Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Betsy-Tacy" by Maude Hart Lovelace

How is it I never read this as a child?  I can only suppose that my local public library didn't have this series, which is a crying shame, because I would have loved them.  Loved them.

Betsy and Tacy are little girls who live across the street from each other near the top of a hill in a small Midwestern town called Deep Valley.  They meet each other when Tacy's family moves there, and become friends before long.  They have lots of sweet adventures, like making a play house inside a piano crate.  And they comfort each other and rejoice with each other through various things like a sibling dying, the first day of school, and a new baby.

It was really easy for me to imagine the town where they lived because Lovelace based Deep Valley on her hometown of Mankato, MN.  And that is where I went to college, at the top of a hill in that very city.  I know exactly how the hills sweep down toward the river and what was once main street.  In fact, it was in Mankato that I first heard of these books, as of course there's a house there to tour and whatnot, though I never did that.  Because I hadn't read the books!  Next time we visit, I'll try to arrange for us to take the tour.

Now, why did it take me more than a dozen years from hearing about these books to actually read one?  I have no excuse.  I'm just glad I've started them at last.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  G.  Clean, innocent, and lovely.

This is my sixteenth book read and reviewed for the I Love Library Books challenge and my fourteenth for the Classics Club.


    Sorry, I just...I love them. :D I started reading them when I was seven, and read the high school books when turned twelve...I've grown up with them and I always love finding fellow fans. And howwww cool that you went to college near Mankato!! I have a special connection with Mankato myself (no, I don't live there :P), which maybe contributed to my love of it.
    Anyways. Great review! "Clean, innocent, and lovely" exactly describes it, I think. :D

    1. I am absolutely reading the rest of these! I need to look up what order they go in and then get them from the library as I have time. I'm also looking into buying my own copies, cuz -- wow, so very good! You can bet that the next time I'm at the used bookstore, I'll be looking for them. As I read them, I'll review them.

      Yup, went to college in Mankato, high amid the trees. We go back every few years to visit former professors and such, not to mention some family members that live there now.

  2. Oh-my-I'm-so-excited-you're-reading-them!!!! :) Seeing that green cover brought back soooo many memories! :) I read them over and over and over and over when I was little. I quite literally wore the covers off ours (I never could decide which one I liked best), read them out loud numerous times to my mother and siblings, and can still vividly picture the illustrations!! :) They're probably part of what set me off on the writing path, come to think of it.

    As a note, the order of the first four books are: Betsy-Tacy; Betsy, Tacy, and Tib; Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill; and Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown. :)

    1. Hee! I think I would have done the same if I'd had these as a kid. They remind me a little bit of the Betsy books -- "B is for Betsy," "Betsy's Busy Summer," etc. by Carolyn Haywood. Those are more set in the 1950s, but they have kind of the same gentle feel to them. I got those from the library over and over and over and over -- like, just take one back and trade it for another every week.

      That's so cool that these are what started you writing! Nifty that you can sort of pinpoint what your initial inspiration was.

      And thanks for the info! I'll look for B,T,&T at the library tomorrow.

    2. I haven't read this series either. Sounds lovely. I truly believe that children's books are just as enjoyable when read in adulthood. (I've read the Little House series as an adult, and I loved them now just as much as when I was younger.)

      Touring the house sounds like a great idea. Doing that will really bring the stories to life.

    3. It's darling. And you could totally read this whole book in an afternoon.

      I do really, truly enjoy children's books still. Even picture books! I feel like the enjoyment of a story well-told is not limited to the age group it's aimed at.

  3. Well, you know I read children's books all the time. I've heard of this series, but never read it!

    1. Heading to the library after breakfast and hoping to find the next book there! I totally recommend these :-)


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