30 Day Book Challenge: Day 24

I’ve been dreading coming to day 24 throughout the WHOLE CHALLENGE.  I had NO IDEA what I was going to write about because I thought this category was stupid, and isn’t all fiction just lying really well?  Well, good fiction, anyway.

A Book I Later Found Out The Author Lied About

Yes, I know this isn’t the first book, but this was the one I read the most.

Listen.  I LOVED Nancy Drew.  Like, way loved.  I had eleventy billion of these damn books (all of them were in my grandmother’s house, they might have been hers for all I know) and I read them over and over and over again.  I wanted to play golf and drive a roadster and have a blonde bob that was just so.

So I felt like I was the last person in the entire world to learn…THAT THERE WAS NEVER A CAROLYN KEENE.

No, seriously.  I really had no idea, and when I found out I tweeted that I felt like my entire childhood was a lie.

This was worse than Lucas making Greedo shoot first at all.  This was worse than learning that Aslan was Jesus (shut up, I read them when I was 7 and then not again until I was much older).  This was worse than…I don’t know, some other thing from my childhood being ruined as an adult.

I’m clearly too upset to even think about it right now.

So, yeah.  There was no Carolyn Keene, it was just a bunch of different ghostwriters, trying to capitalize on a Hardy Boys for girls idea.

And it still makes me sad.

A little angry, too – but mostly sad.

You know what part of my childhood was revived lately, though, that makes me happy?


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch this video 20 more times and pretend that everything is right with the world.

30 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge: Day 24

  1. Yeah…so…um…this is the part where I tell you that you just broke the news to me that Carolyn Keene doesn’t exist. I had no idea. Wait until I break the news to Ashley. Oh boy. I wonder if my mother knows. Haha! Wow.

    • I just realized that the link to the wikipedia page about it didn’t attach for some reason, but I fixed it.

      I thought I was the last person to know! The fact that you guys didn’t either makes me feel better.

  2. Um…until I just read this, I didn’t know there wasn’t a Carolyn Keene.

    Huh. Well. THAT’S something.

    I read a lot of these as a kid. Even though I always solved the mysteries way early on and then I’d get bored. But it seriously never crossed my mind the person’s name on the cover wasn’t the author.

    • The writers initially were paid $125 for each book and were required by their contract to give up all rights to the work and to maintain confidentiality.

      That’s close to $2000 a book in today money. That’s actually not bad.

  3. I was a Nancy Drew fiend too – my Year 5 teacher had to gently remind me that maybe I could read something else every once in a while, as I gleefully filled my reading card with lists of Nancy Drew novels I’d devoured – so I was a little bit gutted when I found out about the Keene thing (fairly recently, so you’re far from the only one!). As a devout non-believer I was also well pissed off when I found out (at a considerably earlier age than my Nancy Drew disappointment) that my beloved Aslan was actually all about Jesus. Properly ruined those books for me, which KILLS me because as a kid they were some of my favourites… :(

  4. Pingback: 30 day book challenge. Day 24 « emma wolf

  5. There’s no Carolyn Keene? What are you going to say next? There’s no Santa Claus?

    Actually, I never managed to read an entire ND book. Ever. I owned one once. I forget the title. The -something-something Mystery or the Mystery of something-somewhere. Can’t remember.

  6. I read these like a maniac when I was a kid. They were my mom’s books from when she was a teen and were the only books we had at home. (Along with the Trixie Belden books) I don’t remember when I learned that Keene didn’t exist but I do remember being pissed. The Belden books have a similar story.

  7. We all have some of our childhood dreams taken away from us. People trying to sell any blotter acid done on orange paper as the original ‘orange sunshine’… seriously, what’s up with that?

  8. OMG, this is because the internet wasn’t around when I was little. They would have a harder time getting away with this kind of thing now I think

    • I think you’re right. I also had no idea that Francine Pascal hadn’t written any of the Sweet Valley books until recently, too – but they said “created by” not “written by” on the covers, so it wasn’t AS HUGE a betrayal.

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