Nancy Drew – Are you like her and does it really matter?

I remember beginning to read Nancy Drew books aloud to my stepchildren for the mysteries and her expert solving skills but as I got into reading chapter after chapter, there was one part that always made me pause. When I mentioned the housekeeper, Hannah Gruen, I always wondered what they were thinking. Did they remember why Hannah Gruen was there? Did they fully understand her familial role? Did they question why we didn’t have a housekeeper like Hannah? Could they relate to Nancy even though she had a housekeeper/mother figure?

Nicole from Ms. Mary Mack posted this morning, Reading Between the (Color) Lines which really hit home and got me thinking some more about the topic throughout the day.

Being one part of an interracial relationship and having stepchildren that are also interracial (black/hispanic), it’s always been a struggle to find books, cards, media that caters to interracial relationships — Father/child or husband/wife.

I sometimes wish I could draw because I would hook it up and go sell interracial paper stuffs on etsy or something. I remember a card that my husband had gotten for me where he had to color in the outlines of the cartoonish male so that it would look like him and me. Even our wedding invitations were picked where it wasn’t obvious one way or another. We purposely picked the most vague one where all you could really tell was that the bride and groom were tan(ner than usual…) and it worked…

But back to the book issue. I think it’s very important when children are younger to be able to physically identify with someone they read about. Otherwise, they may think the situation that the character faces doesn’t really pertain to them. I think it’s mostly regarding smaller children and they way they process things at a young age. A book with a white mother and a black father (or vice versa) with an interracial child would help fill that hole that is so glaringly obvious when looking at the publishing world today…I guess interracial relationships are still not considered mainstream and therefore, aren’t worth lots of mainstream media. Hmph, I might just have to do something about that!


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