Thursday, June 3, 2010

Billie Bradley Winning the Trophy

In Billie Bradley Winning the Trophy, Billie and her friends worry about whether they will be able to win the school trophy. The trouble is that Billie is barred from participating in athletic events since she has been blamed for one of Amanda Peabody's pranks. Billie refuses to rat out Amanda. Surely Billie and her friends have no hope of winning the trophy, but wait... the book is titled Billie Bradley Winning the Trophy. Oh, so Billie does win the trophy. How suspenseful!

A title like Billie Bradley Winning the Trophy gives away the ending of the book. Why couldn't they be more creative? How about Billie Bradley at Camp Red Wing? That is where the girls go, and the title does not spoil the ending. Oh, well.

It little matters since the book is interesting aside from the matter about the trophy, which is the one part that does not interest me, probably because the title spoils the ending. The school is freezing cold since the temporary janitor is lazy and uninterested in keeping the furnace lit. Billie confronts the man about the furnace, and he defiantly announces that he will get a huge fire going for Billie. The furnace explodes the next day, and school is canceled. The entire student body is relocated to Camp Red Wing where the girls resume their studies while waiting for the furnace to be fixed.

Edina Tooker, the girl from Oklahoma, is one of Billie's friends in this book, and she has been completely assimilated into the Three Towers Hall culture, so much so that she has completely lost her strong Oklahoma accent. How odd...

I read this final volume in the Billie Bradley series in approximately one day, which shows how much I enjoyed it. If only volume 7 had not bored me, I would have had this series finished late last year.

Many months passed in between reading volumes 1-7 and volumes 8-9, so I may not be remembering well, but I feel that the final two volumes have a different tone, at least with respect to the girls' relationships with the boys. In the early volumes, Billie and Teddy have a disgustingly sappy pseudo father-daughter relationship, rather than a normal boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.

In these last two books, Billie and Teddy do not interact that much, and more is mentioned of Paul Martinson's interest in Billie than in Teddy's interest in Billie. This is fine with me, since I never liked Teddy in the first place. He can go jump into Lake Molata as far as I am concerned.

For the most part, I enjoyed the Billie Bradley series. I perused my blog posts on this series to remind myself of my thoughts as I read the books. At several points, I was bored, and this usually happened during books that are not set at Three Towers Hall. In my opinion, the Billie Bradley books that are set at the school are written the best and are the most interesting.

I had forgotten that I began reading the Billie Bradley series in the spring of 2009. It took me an entire year to make it through all nine books. As a result, I have to rate the series as overall so-so but with some outstanding parts. The Billie Bradley series is worth reading, but it is not anywhere near the level of Betty Gordon and of my other favorite pre-Nancy Drew Stratemeyer series.


beautifulshell said...

What other series would you rank it with, in terms of style and how much you like it?

Also, a current auction has totally ripped off one of your Vicki Barr descriptions....I thought that font looked familiar!

Jennifer White said...

The seller is even stealing my bandwidth by displaying an image from my site. Should I change that image to something else, like maybe a statement about how the seller's text is borrowed from I am really tempted, but I should probably not bother. That is why sellers should not copy and paste the actual HTML, because I can change that image to anything I want, and the seller has no control unless the HTML is removed from the auction.

I feel like I can only compare the Billie Bradley series to other Stratemeyer series from the 1910s to early 1930s, since those series are what it is most like. I definitely like the Outdoor Girls, Betty Gordon, and Blythe Girls series the best of those series.

I would probably say that I like it about the same as the Girls of Central High, the Moving Picture Girls, and the Riddle Club series.

Some of the Billie Bradley books fit into the "namby-pamby" category of series books that Mildred Wirt Benson wished not to write. Some of them, though, read like Beverly Gray or Dana Girls books, and I really enjoyed those.

I liked the school books the best, since Billie had a strong rival who caused her lots of trouble. It really is a mixed bag with the Billie Bradley books. Some are wonderful, like volumes 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9. Volumes 1 and 5 are good but not as good as the ones I liked the best. I did not enjoy volumes 3 and 7 very much. That is why it took me so very long to read the set.

I am already halfway through the second Linda Carlton book. If the whole set is like the first two books, then I will be finished with them all within the next week or so. The faster I read a series, the more I like it. The Linda Carlton books read a lot like the Mary Louise Gay books by Lavell, and a lot like the Nancy Drew and other series books of the 1930s.

beautifulshell said...

heh, heh...Your idea would certainly be good (if passive-aggressive) payback. *I* was tempted to message the seller, and it doesn't have anything to do with me!

Billie Bradley sounds mildly intruiging, but too inconsistent for me to move up on my list. I do like school stories quite a bit, though (hence, my great affection for Grace Harlowe)!

Jennifer White said...

I forgot the obvious comparison to Betty Gordon. Billie Bradley seems to be a ripoff of Betty Gordon. At times, I felt like I was reading a Betty Gordon book. The names Billie and Betty are very similar.

Billie Bradley is to Betty Gordon the same way that Kay Tracey is to Nancy Drew: a similar series that is not quite as good but has its own merits. Lest anyone get the wrong idea, I actually like the Kay Tracey books because they are so wacky.