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In all your life, in all the places you've lived, has any touch of interior design or decoration ever looked better than that long powder blue line of Hardy Boy book spines, with the little Frank & Joe cameo, did on your bookshelf when you were a kid?  I thought not.

The Hardy Boys were created, along with Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins and myriad others, by
Edward L. Stratemeyer (1862-1930).  He would then outline stories and farm them out to writers hired through his Stratemeyer Syndicate--which sounds like the literary equivalent of the Triangle Shirt Waist factory.  The resulting stable of series must surely be the most read children's books of all time, even in this era of Goosebumps and Harry Potter.

Frank and younger brother Joe are the sons of the renowned detective Fenton Hardy, who always seems to be away on an important case.  Between attending class and winning football games for Bayport High, the boys manage to investigate their own fair share of suspicious doings.    This fairly typical entry finds the brothers involved in a case which includes a local Indian tribe (yes they were still Indians then) and some dubious characters who keep trying to break into their Dad's safe.

Blessedly free of strong language, serious violence, sexual subtexts or weighty social issues, the books are suitable for all ages.  I fondly recall plowing through pretty near the whole series, with brief timeouts for Encyclopedia Brown.  I can't imagine a kid not liking them.


Grade: (B)


See also:

Franklin Dixon (2 books reviewed)
Children's Books
Franklin Dixon Links:

    -Hardy Boys (Wikipedia)
    -Stratmeyer Syndicate--The Hardy Boys
    -The Hardy Boys Created by Franklin W. Dixon (Thrilling Detective)
    -In the Hardys' Neighbourhood -- An Introduction to the Hardy Boys
    -THE Unofficial HARDY BOYS HOME PAGE (Series Book Central)
    -The Bayport Times (Hardy Boys Ezine)
    -The Unofficial Hardy Boys Home Page
    -Gary's Hardy Boys Books Page
    -The Hardy Boys Page (James Lloyd)
    -Matt's Home Page
    -ESSAY: The Hardy Boys (James W. Hall)
    -ESSAY: Hardy Boys take on Goosebumps (Rodger Mullen, Fayetteville Online )
    -ESSAY: Web cast on the Hardy Boys   by Donald Q. Smith
    -ARTICLE: Fortune - April 1934 - "FOR IT WAS INDEED HE"
    -ARTICLE: Tom Swift, Nancy Drew and pals all had the same dad  (Bruce Watson, Smithsonian Magazine - October 1992)
    -PROFILE: of Leslie McFarlane Perky fellows in a gay-looking speedwagon: The Hardy Boys return  At last, a revival of unexpurgated Frank and Joe.  (STEVE BURGESS, Salon)
    -Leslie McFarlane  Ghost of the Hardy Boys

    -The Hardy Boys on TV (Unofficial Hardy Boys Page)


Book-related and General Links:


i was reading the haedy boys casefiles #7 it is the best book i have ever read


- Dec-09-2005, 12:21