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Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy #4)

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4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,353 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Betsy, Tacy, and Tib are twelve—old enough to do lots of things...even go downtown on their own. There they see their first horseless carriage, discover the joys of the public library, and see a real play at the Opera House. They even find themselves acting in one! Best of all, they help a lonely new friend feel at home in Deep Valley—the most wonderful place in the world ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 5th 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1943)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melody
Sep 12, 2012 Melody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
9/2012 Six stars. Ninety-six stars. Down Town is my favorite of the first four books and ranks near my favorites in the series entire. I'm prissy about my copy, which is, in fact titled Down Town. None of this namby-pamby Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown stuff. Nope, just Down Town, because like Winona, I like to go in doors marked "Private, Keep Out."

There are so many good stories twining though this book- Mrs. Poppy's, of course. We meet Miss Sparrow here, the librarian who gets so many great lines
...more
Carmen Maloy
Oct 22, 2007 Carmen Maloy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is the last of the "younger" Betsy books, taking us to turn of the century Minnesota, horse-less carriages, and many wonderful new friends. BTGD introduces us to Winona Root, Mrs. Poppy, and some of the places and items we will know and love in the "high school" books. A wonderful look at the transition into adolecense. We also read about the tradition of the annual christmas shopping trip that Betsy and Tacy take together. On a personal note, this is a tradition that my sisters and I do ev ...more
Hope
Dec 26, 2014 Hope rated it really liked it
The story is about two little girls growing up in Minnesota at the turn of the century, a time when cars and telephones were new and exciting inventions. The book opens with references to Lady Audley’s Secret and contains many delightful allusions to books throughout its pages.

Twelve year old Betsy is an aspiring writer. Unfortunately she’s been influenced by sensational and melodramatic novels and is writing stories with similar themes (“Lady Gwendolyn’s Sin”). Betsy’s mother and father handle
...more
Alana
My Evelyn says, "This is a really, really good book and I wish it had never ended....or any other of these books, either. I wish they never ended!"

This may be my favorite one so far in this series. The adventures of Betsy, Tacy and Tib (and their new friend Winona!) get a little more exciting with each book. Still very simple, these stories continue to delight and entertain us. So happy to be reading these with my daughter as I didn't read them myself as a child.
Bonnie
Mar 09, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read a Betsy-Tacy book, though I have several friends who are fans. And normally, OCD me would never start a series without starting at #1 but this book, the fourth in the series, is one of my Literary Map of the United States books. I enjoyed it so much that I almost stopped reading very early on, in order to go and get the first three books from the library before continuing. But I have a lot of reading goals this year, so I opted to just continue with book four and try and get back ...more
Elizabeth
I needed to visit downtown Deep Valley last night and take that first horseless carriage ride with the lovable Poppys and Tib. Also, I just crack up when the trio try to hypnotize Winona to try to get her to take them to see Uncle Tom's Cabin. Then to find out that she wanted to take them all along...so sweet. I love when they go to the oprea house and they are full of all that excitement of uninhibited childhood.

This is my favorite in the series. I love Betsy's first trip to the new library whe
...more
Anne Bogel
Mar 17, 2013 Anne Bogel rated it really liked it
This wonderful children's/young adult series makes me nostalgic for the childhood I never had.
Laura Hughes
Sep 08, 2014 Laura Hughes rated it liked it
Shelves: young-readers
I remembered gap with no book between Betsy's childhood and teenagerhood, but I'd forgotten that this volume takes place in Betsy's twelfth year, and it is appropriately transitional. While Betsy, Tacy, and Tib still get into childlike scrapes and indulge in flights of fancy, they are also more capable and independent, taking trips downtown by themselves. Betsy is as irrepressible as ever and there are certainly charming moments in this book, but I have a few gripes with it (rare for a Betsy boo ...more
Melissa
Feb 15, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
Once again, Betsy and Tacy exceeded expectations!

In what I would call the final installment of the “childhood” portion of this series, “Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown” – the girls are now 12 years old and, according to them, “all grown up.”

Their escapades continue – riding in a horseless carriage (a car!), beguiling their new friend, Winona, going to the theatre, befriending an unexpected companion, acting on stage and discovering a long, lost relative!

So many things to adore in this book! For those
...more
Blaire Malkin
Nov 19, 2015 Blaire Malkin rated it it was amazing
Loved. Reading these makes me think of the experiences my grandma Anne must have had growing up in Winnipeg during this time period. Love watching these girls grow-up. This was a great one - from the horseless carriage to the library to the play - thoroughly enjoyed.
Laree
Dec 24, 2014 Laree rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one. It's fun to see america at this time period, as opposed to Canada or at the pioneer time. And the lost uncle was marvelous!
Katie
Aug 06, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
The girls are now 12 and again I thought it would be too "old" for Mary Ann to understand. There was also a moment when the reality of Santa Claus was discussed and I was worried things were going to get pretty dicey and Mary Ann was going to get an unexpected shock, but luckily Betsy, Tacy, and Tip are very sensible girls and have agreed to believe in Santa Claus until they are at least out of high school. This was a very enjoyable story for me too, perhaps the best part for me was that Mary An ...more
Jennifer Margulis
Dec 29, 2015 Jennifer Margulis rated it really liked it
Betsy, Tacy, and Tib are twelve years old now. There's a Carnegie library opening up in town. A horseless carriage that belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Poppy. And these days Julia has admirers to carry her books, take her bobsledding, and even accompany her to the theater.

Betsy, Tacy, and Tib want to go to the theater too. They want to go bobsledding. And they need to find a way to get the money to replace Rena's trashy novel that Tacy's father burned.

I did not understand Winona Root's character change,
...more
Abby
Mar 03, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing
My favorite Betsy-Tacy so far! So good.
Irene
Mar 02, 2014 Irene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary-school aged kids
Shelves: children
What a delightful read! There are so many things I enjoyed about this book.

The simple pleasures and sense of community in a small, old-fashioned town really came through. It was so charmingly quaint how in that time before cinema, all the children got excited for matinee productions that come through town with travelling theater companies. I loved how proud and grown-up Betsy felt when she was allowed to spend the day downtown by herself, and how the shopkeepers helped to make the girls' Christ
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Nov 13, 2015 Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: girls aged 9-11
Shelves: children
4.5 stars. Much better than Vol 2 and 3, we are back to the adventures of three friends with no agendas and not too much silly "adorability". (Nothing against adorable, but when a writer works too hard at it, it shows). The ending was pretty predictable, but many kids in the author's intended target audience like just that. I liked Mrs Poppy, though the moms were uncomfortable with their daughters hanging out with an ex-actress, it's the "ex" that counted (that and the fact that she married the ...more
Lauren
Jan 16, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shortly after I started I reading the fourth Betsy and Tacy book, I put it down to check and see if I had accidentally skipped a book. Betsy, Tacy, and Tib are now tweens (in modern vernacular), and while this story is cute and fun, I wish there had been one more book between this and Betsy and Tacy Go over the Big Hill. It’s such a jump in time, to say nothing of a dramatic increase in length and voice.

I have no idea what I would tell parents of young readers about the best age for this series:
...more
Sharanne
Jul 27, 2011 Sharanne rated it it was amazing
I saw one person's comment that the world of Betsy-Tacy probably doesn't exist in America, but I disagree. I can remember being old enough to go downtown without parents. Sharing it with a best friend or two made it even better. What makes Lovelace's books so great is that it was, and in a few special places still is, life in small-town America.
Rosie Preciado
Jul 27, 2015 Rosie Preciado rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favorite book of the Betsy/Tacy series. Betsy, Tacy, and Tib are now twelve years old and are old enough to go downtown alone. Even though the girls are a bit older, they still have time for fun. They try to hypnotize Winona into taking them to see a play, Tib gets a ride in an automobile, and the girls get to go see a play.
I think the part I really liked was when Mrs. Ray fixed up Uncle Keith`s old trunk to make a desk for Betsy. It shows she really encourages her daughter'
...more
Kim Fortin
Dec 28, 2010 Kim Fortin rated it really liked it
This book was more mature and included how not to beg for something you want really badly and also discovering the beauty of libraries. Also, that opening drawing of Betsy sitting in a tree writing makes me insanely jealous. Who doesn't want to be writing in a tree? Well, maybe a few people but I hope not too many :)
Camilla Tilly
Feb 22, 2016 Camilla Tilly rated it it was amazing
These books get better the older the children in the books get. In this book the girls are 12 years old and lots of things are taking place in their lives. For one, Betsy is putting her stories down on paper. Unfortunately she is trying to copy the romance novels, her parents' hired hand is reading in her spare time and when Betsy's mum read the titles of the stories, she sees a danger in the sort of literature her daughter has taken too and that Betsy has grown out of their own bookcases. So Be ...more
Caryl
Apr 10, 2016 Caryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shelf-sitter
Continuing my tradition of reading a Maud book in April each year, I picked up the fourth in the Betsy-Tacy series. Despite a rough start (wish she had gone with a play other than Uncle Tom's Cabin!), Maud soon won me over. Highlights: The three friends make a fourth in a creative, realistic way; Betsy's mother helps her put together a cool writing desk; now age 12, Betsy gains independence, including her parents encouraging her solitary walks to the new Carnegie Library; and dear Mrs. Poppy, my ...more
Tara
Aug 16, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing
I adore this book! I think it is my favorite of the Betsy Tacy series so far. I loved reading about the traditional Christmas shopping the girls do. I read that part of the story aloud to my girls one night. And I begged them to let me read the Christmas part over to them again the next night. My oldest daughter rolled her eyes and then consented. I think Betsy, Tacy, and Tib have magical childhoods. In a way, their stories inspire me to be a better mother and remind me send my girls outside to ...more
Mary
Jan 06, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
Again, Betsy very willing makes a friend of Mrs.Poppy, new to town and encourages her mother to make her feel welcome. Mrs. Ray resists this, yet supports her children in every other way. The three friends invite another into their friendship and add acting to their experiences.
Betsy is also allowed to walk to town on her own every other Saturday to visit the new Carnegie library. How cool is that!
The finale stars the girls in a legitimate theater product topped by the discovery of Betsy's long
...more
Lawrence
Apr 19, 2010 Lawrence rated it really liked it
My visits to Deep Valley, Minnesota, continue. "Downtown" is the Betsy/Tacy book with the most depth so far. The girls are twelve years old, and have left behind their world of fantasy play in favor of the interests and pleasures of reality and relationship. Many themes crop up. First, there is the irony of the horseless carriage. We know it will eventually destroy Deep Valley, and Ms. Lovelace does briefly mention the "evil smell". But the residents of Deep Valley --- with the exception of the ...more
Heidi
I love that the books are growing up with the girls, including the people they meet and the town "expanding." It is just like childhood--everything broadened as I got older. I love the new characters. I love the experiences. The staring made me laugh. The play made me a bit jealous--I always wanted to do something like that when I was little. And the library? Well, how could I not love Betsy's joy of the library?!

So far, there really is only one thing I do not like about the series: the titles.
...more
Anna
Oct 13, 2009 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, the fourth book in the Betsy-Tacy series, originally published in 1943, is my favorite of the Betsy-Tacy books so far. Betsy, Tacy, and Tib are 12 years old and are trading in picnics on the Big Hill for solo trips to downtown Deep Valley, Minnesota, and they embark on more grown up adventures to the library and the Opera House. Like all of the previous Betsy-Tacy books, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown made me laugh out loud numerous times. In one of these hilarious scenes ...more
Jael
Sep 14, 2011 Jael rated it it was amazing
This was one of my very favourite books when I was twelve. I'm not sure if that's just because that's when I got the book or because Betsy and her friends are also twelve in the book - I liked reading books about children who were my own age. I adored the theatrical thread running throughout the book, the section on Christmas that seemed to bottle up all I felt about Christmas so beautifully, and most of all Winona.

I have no idea what it is about Winona that I like so much, except that perhaps s
...more
Christine Marie
Feb 09, 2012 Christine Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Classics, Children's, Fans of Little House on the Prairie, Fans of Anne of Green Gables
Recommended to Christine by: Heather Vogel Frederick
One of my favorite books ever. As I mentioned in my review of Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill I thought that it would be hard for me to watch them grow up and yet still be little kids, at least until high school. I was wrong. I feel like that book was just an awkward transition book for me. I was still coping with the fact that they're not little kids anymore, but they're not quite grown either. This book was different. Even though they were still only twelve and not in high school yet, I fo ...more
Audrey
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5306
Maud Hart Lovelace was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. She was the middle of three children born to Thomas and Stella (Palmer) Hart. Her sister, Kathleen, was three years older, and her other sister, Helen, was six years younger. “That dear family" was the model for the fictional Ray family.

Maud’s birthplace was a small house on a hilly residential street several blocks above Mankat
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More about Maud Hart Lovelace...

Other Books in the Series

Betsy-Tacy (10 books)
  • Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy, #1)
  • Betsy-Tacy and Tib (Betsy-Tacy, #2)
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (Betsy-Tacy, #3)
  • Heaven to Betsy (Betsy-Tacy, #5)
  • Betsy in Spite of Herself (Betsy-Tacy, #6)
  • Betsy Was a Junior (Betsy-Tacy, #7)
  • Betsy and Joe (Betsy-Tacy, #8)
  • Betsy and the Great World (Betsy-Tacy, #9)
  • Betsy's Wedding (Betsy-Tacy, #10)

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“She thought of the library, so shining white and new; the rows and rows of unread books; the bliss of unhurried sojourns there and of going out to a restaurant, alone, to eat.” 1254 likes
“Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.” 78 likes
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