Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden?

When I was in fourth grade, my new best friend, CK, told me she’d read every single Nancy Drew book in the series. I was impressed and mentioned this to my sister. Big mistake. She copied my friend and checked out a couple of Nancy Drew books from the library and loved them. Next thing I knew, she was working her way through the series, one book at a time.

Well, that was it. No reading Nancy Drew for me—I wasn’t going to be like my sister. No way! Even though my sister is older, my mother bought us the same outfits at the same time and we had to wear them on the same days. We had the same haircut. Even when we weren’t dressed alike, people stopped us at the playground to ask if we were twins.

No, there’d be no Nancy Drew for me. I had to find my own sleuth. That’s how I discovered Trixie Belden. Here are the first few sentences from book one: “Oh, Moms,” Trixie moaned, running her hands through her short, sandy curls. “I’ll just die if I don’t have a horse.”

Oh, my gosh! Trixie wanted a horse; I wanted a horse! We were the same! Trixie instantly became the It girl for me. Trixie met that girl Honey who owned horses. In fifth grade, I groomed horses on weekends for my school librarian. Trixie wore jeans and went outside a lot, and even though she was older than me (she was thirteen), she seemed like a real girl, like someone I could be friends with.

I’m whispering now because I don’t want Trixie to hear this: I did sneak a few reads of Nancy Drew, but I didn’t like it. At eighteen, Nancy was too old and too sure of herself. She could doctor people up, skin dive, trick locks open—how did she know all this stuff? Trixie was more like me, discovering things along the way.

In recent weeks, I’ve read the first few Nancy Drew books. My gosh! These books are good—something is always happening. There is no down time in a Nancy Drew book. I like Nancy, shh! And I think it’s funny how each book references Nancy’s past mysteries by title and foretells the next mystery by book title.

I’ve also taken another look at Trixie and I’ll tell you what—Trixie is still my It girl. And I still want my own horse.

11 comments:

Virginia Lee said...

Child, I am so with you on this! Trixie was always so much better in my mind than Nancy Drew. Nancy was prissy when compared to Trixie. Granted, I read the original versions of the books, not the newfangled ones, and the fact that they were somewhat dated didn't help the uber-girly factor. I much preferred Trixie Belden.

I loved the Hardy Boys too. Are you old enough to remember The Hardy Boys tv series with Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson? I was such a fangirl back then.

As to refusing to read books your sister read? Well, I did read what my siblings read. I rebelled against many of the books my peers at school read. To this day I haven't read JRR Tolkein, Judy Blume, Laura Ingalls Wilder or books like The Outsiders.

Linda D. (sbk) said...

OMG I had such a huge crush on Shaun Cassidy!! So I'm sure old enough to know what you're talking about Virginia lee.

I read one or two Nancy Drews and didn't really like them. I was one hundred percent for the Hardy Boys. I'm sure if had heard of Trixie I would have liked her too.

Kelly Fineman said...

Trixie. Hands down. I even learned how to do that Bob White whistle.

elysabeth said...

Funny thing is I never read Trixie and only a few Nancy Drews - but it was probably what was available at the time or given to me most of the time.

As far as the Hardy Boys TV show - funny thing is I never thought Shaun Cassidy was the dream guy; I always thought it was Parker Stevenson - and the same thing with David Cassidy - hands down way over Shaun any day.

Maybe I need to pick up some old Trixie stories and decide which I like better - guess I've got some reading to do - E :)

courtney said...

I have friends who swear by Trixie. I've never read either book series myself, but if I had to choose, Trixie all the way! I am convinced that Nancy is a Borg or something like a Borg!

Ello said...

You know I never read either? Don't know why I wasn't interested. Maybe I should check one out now?

Danette Haworth said...

Virginia,
Yes! Prissy was how I viewed Nancy. There's actually quite an emphasis on her fashion and her titian hair.

Linda,
I never read the Hardy Boys, although my BF did. (Fourth-grade Me: Boys? Who wants to read about them?)

Kelly,
Oh my gosh! I'd forgotten about the Bob White whistle. You are a true fan!

E,
And now everyone's got mysteries--Full House, Two of a Kind, etc.

Courtney,
Haha! OMG, you're right! Wikipedia describes the Borg as beings "characterized by relentless pursuit of targets for assimilation, their collective consciousness that enables rapid defensive adaptability to almost any offence, and the ability to continue functioning properly despite seemingly devastating blows."

OMG! Nancy Borg!

Ello,
If you do read them now, like I am, you also get a sense of the time in which they were written (not just the time they portray).

LindaBudz said...

I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys ... somehow missed Trixie.

Um, also, Danette, I just read an interesting piece of news on Publisher's Marketplace, is this public knowledge?

FrecklesandDeb said...

Count me in on the Trixie side! I read them all. And another favorite from a "glossy covered" book series that never really caught on was a great Janet Lennon mystery where she was a camp counselor. I must have read it 10 times, each time wishing I could sing!

Anonymous said...

that is so so so like me exept im toatly scared of horses!! i love how adventerous she is.

ttly

Qwerty said...

Ok Trixie Belden was published earlier than Nancy Drew right. The only Nancy Drew I read was just like my fav. Trixie book. Hands down. Trixie rules.