What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
Edward Stratemeyer, creator of book series such as Nancy Drew, was born on this day in 1862.
|Grades||3 – 8|
|Calendar Activity Type||Author & Text|
Edward Stratemeyer was a series book author who began the Stratemeyer Literary Syndicate in 1905. He advertised for and hired authors who wrote from his outlines and signed an oath of secrecy. The Syndicate remained secret for many years. Using syndicate authors, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew mysteries, among other series.
Have students select several books from the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, or another series to read. Students can use the Series Books resource from KidsReads.com to find an age-appropriate series that interests them.
Lead a discussion about the shared elements in the books. Have students use the 3-Circle Venn Diagram to compare character, plot, and setting in three books. How do these elements change across the series? In what ways do they remain the same?
Students can also outline their own series, as Stratemeyer did for his syndicate. Have students use the interactive Literary Elements Map to create the characters, settings, and plots for their series. Students can also plan how their characters will change and grow across the series using the Interactive Timeline. Have them select "other" as the unit of measure and type in "book." They can then note ways their characters will change and grow in each book of the series.
- Edward Stratemeyer
Information about Stratemeyer's life and writing can be found on this webpage.
- The History of Nancy Drew
This website contains an overview of the authors and the books in the Nancy Drew series. It also discusses Stratemeyer's syndicate and the roles of Stratemeyer's daughters in making the Nancy Drew series a success.
- The Hardy Boys Online
This site contains information about the characters, history, locations, and more from the Hardy Boys series. It also includes a map recording the Hardy Boys' many travels.
- KidsReads.com: Series Books
This site allows students to search for book series by name. Included for each series is a general overview of the series, related games and activities, and information about the author, titles, and characters.
Grades 6 – 12 | Podcast Episode
This episode offers insight into different kinds of series books followed by recommendations of truly memorable series and companion books that will hook teen readers and stand the test of time.
Grades K – 5 | Podcast Episode
Emily Manning describes some chapter book series that kids will love and chats with author Nikki Grimes about her writing philosophy.