As a kid, I was a total Trixie Belden fan. I couldn't be bothered with Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. I was loyal to the sandy haired mystery solver, her best friend, and their band of friends. Although I no longer have any of the books in the series (too many moves), I have many fond memories of escaping from the reality of my world to join in on whatever adventure the Belden kids got themselves into. Here are ten things I learned from reading Trixie Belden books:
1. All mysteries can be solved. Even the mysteries of reading, writing, and understanding SQL code. It may take a too hundred page book and a lot of determination on my part to learn a new skill, but it can be done. Every single time.
2. The Hudson River and Sleepy Hollow somehow go hand in hand. I don't know how exactly, but they do. And both are equally good and mysterious.
3. Volunteering is good. Just ask Trixie and her pals. IT didn't matter that they had school and homework and chores. They still had time to be the staff at a dude ranch or put on an ice skating fundraiser to help the less fortunate. Even Honey did these things and she was rich.
4. Being friends first is always better. It didn't matter how much the six of them hung out together, they fostered their friendships. Did they end up paired off, married, and living happily ever after? I think so. And I think their marriages were better for it.
5. If your younger sibling gets bitten by a snake, Trixie can show you how to save him. Remember when this happened to Bobby Belden? Trixie managed to save him, solve that book's mystery, and still had time to weed the blasted garden. It's all about having a little know-how and some time management.
6. Opposites make the best of friends. Middle class, farmer's kids? Rich, only child? Beaten, abandoned, and adopted? Veering down the wrong path in life before a divine intervention comes along? Get together, hang out, solve a few mysteries. A little diversity only strengthens the bond between true friends.
7. Girls can do anything. Who cares that detective agencies are usually run by men? Girls can solve a mystery, play a sport, drive a car, or start a business, and be just as successful. Shatter that glass ceiling, ladies. And teach your daughters how to do the same.
8. It's never too late to try something new. And when you're learning a new skill, don't be afraid to get up and keep trying if you get knocked down. Honey didn't give up when she was learning to ride that bike. Trixie got back on the horse after falling off. And when the mysteries became a challenge, they kept investigating until they figured them out.
9. Once a Trixie fan, always a Trixie fan. Reading this series is where I learned about being brand loyal. I never could read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. Trixie gets under your skin and brings all her friends with her. Brand loyal? Who am I kidding? They became my friends.
10. A well written book is more than a short escape from a harsh reality. To travel to far away places (like the Hudson River) and meet new (albeit fictional) people. A well written book (or books as in the case of the Trixie Belden series) is a chance to believe in long lasting friendships, the power of confidence...and even yourself.
What book(s) helped you grow into yourself? Did you learn something about yourself as you learned about new characters, new words, and explored new places through the gift of reading?