I draw on my history with Nancy Drew when I talk about reading behaviors (and/or begin a mystery unit) in school. Nancy Drew was not just a character in a book, I tell my students. She is someone who I know well. I shock the students when I start rattling off what I still remember nearly thirty years later: Nancy’s “titian” hair (who had ever heard of that?), her widowed father attorney Carson Drew: housekeeper Hannah Gruen. And of course, there were Nancy’s best friends George, the tomboy, and her cousin Bess who was always plump. I could go on about Ned and the mysteries themselves, but I will restrain myself..
My students always ask how I remember all of this and why. I tell them as I read, I became part of these books. I was in the state that all readers want to be: inside the book. I bonded with Nancy or Ms. Marple and worked to solve their mysteries with them. Reading let me be a detective. Reading created these life-long friends.
Today when I downloaded the latest book in a series I am now following, I felt the same sense of anticipation Nancy always did when she stumbled on a new mystery.