Literature: The Hardy Boys
A Long-Running Book Series
, beginning in 1927, for kids and teens created by the legendary Stratemeyer Syndicate
under the pseudonym
Franklin W. Dixon. They follow the adventures of Frank and Joe Hardy, a pair of brother detectives
. Frank is the logical, calm one, and Joe is the more impulsive, instinctual one. The series (alongside their Distaff Counterpart
and frequent Crossover partner Nancy Drew
) invented or popularized most of the Kid Detective
Originally created by the Stratemeyer Syndicate
, a prolific group of ghostwriters under the direction of Edward Stratemeyer (and his daughters, who took over when Edward died in 1930) that put out many successful children's books. Canadian writer Leslie McFarlane was the original writer of the first 16 books, writing them only to pay his bills and feed his family (getting ~$100 US for each book, with no royalties, which wasn't all that bad at the time; a large number of the original Stratemeyer ghostwriters were journalists, and using journalist salaries as comparison, $100 per book was roughly six weeks' salary for four weeks' work), and dreaded having to write the books (referring to the books in his diary as "the damn juveniles"), and by the mid-30s other writers began to write the books as well (such as John Button, whose books are infamous for their use of sci-fi elements, inconsistencies, and strange plots), leaving McFarlane free to forget about the books and write his own stories.
In the late 1950s until the early '70s, the first 38 books were revised and rewritten to update the stories (terms like "chum", "roadster", etc.), remove politically incorrect terms and stereotypes ("Negro", "swarthy foreigner", "Chinaman", "colored", etc.), as well as shortening the books from 25 chapters to 20 chapters. Newer books were also made, with the "original" series coming to an end in 1979 with #58. The original editions can be recognized by having dust jackets and plain brown (and later, tan "tweed") covers; the revised versions, beginning in 1961, have the cover picture printed directly on the book to better withstand being used and abused by kids.
After the books were acqired by Simon & Schuster (which took control of Grosset & Dunlap in the 70s after a lawsuit), the series was continued as "Digests". Later on, the Darker and Edgier Casefiles
series was added and ran concurrently with the Digests. Both series have since been discontinued, the Casefiles
in 1998 and the Digests in 2005. The series has since continued under the Undercover Brothers
subtitle, which reinvents the brothers as agents working for an all-teen secret agency; there is also a corresponding graphic novel series.
The Hardy Boys have also appeared on TV many times:
to be confused with the wrestlers
of the same name.
They seem a bit prone to a Cross Over
with Nancy Drew
This series provides examples of: