Jill Graham and the Secret of the Silent Pool ¦ Jill Graham and the Adventure of the Man Who Vanished ¦ Nancy Drew: The Clue in the Crumbling Wall ¦ The Hardy Boys: The Secret of the Old Mill
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Jill Graham and the Secret of the Silent Pool
Jill Graham and the Adventure of the Man Who Vanished
Nancy Drew: The Clue in the Crumbling Wall
The Hardy Boys: The Secret of the Old Mill
Jill Graham is the latest in the recent spate of youthful detectives. Piccolo have resurrected these two books from obscurity and are threatening at least six more. Why? Is this publishing's equivalent of 'Back to Basics' in education -'Back to Blyton' Ignoring the stories' deficiencies (quality is hardly the point) they've been given dreary covers and their slimness in achieved by employing tiny, off-putting print. Seers format and standard titles could help through.
The venerable Nancy Drew books have always caught some kid's interest - doubtless aided now by the telly programmes - so I compared one with Jill Graham. The Carolyn Keene factory, won easily. I five pages, there'd been a rose-bush robbery and a bag snatch - Jill barely gets through her breakfast in that space - and the non-stop action continued throughout. There's more dialogue too and less description while the high drama chapter endings - reminiscent of old Saturday Morning Picture serial - are an affective if crude device. There's also the usual American care with syntax.
Personally I 'like' the Hardy Boys less though they're manufactured to a similar blueprint. (These two seem even thicker than Nancy - it's in Jill Graham's favour that she isn't quite so stupid.) Again, though, there's a definite market for them and they've never been proved harmful to my knowledge. Best consumed at the earliest possible age, I'd say; perhaps one reason why Jill Graham's slightly greater 'realism' is a weakness? You should know your Hardy Boys/Three Investigators/Nancy Drew freaks by now; I'd only experiment cautiously with Jill Graham - if at all.