Sandra Dodd

A new book out January 7. I've pre-ordered more than one copy :-)

Robin Bentley sent me a link to a JPG called Fear of the new: A techno-panic timeline.

Before I even looked at it, I responded:

"I've just listened to Smarter Than you Think and it talks about panic about writing things down (the Greeks thought taking notes would destroy people's ability to memorize), and the printing press, and telegraph and radio.

I haven't looked at what you sent, but I hope it has those! "

They did!

It had page numbers, so I went looking for the book. :-)

The book is called Good For You, and it's aimed at teens. I'm excited to hear what teachers, librarians and parents will say and do about a book giving children factual defense for their current interests!

You can pre-order on Amazon (and I saw it on some other sites, too):

The authors have blogs about this book and related ideas:

Exciting. :-)

I knew from personal and second-hand accounts about complaints back to pulp novels, but I didn't know about how radio would ruin the world And I had no idea until recently that the telegraph was criticized.

I think people like to complain and say "doom."



I was just reading a book about the history of Nancy Drew and her authors.  It was fascinating for me because I grew up loving Nancy Drew.  As I was reading it, I wanted to post here, because there were a few places where it talked about the reaction to this new 'genre' of fiction (serial books that were so cheap kids could buy them with their pocket money).  They were derided, they would ruin children's good values, the writing was considered low-level, they were excluded from a major library, etc.  And the ironic part is that those exact books - the old hardcovers so carefully written to promote family values, modesty, humility, etc... that were feared... are some of the books that our religious friends seek out as appropriate for their children.  I loved those original (well, I guess I had the edited versions) portrayals of Nancy, and I would love if my daughter wants to read my old books.  She's really loved the Nancy Drew Notebooks (the 8 year old Nancy), and I find that given the age those books are geared to, they retain a lot of that original Nancy.  The newer Nancy that I grew up with as a teenager (The Nancy Drew Files, I think), I loved while I was a teenager, because they added in more of the teenage melodrama, love, tension, etc.  As an adult, over the past few years, while unschooling, I've enjoyed pursuing Nancy further.  I found the original Nancy movies, where they really ruin her character, but it was still fun to watch.  I've also been able to watch a 70s TV Nancy show, which didn't stay on the air long.  I'm now interested in reading the original unedited versions of the first Nancy books, that Mildred Wirt wrote, and maybe other series she wrote under her own name.  Its been so fun having the chance to just pursue this interest as much as I want.  The internet has made it so easy.  In high school I attempted to this, choosing Nancy Drew for an English project.  But I had no idea about the original movies, only the 70s TV show.  And I couldn't find the answers to who the real authors were.  Thank you Sandra and Joyce, and Pam, and Meredith, and others.  I love unschooling, and I love not being afraid of new media. 


Sandra Dodd

When I was in 4th grade I LOVED Nancy Drew books and read lots of them. I went on to The Happy Hollisters for a while, because one could subscribe and get one a month at home. That was a family with five children and they solved mysteries on family vacations. :-) I still have them, but generally they do NOT translate to modern days. I tried reading one to Holly, years back, because it was set in New Mexico. It bugged the heck out of her and I was embarrassed that it hadn't bugged me when I was her age, for being condescending about local characters.

BUT! The mysteries were cool. And the fact that her dad would give her realworld help and her best friend was on call and her boyfriend would deliver something to her without needing to hang around and be dramatic were good fantasies. And she had her own car. (I've heard the car changed over the years, and that for a while (perhaps, and maybe still) they were updated with a program that had flagged the dated bits (clothes, car) so they could be modernized. That might have been urban legend, or it might have been true, because search and replace were very cool in the 1980's and 90's.

They were exciting for me when I was a kid the way modern crime dramas like The Mentalist and any of the Sherlock Holmes TV shows / movies are cool. Logic, danger, luck, clever discovery, dependable associates... Quite an exercise in trying to guess what's next, or looking back at what might've been better. I learned trivia about different parts of the world, too, from Nancy Drew and other kid-mystery books.

Now kids play Nancy Drew video games, and other mystery stories they can interact with and affect, and conservatives whose team once reviled the books now claims the books would be good for kids, but the games are damaging. :-)