Who Remembers Trixie Belden?

2018-04-07T16:37:13-07:00March 15th, 2018|

Welcome back! I’m glad you are joining me again. In case it wasn’t clear enough after my first blog, I am a certifiable book nerd. I love reading, writing and talking about books. Nothing gives me more pleasure. The idea of looking back at my life through the lens of books that I’ve read seems both exciting and daunting. I have read so many books, and I know I will remember only a small percentage of them. I wish I’d kept a list. If I were a teacher, this would be my suggestion to my students: Buy a nice journal and write down each book you read. And start now.

Today, I want to go back to those 67 books that I read during my sixth-grade year. My guess is that a fair number of them were mysteries. I loved mysteries. The path from the front door of my childhood public library to the mystery section is forever etched in my memory. I’m sure I read most, if not all, of the books there! This childhood passion most likely stemmed from my need to make sense of the chaos that was my life; if I could just find the missing clue, I’d be able to right the sinking ship. Or at least I could understand why things had gone so wrong and find a life boat.

But it was also fun. From a young age, probably due to both the situation in which I found myself and my innate biology, I loved to problem-solve. I wanted to understand and figure things out, to see how things fit together, and to take the clues and solve the puzzle. So, any book that kept me guessing and challenged me to beat the author to the punch was high on my list.

I read from all the classic mystery series such as Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. But Trixie Belden was my favorite. She was bold, impulsive and daring—all the things that I wasn’t. I was much more like her friend Honey, a good girl who was sensitive, anxious and hesitant. Or as Trixie would say, a “fraidy-cat!” But Honey grew and changed with Trixie’s influence. It gave me hope that I could change, too. I could learn to be less afraid, stronger, bolder.

Thinking back, I realize Trixie was the first in a long string of literary examples of strong, independent protagonists that helped me break out of my fearful shell and become more confident in myself and my abilities. This is one example of Laurence Cosse’s certainty (see Blog #1: Calling all bibliophiles) that novels are important; they teach us and prepare us for life.

I’m still drawn to strong female protagonists today. In the realm of mystery series, Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc is one of my current favorites. While being very different characters, Aimee and Trixie share some similar traits, both being strong, daring and at times fearless to the point of self-destruction. They are both determined and don’t let anything or anyone stand in their way.

I love remembering Trixie’s bold character and appreciate that she made a difference to my young self. So, what about you? Do you have a childhood protagonist that inspired you?

7 Comments

  1. Francine Falk-Allen April 8, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I read Trixie Belden as well, Cathy! But my favorite was actually Judy Bolton, a series of mystery books I temporarily inherited from my much older sister. Judy sometimes found herself flirting with the darker side of things… at least from my view as a pre-teen. She had a rich boyfriend – temporarily – who gave her a ruby as an engagement ring, which in itself was almost shocking. She broke up with him because he was unethical and realized the ring waqs symbolic of blood – maybe he was involved in a murder or something. So that kind of thing really appealed to me, a young woman clear back in the 1930’s or 40’s giving up a relationship that would have benefitted her financially. Anyway, yeah, I remember Trixie!

    • Cathy Admin April 9, 2018 at 4:55 am - Reply

      I’m not familiar with Judy Bolton, but she sounds like a strong — and fun — protagonist. Thanks Francine!

  2. Judith Sears March 9, 2019 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    So, I’m almost a year late to this discussion, but I happened to google Trixie Belden tonight and came upon this post, so I thought I’d weigh in. I was a big time Trixie Belden fan as a kid and had the good fortune to write an article for Mystery Scene when Random House (temporarily) brought the books back in print in the early aughts https://mysteryscenemag.com/article/41-trixie-belden-the-girl-next-door-sleuth.

    In the late 90’s, early aughts there were thriving Trixie Belden forums online. Those have cooled some, but you might like to take a look at one http://barbln.org/clubhouse/?board=social

    I also have a website with a couple of other articles and some Trixie “fan fiction.” Your comment sign in isn’t recognizing the URL, so I’ll leave it here: http://www.sleepysidezone.com

    Long live Trixie!

    • Cathy Admin March 10, 2019 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Hi Judith — I’m always happy to hear from another Trixie fan! I loved your article. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tanya July 31, 2019 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      I’m very disappointed, the trixie belden forum no longer allows new members. I have intermittently over the years searched for trixie belden sites and never found it then and now it looks like I’m too late. Really happy there is as segment of public who remember her and loved her!

  3. Mary Thea Henry April 19, 2019 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    YES! Yes! I am so, so happy to know people still love Trixie. I’ve just started collecting again (My old collection was lent to a friend who moved) and I’m thinking of starting a podcast about her.

    I loved Nancy Drew but she was a little too perfect. Trixie felt like a real person. She had chores and homework. She got dirty. She also put her foot in her mouth, was impulsive and jumped to conclusions. Trixie could be overly dramatic…like a real teenager.

    I would love for Random House to continue to publish the books. It would be tragic if she disappeared.

    • Cathy Admin April 20, 2019 at 10:52 am - Reply

      I agree!

Leave A Comment