Girls' Books

Series books

Of the nearly 150 books in this collection, almost 100 are titles from various series.

The Girls' Series Companion defines a "girls' series" as "a group of three or more books with a continuing female character. The intended audience is female, between the ages of eight and eighteen,"¹ while Sherrie A. Inness suggests in Nancy Drew and Company that girls' series "typically star a girl, usually but not always a teenager, who, with or without friends, has exciting adventure after exciting adventure..."²

The Girls Series Books : A Checklist of Titles Published 1840-1991 lists nearly 800 different series published in that time span.

Endpapers from "The clue of the broken blossom"
Vicki Barr Flight Stewardess

Stratemeyer Syndicate

Series books for girls & boys are probably most synonymous with the Stratemeyer Literary Syndicate, established ca. 1905 by Edward Stratemeyer. Syndicate books were written following an established pattern: Stratemeyer developed an idea for a series and established a pseudonym for the author of that series. He chose titles and drafted chapter-by-chapter outlines for each book including names of characters and a plot sketch, which were then turned over to a ghostwriter to develop into a full-length book. By the early 1980s, the Syndicate would be responsible for over 1,300 books³ ⁴.

The Stratemeyer pseudonyms and series books : an annotated checklist of Stratemeyer and Stratemeyer Syndicate publications lists 97 different pseudonyms for Syndicate authors, as well as over 100 individual series as of 1981.

Stratemeyer series found in this collection include Nancy Drew, Ruth Fielding, Corner House Girls, Dana Girls, and the Outdoor Girls.

Browse some of the series in this collection

¹Linda Burns and Society of Phantom Friends, The Girls’ Series Companion (Rheem Valley, CA: SynSine Press, 1997), 1.

²Sherrie A. Inness, Nancy Drew and Company : Culture, Gender, and Girls’ Series (Bowling Green, OH : Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1997), 3.

³Karen Stang, Series Books for the American Girl, 1910--1940 (Masters thesis, The University of Chicago, 1980), 14.

⁴Deidre Johnson, Stratemeyer Pseudonyms and Series Books : An Annotated Checklist of Stratemeyer and Stratemeyer Syndicate Publications (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982), xiii, xx.