The Mandie series of books are a popular series written by the late Lois Gladys Leppard from 1983 to 2006, intended for children ages 8 – 12 years old. More than 7 million copies have been printed of the Mandie series. There are forty books in the main series along with several special books. The story takes place around the year 1900, when Mandie is 11 years old. In "Mandie and the Secret Tunnel" she turns 12, but the Bryson family doesn't care and sadly she doesn't get to celebrate her 12th Birthday. In every book she finds a mystery to solve along with her good friends Joe Woodard and Celia Hamilton.



Mandie's full name is Amanda Elizabeth Shaw. She was born on June 6, 1888 and grew up in a log cabin in Swain County, North Carolina, with her beloved father Jim Shaw, her stepmother Etta, and her stepsister Irene. Mandie knew nothing about her family background until her father, Jim died. Mandie was soon sent away to live with the Brysons, a racist family to take care of their new baby son named Andrew. Then her father's Cherokee best friend Ned Sweetwater came to take her away from her over bearing step mother and the family who treated her cruelly. Mandie, Uncle Ned, and several Cherokee warriors escorted Mandie to the home of her rich uncle John Shaw, who Mandie had never heard about before.

Mandie is soon reunited with her birth mother, Elizabeth in Macon County, North Carolina in a town called Franklin, North Carolina and learns the truth about her history. Mandie's paternal grandmother was Cherokee. Mandie meets many new friends among the Cherokee people. On one occasion she finds a cave with gold that belonged to a Cherokee warrior, Tsali. In 1901, Mandie goes to a girl's boarding school in Asheville, North Carolina. The school is strict, but Mandie doesn't care about bending the rules when there is a mystery to solve!

In College Years, Mandie and her friends attend college in Charleston, South Carolina.


The Mandie books are Christian in theme. Mandie prays when troubled, and attempts to demonstrate Christian virtues of tolerance and compassion. Mandie is proud to be part Cherokee and she has a diverse group of friends, including a girl with mental retardation. However, some critics have complained that the Cherokee characters in the Mandie books are depicted in a stereotypical manner; for instance, Uncle Ned's English is poor and his speech is filled with terms like "happy hunting grounds", "squaw", and "papoose". African Americans are also portrayed stereotypically, as well as unrealistically, as seen in Mandie's close friendships with the servants which goes uncensored by her family.


Author Lois Gladys Leppard was a Federal Civil Service employee in various countries around the world. She made her home in South Carolina. Leppard died October 5, 2008. Stories of her own mother's childhood are the basis for many of the incidents incorporated in this series.

Mandie series

  1. Mandie and the Secret Tunnel
  2. Mandie and the Cherokee Legend
  3. Mandie and the Ghost Bandits
  4. Mandie and the Forbidden Attic
  5. Mandie and the Trunk's Secret
  6. Mandie and the Medicine Man
  7. Mandie and the Charleston Phantom
  8. Mandie and the Abandoned Mine
  9. Mandie and the Hidden Treasure
  10. Mandie and the Mysterious Bells
  11. Mandie and the Holiday Surprise
  12. Mandie and the Washington Nightmare
  13. Mandie and the Midnight Journey
  14. Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery
  15. Mandie and the Foreign Spies
  16. Mandie and the Silent Catacombs
  17. Mandie and the Singing Chalet
  18. Mandie and the Jumping Juniper
  19. Mandie and the Mysterious Fisherman
  20. Mandie and the Windmill's Message
  21. Mandie and the Fiery Rescue
  22. Mandie and the Angel's Secret
  23. Mandie and the Dangerous Impostors
  24. Mandie and the Invisible Troublemaker
  25. Mandie and Her Missing Kin
  26. Mandie and the Schoolhouse's Secret
  27. Mandie and the Courtroom Battle
  28. Mandie and Jonathan's Predicament
  29. Mandie and the Unwanted Gift
  30. Mandie and the Long Goodbye
  31. Mandie and the Buried Stranger
  32. Mandie and the Seaside Rendezvous
  33. Mandie and the Dark Alley
  34. Mandie and the Tornado
  35. Mandie and the Quilt Mystery
  36. Mandie and the New York Secret
  37. Mandie and the Night Thief
  38. Mandie and the Hidden Past
  39. Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm
  40. Mandie and the Graduation Mystery

Other Titles

Young Mandie series:

  1. Who's Mandie
  2. The New Girl
  3. The Mystery at Miss Abigail's
  4. Merry Christmas From Mandie
  5. The Talking Snowman
  6. The Secret in the Woods
  7. The Missing Book
  8. The Haunted Shop

Special Mandie books:

  • Mandie and Mollie & The Angel's Visit
  • Mandie's Cookbook
  • Mandie and Joe's Christmas Surprise
  • Mandie Datebook
  • Mandie Diary

Mandie's College Years: After the Mandie series, we follow 16-year-old Mandie and Celia to college at Charleston Ladies' College in the book New Horizons, taken place in 1904. This book is for older children, or young adult literature.

  • New Horizons


  • Amanda Elizabeth Shaw - Referred to as Mandie by her peers, Mandie enjoys solving mysteries, no matter how mysterious or dangerous the situation may be. She has long blond hair (usually braided), blue eyes, and is said to be quite short by her lifetime friend Joe, though that simply may be just his opinion, for he shoots up quite a bit throughout the series, but it is mentioned in 'Mandie and Fiery Rescue' that she is short for her age. Her favorite color is assumed to be blue. Mandie is a Christian, who stands up for her beliefs and values, though seems to vary from 'honor thy father and thy mother', as she is constantly running off and disobeying her parents. She is quite emotional and gets frustrated when she can't solve a mystery. Mandie longs to grow up throughout the series. Being raised in a log cabin with little more to her name than two hand-me-down dresses and a kitten, she sees everything simply and takes no interest in high society. When sent to a young ladies school to learn social graces, she finds it ridiculous and remains her own lively self. The death of her biological father affects her deeply, leading her to her Uncle John's resulting in the truth as to her biological mother with whom she is reunited. She becomes very attached to her mother who married her Uncle John. Her favorite verse is "What time I am afraid I will put my trust in Thee." Mandie, in most instances has a teachable spirit and will break into tears and ask for forgiveness if convicted, however occasionally she becomes stubbornly jealous of Joe or of her mother's attention and is immovable in her opinions. Sometimes, Mandie tells others that she will not get married, as she will be too busy when she grows older, and she doesn't want to become trapped at home, unlike many of the girls of her time. This assumption clearly irritates Joe, as he obviously likes Mandie, and reminds her every now and then he plans on marrying her. At times, Mandie seems interested in boys, but tends to avoid the topic, even with her best friend Celia. Mandie doesn't give in easily, and sometimes wants to do the jobs that a boy would do, like learning how to use a gun. In the movie Mandie has brown eyes.
  • Joseph Woodard - Known as Joe by almost everyone, he is Mandie's 13 year old best friend. He has unruly brown hair, brown eyes, and long legs according to Mandie. Being Mandie's only friend who knew her father Jim Shaw (excluding relatives), Joe and Mandie are very close. Because Joe remains living in Swain County after Mandie moves away to Franklin, he promises to care for her father's grave and put flowers there. Joe is a country boy who does not care for much fancy things or money, but is a true friend. He intends on marrying her when he gets her father's property back from her step mother, Etta. He intends on doing this by becoming an attorney at law. He also helps Mandie on solving mysteries, but says that she does most of the work. He also loves chocolate cake and is constantly joking around. Joe's father, Dr. Woodard is the local doctor in Mandie's area. Towards the end he tells Mandie he loves her.
  • Faith Winters - She is Mandie's best friend in The Young Mandie series. She has long brown hair and lives with her grandmother. Her parents died in a fire.
  • Celia Hamilton - Celia becomes Mandie's best friend throughout the Mandie series. She has red hair and green eyes. her favorite color is green. She goes to the same school as Mandie and helps her solve mysteries. They met when Mandie heard her crying in her room one night. Celia had lost her father shortly before coming to The Misses Heathwood's School. They immediately bonded and asked to share a room together since Celia was alone in a private, normally unoccupied room and Mandie was stuck in a full room.
  • Snowball - Mandie's White cat who she's fond of. He follows Mandie everywhere, although she is advised not to take him around all the time. He is constantly running away.
  • Dimar Walkingstick - Mandie's Native American friend who is shown to have a crush on Maddie.
  • Sallie Sweetwater - Another one of Mandie's Indian friends. Sallie is Uncle Ned's granddaughter.
  • Etta McHan Shaw Hughes - Mandie's over bearing step mother. Shortly after Jim dies Etta gets married to Zach Hughes.
  • Irene McHan - Mandie's bratty 13 year old Scottish American step sister.
  • Zachary Hughes - Etta's new husband and Irene's new step father. Zach and Etta both agree to send Mandie away to work for the Brysons.
  • Elizabeth Taft Shaw - Mandie's biological mother. She is over protective of Mandie because she doesn't want to lose her again, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.
  • James Alexander Shaw - Mandie's father. Jim dies before the beginning of the first book. He is said to have had red hair and blue eyes, and to be very fun loving and always looked out for Mandie.
  • John Shaw - Jim's older brother and Mandie's uncle and stepfather. He married Elizabeth after Jim died, and is said to resemble her father greatly.
  • Ned Sweetwater - Jim's best friend. Ned is a Cherokee Native American. He promised to keep Mandie safe and helps get her out of trouble. Ned is Mandie's honorary uncle.
  • Windy - Mandie's Orange tabby in the "Young Mandie" series. Mandie is allowed to keep Windy after she does the right thing and returns Windy's mom to her rightful owners.
  • Samuel Hezekiah Shaw - Mandie's little brother, named after Samuel Hezekiah Plumbley, a close friend of John and Jim's older sister Ruby, who died when she was 10 years old.
  • Mary Elizabeth Taft - Mandie's grandmother, who separated her parents, and seems to have changed drastically from a fussy old lady to a kind, thoughtful grandmother from the first book to the rest of the series, and is revealed in 'Mandie and Mysterious Fisherman' to have felt guilty over it for years, and had always regretted tearing her daughter and granddaughter apart.
  • Senator Morton - Mandie's grandmother's close friend. He is a senator from Florida who is first introduced in Mandie and the Washington Nightmare, and later travels with Mandie ,Celia and Mrs. Taft in Europe. He is portrayed as kind, smart, thoughtful and in love with Mandie's widowed grandmother. Senator Morton's wife died a couple years before he met Mrs. Taft.
  • Tommy Patton - Mandie's friend who attends Mr. Chadwick's School for boys in Asheville. He makes no secret of his affections for Mandie, and always asks her to accompany him to social events between their schools.
  • Jonathan Lindall Guyer III - Mandie and Celia's friend, who they meet when he runs away from home and stows away on the boat taking them to Europe. He ends up touring Europe with them, and loves adventures almost as much as Mandie does. He shows some signs of affection towards Mandie, and is appears jealous of her friend Joe Woodward. He also loves to tease her.
  • Polly Cornwallis - Mandie's next door neighbor, and the first friend she makes after arriving at her Uncle John's house. She helps Mandie solve the mystery of the secret tunnel, but her avid interest in Joe Woodard leaves a constant strain on their friendship.

External links

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