Tag Archives: native americans




Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Richard Cohen in 1953.  His one and only Hardy Boys book.

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1969 by Pricilla Baker-Carr.

Cover: Rudy Nappi.   We continue in the green period, but there is plenty of yellow and some red too. This is more of an abstract cover as the scene is a thematically accurate depiction of something that doesn’t occur like that in the book.  That is, the crisscross shadow does NOT go across Frank and Joe’s bodies.  And unlike other covers that give away the plot, this one only sort of does that (as you will see when you read the book)  A decent cover.

Setting: Bayport and somewhere else.  Not explained exactly where, just a plane ride somewhere.  But true to the 1950s, this one involves Native Americans, or as they might have said back then, injuns.  I’ll explain later, but is it significant that my spellchecker wanted to change that to “indians”?  Hmmm…

Where’s Fenton This Time?: Here, there and everywhere.  It’s odd, he keeps sending messages from all over, but isn’t there.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Biff, Tony, Callie, Iola.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: None.  At this point he’s merely the third Hardy Boy.  Well, maybe football is the hobby in this book.

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Chocolate walnut cake, and you can just taste it, can’t you?

Plot: Swindlers try to cheat a Native American tribe out of their land, Frank and Joe save the day.

Review:  This is an odd book in that when it was written in the 1950s, it probably felt very progressive in its views on Native Americans.  They even make fun of stereotypical speech while having the tribe talk quite normally, act quite normally, etc.  Well done, right?  Wellll….no, there is still racism.  Frank and Joe solve the mystery by using basic common sense.  So why couldn’t the tribe figure this one out?  Why does it always take the white folks to be the saviors?  See what I mean?  A deeper level of racism.  Oh well, it tried.  The mystery itself is so-so, football comes in at the end, there are some moments of good suspense.  It’s OK.

Score: 6




Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1944.

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1970 by Andrew E. Svenson, one of two he revised, and the second since book 7, The Secret of the Caves.  But Mr. Svenson starts to write his own books soon, but his originals were written about twenty years earlier and were then rewritten by others about the time Mr. Svenson was revising this book.  Confused yet?  Imagine how Mrs. Svenson must have felt when Andy explained it to her.

Cover: Rudy Nappi.  Red and green, somewhat abstract, with Joe holding the secret contents of the briefcase from Pulp Fiction.  And a big, crooked mask looming over them that as a kid I found very helpful in picturing what they were talking about in the book.  A nice, bold cover.

Setting: Upstate New York.  You do know that Bayport is in New York for real, right? Well, they travel to various places upstate, including Niagara Falls.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: Stage left.  He’s off on a different angle of the same case, and then at the end he literally solves Frank and Joe’s case for them while staying offstage until the very end.  Very odd to have it happen that way, making for a bit of an anti-climax climax as the boys wait around waiting to hear if dear old dad wraps up their case for them.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, with Biff and Tony making the most deus ex machina entrance of all time and then disappearing again to go fishing.  I’m not kidding.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Eating corn soup, evidently.

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: None, but she makes a brief appearance to make a salami and cream cheese sandwich for Chet.  Why that kind?  It’s needed later as a clue, so it had to be a weird sandwich that would stand out.

Plot: A Native American mask goes missing, the boys try to find it, while immersing themselves in the community.

Review:  It’s not bad overall.  In fact, despite the unfortunate use of “redskins” (and by a Native American character at that!) that can be chalked up to the ignorance of its time, this book tries hard to be fair to them.  They get nuanced characters, prejudice on both sides is shown to be pointless and harmful, and respect is shown to the culture.  As for the mystery, it’s limited, but interesting, and the bad guys are not the typical ones.  It’s a fun book.

Score: 8