Shortly after Will and Devon begin investigating the mysterious death of their high school quarterback, they name themselves the Hardy Boys. Here they are texting as they create this new identity:
Smiley_Man3000: With all the inside info I get from my dad and your big brain, we can solve this Chambers thing!
HamburgerHalpin: what r we? The freakin' hardy boys?
Smiley_Man3000: Yeah! I'll be Frank. I think he was the one with the dark hair.
HamburgerHalpin: good. u b frank. now which one was the fat one?
The Hardy Boys mystery series was created in 1926 by Edward Stratemeyer, who founded the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a book packaging firm. (Stratemeyer also created the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew). He hired Canadian writer Leslie McFarlane to ghostwrite the first volumes of the Hardy Boys books. They were instantly successful - by mid-1929 over 115,000 copies had been sold. Stratemeyer hired many writers after McFarlane to ghostwrite - including McFarlane's wife - and the formula for writing the books was always the same: the Syndicate created a detailed outline of the story, the ghostwriter would write the story, and finally the Syndicate would edit it. And always, no matter who wrote the book, the pen name Franklin W. Dixon was used. Cartoons, TV dramas, video games and countless other spin-off series and merchandise have been created over the years, and there are close to 400 titles in the various book series - including two more modernized series: The Casefiles and The Undercover Brothers.
The Hardy Boys series are said to be the best selling and longest running series for boys of all time. As of 2008, over a million copies of the books were selling every year, and over 70 million copies of Hardy Books have been sold worldwide. What has made them so unbelievably popular? Many people believe it's because they indulge their readers' wish-fulfillment needs. The books bring their readers on a wide variety of adventures beyond what would realistically be possible, yet the two detective brothers - Joe and Frank Hardy - are your average, relatable teenage boys.
This article was originally published in April 2010, and has been updated for the
June 2011 paperback release.
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