Girl Sleuths: Then and Now

beldenLong ago, before Harry Potter appeared on the scene, and even before the Babysitters Club made their first appearance, young girls read about the adventures of some remarkable girl sleuths.  While there were a whole host of girl sleuths, the most popular two were Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I read, and reread, both of these series, but my favorite, hands down, was Trixie Belden.

I spent many a summer tucked in our back porch, reading about Trixie and Nancy’s adventures. It’s completely appropriate, that the highlight of my reading summer has been the discovery of yet another girl sleuth. My recent glom of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series (okay, not sure if it counts as a glom since so far there are only two books), has me thinking a lot more about these original girl sleuths, and comparing them to Flavia.

Make no mistake, while the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden series were written for children, the Flavia de Luce series is for adults. Although different, Nancy and Trixie’s lives were presented as fairly wonderful. While Flavia does have fun, her life is far from ideal. Nancy had a perfect, supportive father, and Trixie had a wonderful loving mother and father. In contrast, Flavia has a remote father, who she believes may have committed murder.

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