Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Because of A Book with Bethe Almeras

This week, please help me welcome author, Bethe Almeras to Write For A Reader!

Bethe Almeras is an award-winning author, web producer, and eLearning designer who has been connecting people with play and nature for many years. Her blog, The Grass Stain Guru, is about restoring childhood, and saving ourselves in the process. Bethe delights in speaking to groups about the benefits of a messy, muddy, slimy childhood and what we can all do to take childhood off the endagered species list. She plans on writing a Grass Stain Guru book to help parents and educators "get down and dirtty," so to speak.

Bethe lives in Washington, DC, right along the Potomac River. She can often be found there, chattering with squirrels, watching the blue herons fly overhead, and still attemping to master the art of skipping stones. You can also follow Bethe on Twitter.

As the youngest of six children, hand-me-downs were as much a fact of life as breathing. Clothes, bikes, books, and once we were teens – cars. We lived frugally, especially by the standards of my upper middle class DC suburb. My only sister (who naturally I will not share this with), was much older, and in high school when I was born. Needless to say, this made for interesting hand-me-downs; items frayed not only by use, but by the true passage of time.

But, if it were not for this frugal path, I would have never met my beloved Trixie Belden, star of a series of mystery books that captivated me as a girl. Trixie was the Nancy Drew for tomboys, a girl I could identify with. I whipped through each book like a house on fire. It was this series that not only made me fall in love with the mystery genre, which is still my “brain candy” of choice, but it made me fall in love with being a girl – being me.

I have four older brothers. The genetic lottery pretty much assured I was not going to be one of the “pink” girls. Trixie made that OK. I could be smart, tough, wear red, have skinned knees, and be everything a boy could be and more. Trust me, growing up in a house full of boys with an old school traditional mother, that was NOT the message I was receiving at home. While my friends with younger mothers of a different generation had a champion for girl power right there at home, I had Trixie Belden.

The Trixie Belden series taught me about friendship, and about loyalty, integrity, and standing up for what is right. It also taught me about a very important childhood rite of passage: the crush. Just because a girl has skinned knees doesn’t mean she is exempt from “crushing on” a cute boy. And for the record, to this day, I still love to have a crush.

I like to think that Trixie and I would be great friends as adults. Strong and spirited, with a love of travel, mystery novels and tequila. Somehow, I think Trixie would like a margarita from time to time.

Because of a book, I grew up liking the woman that I became. Thanks, Trixie.

 About Access Nature:  45 fun, hands-on activities for everyone.

About Trixie Belden:  Trixie’s summer is going to be sooo boring with her two older brothers away at camp. But then a millionaire’s daughter moves into the next-door mansion, an old miser hides a fortune in his decrepit house, and a runaway kid starts hiding out in Sleepyside!


bermudaonion said...

I love this post! I wish more kids could find characters who are positive to identify with.

Kristine Shreve said...

I haven't thought of Trixie Belden in years. I remember reading those books too. Wow, that takes me back.

balmeras said...

Thanks for letting me come play in your sandbox, Shelly. Books were such a huge part of my childhood. It breaks my heart when I hear that so many kids don't like to read. For me, it was my escape and such a passion. I valued my library card like it was solid gold!

Cheers- Bethe @balmeras

Wendy Gabriel said...

I absolutely loved the Trixie Belden books and saved every one of them so I could hand them down if I ever had little girls. Trixie Belden gave me a love for reading and, like Bethe, a love of mysteries. Thanks for bringing back such fond memories! Now I need to remember where I packed up those books...

Melissa Taylor said...

I was a Nancy Drew girl. Although we could never afford to own them all (my life goal at the time), I read them all many times, even if they weren't mine to keep.

balmeras said...

I loved Nancy, too -- and Frank & Joe. I read pretty much everything that wasn't nailed down as a kid, and used to buy books at garage sales. Of course, Trixie still holds a most special spot in my heart. :-)

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