memory of the works..."
What you describe here is similar to what we heard Eoin Colfer, the author of the Artemis Fowl books, describing as a "Golden Shelf" at a signing. These are items experienced during a formative period of youth which are appreciated beyond rational logic. The books, songs, television programs, movies, etc. on one's "Golden Shelf" are still revered beyond criticism despite the fact that if one encountered them for the first time as an adult that they would not hold any special attraction.
Related to this is how well you remember an item from youth. A song may stick in your head but the plot and rhetoric of a book may be lost to your memory. Hence, reading it again may be like seeing it again.
Standards for what makes for good reading (or good anything) changes with maturity and with social pressures. Something that was thrown in for comedic filler in one period is seen as harmful in a later period and can be painful or shameful to read.
Most of these works for young people were not written with any specific malice in mind. More often it is not with the sensitivity that we expect today. They are not products of today, however. They are products of their time and when reading them, it is often useful to recall this. That doesn't mean that when reading them you might pause and say, "I can't believe s/he wrote that!"
The second Dr. Doolittle book, Voyages, received a Newbery award for its writing. As such, it remains in print when the others are allowed to remain unavailable. The most recent hardcover editions in the U.S. were from the 1970s about the time that Puddleby came out, I believe. They are pictorial covers, much like what Grosset & Dunlap used for its popular series books at the time (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, etc.). I don't know the late reprint situation in the U.K.
Thanks for your interesting observations, James.
I didn't know that Lofting had won a 'Newbery'.
I will have to get a bio. on Lofting. Any suggestions?
On your point about dated/scorned/attitudes... besides 'Biggles',
I remember a quote, taken totally out of context, which raised great 'hilarity' in the '70's
"Noddy woke up feeling a little queer..."
Just found this posting; I have discovered the Beverly Gray College Mystery Series today in a vintage antique store. I purchased 3 oldies and have two more old ones. Never heard of them before, but am looking forward to reading them.
Many readers consider the Beverly Gray series to be an interesting one. Clair (Clarissa Mabel) Blank was still in high school when she wrote the first volumes and sold them to A.L. Burt. The publisher would only issue the books if she wrote four of them to get the series started (called a "breeder set" by some collectors). The "College" part of the series name was dropped soon after the fourth volume.
Some fans of the series have taken trips together to try to recreate some of the voyages mentioned in the books. A broader version of this group has a periodical called Susabella's Passengers.
1. Beverly Gray, Freshman (1934)
2. Beverly Gray, Sophomore (1934)
3. Beverly Gray, Junior (1934)
4. Beverly Gray, Senior (1934)
5. Beverly Gray’s Career (1935)
* Beverly Gray at the World’s Fair (1935)
6. Beverly Gray on a World Cruise (1936)
7. Beverly Gray in the Orient (1937)
8. Beverly Gray on a Treasure Hunt (1938)
9. Beverly Gray's Return (1939)
10. Beverly Gray, Reporter (1940)
11. Beverly Gray’s Romance (1941)
12. Beverly Gray’s Quest (1942)
13. Beverly Gray’s Problem (1943)
14. Beverly Gray’s Adventure (1944)
15. Beverly Gray’s Challenge (1945)
16. Beverly Gray’s Journey (1946)
17. Beverly Gray’s Assignment (1947)
18. Beverly Gray’s Mystery (1948)
19. Beverly Gray’s Vacation (1949)
20. Beverly Gray’s Fortune (1950)
21. Beverly Gray’s Secret (1951)
22. Beverly Gray’s Island Mystery (1952)
23. Beverly Gray’s Discovery (1953)
24. Beverly Gray’s Scoop (1954)
25. Beverly Gray’s Surprise (1955)
Beverly Gray at the World's Fair was only initially published by A.L. Burt in the 1930s at a high price. It was dropped from the series when it moved to Grosset & Dunlap and had greater sales. A reprint from Applewood Books was issued but even this is hard to find because only about 100 were sold to collectors who generally keep them.
Yes, I have such an obsession myself. I wonder what my deal is--what is driving the obsession. I think it is tied to generating my own creative ideas and not just an obsession in itself. It feels more like a healthy preoccupation rather than harmful motivations, if you know what I mean.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.