Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Dana Girls #2 The Secret at Lone Tree Cottage

In Dana Girls #2, The Secret at Lone Tree Cottage, Jean and Louise are worried when their favorite teacher, Miss Tisdale, disappears.  Miss Tisdale's car is soon found abandoned, and it's clear that the teacher has been abducted.

The girls learn that Miss Tisdale has a sister, Mrs. Brixton, who is estranged from their parents.  Miss Tisdale has been supporting Mrs. Brixton, who is now in great need without her sister's support.  The police cannot be contacted since it is believed that the shock of learning of Miss Tisdale's disappearance could kill her father.  The Danas have no choice but to try to solve the mystery with only Captain Dana's assistance.

On page 173, Captain Dana tells the girls about the boy who was hired by a man to pick up a letter at the post office.  The boy took the letter to the man, and then the man drove off.  The boy somehow knew the license plate number.  That's a bit amazing that a boy who was paid to do a small job just happened to note and remember the license plate.  Wow.

This story features a live radio show, which dates the story.  It's not surprising that this book was dropped during the second run of the series in the 1970s.  However, all books written by Mildred Wirt Benson were dropped for the second run, so the story being dated was not the real reason.

This is a very good book.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Dana Girls #1 By the Light of the Study Lamp

In Dana Girls #1, By the Light of the Study Lamp, Uncle Ned purchases a present for Jean and Louise, a study lamp which the girls intend to use in their room at Starhurst.  Shortly after the lamp arrives, it is stolen!  The girls track the lamp to a junk store, where they purchase it.

Meanwhile, the Danas' friend, Evelyn Starr, may not be able to remain a student at Starhurst.  Evelyn's family once owned the property which is now used for the school.  The Starrs have lost their fortune, and even worse, Evelyn's brother, Franklin, has disappeared!

On page 18, Garbone insists, "I know nothing about a lamp.  I am not a thief.  I am an honest business man."  Right.  I find that many people who go around declaring their honesty are actually dishonest.  Garbone fits this pattern perfectly.

I had never thought that the price of $50 for the study lamp was off, and that is because I wasn't thinking about it.  $50 is fine now, but $50 in 1934 is quite a high price.  That amount is equivalent to around $950 today.  Can you image two high school girls paying $950 for a lamp?  The Dana Girls must be very wealthy to be able to throw money around like that, especially considering that the $50 is used to repurchase their own lamp.

Jean and Louise get back at their rivals, Lettie and Ina, by adding red pepper to cream puffs and placing them where Lettie and Ina will find them.  At times, the Danas are no better than Lettie and Ina.

On page 138, it's extremely improbable that Evelyn doesn't recognize her own brother in disguise.  She doesn't recognize his voice.  This is impossible to believe.

This is a very good book.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

An Overview of the Dana Girls Series

Please read this post for a list of Dana Girls titles and an explanation about which Dana Girls books were revised.

Both the Dana Girls and Kay Tracey series were created during the early 1930s by the Stratemeyer Syndicate as rival series to the much more successful Nancy Drew series.  Both the Dana Girls and Kay Tracey series have had a convoluted publishing history with periods of time when each series was out of print and then revived.  Both series are currently out of print, probably for good.

The Dana Girls and Kay Tracey series are very similar.  Both series feature girls who solve mysteries.  The girls have a jealous rival who quite often causes lots of trouble.  It has been theorized that rejected Nancy Drew plot ideas might have been used for both series.  The plots of both series tend to be crazier and more absurd than the Nancy Drew plots.  For this reason, the Dana Girls and Kay Tracey series are often compared to each other.

On February 2, 2018, I wrote, "I have a special fondness for Kay Tracey, but I probably like the Dana Girls series better."  I actually really didn't remember exactly how I felt, but most everyone else seems to like the Dana Girls series better, so I figured that was the case.  A few months later, I read all of the Kay Tracey books again.  I was pleased that I enjoyed them as much as ever.  I began to suspect that I might not like the Dana Girls series quite as much as I once did.

After I had read through a number of the Dana Girls books this summer, I wrote in reference to my previous comment, "Let's revise that statement. 'I have a special fondness for Kay Tracey, and I like the Kay Tracey series better.' "  I have now finished reading the entire Dana Girls series, and in my opinion, it is overall weaker than the Kay Tracey series.

I consider the Kay Tracey series to be overall very good.  There's a good reason why.  The Kay Tracey series consists of 18 titles, which are all equally good.  The series underwent no major change in tone or quality during the years it was published.

The Dana Girls series quite unfortunately consists of 34 titles.  If the series had ended with just 10 titles, I would consider it to be an excellent series.  If it had ended with 12 to 18 titles, then I would consider it to be a very good series.  Sometimes we wish that excellent short series had continued longer.  The Dana Girls series serves as an example of what happens when a series is allowed to continue on and on until it deteriorates into an insipid mess.

The Dana Girls series can be divided into four parts.

#1 By the Light of the Study Lamp through #14 The Clue in the Ivy

#1-4 were written by Leslie McFarlane, and #5-14 were written by Mildred Wirt Benson.  All of these books were written during the 1930s and 1940s.  All of these books have 25 chapters.  #14 was not published until 1952, but it was actually written during 1944 and fits with the first 13 books.  These books are the golden age of the Dana Girls series.  These books tend to be very good to excellent.  They are a strong group of stories, and they are just as good as the original text Nancy Drew books.

#15 The Secret of the Jade Ring through #18 The Clue of the Black Flower

These books are the transition books.  All four books have 25 chapters.  These books are the first ones containing educational content, such as the history of jade or how to make artificial flowers.  The educational content is often boring and reads like it was lifted out of an encyclopedia.

Mildred Wirt Benson wrote #15 and #16.  Her writing style for #15 and #16 is different than it was for #5-14 for two reasons.  First, #15 was written eight years after #14.  Second, Benson had to insert educational content into the stories.  Harriet Adams took over writing the series with #17, and the series quickly went downhill from there.

#19 The Winking Ruby Mystery through #24 The Secret of Lost Lake

All of these books were written by Harriet Adams.  These books are excessively educational, which makes them rather boring.  This portion of the series is one big travelogue with lots of information about various destinations.  The plots are often quite stupid and not in an entertaining fashion.

By this time, Harriet Adams was writing all of the Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books.  The Nancy Drew books from this time period are better.  My theory is that Harriet concentrated her efforts on the Nancy Drew books and turned out an inferior product for the Dana Girls series.  [December 20,2021:  Harriet Adams was given credit for writing all Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books from this time period.  I now believe that she did not write all of the Nancy Drew books that are attributed to her, since some of the Nancy Drew books were written quite well.  Harriet most likely did write all of the Dana Girls books from #17 on, which is why the Dana Girls books are not as good as the Nancy Drew books.]

#25 The Mystery of the Stone Tiger through #30 The Phantom Surfer followed by #14 The Curious Coronation through #17 The Witch's Omen from the 2nd series

Harriet Adams wrote all of these books, and the plots tend to be a bit stupid and bizarre.  I actually like this group of books better than the previous group, mostly because the travelogue aspect is gone.  I also surmise that Harriet Adams was more comfortable in her writing and was able to produce a better product.  That said, the final four books in the 2nd series were first published when Harriet Adams was 84 to 87 years of age.  Harriet's writing ability was better, but her health was also failing, which resulted in the final Dana Girls books being a bit... strange.

By the way, I have noticed that generous usage of the words "chuckled," "grinned," and "amazed" are indicators that Harriet Adams did indeed write the books.  It is unknown whether all books attributed to Harriet Adams were actually written by her, since she signed releases for many books years after the books were published.  I feel confident that Harriet Adams did actually write all Dana Girls books that are attributed to her.

My reviews will follow.  I find that my opinion of many of the books from #16 and up differs greatly from what other people think.  For that reason, do not use my opinion on those books to guide you on whether those books are worth reading.  I cannot stand some books that others love, and I get a huge kick out of some books that others cannot stand.  That's why I hate it when people ask me which books are the best in a series.  That depends on you.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Wildfire #81 The Ten Cupcake Romance and #82 The Wrong Love

81. The Ten Cupcake Romance, M. L. Kennedy, 1986

Every time Amy Miller falls in love she eats her heart out—literally.  Her latest craze is cupcakes, but when her friend Sharon finds Amy devouring a whole box of them, she knows Amy needs to find a hobby.  Why not become a romance novelist?

 Amy thinks it's a great idea, and Simon Adams, a cute English guy at school, fits right into the plot.  In fact, he's the main character!  Amy goes out with Simon to gather "data" for her book.  It's a good thing she’s sworn off boys.  She'd hate to let her feelings interfere with her work.  But what about Simon's feelings...?

This story is a bit silly, especially at the beginning.  The story was written in a humorous fashion.  The problem is that I don't want a funny Wildfire book.  The book is overall good, and I just marginally enjoyed it.

82. The Wrong Love, Kathryn Makris, 1986

When Carl Jenson first moved to the Texas border town where Sarita Valdez lives, he didn't even know what a taco was.  Sarita thought that was funny.  She liked Carl's sweetness and his warm blue eyes, too.  Sarita offers to show him around, and that's when she finds out that tacos aren't the only thing Carl knows nothing about.  Her friends' prejudice against "Snowbirds," or Anglos from the North, is very real.

Sarita never expected to fall in love with Carl, but now that she has, she's afraid her friends won't accept him, or—worse yet—that they'll expect her to break up with him.  How can Sarita's first love feel so right when everyone tells her it's so wrong?

The boyfriend is Karl, not Carl.  The name is spelled wrong in the synopsis.  Way to go, Scholastic!

On page 18, Sarita and her friend are referred to as the Bobbsey Twins.

The next paragraph spoils part of the ending.

Sarita realizes that her fears about her friends' prejudice were unfounded.  Carmen asks her, "Do you think that maybe the prejudice was coming from somewhere inside you, instead?"  Carmen further explains.  "Sometimes, Sarita, what we most fear in others is really inside ourselves."  I thought that this was an interesting development.  It also allowed for the author to wrap up the plot in a nice, neat package with everyone getting along happily ever after.

The cover photo really bothers me.  The girl looks like the typical Caucasian American.  Before I began reading the book, I barely glanced at the summary, since I find that the summaries often reveal way too much information that I would rather not know at the beginning of the book.  Since I barely glanced at the summary, I thought that the boyfriend would be the Latino, not the female protagonist.

The girl on the cover does not look Latino.  She could vaguely be, but she just looks like the girls on all of the covers.  This is so lame!  Scholastic should have used an obvious Latino girl.  I was so disappointed.

This is an excellent book.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

#79 A Girl Named Summer and #80 Recipe for Romance

79. A Girl Named Summer, Julie Garwood, 1986

A little lie never hurt anyone.  That's what Summer Matthews thought when she met David Marshall and fell in love.  Summer would do anything for David, including letting him believe something about herself that isn't true.  When Summer finds out that David admires girl athletes, she decides to compete in a six-mile race to impress him, even though she's never raced before.  Behind David's back, she begins a rigorous training schedule, and two months later, her plan seems to be working.  She's ready for the big race. 

But then David tells Summer the only thing he can't stand is being lied to.  What will happen if he finds out about Summer's lie?  Will all her hard work have been for nothing?

I enjoyed this book.

80. Recipe For Romance, Terri Fields, 1986

Holly Hanson wants to be a great chef one day.  Her part-time job as an assistant cook in a fraternity house is giving her a head start on her career—but it's setting her love life back a long way!  Holly’s job should be a great way to meet guys, but her boss has one strict rule: no dating the frat men. 

Holly doesn't want to lose her job, so when Greg, a cute, funny guy, asks her out, she turns him down.  But Greg comes up with a plan...  If his recipe for romance flops, Holly will be out of a job and out of love.

This is an excellent book.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wildfire #77 Dating Blues and #78 Brian's Girl

77. Dating Blues, Maud Johnson, 1986

For Beth-Ann Hughes, who just turned 16, "dating blues" used to mean "no dates."  But after great-looking Kenny and upperclassman Curtis start asking her out, Beth-Ann knows that having lots of dates—with the wrong boys—can be even worse!

Her best friend tells her she's too picky; there's no such thing as a perfect boy.  Then Beth-Ann meets Tony and she knows that isn't true.  Tony is perfect—but does he care for Beth-Ann as much as she cares for him?  Beth-Ann is finally in love, and everything should be wonderful.  So why is she still feeling those dating blues?

I find it interesting and a bit shocking that Beth-Ann's mom and her best friend, Fran, blame Beth-Ann for each failed date.  In one case, the boy expects Beth-Ann to sleep with him.  Beth-Ann refuses.  Fran chides Beth-Ann for breaking off the relationship, "Boys talk.  He could ruin your chances with other guys if he told them you were no fun."  Huh?  It sounds like Fran thinks Beth-Ann should have put out so that she would get more dates. 

This is a good to very good book.

78. Brian's Girl, Diane Hoh, 1986

Kate Ryan is Brian Donahue's girl.  Or at least she thought she was.  When Brian comes home from college for a visit, he devastates Kate by telling her he's in love with someone else.  But Kate isn't down for long.  She launches an all-out campaign to win him back.  

Adam Tranter, a new guy at school, is attracted to Kate, and he fits right into her plan.  She needs someone to make Brian jealous, and it doesn't hurt that Adam is cute and fun to be with.  Kate doesn't like using Adam, but she has no choice.  This is war!  

Suddenly everything is upside down.  Brian isn't the boy on her mind—Adam is—but he's not even speaking to her anymore.  Has Kate let her obsessive love for Brian ruin her chance for a romance with Adam?

Kate is prone to violent thoughts.  On page 20, she wants to shoot Brian's new girlfriend.  On page 39, Kate reflects that she would "cut her throat" before showing tears.

I enjoyed seeing how Kate gradually comes to figure out what she really wants.  This is a very good book.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Wildfire #75 Love to the Rescue and #76 Senior Prom

75. Love to the Rescue, Deborah Kent, 1985

Lifeguards have all the fun.  That's what Laurie Cavanaugh used to think before she became one.  Now she knows there's more to the job than looking great in a bathing suit.  It's demanding work and a big responsibility.  But there would be some time for fun in the sun if Andy Hawthorne, the head lifeguard, wasn't such a creep.  He watches every move Laurie makes and criticizes her constantly.  Why does he have to be the cutest boy she has ever seen?  Laurie is confused, but she's sure of one thing.  Being a lifeguard may not be fun, but it's never boring either!

This is an excellent book.  I really enjoyed it.

76. Senior Prom, Patricia Aks, 1985

Last year Amy thought she'd found Mr. Right, but Jeff turned out to be oh-so-wrong.  With her new-found confidence, Amy realizes she doesn't need just one boyfriend—she's ready to play the field!  Even if she doesn't have much in common with any of the boys she dates, she loves being popular.  Best of all, Amy doesn't have to worry about a date for the senior prom.  This year her biggest worry is deciding which of her three invitations to accept!

Then Amy sees Jeff with another girl and the stab of pain in her heart tells her what she knew inside all along:  She still loves Jeff.  What good are a million dates for the prom, when you can't have the only one you want?

Fortunately, Amy isn't as stupid as she was in the previous book, Junior Prom.  This is a good book but nothing special.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Wildfire #73 The Boy Barrier and #74 The Yes Girl

73. The Boy Barrier, Jesse DuKore, 1985

"Love" means zero in tennis.  That's a score that Stacey King, the Number One player on the girls' tennis team, never earns on the court.  Off the court, it's another story.  There her love life scores a big fat zero!  Stacey was always too busy playing tennis to learn how to talk to boys.  Now she'd like the chance to change all that—especially since she's met Keith Flowers, the Number One player on the boys' team.  But the boy barrier is harder to break than Stacey had realized.  It gets even harder when the coach of the boys' team asks Stacey to join. If she accepts, will she become "just one of the boys"?  Can Stacey be Number One in Keith's heart if she takes his place as Number One on the team?

Stacey's best friend is Sally, and the similar names kept confusing me.  Also, too many people are introduced all at once in the same scene at the beginning of the story, which made my confusion even worse.  I cannot remember characters when they are thrown at me all at once.

I was confused on page 70.  The reader is told that Stacey's mother never went to college because it was the time of the Great Depression.  The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1939.  Either this book is set way back in the past, or else Stacey's mother is much older than would be expected.  The book was published in 1985, so Stacey's mother would have been at least 65 years old.  This is possible, but it is not how these books are usually set up.

On page 44, the story starts getting interesting when Stacey joins the boy's team.  However, the story then falls flat.  I only read part of the book.  The book has too much content about tennis, and the characters are boring.  I did not care about the story. 

74. The Yes Girl, Kathryn Makris, 1985

Gwen’s favorite word is yes.  She says yes to Susan who asks for free math tutoring, yes to any friend who needs help... even a yes to nice but boring Mitch who asks her for dates.  Gwen doesn't have a minute to herself.  

Unfortunately, she hardly has any time for Phil, either.  Phil is funny, handsome, and definitely not boring.  And Gwen likes him a lot.  When he asks her out, Gwen says yes... with delight.  But she is still saying yes to Mitch, too. 

Phil soon becomes tired of being Gwen's second choice, and tells her so angrily.  Now Gwen is torn.  If she starts saying no, she may lose her friends. If she can't stop saying yes, she'll lose Phil.

I do not find it enjoyable to read about a girl who is letting everyone take advantage of her so that she doesn't have any fun.  Going out with boys she doesn't like is appalling.

I read a little of the book, skimmed some, then I read the ending.  The only part of the book that interested me was the last couple of chapters.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tom Swift Inventors' Academy #1 Drone Pursuit and #2 Sonic Breach

I have never paid any attention to Tom Swift, since the premise does not interest me.  I have tried to read a sample book or two from the original Tom Swift series and the Tom Swift, Jr. series.  They do not appeal to me at all.  I cannot get past the first few pages.  Since I do love the Rick Brant books, in theory I ought to be able to enjoy the Tom Swift books.  Unfortunately, it's just not going to happen.

I heard of a new Tom Swift series to be published by Simon and Schuster, but I didn't care.  Why would I, right?  I saw a recent post on Facebook that had a photograph of the books, which are hardcover with dust jacket just like the Nancy Drew Diaries and Hardy Boys Adventures books that I own.  Now wait just a moment...

I read the publisher's summaries.  The summaries for both books appear below.

#1 The Drone Pursuit

When your dad funds the Swift Academy of Science and Technology, you’re bound to have a bunch of tech at your disposal.  So no one bats an eye when Tom and his best friend, Noah, test their new virtual reality drone before class.  At the academy, once class starts and the drone is parked, their brainiac friends then launch into farfetched discussions about the curriculum.  And when they watch a documentary about the FBI’s most wanted hackers from the eighties, they quickly start speculating that the academy custodian is one of them.

At first, Tom dismisses the idea as another one of his friends’ conspiracy theories.  But using their new drone, he spies the custodian acting suspiciously around school.  As Tom and his friends search for evidence that the custodian is the missing hacker, the signs become impossible to ignore when Tom gets threatening messages that warn him away from investigating.  And when someone releases a virus in the school servers, all bets are off as the adjoining servers at tech giant Swift Enterprises come under fire.  Can Tom and his friends uncover the true culprit before it’s too late?

#2 The Sonic Breach

Tom gets to take all sorts of cool classes at the Swift Academy of Science and Technology, but robotics may be the one he is most excited for. Their teacher is holding a battling robot tournament, and Tom has to build a machine that will come out on top.

With the final battle coming up, Tom and his friends need as much time as possible to refine their masterpiece. But the rest of their teachers have been giving so many pop quizzes that they can barely focus in class, never mind concentrate on the tournament. Naturally, everyone is frustrated with the trend…until a mysterious new phone app appears. If students get pop quizzes during first period, they can warn everyone else about it by getting their phones to emit a high-pitched sound—a mosquito alarm—that adults can’t hear.

Tom is unsure about the whole thing, but it technically isn’t cheating, right? But when someone changes the app to break all the rules, the ethics aren’t debatable anymore. The longer the perpetrator remains unknown, the more harshly teachers treat all the students, and the pressure won’t stop until Tom and his friends track down the person behind the app takeover.

The plots sounded interesting to me.  I also realized that I could read these books and see if they are executed better than the Nancy Drew Diaries.  Imagine the light bulb going off in my head!  I had a suspicion that the Tom Swift books would be better than the Nancy Drew Diaries books.  I could not pass up this great opportunity to read some books that might cause me to go off on another rant about the Nancy Drew Diaries series.  I actually enjoy writing my rants.  For those not familiar with my past posts on the subject, these two posts will catch you up.

Comparing the Nancy Drew Diaries to the Hardy Boys Adventures
Gender Inequality in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Books

I purchased both Tom Swift books and have read them.  The books read very much like the Hardy Boys Adventures series, and I feel confident that the books would appeal to fans of the Hardy Boys Adventures.  As I read the books, I was sure that one of the Hardy Boys Adventures writers was involved.  I have now verified that the ghostwriter for the Tom Swift books also has written four of the Hardy Boys Adventures books.  

The students at Swift Academy are ages 12 and 13, but honestly, they are no less mature than the older and highly-conflicted Nancy Drew of the Diaries series.  In fact, the students in these books are much more more well adjusted and capable than Nancy Drew is in some of the Diaries books (*cough* Heliotrope Lane).

Tom Swift does not shake in fear, and he doesn't have to try to motivate himself.  He has his cool gadgets, and he has a mystery to solve in each book.  He is on target all the time.  He understands technology (duh).  He also doesn't visit the bathroom a single time, unlike the strange bathroom obsession in the Nancy Drew Diaries series.

Oh yeah, and these books are not sabotage.  We have a winner!

I enjoyed both of these books as much as the best Hardy Boys Adventures books.  That also means that I enjoyed them more than the majority of the Nancy Drew Diaries books.  Simon and Schuster is doing great with the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift.  The most recent two Nancy Drew Diaries books have been a big improvement over previous titles.  I do have some hope for Nancy Drew currently, and that is what keeps me from going off on a rant right now.  Nevertheless, I remain skeptical about Nancy Drew since the Nancy Drew Diaries series has been quite uneven in quality.  

I will purchase future Tom Swift Inventors' Academy books and am excited that the upcoming third and fourth books were also written by the same ghostwriter.  I see all of the current Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Tom Swift books as parts of the same universe, and they compliment each other quite well.  It would be really cool if the Dana Girls could join that universe and be written for modern readers.  I'd love to see it happen.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Information Needed: Nancy Drew Matte Picture Cover Books with the Yellow Band

Nancy Drew fans keep asking about the matte picture cover books with the yellow band at the top edge.  I think most of us who were collecting in the past were not at all concerned with the books with the yellow band at the top edge.  Most of us don't even like them.

Seen below are all of the Nancy Drew matte picture cover books with the yellow band at the top edge.

People who are currently collecting the picture cover books seem to be quite confused about them and are focusing a lot of attention on them.  They view the books with the yellow bands almost like they are a different cover art variation.  I have finally concluded that the books with the yellow bands need to be added to my cover art gallery since collectors are so hyper-focused on them.

This is the cover art gallery:  Nancy Drew #1-56 Picture Cover Gallery.

I thought I just needed to scan the books with the yellow bands and insert them in.  I did it for Lilac Inn, then I realized that I have a big problem.  I don't know the date ranges.  I began editing the page in an offline file, and you can see a screen capture below, indicating the trouble spot.  By the way, I also plan to remove the "-present" from all of the books and change the year to 1985, since the flashlight editions began in 1986.

The books with the yellow bands are not covered in Farah's Guide.  I know they are from the middle to late 1970s and continued into the early 1980s, but I do not wish to put vague information on my page.  I need the exact years.  More precisely, I need the beginning year for each volume.  I can figure out the rest.

I need your help.

I spent a lot of time today looking at the back cover lists of every single matte picture cover with the yellow band that I currently have in my possession.  I have a lot of extras.  I then went to eBay and viewed every listing for the books with yellow bands, both current listings and sold listings.

I have noted the earliest time that any book was printed with the yellow band based on books I have seen so far.  What I do not know is if all of them changed to the yellow band at the same time.  Sometimes changes were staggered, such as when the Stratemeyer Syndicate revised the books down from 25 chapters to 20 chapters.  The below list shows the volume numbers, the year, and the earliest back cover list that I was able to find for each book with the yellow band present on the front cover.

#4 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook
#6 1975 Forgotten City
#7 1975 Forgotten City
#10 1975 Forgotten City
#17 1975 Forgotten City
#24 1975 Forgotten City
#25 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook
#28 1976 Sky Phantom followed by Cookbook
#29 1976 Sky Phantom followed by Cookbook
#35 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook
#36 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook
#37 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook
#38 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook
#39 1975 Forgotten City
#40 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook
#42 1975 Forgotten City
#45 1974 Glowing Eye followed by Cookbook

I need collectors to look at any matte picture cover books with the yellow band for #6, 7, 10, 17, 24, 28, 29, 39, and 42 and see if you have one that lists Nancy Drew to Glowing Eye followed by the Nancy Drew Cookbook.  For #28 and 29, I would also be interested in knowing if anyone has one that lists to Forgotten City.

I hope you can help so that I can fix the cover art gallery.  By fixing the cover art gallery, I hope to make it easier to answer all of the questions.

Update:  Information I have received indicates that most of the yellow band books were issued in 1974.  The only books where I have not yet received verification are #10, 28, and 42.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Wildfire #71 Kisses for Sale and #72 Crazy Crush

Wildfire #71 Kisses For Sale, Judith Enderle, 1985

Even though Lindsay is through with Ross, she still misses him, still longs to hear his voice, still is pained when she sees him in school with a new girlfriend.  But she doesn't miss his bossiness.  It's time for her to be independent!  

Her best friend Blaine says being independent doesn't mean spending all of her time alone.  Why not help organize the Spring Carnival?  At least it will keep her mind off Ross and who knows who she will meet?  But Lindsay isn't prepared for handsome Bill Stark—or for falling in love.

This book might be okay to other readers, but it did not interest me.  I read just some of the book and then quit.

It is at this point that I begin to hate the cover art for the remaining books in the series.  I look at this cover and want to run away.

Wildfire #72 Crazy Crush, Stephanie Gordon Tessler, 1985

Joey Jacobs is just crazy about Link Zinc, lead singer in the town’s hottest rock band.  But he doesn't even know she's alive!  Determined to win him, she plans to audition as the band's new drummer.  Then Link will be sure to notice her!  

There's just one small catch—Joey can't read music, let alone play the drums.  Handsome Todd Perlman, a musician in the school orchestra, volunteers to help her learn, and Joey's well on her way to fulfilling her dream.  So how come everything feels wrong?

Because it is wrong.  A girl who has no clue how to read music or play the drums somehow expects to learn to drum well enough to be chosen as a band's new drummer.  That is just stupid. 

I also cannot stand books which feature fake rock groups that I, as the reader, somehow am supposed to appreciate and admire.  Why should I care about a fake rock group?  And Link Zinc... gag.

I read some of the book, skimmed a bit, and then quit.