Nancy Drew: The Smart Woman's Role Model

"I was always impressed with her bravery, because I was not a brave kid ... and I used to marvel that she could go in the dark with a flashlight to the unknown," said O magazine editor at large Gayle King. "I'm still not very brave."

"Nancy Drew had a job," said actress Ellen Barkin. "She was the first woman I was aware of that, that she wasn't paid for it, but she was a woman with a purpose."

Nancy Drew's 80th Anniversary

The series continued in hardcover until 1979, and Nancy Drew experts say the most popular books in the series are "The Secrets of the Old Clock," "The Hidden Staircase" and "The Secret in the Old Attic."

"When you read them, they sort of take you back to that time when kids weren't so much about society and peer pressure and so much more of what's going on today," Fisher said.

The annual "Nancy Drew sleuth convention" will be held this fall in Las Vegas, and next year, fans will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the series.

Still, the modern movie version of Nancy Drew didn't really catch on, and today's role models, by comparison, are different -- to say the least.

"I think the great thing about Nancy was that whole sense of fighting for justice and helping others and righting wrongs," Fisher said. "I think that sort of strikes a chord with a lot of us."

So, Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears -- listen up. Consider taking at least a page out of one of Nancy Drew's books. Think about making smarts look as good as sass.

After all, you never know what young girl watching you might have the potential to grow up to be the next secretary of state, Supreme Court justice, or even president -- with a little inspiration.

More Information on Nancy Drew:

My Nancy Drew Web site: www.nancydrewsleuth.com

Nancy Drew Sleuths Collector/Fan Organization: www.ndsleuths.com

Nancy Drew Sleuth Convention, Fall 2009: www.ndsleuths.com/ndsconventions.html

Nancy Drew 80th Anniversary April 2010 Convention: www.ndsleuths.com/ndsconventions.html

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