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Heaven to Betsy / Betsy in Spite of Herself (Betsy-Tacy #5-6)

4.47 of 5 stars 4.47  ·  rating details  ·  708 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Heaven to Betsy: Betsy Ray is loving every minute of freshman year at Deep Valley High-with new and old friends all around her...not to mention boys! But most intriguing of all is the one she and her best friend, Tacy, dub "the Tall Dark Stranger."
Betsy in Spite of Herself: Betsy is at the center of every activity as a Deep Valley High sophomore and suddenly, thanks to he
Paperback, 704 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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May 09, 2011 laaaaames rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to laaaaames by: Jasmine
Shelves: favorites

I had been feeling crazy guilty for never having read these as a kid, when I was in full-blown love with Deep Valley. But it looks as if the "grown-up" Deep Valley books were out of print for awhile. Man, what a frigging revelation to have them back.

Maud Hart Lovelace - bear with this comparison here, you guys - does what I think JK Rowling is really adept at - letting her books grow up with her characters. It doesn't feel strange at all - well, o
This is a two-book volume

1. "Heaven to Betsy" --- Well, Betsy has certainly changed since "Downtown" when her life began to expand. In this book, she has become quite the twit --- idiotically boy crazy, shallow, boring, and, yes, actually a rather poor student. Tacy's effective absence from her life after the move to High Street certainly shows. Although Tacy still seems a bit star-struck by her childhood friend, Tacy's indifference to boys and the constancy of her life would perhaps have been a
Damn, I love this series. The second book, Betsy's sophomore year is probably my favorite of the bunch just because it echoes my high school years a bit but her freshman year is great as well. I love all the side characters introduced, they are fleshed out beautifully. and all the friendships shown and Sunday night suppers at the Ray's house and the Crowd going to football games and the ice cream shop afterwarsa and Betsy being friends with all the boys but them only liking her because she/her h ...more
I can't begin to express my love for the Betsy-Tacy books - especially the high school & beyond books. I first read them over 45 years ago, when a kind librarian handed me "Betsy-Tacy" and told my mother that she thought I would enjoy it. And I have since reread them dozens of times throughout the years. I recently repurchased the entire high school & beyond books in e-book format. Every few years I revisit one of them, which invariably leads to me rereading the entire high school & ...more
This book is actually 2 novels in one. Heaven to Betsy is Betsy's freshman year of high school and Betsy in Spite of Herself is sophomore year. I read the entire Betsy-Tacy series when I was in 8th grade. I never owned any of the books, I checked them all out of the library.

A few years ago I bought Emma the 1st book in the series titled Betsy-Tacy which is about the beginning of their friendship in Kindergarten. I read it aloud to Emma before she could read. Then I looked to see if I could buy
In these next two books in the series, it's no longer about Betsy and Tacy together. I mean Tacy is there but not as strong and equally as before. I relate to Tacy since I was a shy person and I could blush easily too. I too wasn't into boys and dating like Betsy and her new friends were into. From these two books, I gather she focus on school, not paying attention to boys, be a good friend, her friendship blossom with Alice, help her big family when she can and joins the school choir.

Heaven to
Apr 08, 2014 Irene rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle school and high school girls
Shelves: fiction
I'd actually give Heaven to Betsy 3 stars, and Betsy in Spite of Herself 5 stars. I'm going to review each book separately, but give this 2-book collection an overall average rating of 4 stars.


Heaven to Betsy - 3 stars

Even though Betsy and Tacy are only two years older than they were in Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, they now seem so much older! The girls still seemed like children in Downtown, but now they look - in the illustrations - and act so grown up! It was a big jump, and I felt
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Susie
Cover Story: Call The Men in Black!
BFF Charm: Mindmeld
Swoonworthy Scale: Average of 4.5
Talky Talk: Inception!
Bonus Factors: Mysterious Loner Dude(s!), The Mrs. Hughes Award for Awesome Housekeepers
Anti-bonus Factor: The Brass Bowl
Relationship Status: Aspirational Friend

Read the full book report here.
Feb 22, 2010 Chelsea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chelsea by: Jill
Shelves: classic, recced, 2009
I don't have much of a review for these books, because they mostly just make me spout lists of adjectives: comforting, old-fashioned, cozy, sweet, chummy... They also make me use words like "chummy".

Betsy reminds me in the best possible way of Anne Shirley, and all in all, it's a perfect tragedy that I didn't own this book when I was 11. Alas.
Rereading my new edition for the high school group read. Class of Deep Valley 1910 ftw!
Just finished Heaven to Betsy. WOW. I got teary eyed as I was reading the final pages where Betsy reflected sweetly & sentimentally on her memories of the past year. I connected so much with the characters, fell in love with their lives, world, families, quirks, town, era.
Words to describe the feel of the book - QUAINT, charming, delightful, endearing.

One of the things I adore about this era is how the boys consciously seek out the girls. They actually walk to Betsy's house and spend

In Heaven to Betsy, the fifth book in the Betsy-Tacy series, originally published in 1945, Betsy Ray is 14 years old and starting her freshman year at Deep Valley High. As if the changes that come with starting high school weren’t enough, Betsy’s parents uproot the family from Hill Street to High Street. Granted, the family still lives in Deep Valley, Minnesota, but Betsy has grown to love living across the street from her best friend, Tacy Kelly, and while the new house has gas
I can't believe I am just now finding these books! Where have they been all my life? This is a wonderful true to life girl series telling the story of being young in Minnesota in the early 1900s. This book belongs on the shelf next to Anne of Green Gables and The Little House on the Prairie to be read all girls growing up. Maud Hart Lovelace took episodes and people from her own life to write these stories and they are just charming. It is also pretty fascinating that a girl in high school in 19 ...more
Pamela Hubbard
Heaven to Betsy:
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book. I loved reading about Betsy's first year in high school. Lovelace made everything come alive and wrote the story with so much emotion, sentimentality and reality that I sympathized with Betsy as she moved to a new house and had a hard time adjusting. I celebrated with her as she made friends, had a booming social life and had boys vying for her attention. I ached for her as she felt her first heartbreak. Betsy is still the same inside, but she is
For whatever reason, the later Betsy-Tacy books are only available for Kindle in pairs. So you're about to get two book reviews for the price of one.

Heaven to Betsy
To my surprise, I was a little disappointed by this one. I remembered some of the plot points, but I didn't really remember the whole tone of the story. It is this: Betsy starts high school and is super, super popular. It's all about her getting new friends, girls and boys, and having them over to her house day in and and day out. At
Maria Elmvang
Heaven to Betsy
Took me forever to read this. It wasn't bad, but just never completely caught my attention so I'd only read a chapter here and a chapter there. Finally this morning I got stubborn and sat down to finish it. The irony is that it's really a fast read - I read the last 50 pages in 25 minutes.

I've heard about the Betsy-Tacy series forever and have been looking for them at least since 1996. I finally just took the plunge and bought this two-for-one book, knowing that they weren't the t
Picked this up on a trip awhile back to Minneapolis - I had never heard of this series, but think I would have enjoyed it when I was younger. I started in the middle of the series (high school years), and will go back to the beginning most definitely. I would love to attend the fan club events that occur annually in the author's hometown Mankato...? Even if that pegs me as square!...

Finally finished this book- entertaining once I got into it. An immersion into a time that does appear to have bee
I adored both of these books. I initially was thinking 4 stars, but as I continued to read I became a huge fan of Maud Hart Lovelace, as well as Betsy Ray. I loved these stories and can't wait to read the rest.

This series is called the Betsy-Tacy series. There are four books about Betsy's elementary school days up to the time she is 12. Then there are six books about her high school years and beyond. "Heaven to Betsy" is the freshman year of high school. "Betsy in Spite of Herself" is her sophom
Rhiannon Ling
In Heaven to Betsy, Betsy Ray is 14, and about to start her freshman year. Her best friend, Tacy, and Betsy are very excited. But Tib Muller has moved away to Milwaukee! Of course, Betsy and Tacy will miss her, but both are much too excited to miss her too much. Betsy is worried that she might not get called upon by boys, but Tacy couldn't care less if she tried. But Betsy needn't worry, because Cab Lloyd calls for her on the second day of school! Sooon, Betsy has gained the attention of almost ...more
I wanted to like this book more than I did. It was entertaining enough that I kept reading, sometimes a chapter or two past my cutoff point for the day. However, Betsy seemed rather shallow to me. Her obsession over her appearance and the way she and her sister treated beaus/potential beaus left a sour taste in my mouth (mind?). I've never read any of the Betsy-Tacy books before, so I can't make comparisons within the series, but from what I've read on other reviews this is something of a depart ...more
In Heaven to Betsy, Betsy is a freshman at Deep Valley High - thus starts the high school books from the Betsy-Tacy series! The stores of her school experiences make me wish that I could have been one of the Crowd that Betsy begins to collect in this book.

Then in Betsy in Spite of Herself, Betsy (or should I say Betsye?) tries to change her personality in order to attract one of the most popular boys in school. Or maybe it's his "auto" that she wants? =) Anyway, after she gets both, she realize
My friend Sophie told me I needed to read this book because "it would do me good". She was right. These books seem quintessential to growing up; I'm sad I wasn't able to read them at the ages of the characters, but soon they'll catch up to me and I'll be able to relate to them more than their older siblings.

Sophie told me that Betsy becomes sort of your literary best friend... Old fashioned but not outdated, in a different world but somehow completely relatable and relevant to your life. It's s
Why did I not read these books 20 years ago? They are timeless treasures along the same lines as Ann of Green Gables...but better! Seriously. I love Betsy, her family, her insecurities and everything about her life but mostly I love that she is exactly the same as any teenage girl today even though this book is set in 1906. As a Freshman starting high school Betsy is more concerned with friends and boys and how her hair looks than anything else (sound familiar?) but somehow manages to figure it ...more
I adore these books! I am just discovering them now as an adult. This book is set in Betsy's 9th and 10th grade years in a fictionalized version of Mankato, MN in 1907/1908. She has all the same concerns and fears that modern high school girls do but wildly different fashion and style. She refuses to even hold hands with her boyfriends! Very quaint but fun stories. I'm trying to restrain myself from buying the next book in the series!
Gloria Mccracken
A charming entry in a charming series -- well, really two entries in one volume. This series was written about Betsy (and her friends Tacey and Tib), a middle class girl of the early 1900's living in a small town in Minnesota, not uncoincidentally the time and place of the author's growing up. The first volume starts when Betsy is about 5 years old; each succeeding volume sees her aging a year or few. These two pick up Betsy when she heads to high school, among other big changes in her life. Tib ...more
Jacob Combs
This book actually contains TWO of the books from the original series, which follows Betsy Ray from age five through her early twenties. Though Betsy enters high school in 1906, her trials, joys, worries, and successes are actually timeless. The first four books in the series, though delightful and beautifully written, are written more simply, and with younger children in mind. With Heaven to Betsy, the fifth book and the first of the four high school books, the writing style changes somewhat an ...more
Maud Hart Lovelace based this series on her childhood in Mankato at the turn of the century. I remember reading earlier stories in the series as a child at elementary school. Her earlier stories are written on a more simply and childlike. I believe she intended them to grow with the reader. I was unaware that the series continued until recently and enjoyed reading about "Deep Valley". I certainly wish my childhood and teenage years were as blissful as Besty's. They are sprinkled with taffy pulls ...more
I fell in love with the Ray’s new house and “The Crowd.” I wanted to be invited over with them, especially for Sunday night lunch, although the thought of an onion sandwich makes my stomach turn...

One of my favorite things about these books is how the girls are encouraged to be themselves and follow their dreams. Mr. and Mrs. Ray encourage Betsy’s writing and support Julia’s desire to sing opera..

...Despite the passing of 100 years, Betsy struggles with many of the same thoughts and emotions tha
Feb 13, 2010 Sally rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sally by: Ann Johnson Davis
I am loving these books! Why did I not know about them when I was much younger??? These charming stories take place at the turn of the twentieth century in Minnesota and are filled with details about life in a simpler time. With all the advances in technology that dominate our time and the troubles plaguing the world, reading these semi-autobiographical novels by Maud Hart Lovelace transports the reader to the fun and angst filled times of being a teenager. Though the writing was not amazing (as ...more
I own all the Betsy-Tacy books plus Emily of Deep Valley in the early editions where they are all hardbacks and old-fashioned styled (obviously). It would be nice to have these editions too because they combine the books nicely and I would like to read the additional forewords and interviews that are in new editions. Of course the first editions I like more because that's the way the books were like originally. I love both these stories especially Heaven to Betsy. Betsy in Spite of Herself is n ...more
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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
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)
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy, #4)
  • 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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