Friday, September 25, 2009

10 Reasons to Read Betsy-Tacy

The Betsy-Tacy books were written by Maud Hart Lovelace and were based upon her childhood and young adulthood in the early 20th century. There are four books about covering her years from 5 to 12 and these are suitable for all ages. The next six books cover her high school years, travel, and marriage and are suitable for 14+. (The reason? Well, Betsy can be a little silly about boys…but really, you’ll just appreciate them more if you’re in high school yourself or have been in it.) There are also 3 Deep Valley books about other people that Betsy knows. They are delightful books and worth reading again and again…and here are 10 reasons why.

1. The characters are hopelessly flawed but always learn from their mistakes and become better people. Which is so nice, yes? :-)

2. Betsy and Tib are a little boy-crazy but Tacy isn’t.

3. The characters have loving relationships with their families (and their fathers!) but it’s not sickly sweet or obsessive.

4. College and education are viewed as good and beneficial things. Most of the girls go to college and then get married.

5. Betsy learns to keep house after she’s married and makes it a priority. But, she doesn’t give up her writing to do so. They’re some of the few books I’ve read with a healthy balance between homemaking and having dreams and pursuits as a married woman.

6. Betsy’s life doesn’t end with her marriage: the wedding is in the beginning of the last book.

7. The books make a statement against sororities and fraternities which shows some greatness of mind on Mrs. Lovelace’s part, I think.

8. The characters eat so well! Warning: These books will make you hungry!

9. Betsy doesn’t like Elsie Dinsmore (and neither do I)!

10. They show that heartache (even over, (horrors!) boys) is normal and can be a beneficial thing to growing up and maturing.

And the 11th reason to read Betsy-Tacy is….

After a long sojourn in the world of “out of print”… the high school books are being re-released on September 29th! And Carney’s House Party and Emily of Deep Valley will be out next year!

So now instead of having to track them down on Abebooks and paying $25 for one paperback you can find them on for 11.99 (for 2 books actually). Dreeaming.... :-)

And if you want to know more about Betsy-Tacy follow these links:



Anonymous said...

OK, I attempted a couple of the earlier BT&T books a while ago, and just couldn't get into them (never read them when I was a kid). I suspect that I am too old at this point to bond with them properly. I say this because I was a huge fan of Noel Streatfeild's books when I was young, and I still find them delightful to this day. In further reading history, I always loved the first few Anne of Green Gables titles, but simply found that my attention for her story totally dried up once she marries Gilbert (do not know why this is, am open to feedback). I know that BT&T have a huge fan-base,so I defer to your judgment.

Ingrid said...

Betsy-Tacy has a shift between the first four and the last six... the first ones are written for children while the others are more for 12-14 and older. My mother never read them as a child but read the first four aloud when I was very young and then the other six aloud when I was 14 or so. She really likes all of them too. I'd try the Betsy books again even if you have to force yourself to make it through the first four...and you might want to try the later Anne books again. Rilla of Ingleside (which, granted, is about Rilla) is one of my favourite books. I like L.M Montgomery's style... her short stories and The Story Girl books are good too.
When reading, one of the best things to do is just to make yourself finish the book (unless there are moral things wrong with it...for example, I tried to read the Notebook once and had to stop after a few chapters due to what I found to be "gratuitous mushy-stuff." :-/ Bleah.) Otherwise, it's a good idea to finish any book you start even if you don't love it. Someone told me once just to think, "It'll make me smarter" about anything that you don't like and do it anyway. And they were absolutely right. :-)