Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Vol. 1: Small Volcanoes GN
Publisher: Papercutz
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Price: $10.99 (Hardcover); $6.99 (Trade Paperback)
Creators: Sarah Kinney & Stefan Petrucha (Writers); Stan Goldberg (Artist)
Format: 64 pages, Full-Color, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-5970-7355-4 (HC); 978-1-5970-7354-7 (TP)
Age Rating: All Ages per publisher
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
The Clue Crew series of Nancy Drew stories takes place during the girl detective's tween years, and is aimed at a younger audience than the traditional stories, and the previous series of Nancy Drew graphic novels from the same publisher.  This down-ageing requires making the mystery aspect as simplistic as possible, sort of like Scooby Doo without the dog.  Nancy and her friends are still in elementary school in this series, and the mystery revolves around a school science fair.  As an introductory mystery, this is as non-threatening as you could want, as Kinney and Petrucha have made this a "safe" entry into reading mysteries.
The only drawback to this approach is that kids who have started reading the regular Nancy Drew books or graphic novels may not find this approach to be as appealing.
The choice of Stan Goldberg as the artist was a good one, with his background doing Archie stories.  His school was very convincing, even the science fair volcanoes.  His artwork is cartoony and friendly enough to appeal to young readers, and even the "mean" school janitor is kid-friendly enough that the book becomes a school comedy with a mystery running through it.
Aimed at elementary school-aged readers.
--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.