Bobbsey Twins

Of all the Stratemeyer Syndicate series (which include The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew), the Bobbsey Twins books are probably the most escapist. Nan and Bert are always twelve; Freddie and Flossie are always six. The family always lives in a big house, always has a good time, and always figures things out by the last page. They are, in short, the ideal nuclear family of the age-old American Dream variety, smiling in the land of plenty where no shadow can threaten unhappiness or want.

Because these books were intended for younger readers (about the range of the two sets of Bobbsey twins), they're pretty innocuous. Many of the books are simply accounts of childish adventures; others have a mystery element, but the mysteries are seldom dark or scary, almost never violent, and generally end in relieved laughter and hugs all around. Readers won't be confronted with major moral problems, the kids are well-behaved, and Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey fill their traditional gender roles.

There are few at Exodus Books who haven't enjoyed the Bobbsey Twins books at some point in their lives. The whole series is full of harmless fun, easy reading, and lighthearted Americana. Two dangers: 1) this kind of happy-go-lucky escapism isn't sufficient to explain to kids what the real world is like, and 2) having your kids read an entire 72-volume series of books that won't challenge their reading ability probably isn't the best for their academic development.

Reading for pleasure doesn't need to be academically challenging all the time; we perfectly understand that, and agree that sometimes kids just need to read something fun and easy. The Bobbsey Twins books are perfect for this, especially since there's nothing inappropriate about them. At the same time, a steady diet without interruptions will likely leave them without a taste for really good literature, and without a desire to improve intellectually.

The first Bobbsey Twin book appeared in 1904, and is rumored to be the work of Edward Stratemeyer himself. In the beginning, the kids got older as the series progressed, but the writers realized the Twins were getting too old and locked them at the ages of twelve and six. This is a bit creepy if you think too hard about it, but kids don't care, and the Bobbsey Twins books are way better than TV for keeping children occuppied and entertained.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Complete List of Titles

  1. The Bobbsey Twins, or Merry Days Indoors and Out, 1904
    The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport, 1961
  2. The Bobbsey Twins in the Country, 1907
    The Bobbsey Twins' Adventure in the Country, 1961
  3. The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore, 1907
    The Bobbsey Twins: The Secret at the Seashore, 1961
  4. The Bobbsey Twins at School, 1913
    The Bobbsey Twins' Mystery at School, 1962
  5. The Bobbsey Twins at Snow Lodge, 1913
    The Bobbsey Twins and the Mystery at Snow Lodge, 1960
  6. The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat, 1915
  7. The Bobbsey Twins at Meadow Brook, 1915
    The Bobbsey Twins' Mystery at Meadow Brook, 1963
  8. The Bobbsey Twins at Home, 1916
    The Bobbsey Twins' Big Adventure at Home, 1960
  9. The Bobbsey Twins in a Great City, 1917
    The Bobbsey Twins' Search in the Great City, 1960
  10. The Bobbsey Twins on Blueberrry Island, 1917
  11. The Bobbsey Twins on the Deep Blue Sea, 1918
    The Bobbsey Twins' Mystery on the Deep Blue Sea, 1965
  12. The Bobbsey Twins in Washington, 1919
    The Bobbsey Twins' Adventure in Washington, 1962
  13. The Bobbsey Twins in the Great West, 1920
    The Bobbsey Twins' Visit to the Great West, 1966
  14. The Bobbsey Twins at Cedar Camp, 1921
    The Bobbsey Twins and the Cedar Camp Mystery, 1967
  15. The Bobbsey Twins at the County Fair, 1922
    The Bobbsey Twins and the County Fair Mystery, 1960
  16. The Bobbsey Twins Camping Out, 1923
  17. The Bobbsey Twins and Baby May, 1924
    The Bobbsey Twins' Adventures with Baby May, 1968
  18. The Bobbsey Twins Keeping House, 1925
    The Bobbsey Twins and the Play House Secret, 1968
  19. The Bobbsey Twins at Cloverbank, 1926
    The Bobbsey Twins and the Four Leaf Clover Mystery, 1968
  20. The Bobbsey Twins at Cherry Corners, 1927
    The Bobbsey Twins: The Mystery at Cherry Corners, 1971
  21. The Bobbsey Twins and their Schoolmates, 1928
  22. The Bobbsey Twins Treasure Hunting, 1929
  23. The Bobbsey Twins at Spruce Lake, 1930
  24. The Bobbsey Twins' Wonderful Secret, 1931
    The Bobbsey Twins' Wonderful Winter Secret, 1962
  25. The Bobbsey Twins at the Circus, 1932
    The Bobbsey Twins and the Circus Surprise, 1960
  26. The Bobbsey Twins on an Airplane Trip, 1933
  27. The Bobbsey Twins Solve a Mystery, 1932
  28. The Bobbsey Twins on a Ranch, 1935
  29. The Bobbsey Twins in Eskimo Land, 1936
  30. The Bobbsey Twins in a Radio Play, 1937
  31. The Bobbsey Twins at Windmill Cottage, 1938
  32. The Bobbsey Twins at Lighthouse Point, 1939
  33. The Bobbsey Twins at Indian Hollow, 1940
  34. The Bobbsey Twins at the Ice Carnival, 1941
  35. The Bobbsey Twins in the Land of Cotton, 1942
  36. The Bobbsey Twins in Echo Valley, 1943
  37. The Bobbsey Twins on the Pony Trail, 1944
  38. The Bobbsey Twins at Mystery Mansion, 1945
  39. The Bobbsey Twins at Sugar Maple Hill, 1946
  40. The Bobbsey Twins in Mexico, 1947
  41. The Bobbsey Twins' Toy Shop, 1948
  42. The Bobbsey Twins in Tulip Land, 1949
  43. The Bobbsey Twins in Rainbow Valley, 1950
  44. The Bobbsey Twins' Own Little Railroad, 1951
  45. The Bobbsey Twins at Whitesail Harbor, 1952
  46. The Bobbsey Twins and the Horseshoe Riddle, 1953
  47. The Bobbsey Twins at Big Bear Pond, 1953
  48. The Bobbsey Twins on a Bicycle Trip, 1954
  49. The Bobbsey Twins' Own Little Ferryboat, 1956
  50. The Bobbsey Twins at Pilgrim Rock, 1956
  51. The Bobbsey Twins' Forest Adventure, 1957
  52. The Bobbsey Twins at London Tower, 1959
  53. The Bobbsey Twins in the Mystery Cave, 1960
  54. The Bobbsey Twins in Volcano Land, 1961
  55. The Bobbsey Twins and the Goldfish Mystery, 1962
  56. The Bobbsey Twins and the Big River Mystery, 1963
  57. The Bobbsey Twins and the Greek Hat Mystery, 1964
  58. The Bobbsey Twins: Search for the Green Rooster, 1965
  59. The Bobbsey Twins and Their Camel Adventure, 1966
  60. The Bobbsey Twins: Mystery of the King's Puppet, 1967
  61. The Bobbsey Twins and the Secret of Candy Castle, 1968
  62. The Bobbsey Twins and the Doodlebug Mystery, 1969
  63. The Bobbsey Twins and the Talking Fox Mystery, 1970
  64. The Bobbsey Twins: The Red, White and Blue Mystery, 1971
  65. The Bobbsey Twins: Dr. Funnybone's Secret, 1972
  66. The Bobbsey Twins and the Tagalong Giraffe, 1973
  67. The Bobbsey Twins and the Flying Clown, 1974
  68. The Bobbsey Twins: On the Sun-Moon Cruise, 1975
  69. The Bobbsey Twins: The Freedom Bell Mystery, 1976
  70. The Bobbsey Twins: The Smoky Mountain Mystery, 1977
  71. The Bobbsey Twins in a TV Mystery Show, 1978
  72. The Bobbsey Twins: The Coral Turtle Mystery, 1979

Formats

The Bobbsey Twins books printed by Grosset and Dunlap from 1908 until 1932 have four glossy illustrations. These books are thick and have good quality paper. From 1932 through 1942, the books were printed with just a glossy frontispiece illustration. From 1942 through 1948, the books became less thick. These books each have a plain paper frontispiece illustration and have poor quality paper. From 1949 through around 1962, the books have a tweed cover. Around 1963 to 1964, the series switched to the lavender spine picture cover format.

It is important to note that not all of the Bobbsey Twins books were printed in the lavender spine picture cover format during the 1960s and 1970s. It is impossible to obtain a complete set of volumes 1 through 72 in the lavender spine format. We don't know for certain which titles were omitted, but it is probably some of the books that were never revised, such as volumes 21 through 23 among others.

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