Books, Vintage Books

Vintage YA Fiction – Trixie Belden


I have just discovered some new young adult vintage fiction series. Trixie Belden was written around the same time as Nancy Drew but for same reason did not make that transition into my generation unlike Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.  I was lucky enough to pickup two paper backs from the 50’s for a dollar each, they are #4 The Mysterious Visitor and #5 The Mystery Off Glen Road. Like all other YA mysteries the plots are really simple and of course has very little violence. In #4 ,which I just finished, the villain is an imposter who is trying to swindle on of Trixie’s friends and a revolver or real danger is present only in the last 3 pages.

The most charming thing about the series is how well the era is captured in the dialogues and the writing. Trixie is 14 years old and lives in Sleepyside, NY which is a suburb of Manhattan. She lives on a farm with her three brothers and parents. She also has a neighbor Honey Wheeler and her adopted brother Jim Frayne. Jim, Honey, Trixie  and her brothers Brian and Mart make up the Bob-Whites which is their secret society.  Trixie also rides the bus along with her friends because they all live far from the village , which is where the poorer people live.  She struggles with math woes and hates to write “themes” which I gather are essays or term papers. They all also have to dress for dinner and dressing in jeans is referred to as dressing “sloppy.” In fact one of the character’s mom won’t let her wear jeans at all. Trixie also calls her mother “Mom’s” and the book definitely reinforces the idea that women who cook, clean etc are virtuous. In fact, Trixie, for being a tomboy even makes comments like “Mom’s just goes in the kitchen and walks out with something delicious.” Also, her chores are babysitting, while her brothers get to groom horses.

Its charming to be transported back to a post WW II suburb in NY.

I’ll post more as I read more.

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