Brandeis University Children's Literature Collection | Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections, Library and Technology Services


Jerry Todd and the Whispering Mummy
Jerry Todd and the Rose-Colored Cat
Jerry Todd and the Bob-Tailed Elephant
Home Overview Horatio Alger Oliver Optic Tom Swift, Jr. Other Titles

Jerry Todd

* * *

"I got a notion to take a horsewhip to you" "I'll pull while you guys get behind and push"


The eponymous hero of the Jerry Todd stories (1924-1938) is safely middle-class. His creator, Leo Edwards, is therefore free from the rhetorical problem of a hero with too much money, and can focus all his energies on overcoming boredom. He even manages to give some depth to his characters. Though Jerry Todd and his friends are earnest and well-meaning, they are also irresponsible. And though the novels toe the respect-your-elders-and-love-your-country line, they are not so stuffily orthodox that the authority figures cannot have faults or errors in judgment, or cannot look, at times, a little foolish. When, for example, Officer Bill Hadley misses his wedding because he’s been knocked unconscious and placed, handcuffed, on a train to the next town by Jerry and the gang—whose overzealous attempts to validate themselves as Junior Jupiter detectives do more to move the plot along than solve the mysteries they investigate—he returns to town with a story of how he fought off upwards of twenty strong men.