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Nancy Drew Clues: Revelations from The Stratemeyer Syndicate Archives

Siobhan Ciminera, associate editor of Grosset & Dunlap / Price Stern Sloan was kind enough to share some insight into the creation of and the ideas that formed the Nancy Drew Mad Libs that comes out this month!

Born out of the excitement for Nancy Drew’s 75th anniversary, Grosset & Dunlap wanted to do something very special, aside from the re-issuance of the Nancy Drew Cookbook. Thus, last November, in anticipation of this celebratory year, the team at Price Stern Sloan worked hand-in-hand with Simon & Schuster (the licensor of Nancy Drew) to create the Nancy Drew Mad Libs.

Consisting of 21 stories, the Nancy Drew Mad Libs has three (3) all-new mysteries that are in four parts, each written in the style of the original 56 Nancy Drew mysteries. Then there nine (9) other stories, which include character profiles, descriptions, and even a recipe from the Nancy Drew Cookbook! The original 56 books were also used as reference for these “other” stories. All 21 stories in the Nancy Drew Mad Libs are your typical Mad Libs – stories that have specific nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs omitted and blanks inserted for the reader (player) to fill in! Here is an example:

“Nancy Drew is the world’s greatest _____(noun)_____. She has _____(adjective)_____ hair, and drives a/an _____(adjective)_____ _____(noun)_____. Nancy _____ (adverb)_____ solves mysteries with her _____(plural noun)_____, Bess Marvin and George Fayne. Bess and George are _____(plural noun)_____, but they are very _____(adjective)_____.”

You are the only one who knows the story, so when you ask others for nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and such to fill in the blanks, the others may come up with some crazy, funny words to complete the story!

Of course, in hopes of uncovering some ghostwriting secrets, the question was asked as to who REALLY wrote the Nancy Drew Mad Libs? The official response is that all Mad Libs are written by Roger Price and Leonard Stern. Any more information than that could not be revealed.

Will there be more Nancy Drew Mad Libs forthcoming? When asked, Siobhan indicated that this will probably be the only Nancy Drew Mad Libs; and while thoughts of doing the Hardy Boys and/or Bobbsey Twins Mad Libs have been discussed, there is nothing definite in the works at this time.

Everyone at Grosset & Dunlap / Price Stern Sloan is excited about the issuance of the Nancy Drew Mad Libs, along with the Nancy Drew Cookbook that is being re-issued this month as well. Siobhan feels the two projects really compliment one another, since they aren’t your typical Nancy Drew mysteries, but they still bring readers and fans into Nancy’s world! While the Nancy Drew Mad Libs are aimed primarily for children ages 8 – 12, they are definitely hoping to reach both Mad Libs and Nancy Drew fans of all ages! So rush out to your local bookstore and pick up your copy today – don’t miss out on all the fun!

For a brief history of Mad Libs, check out the Penguin Putnam website Mad Libs section.

To play some Mad Libs and see how they work, visit their their website.

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