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4.8 out of 5 stars
Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 7, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I pre-ordered this for my five-year old daughter. She loves everything Fancy Nancy, and we have all of the other books. At the time of the order, there wasn't a description, so I was really surprised when it arrived and it was a chapter book (124 pages total) with a minimum of black and white drawings every few pages. I decided we would read a chapter a night. We already read four books at bedtime, and I figured we would replace one of the four books with a chapter from this book. She convinced me to read two that first night and two the next night. Today she was out of school for Good Friday and woke up talking about the book. We sat down and finished the book this morning, and she sat in rapt attention listening to every word, and commenting on it occasionally. She absolutely loved it, and then played detective for an hour after we were done. I highly recommend this book. Now that we are done, she still wants to read a few chapters each night. You also find out the name of Nancy's dad in this book, and Mrs. Devine's childhood name. We can't wait for more in this series of chapter books!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My daughter got this for Easter and loves it! She still loves other Fancy Nancy books, but is very into chapter books now. She is already asking when the next one will come out! I have not seen her this excited about a book in awhile!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Fancy Nancy who has been so popular with little girls, is growing up and now appears in her first chapter book for ages (7-10).

Fancy Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth, features Nancy and her best friend Bree. Both girls love Nancy Drew books, and have learned a thing of two from them. When her teachers favorite blue marble disappears Nancy, dressed in a pink trench coat and sunglasses is on the case. She and Bree turn the tree house into a detective agency, and are determined to solve the mystery of of missing blue marble.

As with the previously Fancy Nancy books, there are plenty of new words and definitions to be found in this book. It's not just a fun mystery, but it is educational as well.

As an adult, I can appreciate the intent to have a continued appeal to girls who are a bit older than the target age of the original Fancy Nancy series. I felt this one was still awfully fun, but just seemed a tad less "fancy" ( fewer illustrations, black and white), than the earlier books geared toward younger girls. Fancy Nancy fans will still like it. (4.5/5 stars)
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
My daughter and I read the Fancy Nancy books over and over. She loves them and I enjoy the vocabulary they introduce to her. Now that she is older, the books are falling a little short of the desired reading range. I was very happy to find that Fancy Nancy was "growing up" with my little girl. My daughter was very excited when I told her about the new book I had bought her.
My only disappointment with the book is that it seemed very challenging compared to the original stories. I read the information posted about the book before purchased and it seemed to fit the level my daughter is reading at. She struggled and got a little frustrated with the challenging words. In the first chapter alone we faced words like criminal, heist and snorkel! However, she does plan to continue with the story, asking me after finishing the first chapter if she could read more tomorrow night.
My review is merely this; check out the story before introducing it with your child. If they are transitioning into chapter books, this might be a little challenging!
Perhaps in a year I will gladly check out the others in this series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 4, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Let me start by saying that my almost 6-year-old loved this book, but the Fancy Nancy moniker assured us of that before we even opened to the first page. As to Daddy and I, who read the book to her, we enjoyed it, but agreed that it lacked much of the charm of the Fancy Nancy series.

The story takes Nancy through three "mysteries" that she and Bree have decided to solve, a la the famous Nancy Drew. While this was sort of cute for us adults who have a knowledge of Nancy Drew, the many, many references to Nancy Drew went right over my 5-year-old's head. She hasn't read Nancy Drew, and those books are geared toward older kids. While attempting to solve one mystery, Nancy and Bree are concerned that they are going to get caught in a "booby trap." While Jane O'Connor is usually great about defining the "fancy" words in her books, she doesn't provide a definition for this term, yet uses it repeatedly as an important plot device. Likewise, with other words in the book, I kept waiting to see the clarification of something as "fancy," but O'Connor didn't use the term. I realize that this chapter book is intended for an older child than the original Fancy Nancy series, but to leave out such seminal phrasing took some of the charm out of Nancy. Sure, she's growing up, but I missed her overzealousness from the original books.

The story is fun in its inclusion of characters from previous Fancy Nancy books, notably Bree and Rhonda and Wanda. But only brief mention is given to Mrs. DeVine (and she doesn't actually appear in the story), and Miss Glass is completely gone, replaced by Nancy's current teacher, Mr. Dudeny. While I have to give O'Connor credit for adding an adult male to the cast of characters, I didn't care much for the new teacher. First, I had difficulty determining the best pronunciation for his name (and I'm an English teacher, so if I'm having an issue with it, one can only imagine the difficulty an emerging reader would have). He calls the students in his class "Dudes," which just made it seem to me that O'Connor was working too hard to be cute. In fact, he calls them Dudes so often that it actually becomes annoying.

Another new character to the Nancy Clancy world is a classmate named Grace. I was a bit bothered by a somewhat one-dimensional portrayal of Grace as smart, competitive, and conniving. Nancy voices a clear dislike for Grace that really doesn't have any reasoning behind it and doesn't seem to fit in with Nancy's character. I wanted there to be a lesson there, or at least I don't want a story that perpetuates the idea that smart girls are mean-spirited and unlikable and can't get along with each other.

Another problem I had with the story is that, while attempting to solve one of the mysteries, Nancy and Bree have to rely not just on photographs, but photographs that have been taken on a film camera which Bree's mother takes to get developed. This provides a necessary delay in the action of the story, but I have to wonder how many kids today actually have had any experience with film and an actual delay between taking and viewing pictures.

The mysteries in the story are neither too simple nor too complex. O'Connor provides just enough clues for young readers to make logical guesses about the outcomes, and the clues are well spaced within the story.

I would have rated this 3.5 stars if given the option, but it definitely leans closer to a 4 than a 3. We will definitely be purchasing the next Nancy Clancy story and it'll be interesting to see how my daughter grows into the books and how O'Connor grows into a storyteller for this older age set.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
How can Nancy Clancy resist the urge to become a detective? She has a rhinestone-encrusted magnifying glass, smashing sunglasses, a floppy hat and, most importantly, a pink trenchcoat. Now she can sit back and wait for a jewel heist or kidnapping to occur. She and her BFF, Bree, gear up by opening their own detective agency called Partners in Crime Fighting. They are ready to solve the most devious and challenging crimes of the decade.

To get the ball rolling, Nancy and Bree do some snooping. They slip into the neighbor's backyard and eavesdrop on an argument between Wanda and Rhonda. Wanda yells that she is going to tell Nancy what Rhonda did. Nancy and Bree retreat to sleuth headquarters to debate what they overhear. All the fun comes to an end when Nancy's mom stops by to tell her to do her homework.

Nancy's teacher, Mr. Dudeny, wants each student to bring in a memento and write about its importance. Then they will get a chance to guess who owns it. At first, Nancy wants to bring in her Nancy Drew book, but she knows that Bree will figure it out right away. She eventually makes up her mind.

On Family Day, Nancy brings her mom, dad and little sister, Jojo. Bree takes photos of the kids with their mementos. As the families mill about looking at the creative activities, the students prepare for the family unit. Nancy smiles at Jojo, who is pretending to be a big sister by taking another little child by the hand and pointing out the objects. After all the excitement is over, it's time to go.

The next day, Mr. Dudeny's marble is missing. Everyone looks around, checks the floor and searches the trash can, but it's nowhere to be found. One student, Grace, mutters that she thinks someone stole it. Nancy and Bree are hot on the case. It's a good thing Bree has photos to review for clues, as they try to establish a time of the crime. Fortunately, one of them is of a clock showing 11:00 and the marble is in the picture. They are on the right path.

Nancy and Bree have the tough job of solving two mysteries: What did Rhonda do, and who stole the marble? Good detectives need proof, and the young sleuths hate thinking that someone from their class is a thief. It's a case too close for comfort. How will Nancy feel when the truth is revealed?

In the end, Nancy realizes an important lesson. She learns about human nature, forgiving others, and putting it all in perspective. Discovering the truth isn't a simple black and white answer; it is complex and rich with feelings.

Jane O'Connor is an amazing author who introduces children to lush vocabulary with a flourish of style, and Robin Preiss Glasser's splendid illustrations let Nancy's personality shine through. NANCY CLANCY: SUPER SLEUTH is Fancy Nancy's first chapter book, and we hope another one will be on the way very soon.

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell on June 1, 2012
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Originally Posted on A Novel Toybox ([...]):

I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth Book One, which I finished in about thirty minutes. It was a swift read, where Jane O' Connor leads me into the world of Fancy Nancy's adventures as an aspiring detective. I admit, I am not much of a children's book read anymore. I remember loving the Junie B. Jones series as a child and Nancy echoed some of Junie's quirks, in the best possible way. Fancy Nancy has her brand of brimming curiosity and vigor, trailing her wherever she goes. Fancy Nancy is fun. She loves her flashy pink trenchcoat, reading Nancy Drew, and conjuring up secret codes with her best friend. She reminds me of my own childhood, in love with secret codes and passing notes (I learned sign language from a picture book in third grade because it was the fad...in third grade. Who likes to be left out if your friends are talking about you?) Connor brings out Nancy's charms flawlessly.

While Connor weaves in the two mysteries seamlessly, the story ends up jumbled together. The denouement read like a race to the finish. The ending was not as predictable as I thought which was a definite plus. Perhaps its because I haven't read a Fancy Nancy book before that I was still a stranger to the supporting characters: Bree, the twins, her younger sister. I had no idea who the twins were to Nancy; were they friends or just neighbors? What are they doing in her room? Why is she in their yard?
The book was well paced and raises good moral messages: tell the truth (it will make people less furious with you when you break their stuff) and don't jump into conclusions and blame your peers.
Overall, a pleasant read though not quite memorable. I can imagine the eight year old me, devouring and befriending the fun, quirky Fancy Nancy in no time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My 6 year old daughter loves the Fancy Nancy books. But we are finding she is reading them in less than 5 min. When trying to get her to read chapter books, she was very picky. So when she saw this book she just had to have it. She is really big into mysteries and this book is perfect for her. The book also references Nancy Drew books, which she now wants to read because Nancy Clancy reads them! I am so excited to see her love for reading blossom from such an amazing writer.

This is a great way for kids to grow in their reading levels with a character that they already love. As my daughter said, "It's like Nancy and I are growing up together!"

I really hope this series continues and looking forward to the second book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
From the back of the book:

Nancy Clancy has everything she needs to be a super sleuth (that's a fancy word for detective): She has a glamorous magnifying glass complete with rhinestones, a totally professional pink trench coat, and a sleuthing partner with awesome code-breaking skills -- her best friend, Bree.

Now all she needs is a good mystery to solve. But when crime strikes right in the middle of her classroom, will Nancy have what it takes to crack the case?

Fancy Nancy is back! Only this time she's the star of a chapter book! For ages 7-10 this is great step up for young readers who love Fancy Nancy but are looking for more challenging reads.

What I liked about the book: It's Fancy Nancy. I LOVE Fancy Nancy. It's a mystery. I love mysteries. It' a great pre-cursor to introducing younger readers to the classic Nancy Drew mysteries. Just like in the popular Fancy Nancy picture books, Nancy continues to introduce readers to new vocabulary words. This is not only a fun but an educational read as well. Readers will have a chance at breaking a secret code and using their own detective skills to see if they can solve the mystery of the missing blue marble.

What I didn't like about the book: I liked it all. However, if you are a fan of Robin Preiss Glasser's beautiful illustrations, you should be warned that the illustrations take a back seat in this book. As a chapter book, the focus is more on the story, while in the picture books the story and the illustrations work together to create a wonderful book.

Recommended for 1st - 3rd Grade (or anyone who enjoys mysteries/kids books and would like a quick read.)

AR Level: Not an Accelerated Reader Book as of April 27, 2012

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5! I will be ordering it for our school library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My daughter owns what seems like all the Fancy Nancy Books. Well in reality not all the books but a major portion of them. As a pretty princess and fabulous fairy she grew up learning to reading on these books. The smaller picture style books were wonderful at the time and just long enough to keep her attention. They also expanded her vocabulary with the trade mark fancy words that are explained.
Now Jane O'Conner has moved Fancy Nancy into the realm of Chapter Books. A natural progression in the life of Nancy Clancy aka. Fancy Nancy.

This book looks like it will be the first in a series as it is labeled Book 1. All the more power to her. The characters have such a great background and they learn such good life lesson throughout all the books. This one is no exception. So if you have a child in the 1st 2nd or 3rd grades that is transitioning to chapter books look no further. This is the book for your girl.
There are less illustrations then the typical books but, as usual always of the highest quality and very relevant to the subject.

If you read Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy Books as a child this will be a great book to transition to those as the subject is all about the impending Mystery as Nancy sees it. And there is always more then meets the eye or something fabulously fancy around the corner.

Well worth your investment. These are the kind of book you save and pass on. Not the kind you donate to the friends of the library or try and sell at a garage sale.
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