Sunday, December 14, 2008
A while back, I nabbed from my parents' yard sale pile some of my sister's childhood books. Among them was a Dana Girls mystery, Secret of the Minstrel's Guitar, by Carolyn Keene. Like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls were written by several different authors in formulaic adventures. The Dana Girls were fairly independent, with their sea captain uncle as their guardian. In this book, they get mixed up with Gypseys en route to Portugal. I'm a bad judge of children's literature, so take my remarks with a grain of salt. Unlike Nancy Drew, I find the Dana Girls to be pretty flat. At least, in this novel, neither girl had a distinct personality or role. I did like the interludes of history/cultural lessons of Portugal. I understand from some Portuguese friends, the information is accurate, so you get a nice little taste of Portugal in addition to a mystery that made little sense. The girls ended up in my sketchbook with an early '70s flair. I started to use blue pencil, but then finished with my new favorite sketch pencil, which is super dark and super soft and flow-y.