I did say I wasn’t done with Mildred and the Stratemeyer Syndicate haha.
This book isn’t a part of the Syndicate. It was written by Mildred herself. While ghostwriting the Nancy Drew series, she also worked on her own books. I was lucky enough to find this one on one of my Goodwill runs. I recognized her name and immediately decided to buy it. Good thing I did, because my library does not have any of her books! And a quick Goodreads search tells me there are only 6 ratings (including my own) and 1 review (mine).
Now, let’s talk about the story. The book revolves around Judy and her troop of Girl Scouts (Beaver Patrol). They are 8th grade girls (13? 14?) spending time at Pine Cone Camp with other scout troops. Judy’s aunt telegrams her, informing her she wishes to spend a small vacation in the area and asks Judy to find her somewhere to stay. But it’s summer, and everything nearby is booked. Well, everything except for a small, mysterious cottage.
Whilst reading, I kept comparing this book to Nancy. I couldn’t help it! These books are actually different though. Sure, Judy is fearless and quite an intrepid sleuth. But the tone of the story isn’t like a Nancy Drew mystery. Judy and her friends are simply going on with their lives when they become curious by certain events occurring around them.
I really liked this book. One thing I particularly enjoyed was the fact that they were girl scouts. Their various camp activities were touched upon. It allowed me to get a better sense of the various girls. (Judy’s troop is made up of 7). And the the book itself is really educational. The skills the troop learns are actually used. For example, we see the troop administer first aid when they witness a car accident, and bring up fire safety when making a campfire. As a Californian, I really appreciated that. Not to mention there are discussions about caves, stalagtites and stalagmites. All very interesting.
There was one instance where the language used in the book made me cringe. Look, I get it. This is an old book. So I’ll forgive it. I guess. I am kind of glad it wasn’t any of the girl scouts that said it though. As a former Girl Scout, you know I would have gone on a rant.
So. A great little book. Not like a Nancy Drew story. But if anything, her aura is still felt. In the way Judy carries herself. And how both have to prove themselves to be taken seriously by others.
I really wish I had access to more of these books