Trixie Belden

SEPT / OCT 2106: BY CAROL STARKEY

trixie

I first read The Secret of the Mansion at eleven or twelve. My mom owned the Trixie Belden books from when she was a teenager, and they looked interesting. She had the first ten books and I flew through them. Later, a teacher had the rest of the series and I devoured them. I never reread the entire series, but I reread the ten at home many times.

The books feature a spunky teen, Trixie Belden, and her family and friends. She has two older brothers, Mart and Brian, and a younger brother, Bobby. She befriends the girl next door, Honey, and has another friend from school, Di. Another friend is Jim, and together they (with the exception of her little brother who’s only six) form a club, the Bob-Whites of the Glen. Trixie, along with the other members of the gang, solve crimes.

I read these books after Nancy Drew, but to me, Trixie is more realistic. She’s not rich (though her best friend Honey is) and has to work for her own money. She’s also expected to do chores and care for her younger brother. She and her brothers bicker, and she has conflict with her friends. She has a crush on Jim, the orphan boy she and Honey saved from his abusive step-father, and the two of them quarrel occasionally.

Trixie is far from perfect. She struggles with her own insecurities, especially the way she looks. She’s hard on herself because though she’s a giving person, she can be selfish from time to time. Her big heart gets her intro trouble. She’s only 13 and oftentimes lets her emotions get the best of her. She and Honey encounter some dangerous situations because of her impulsive nature.

When first you meet her, Trixie is caring for her younger brother. Neighbors are moving in next door, and they have a pretty daughter around Trixie’s age. She offers to shake hands and Trixie takes an instant dislike to her. Though she decides the girl next door is stuck-up and prissy, by the end of the book she’s discovered Honey is anything but. She’s a true friend, and though she’s rich, she’s lonely and the two girls form a firm friendship.

Trixie never looks for mystery but it finds her wherever she goes. She and Honey are the detectives in the beginning, but it’s not long before Jim, Brian, Mart, and Di are involved. Trixie and Honey want to start the Belden-Wheeler Detective Agency when they grow up, and though they’re teased for that, with every mystery they solve, that possibility seems less silly.

Trixie represents an Everyman character. She’s a real person in situations that could happen to anyone. She has strengths and weaknesses, which make her seem real. It’s why I loved the books so much as a kid and couldn’t wait to introduce them to my daughter. As I read about Trixie, I found many authors were involved in telling her tale, but that didn’t ruin anything for me. Instead it made me love the series even more. There are 39 books in all, and even though I’m an adult, I kind of want to reread them. I’m sure I’d still love them as much as I once did. Once a Trixie Belden fan, always a Trixie Belden fan.

septoct2016

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carol Starkley lives in New England with her husband, three daughters, and numerous pets. She likes to read, write, bake, and dabble with the clarinet. She also infrequently blogs.

2 thoughts on “Trixie Belden

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  1. Ahhhhh, the memories. I read and loved these books when I was a tween, and even though I haven’t read them in years, they still hold a special place in my heart. 🙂

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