Oldies But Goodies

Authors sometimes reuse characters and settings to create a series of books. Every time we read a new book in the series , t’s like visiting an old friend, warm and comfortable. The joy of finding a series that resonates with your soul is incredible. Unfortunately not everyone can immerse themselves in a story and discover that joy. Today we will (re)discover series that are more than 50 years old and still popular. But just because a story is written for a younger audience doesn’t mean older readers won’t enjoy them as well. Good stories can cross all age and gender barriers and be enjoyed by all.

Old But Still Popular Series

The Hardy Boys, by Franklin W. Dixon, J DIX

Teenagers Frank and Joe Hardy follow in their detective father’s footsteps and, with the help of friends, solve mysteries that stump adults. Originally started in 1927, the series has been revised several times and new books are still being written. More than 250 Hardy Boys books have been published. This series has also been made into a television series and video games. It’s interesting to note that Franklin W. Dixon never existed, but was a collection of authors that were hired to write the stories from provided outlines.

Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene, J KEE

Nancy Drew is the Hardy Boys for a female audience, but boys also liked to read her stories. Started in 1930 by the same person that created the Hardy Boys, again using a team of writers. Nancy Drew has also made the leap into television, and stories have been revised to keep up with changing times. There are more than 150 books in this series.

The Bobbsey Twins, Laura Lee Hope, J HOP

Follow the lives of twelve year old fraternal twins Nan and Bret, and their six year old fraternal twin siblings Flossie and Freddie. Edward Stratemeyer, who also created the Hardy boys and Nancy Drew, started the Bobbsey twins in 1904, and the series ended in 1992 with more than 100 books published. Again multiple authors were used, and books have been revised to keep up with the times.

The Black Stallion, Walter Farley, J FAR

After a storm sinks the ship on which he is traveling, Alex finds himself marooned on an island with the only other survivor, a wild black Arabian stallion. Alex befriends the horse, takes him to New York when he is rescued, and begins racing The Black against the top horses of the day. First published in 1941, the last volume was published in 1989, the same year Walter Farley died and the television series The Adventures of the Black Stallion began. There are a total of 21 books in the series.

Have you read a good a good book that you would like to share? Send an email to, or write a letter to the address below, and briefly tell us why you liked the book. If you don’t want your name used, please let us know. Follow us on Facebook at Johnson County Public Library.

Johnson County Public Library, P. O. Box 107, 219 Church St., Mountain City, TN 37683


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