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The Message in the Hollow Oak

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Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE] ACE #1 Nancy Drew tackles a mystery professional detectives failed to solve--finding a valuable centuries-old message in a hollow oak tree in Illinois. The story is based on the original title of the same name first published in 1935. The plot is vastly different in this extensively revised and shortened version. Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE] ACE #1 Nancy Drew tackles a mystery professional detectives failed to solve--finding a valuable centuries-old message in a hollow oak tree in Illinois. The story is based on the original title of the same name first published in 1935. The plot is vastly different in this extensively revised and shortened version.


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Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE] ACE #1 Nancy Drew tackles a mystery professional detectives failed to solve--finding a valuable centuries-old message in a hollow oak tree in Illinois. The story is based on the original title of the same name first published in 1935. The plot is vastly different in this extensively revised and shortened version. Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE] ACE #1 Nancy Drew tackles a mystery professional detectives failed to solve--finding a valuable centuries-old message in a hollow oak tree in Illinois. The story is based on the original title of the same name first published in 1935. The plot is vastly different in this extensively revised and shortened version.

30 review for The Message in the Hollow Oak

  1. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    In List Review format: This random-in-no-particular-order list of Persons, Places or Things from The Message In The Hollow Oak (Nancy Drew #12) includes, but is not limited to. . . . A group of detectives who travel 'cross states to solve a mystery, but after one weekend give up and go home - their ancient relative passes the word to Nancy Drew who just completed her last mystery solve and is a little blue; at that 'cross state location is found an archaeological dig in progress, with a very amiab In List Review format: This random-in-no-particular-order list of Persons, Places or Things from The Message In The Hollow Oak (Nancy Drew #12) includes, but is not limited to. . . . A group of detectives who travel 'cross states to solve a mystery, but after one weekend give up and go home - their ancient relative passes the word to Nancy Drew who just completed her last mystery solve and is a little blue; at that 'cross state location is found an archaeological dig in progress, with a very amiable professor in charge, and who is possessed of a nice house available for lodging extra girl detectives and her friends; bones of all types, including baby fingers; a small metal treasure left by an old priest - who spent a lot of time hammering metal plates with his name and the year onto every hollow oak he came across; many old, beat up hollow oak trees apparently on their sides mostly abused by treasurer hunters, but with metal plates firmly in place after 200 years; a brace of teenagers, all pairing up; one misguided male adds jealousy to hormonal hi-jinx as he moves in on Ned's girl; thigh thumping old guys willing to lend their old trucks to strangers - teenage strangers; nefarious thieves with ridiculous names; 3 shy small boys who sneak up on the teens and steal their carefully prepared lunch and run off into the woods - they are never mentioned again; grown men getting kidnapped willy-nilly requiring Nancy's special touch at finding them; a log that flies through the dining room window, lands on the dinner table and miraculously hurts not one of the many persons gathered round the table; helpful, muscular Ned saves Nancy's life, pulling her out of a grimy white substance in water where she has been submerged - whereupon Ned comments, "Nancy, you should get out of those clothes, and wash your hair as soon as possible. "- ever the romantic, Ned!; good old Dad, Drew Carson on a business trip for the entire book, comes home on the penultimate page just prior to his next flight out; and in a ND epilogue (have never seen one of those so far) Nancy wins an award for her many brave deeds in recovering the ancient treasure divided between deserving community institutions. Liked it! CHECK! On to #13.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Clara Ellen

    My daughter likes Nancy Drew books and wanted me to read one of the 'original' versions out loud. It really was interesting to read a Nancy Drew book in its original form! I found the writing to be good and the dialogue well-done. The story line was action-packed but still flowed nicely. I much prefer the original to the later edition of this book! I would like to read more of this series in the original version. My daughter likes Nancy Drew books and wanted me to read one of the 'original' versions out loud. It really was interesting to read a Nancy Drew book in its original form! I found the writing to be good and the dialogue well-done. The story line was action-packed but still flowed nicely. I much prefer the original to the later edition of this book! I would like to read more of this series in the original version.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debalina

    I am an old Nancy Drew fan, and have been re-reading many of them recently on weekends. I have no issues with the stories being quite predictable given they were written half a century ago and were trend setters or the fact that the villains are kind of cute here who never do any real harm and are quite stupid too. But taking into account the fact that it is a children's book and especially because of the fact that it is a children's book, I have some serious issues, 1. What's with Bess' portraya I am an old Nancy Drew fan, and have been re-reading many of them recently on weekends. I have no issues with the stories being quite predictable given they were written half a century ago and were trend setters or the fact that the villains are kind of cute here who never do any real harm and are quite stupid too. But taking into account the fact that it is a children's book and especially because of the fact that it is a children's book, I have some serious issues, 1. What's with Bess' portrayal as a plump girl who eats way more and is the definition of 'girly' because she is usually afraid, her pinkish dressing sense and so on and so forth. The opposite is George. And this reflects in the choice of their boyfriends as well. Why so homogeneous? I know society reflects stereotypes and gives rise to it, and this characterisation belongs to that line of reasoning, but it is annoying(especially in this century when we are trying to break such images). 2. Why are some characters so dumb and pointless? Even then, people weren't. Also, in order to vilify some side-characters, they are given weirdly unrealistic and erratically irrational behaviour. We should really re-examine our literature. I don't know how popular these books still are, but they I feel still are quite famous amongst the tweens. It is a good book, but re-strengthens some characteristics of a personality which later might evolve into some insecurities and complexes or just a flawed perspective (even though a perspective is that itself- a perspective). And some characters are really well designed for a young mind to be awed and inspired as I was, but maybe we can give a disclaimer? Anyone agrees? The good thing is that the villains were slightly more vilified in this book though still cute and you always knew who they were, as usual, the jealousy angle with Art and Ned was played well- it is not fresh but okay-ish- adds some teenage drama, Ned is now kind of more boyfriend-ish to Nancy and I really liked that although she really is of evading nature, Ned is patient. I would have given this book a 2.5, rounded off to 3 stars but the end of the mystery, and the story attached to its inception was perhaps the best of all the Nancy Drew findings and conclusions drawn so far, and is well written to inspire wonder and interest. The excavations of early Indians as well as a real story of an explorer gives it a bit more adventure-y touch, and their implied sad endings hint a touch of reality warped in mystery and tweenage-y stuff to a children's book, although I would have loved a bit more detail. And thus, in spite of so many issues, for me it was again a satisfying read. Sometimes the ending can really save it all. So, 4 stars to Nancy Drew and the message in the Hollow Oak. Happy reading! :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    "A group of professional detective challenge Nancy to tackle a mystery that they have failed to solve: find an invaluable message hidden by a missionary centuries ago in a hollow oak tree in Illinois.While searching the woods for the ancient tree, Nancy and her friends live with a group of young archaeologists who are excavating prehistoric Indian burial mounds on a nearby farm. A shadowy enemy stalks Nancy and harasses everyone at the dig. The young investigator pursues her dangerous adversary "A group of professional detective challenge Nancy to tackle a mystery that they have failed to solve: find an invaluable message hidden by a missionary centuries ago in a hollow oak tree in Illinois.While searching the woods for the ancient tree, Nancy and her friends live with a group of young archaeologists who are excavating prehistoric Indian burial mounds on a nearby farm. A shadowy enemy stalks Nancy and harasses everyone at the dig. The young investigator pursues her dangerous adversary to the outlaws' cave, and is threatened hen she discovers an unusual treasure.How Nancy , with few clues to go on, solves this complex mystery will thrill all readers." - I don't understand why church was added into all the revised texts. Was Harriet Stratemeyer very religious or was there a big church craze in the 1970's? It's ridiculous that even out in the Illinois wilderness they have a makeshift church sermon. I personally have no problem with Nancy attending church but it's always so forced into the text, not natural at all. - While I was taking noted while reading this I simply wrote down "pg. 38-41" for this because there was just so much I had to remark on. Nancy, Julie Anne, and Clem are out searching for a hollow oak when they stop to have a picnic lunch. Clem entertains the girls with funny old stories such as one about a big catfish knocking over a fisherman, then suddenly changes the subject to his good luck coin: "Clem said there were no more big fish in the river, then abruptly changed the subject, "would you like to see my good-luck coin?"". This is such an awkward turn of conversation. It would make more sense and feel more natural if they had been talking about good-luck trinkets or even old superstitions of the local Native Americans the archaeology students are learning about. The coin has the initials P.F. engraved on them which Nancy immediately decides must stand for Pére François since the coin was found in the area. However Clem never said it was found in the area until after Nancy makes this remark. In fact talking about items found in the area would have been a better conversation to segue into the coin discussion instead of the funny catfish story. Nancy tells Clem the coin is an important find and Clem says he's giving it to Nancy since the coin "don't mean nothin' to him"...but just a minute ago he said it was his good-luck coin. Nancy offers to pay him for it but he declines the offer because "what would i do with a lot o' money?". Gee Clem, I don't know maybe pay your bills, put food on your table, buy your wife a nice gift. See the rest of my review at VintageGirlsBooks.blogspot.com.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    I give this a 3-star review, just because my daughter so enjoys being read these Nancy Drew stories. For me, the plots are SO unrealistic. Someone gets kidnapped in almost every single Nancy Drew book! Including this one! Two separate people were in fact kidnapped in this one. Yet both were found unharmed and saved by Nancy. And car accidents. Almost every book Nancy gets in a car accident. Including in this one. Yet she always walks away fine, with either no damage to the car, or just minor dam I give this a 3-star review, just because my daughter so enjoys being read these Nancy Drew stories. For me, the plots are SO unrealistic. Someone gets kidnapped in almost every single Nancy Drew book! Including this one! Two separate people were in fact kidnapped in this one. Yet both were found unharmed and saved by Nancy. And car accidents. Almost every book Nancy gets in a car accident. Including in this one. Yet she always walks away fine, with either no damage to the car, or just minor damage. This book is set at an archaeological dig, and I was disappointed in the student's treatment of the skeletal remains that they found. They seemed to be shown off as "trophies", which bones being taken into a barn and wired together by the students to make hanging skeletons. No respect was shown for the remains. And I feel sorry for Bess (Nancy's friend). She is always described by her weight: "Bess was a slightly plump blond with delightful dimples." And there are always scenes with her involving food, such as in this book when their food gets stolen out of their vehicle by some children, and "Bess sat down on the ground, disconsolate." and her cousin George makes fun of her telling her "It wouldn't hurt you to go without a meal." Why do they always have to focus on her weight and make fun of her eating?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This installment started off interesting - treasure supposedly hidden in a hollow tree. It's one of the first times Nancy flies out to solve a mystery and the airport scenes were amusing in terms of how simple it used to be to just hop on a plane. But things deteriorated quickly for me - again people are kidnapped - she flies all her friends out even though she was with other people which is annoying. Ned, Dave and Burt are just flat characters to me and Bess and George always seem to be falling This installment started off interesting - treasure supposedly hidden in a hollow tree. It's one of the first times Nancy flies out to solve a mystery and the airport scenes were amusing in terms of how simple it used to be to just hop on a plane. But things deteriorated quickly for me - again people are kidnapped - she flies all her friends out even though she was with other people which is annoying. Ned, Dave and Burt are just flat characters to me and Bess and George always seem to be falling down embankments or getting hit in the head. I enjoyed the new characters this book introduced and that certainly bumped it from two to three stars plus there was a goat inside the bedroom which was also a funny scene.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    4 stars & 4/10 hearts. This was a fun story. The excitement and intensity were well done, though the mystery itself wasn't as much a mystery as a treasure hunt. It seemed to me that the treasure wasn't worth everything it put Nancy & her friends through, but that may be just me. I was annoyed by the archaeology aspect, though. I'm not against archaeology but it bugged me that the bones were just casually dug up and hung up in places, as if they were just plastic skeletons or whatnot. It still hu 4 stars & 4/10 hearts. This was a fun story. The excitement and intensity were well done, though the mystery itself wasn't as much a mystery as a treasure hunt. It seemed to me that the treasure wasn't worth everything it put Nancy & her friends through, but that may be just me. I was annoyed by the archaeology aspect, though. I'm not against archaeology but it bugged me that the bones were just casually dug up and hung up in places, as if they were just plastic skeletons or whatnot. It still human remains; and besides it struck me as not at all respectful to the Indians themselves. The whole thing was so cool and offhand, it bothered me. And the whole jealousy angle was annoying too. So yeah. It was a good read, but I don't know if I'd read it again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bon

    defo not as good as some others, for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Findley

    An average entry into the series, but still a fairly good mystery, especially for younger kids.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    Whether or not you know anything about the different versions of Nancy Drew books, the books printed after 1959 are revised versions from the original Nancy Drew books. Only two of the original Nancy Drew books were totally rewritten when they were revised. This book is one of them. The other is The Secret of Shadow Ranch. I recommend reading both versions as the reader gets a better idea of how the original was written and how the revised version is different.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ann♥♪♪♪♪

    Revised edition (haven't read original). Grave robbing. Hated it - Nancy Drew and the other regular characters wouldn't do that. She and the others would have said it was wrong. I like archaeology such as exploring and searching places that aren't burial grounds. Desecrating graves is despicable as well as disrespectful. Forget this book if you want to read Nancy Drew - there are so many great Nancy Drew books you could read instead. Revised edition (haven't read original). Grave robbing. Hated it - Nancy Drew and the other regular characters wouldn't do that. She and the others would have said it was wrong. I like archaeology such as exploring and searching places that aren't burial grounds. Desecrating graves is despicable as well as disrespectful. Forget this book if you want to read Nancy Drew - there are so many great Nancy Drew books you could read instead.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Very dark and mysterious Nancy Drew novel. This series is so much fun, because no two books are the same.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Milley

    it turns out i actually did read the original and i do remember it being a lot more exciting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    Archeology project! At this point, some weeks after finishing, I forget the precise mystery. I only remember the awkward social situation Nancy endures amongst the students who are involved in this "dig" for Native American artifacts, skeletons, etc. Here's the sitch: One of the students, whose name is "Art" is apparently a cool guy because he owns a motorcycle. He seems sweet on Nancy, and she enjoys his helpful offers to drive her to the closest town so she can make phone calls. But of course s Archeology project! At this point, some weeks after finishing, I forget the precise mystery. I only remember the awkward social situation Nancy endures amongst the students who are involved in this "dig" for Native American artifacts, skeletons, etc. Here's the sitch: One of the students, whose name is "Art" is apparently a cool guy because he owns a motorcycle. He seems sweet on Nancy, and she enjoys his helpful offers to drive her to the closest town so she can make phone calls. But of course she cannot date him because Ned Nickerson wouldn't like it. And she also has no desire to date Art, because most likely Art is a real drip. Luckily Nancy passes him on to one of the other girl students involved in the dig. Hooray! And maybe twice the group has a campfire/picnic shindig. Steaks. Always steaks in these books. The mystery, as my memory somewhat activates, is a hidden treasure. But it's a separate item from the dig, which looks for skeletons. Someone thinks they found a baby skeleton but no one stops to think about whether this is a gravesite, whether it should be respected, etc. Nope! Just keep digging. Nothing bad ever happens when Native American gravesites are desecrated. It doesn't matter, right?? >:-(

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    "The detective was of medium height. Although he was rugged looking, the man had a very kind face and Nancy thought his smile was enchanting. How different from many comic-strip detectives!" "Ned and Dave followed, while Bess sat down on the ground, disconsolate. 'Oh, don't be silly!' George chided her cousin. 'It wouldn't hurt you to go without a meal.' 'You're a good one to talk,' Bess replied. 'You eat all you want and stay slim. I can't help it if I get hungry.'" "The detective was of medium height. Although he was rugged looking, the man had a very kind face and Nancy thought his smile was enchanting. How different from many comic-strip detectives!" "Ned and Dave followed, while Bess sat down on the ground, disconsolate. 'Oh, don't be silly!' George chided her cousin. 'It wouldn't hurt you to go without a meal.' 'You're a good one to talk,' Bess replied. 'You eat all you want and stay slim. I can't help it if I get hungry.'"

  16. 4 out of 5

    16HardyalK

    Nancy drew is very intriguing and is entertaining to follow the mystery to solve with her and have the excitement of being a detective yourself. These books are for people of any age, you can never grow out of solving mysteries with Nancy Drew. The mystery genre is amazing to read and can be read by anyone who has a craving for mystery.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura (Reading is a Doing Word)

    Nancy wins deeds to land in Canada. On her way to check it out she discovers there may be gold there. She also meets a writer who's estranged from her Grandfather. Nancy agrees to help find him and in doing so discovers a long lost sweetheart and takes on some ruthless prospectors intent on stealing her land. An action packed mystery, with train crashes, shootings and explosions galore! I read the 1978 Armada edition, which appears to be an abridged version of the original text from the 30s. Nancy wins deeds to land in Canada. On her way to check it out she discovers there may be gold there. She also meets a writer who's estranged from her Grandfather. Nancy agrees to help find him and in doing so discovers a long lost sweetheart and takes on some ruthless prospectors intent on stealing her land. An action packed mystery, with train crashes, shootings and explosions galore! I read the 1978 Armada edition, which appears to be an abridged version of the original text from the 30s.

  18. 4 out of 5

    MysteryReaderLee

    This one was cool when they had to dig up bones and other things like that. It was another great edition to the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}

    3.5 Stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Every Nancy Drew mystery brings me back to grade school... Just waxing nostalgic last week. :). One of the better Nancy Drews I've read because Ned Nickerson joined the adventure. But I do hope I also get to read the original story someday. I wonder why they changed it? Every Nancy Drew mystery brings me back to grade school... Just waxing nostalgic last week. :). One of the better Nancy Drews I've read because Ned Nickerson joined the adventure. But I do hope I also get to read the original story someday. I wonder why they changed it?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Della Tingle

    I love Nancy Drew books, but this one was only fair. I’m not really sure why. This is classic Nancy: she is super talented and always solves her mystery! 🤣 I learned a new word on page 94: hove. “When the helicopter hove into sight he took Julie Anne’s arm and brought her over to where Nancy was standing” (94). Hove means appeared...so the helicopter appeared into sight. I had no clue! 😀 Another thing I had to look up was “ham radio operator” (152), which is amateur radio. 📻 “That was all the ham I love Nancy Drew books, but this one was only fair. I’m not really sure why. This is classic Nancy: she is super talented and always solves her mystery! 🤣 I learned a new word on page 94: hove. “When the helicopter hove into sight he took Julie Anne’s arm and brought her over to where Nancy was standing” (94). Hove means appeared...so the helicopter appeared into sight. I had no clue! 😀 Another thing I had to look up was “ham radio operator” (152), which is amateur radio. 📻 “That was all the ham heard” (152). Reading always leads to new discoveries! ❤️ 📖

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. OH HOLY SHIT, WHERE TO START. -Nancy wins a radio contest (all she has to do is THINK about something and she wins) and as a reward, she's given the deed to some property in Canada. Her dad thinks it's probably worthless, but Nancy's like YESSSSSS I'M FINALLY INTERNATIONAL. And then IMMEDIATELY some shady characters start harassing her to sell, so of course that's a tip-off. -She runs into a nice old lady with heavy luggage, and then almost immediately lets some shady asshole steal the suitcase (i OH HOLY SHIT, WHERE TO START. -Nancy wins a radio contest (all she has to do is THINK about something and she wins) and as a reward, she's given the deed to some property in Canada. Her dad thinks it's probably worthless, but Nancy's like YESSSSSS I'M FINALLY INTERNATIONAL. And then IMMEDIATELY some shady characters start harassing her to sell, so of course that's a tip-off. -She runs into a nice old lady with heavy luggage, and then almost immediately lets some shady asshole steal the suitcase (it's never really established why he did that, except to be an asshole?). Nancy feels shitty about it (AS SHE SHOULD, LET'S BE REAL) so she immediately gives chase and recovers the suitcase within like five minutes. (Then Hannah almost lets the asshole steal Nancy's deed to the property because holy shit woman, DON'T GO HANDING OUT DEEDS WILLY-NILLY.) -The nice old lady has a house near Nancy's contest-won land (OF COURSE) so she agrees to chaperone Nancy and the girls to Canada. On the way there the train FUCKING WRECKS, THE FUCKING TRAIN WRECKS, just after Nancy has met poor orphan waif Annette, who wrote the story Nancy titled to win the contest. Annette is pale and tragic and Nancy's like, "Yes, more of this, I love this shit." -After the train wreck, the girls split a hotel room, and Bess, who has NEVER done this before, sleepwalks. She's so nervous about Nancy losing the deed that she fucking THROWS IT ON THE GROUND outside their hotel room, in her sleep. (Why? Because the guy who picks it up will furnish a clue.) Also, Nancy lassoes Bess to keep her from falling to her death, as she learned at Shadow Ranch... a few years ago, she says. So she's about 18-ish now? Maybe? -Anyway, Nancy reunites Annette with both her lost love and her estranged grandfather, helps the lost sweetheart's parents and the chaperone recover some of the money they lost to the villain... and, of course, discovers the titular hollow oak. Assorted badassery: -Nancy hears creepy ghost-ish noises in the cellar of an abandoned house and is like YESSSSSSSSS MYSTERY. She discovers two cats and then a prospector who had been left there for dead! -Another asshole appears and tries to steal Nancy's land, and starts mining it for gold. He offers to buy it for $1,000 (that's about $17,500 now) but Nancy says he can have it for free if he'll just return the guy he kidnapped. Then she STEALS THE GOLD BACK, BITCH, and fucking BLOWS UP THE DAM NEARBY to flood the land so it'll be useless to the thief. Anyway, yeah, total badass. Her souvenir from this one is the gold—she gave up the land—and a picture of the tree. Well, she couldn't bring THAT home. Sadly, no Ned mentions at all. A few times guys look at Nancy with admiration, but she can't spare a second glance at anyone, seriously.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a tedious story. The mystery(s) were choppy and pretty far fetched. Kadle was crazy obsessed with finding the treasure, yet he didn't find these two massive oaks with big lumps on them? He instead chops a newer oak into a mess? He decides to hire two thugs to harass Nancy and the archaeology crew? Please. The constant barraging of thieves at the dig site was not interesting, even with the walking skeleton. All that driving back and forth from the farmhouse to the town to make phone call This was a tedious story. The mystery(s) were choppy and pretty far fetched. Kadle was crazy obsessed with finding the treasure, yet he didn't find these two massive oaks with big lumps on them? He instead chops a newer oak into a mess? He decides to hire two thugs to harass Nancy and the archaeology crew? Please. The constant barraging of thieves at the dig site was not interesting, even with the walking skeleton. All that driving back and forth from the farmhouse to the town to make phone calls. And don't even get me started on the 'love triangle'! Ridiculous and unnecessary. Oh, here Art. Stand next to Julie Anne a couple of times so that you will like her more than Nancy. Then Bess and Nancy give each other a wink and a smile. Gah! Additionally, as a fan of archaeology, I was sickened to see how anyone could just pick up a shovel and dig. Yes, I understand that this was a fiction novel. But the lack of order and methodical work on the site with the tiresome mystery storyline just killed the book for me. The ONLY reason I finished the book was because I was reading it to my 5-year old and I didn't want her to give up easily. I would have tossed the book 3 chapters in.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews

    For this and other book reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com. Join my Facebook page or group Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews. I remember the Revised Text (RT) of Message in the Hollow Oak very well, but had never read the Original Text (OT) until now. As happened from time to time, the OT is a completely different story from the RT. Nancy wins the deed to a piece of property in Canada in a radio contest. It just so happens that Carson Drew is working on a case for a Canadian lumberman who also happen For this and other book reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com. Join my Facebook page or group Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews. I remember the Revised Text (RT) of Message in the Hollow Oak very well, but had never read the Original Text (OT) until now. As happened from time to time, the OT is a completely different story from the RT. Nancy wins the deed to a piece of property in Canada in a radio contest. It just so happens that Carson Drew is working on a case for a Canadian lumberman who also happens to have a house in River Heights that he rarely uses. The man says he knows of an elderly woman coming to town, who would be headed in the general direction of Nancy's new property and would probably gladly chaperone her. (Remember, in the OT, Nancy is only 16). Once again, Bess and George are invited for another exciting adventure. Before they even leave town, the bad guys show up, Tom Stripe and Raymond Niles. First they try to steal her deed, then trying to buying it from her. It turns out that this tract of land may contain gold, so of course Nancy must check it out. The young ladies and their chaperone, Mrs. Donnelly, take a train to get to Canada. How quaint. That's certainly something you don't read about every day, unless it is Murder on the Orient Express, but it fits perfectly for 1935 when this text was written. On the train, Nancy meets an authoress named Annette Chap who is very successful in whatever she writes, whether it's articles or radio shows or screenplays. Before Nancy can find out more about this mysterious middle-aged woman, the train jumps the tracks and all are thrown about. Annette is injured severely and it's touch and go for a while. Mrs. Donnelly is also injured and requires a hospital stay. For some strange reason, at the hotel while waiting for Mrs. Donnelly recover, Bess starts to sleepwalk and heads outside on something like a fire escape. She's got something clutched in her hand. Nancy, who learned how to lasso in Secret at Shadow Ranch, happens to find a rope and lassos it around Bess, who wakes up, dropping the paper she was holding. Even though it is the middle of the night, there's a man down in the garden who picks up the paper, which turns out to be Nancy's deed to the property. Nancy places an ad in the paper to recover the deed and finds out a man named Ranny has it. She visits the farm and retrieves it. She also visits Annie Chap in the hospital and Annie tells her about the secret of an old oak, where she used to slip notes for clandestine meetings with her boyfriend, Norman Ranny. Could it be that the Rannys are related? Of course they are, because this is a Nancy Drew book! It turns out Chap put a note in the oak to meet Ranny in a nearby town so they could elope. She waited two days and Ranny never showed up. Ashamed to go home, Chap headed to the big cities where she earned her living as an authoress (really, the use of the word happens repeatedly so I feel I must, too.) Ranny went away to the war (World War I for you young folks), and they never saw each other again. Nancy hurries back to the Ranny's farm and asks to borrow a picture of their son. The parents have no clue why, but oblige. Once Nancy, Bess and George get to Canada, they are dogged by Stripe and Niles. They hire a guide to take them through the wilderness to Nancy's land and oh, on the way, just happens to be the Chap property where Annie's grandpa lived. They encounter a prospector who also knows the area well. He's got a bushy beard and hair, but Nancy feels there is something familiar about him. It's Norman Ranny, hiding out in the woods. He returned from the war and didn't want to deal with people, so he made his home out in the Canadian wilderness. Stripe and Niles are headed in the same direction. Really, I lost count of how many times the young ladies were out in the wild and kept running into people. For an area of dense forest and a river cutting through it, I wouldn't expect it to be that well traveled. They lose their guide, only to find him some miles away, wanting revenge on Tom Stripe, with whom he has a history. Then they run in to Stripe and Niles again. And again. Back to civilization the girls go, and Nancy sends a telegram to her father. He decides to come see for himself, as well as continue the investigation into the Canadian lumberman's case. A third villain appears with a prospecting crew on Nancy's land. Norman Ranny brings Nancy to the hollow oak, where they find a message from Grandpa Chap, who has buried his worldly possessions beneath the tree because the bad guys are going to kidnap him. Carson Drew calls in the sheriff and a posse', who essentially do nothing and eventually leave the men to prospect for gold on Nancy's land and without searching for Chap. Nancy agrees to give her land to the crooks in exchange for Grandpa Chap, that is, if they know where he is. Carson Drew thinks she's crazy, but signs the necessary papers as her legal guardian. The prospectors go away for a while, presumably to get Grandpa Chap, which they do. With everyone safe, that gives Nancy the opportunity to dynamite a dam (!!?), flooding the very area where the men were hunting for gold. But not before finding the cache of hidden gold nuggets and taking them. Turns out all the bad guys were also the bad guys in Carson Drew's case, and Nancy is left with a bag of gold nuggets for her trouble. I really liked this volume, and couldn't see why it couldn't have been modernized to have a TV contest or magazine contest having Nancy win the deed to the property. And while there were no racial or social stereotypes, there was a whole lot of sexist remarks from Niles to Nancy, which surprised me since Mildred Wirt wrote the book. On to the RT!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I read a new printing of this book. I was at a used bookstore one day and saw it with a different cover. I opened it up, to my surprise the only thing the same between the old and the new was the title. The older 1932 copy is a lot better, it's more exciting. I read a new printing of this book. I was at a used bookstore one day and saw it with a different cover. I opened it up, to my surprise the only thing the same between the old and the new was the title. The older 1932 copy is a lot better, it's more exciting.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie Jones

    I read all the Nancy Drew books (and the Hardy Boys) when I was a child, but I will admit that I have read them all again as an adult (a few years ago). The stories are old fashioned, but that's why I like them so much. I read all the Nancy Drew books (and the Hardy Boys) when I was a child, but I will admit that I have read them all again as an adult (a few years ago). The stories are old fashioned, but that's why I like them so much.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Fun to re-read these childhood favorites!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Standard fare for this series...which isn't a bad thing. Standard fare for this series...which isn't a bad thing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    Very good book! I think it was cool to see them dig up burial grounds and find treasure. I would recommend to all mystery and adventure lovers!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Schultz

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. These are just my notes *MAJOR SPOILERS* on the differences between the old (1930s) and new (1970s) versions of the novel. I haven't attempted to write an actual review at this point. In the older version, Nancy, Bess and George are in a great train wreck on the way to survey some land in Canada which Nancy has unrealistically won from a radio contest. Before the accident, Nancy meets a famous Hollywood script writer and novelist on the train and ends up reuniting her with both her estranged Gran These are just my notes *MAJOR SPOILERS* on the differences between the old (1930s) and new (1970s) versions of the novel. I haven't attempted to write an actual review at this point. In the older version, Nancy, Bess and George are in a great train wreck on the way to survey some land in Canada which Nancy has unrealistically won from a radio contest. Before the accident, Nancy meets a famous Hollywood script writer and novelist on the train and ends up reuniting her with both her estranged Grandfather and her former fiance. The Hollow Oak tree is an old tree on Grandfather Pierre Chap's property, where Annette Chap and her fiance had once hidden messages for each other. Other adventures in the novel include when a man tries to steal the deed to Nancy's land, which is apparently wanted by several parties because gold has been found on the property. Bess almost dies while sleep walking, but Nancy lassoes her to save her. Those ranch hand skills from The Secret of Shadow Ranch are coming in handy again! Nancy's father is able to clear up a number of frauds that are all tied to one of his own cases, and the by uncovering all the details about the swindler, Carson Drew helps Nancy clear up a family feud between two families, the Rannys and the Donnellys. In the end, Nancy steals back a whole bag of gold nuggets that have been prospected from her property and dynamites the dam on her property so that the crooks can't get any more gold off the land. Quite an adventure in Canada! In the newer version, Nancy is summoned to New York by her Aunt Eloise, to meet her detective friend Boyce Osborne. Both are entirely new characters to the story. Osborne asks her to help solve a mystery in Illinois, not Canada. There's no mention of Nancy winning property, so apparently the author of the rewrite thought that was just as implausible as I thought it was. Nancy gets stuck in an elevator at Aunt Eloise's apartment building, a far less traumatic adventure than being involved with a train wreck. Nancy ends up staying with some college girls from an archeological dig, under the supervision of Theresa Bancroft, instead of her guardian Mrs. Donnelly in the original novel. I guess an archeological dig seemed a little more tame/realistic for Nancy to join, as opposed to the mining camp in the first novel. Ned makes an appearance in order to facilitate Nancy's introduction to the archeological dig, reminding us all that Nancy Drew has a boyfriend. Nancy ends up in Saint Louis for some reason, before going on to the dig. Is this another fabulous case of cultural tourism from the Nancy Drew novels? In this version of the mystery, Grandfather Pierre Chap, the estranged grandfather of the Hollywood authoress Annette Chap, has become a French missionary from Canada named Pierre Francois. He has hidden a message in the Hollow Oak tree, so it seems that the new version of the story has eliminated the former lovers that were broken up by the grandfather. The list of changes goes on. Plane travel instead of train travel makes sense. But Raymond Niles, the man who tried to steal the deed to Nancy's property in the original novel, becomes the "confidence man" Kit Kadle. It seems as though the author of the second version was absolutely determined to completely gut and change this novel. There is, in fact, a whole new cast of characters, including Need Nickerson's cousin, and Nancy's whole gang including George, Bess, Ned, Burt, and Dave all join her at the archeological dig to search for pirate treasure. And instead of the scenario about Annette Chap's marriage being thwarted when someone left a false note in the Hollow Oak, there is quite a bit of drama when a young man named Art takes a liking to Nancy, jealousy develops between Need and Art, and then Bess decides to get involved. To round out the drama, there is also an annoying know-it-all amongst the girls at the dig. So despite the feminist leanings of the 1950s Nancy Drew's, the author is still encouraging a pretty view of some women amongst themselves. Instead of Bess's sleepwalking adventure, George falls into the water and is almost crushed by a barge, so at least the novel isn't entirely devoid of exciting, traumatic events. And at one point, a car overturns in a river, and a second car crash involves a truck running fully inside of an abandoned building. These two accidents are still a somewhat poor substitute for the train wreck at the beginning of the original novel, but both events are much more exciting than the stalled elevator incident. And there is still a kidnapping and rescue in both the original and revised version of the novel.

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