Nancy Drew Notebooks #4: Bad Day for Ballet

by Carolyn Keene

Paperback, 1995



Local notes

PB Kee





Aladdin (1995), Edition: 0, Paperback, 80 pages


Nancy must find the missing music tape before 3:00 on Sunday or else the ballet recital will be cancelled.

Physical description

80 p.; 7.66 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Nancy and her classmates are all excited (and nervous) about their upcoming ballet production of "Scenes from Peter Pan" when the special cassette tape with their music goes missing right before dress rehearsal. What's worse is that everyone starts to blame Nancy's best friend, Bess, of taking the
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tape. Can Nancy clear Bess's name and find the tape in time to save the recital?

This is the fourth book in a spin-off series in which Nancy Drew is only eight years old. The solution to the mystery was obvious to me from before the tape even went missing but there's sufficient red herrings to keep the reader on their toes, especially for the intended audience of elementary school-age children. (Mild spoiler: One of these times it's going to have to actually be Brenda at fault for all the times they make her a top suspect.)

Although this is still pretty tame as a mystery, I do like that it felt a little more like the classic Nancy Drew stories, particularly when Nancy gets temporarily 'locked' into a dark room, that the stakes are higher with Bess's name being smirched, and the 'race against the clock' element, no matter how contrived it is.

That being said, it's still a simple enough story with basic language for young readers. Like other books in the series, it does sometimes get bogged down in describing inane actions (e.g., the girls ride their bikes to the ice cream shop, they park their bikes, they lean against their bikes to eat their ice cream, etc. etc. etc. but with even more details than I just provided).

The illustrations make this book seem even more dated than the story revolving around a missing cassette tape. I'm also convinced that this series illustrator has never seen an 8-year-old because the illustrations look more like 10- or 11-year-olds.
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½ (7 ratings; 3.6)
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