Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trixie Belden: The Secret of the Mansion

I read a few Trixie Belden books by Julie Campbell when I was a pre-teen, hundreds of years ago. So when I happened to see a few books in that old series on the shelves in our library, I decided to reread one of them and see what I think of it now.
Trixie is a 13-year-old tomboy who wants a horse more than anything. Her mother gives her chores to do so she can earn some money. But Trixie is distracted, and with good reason. A new family has moved into her neighborhood – a rich family with children and horses!
She quickly makes friends with the family’s daughter, a girl named Honey (remember, this book was written back in the 1940s). She and Honey decide to explore another neighborhood mansion, an old one that looks haunted and which is owned by an old man, Mr. Frayne, who’s on the verge of death in the hospital. To add to the mansion’s mystique, Honey thinks she saw a face at a window in that house when she rode by it on her house.
The girls decide to go check out the old mansion and see if perhaps a tramp has taken up residence there. Yes, this was an extremely foolish thing to do, and eventually the police point that out to the girls. But not before they have some fascinating adventures and make the acquaintance of a very interesting boy.
I liked it! There were no dragons or wizards, but this is a story that’s realistic enough to actually have happened. Trixie and Honey seem like real people, and I found myself sympathizing with them and caring about them, and even worrying about them when they did stupid things.
I recommend this book, and others in the series. They’re old, but good.

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