Back Off My Series Books!

Mamacita says: One of my majors is Children’s and Young Adult literature, and I do love my series collections, so I am telling editors everywhere to BACK OFF MY SERIES BOOKS!

Beany Malone
Nancy Drew

I will not have an updated or politically-corrected version of any book in my house; therefore, Nancy Drew drives a roadster; Judy Bolton is amazed when she sees the maid at Lois’ house; Beany Malone uses her home ec skills learned at school to keep house while her father is away on business (no mother, just teens), and feels it’s her own fault when her date bruises her shoulders; Mary Fred buys a horse without asking permission; little Brian Belford rides his bike all over Denver; Trixie Beldon pretty much runs wild (so cool); Pollyanna Whittier pretty much exists to placate her mean aunt (the aunt reforms in the movie but reverts back in

the series) Anne Shirley spanks the brat in her classroom; Emily Starr would rather stay single than marry a man she doesn’t love no matter how rich he might be; The Story Girl, Sara, makes her own rules; the kids in the Harry Potter series defy the rules and in doing so save the day; Portia and Julian pack a lunch and run wild until dark; the Melendy kids all do their own thing – alone! – in New York City! as well as together; little Oliver Melendy befriends strangers and enters their homes; Stacy Belford is nearly raped by a man twice her age who gets off with a tongue-lashing and a warning; Ben Belford helps to support his siblings and works his way through college; Dulcie Lungaarde makes all her own clothes and drops out of high school to marry a man who also quit school; Martie Malone frequently leaves his children home alone for weeks at a time; Cuffy shares a house with a man and his kids; Jennifer Reed marries a serial cheater because his parents thought marriage might calm him down; Kay Maffley’s son is deeply disturbed; Rosellen Kern is confined to a wheelchair and later crutches; both Kay and Rosellen die; Joe Collins and Kay run off and get married when they are eighteen; George

The Melendy kids

Fayne’s clothes are stolen by a bratty boy and Nancy finds her nearly naked in the bushes; Carson Drew is an attractive wealthy lawyer who has been widowed for many years but doesn’t date; Bess Marvin is fat; George Fayne is boyish; Honey Dobbs was a thief; Lorraine Lee is a terrible snob; Lois is two-faced; Mrs. Bolton is terrified of hypnotism; Lucy Smeed eloped at seventeen with a circus sideshow man and died in childbirth; Hannah Gruen lives with a single man and his daughter and keeps house for them; Horace Bolton is described many times as a sissy and a coward, and helps himself to his sister’s money and spends it on himself; 15-year-old Judy Bolton is attacked, tied up, and left in a shack; Bert Bobbsey is wrongly accused of breaking a store window; Nancy and Ned Nickerson don’t date without a chaperone; Garnet Storm is a whore who takes advantage of Ben Belford’s kind heart; Jeannie Kinkaid decides not to pursue her search for her birth mother; Stacy’s friend Claire, homely, braces, glasses, counts on Stacy to find her escorts to dances and sports because nobody would ask her otherwise; Jill Belford acts like a boy; Rose Belford leaves her children alone at night to play the piano in a night club; Miguel Parnell drove to Denver from Mexico alone, enrolled in school under a fake name, and lives alone for months; and you know what? All of these books are the better for it. Better. The Nancy Drew books, especially, have been changed, even a lot of the names! until the characters and plots are barely recognizable. Not in my house, editors. Not in my house. The setting of a book is as important as a character; we learn history and culture from the setting. If someone doesn’t like or approve of the way a book was written, let that someone write his/her own book.

What’s next – change the movie stars on Anne Frank’s wall to more modern stars that today’s kids can identify with? That would be really stupid, wouldn’t it. Now think about that.

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