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

(Betsy-Tacy #4)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  6,613 ratings  ·  177 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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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  6,613 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Sep 10, 2007 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 ("Tom S
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-childhood
I continue to be amazed at how much I've been enjoying this series on this long-overdue rereading of it. I feel like I know the characters so well, but I found I didn't remember the incidents at all, so it all felt fresh and delightful. My favorite part of this particular book was the Christmas shopping chapter, but I also was very amused at the part when Betsy Tacy and Tib attempt to hypnotize Winona. I'm not particularly a fan of Lois Lenski's illustrations, which I find blocky and wooden (and ...more
Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
This ode to books and love letter to libraries opens with a crisis. Betsy has read all of the books in her house. What is an aspiring writer to do? She borrows some scandalous dime novels and Tacy follows Betsy’s example, with disastrous results (a wink and a smile to fellow fans of Victorian sensation novels):

“You remember,” she said, “Rena loaned me Lady Audley's Secret. Well, Papa found it.” Tacy began to sob. “Papa said he was amazed and astounded. He said he thought he had brought us up to a/>“You
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised at how much I liked this, considering the first three were all in a style that could justly be described as 'plodding'. Lovelace is proving herself to be rather witty and evermore fantastic at characterisation, so I'm going to lean towards the generous side and give this four stars.

In the next book, we meet the long-anticipated Joe. Will Gilbert Blythe be surpassed? Find out in my next review!!¡!
Logan Hughes
Jul 06, 2014 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
Carmen Maloy
Oct 22, 2007 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
Anne Bogel
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This wonderful children's/young adult series makes me nostalgic for the childhood I never had.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loving this series! Pretty sure I didn't choke up last time I read it...
Dec 26, 2014 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 fa
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.
This fourth book features Betsy going downtown by herself, to go to the library and have a meal by herself in a restaurant. I think every girl of twelve would feel quite grown up and excited by this. I also love the Christmas "shopping." I definitely remember picking out what I would buy if I could. I think we all still have fun with this!

I do wish there had been more about the library, actually. How did she get all her books home--they could check out so many at once. Did she explor
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books are excellent.

Yes. They are dated. There are references to theatrical practices that have thankfully gone away.

However, these books are so matter-of-fact to the heart of how girls grow up. Stripped of technology and peer pressure and too-busy-ness of the present day, this is how it is to be twelve.

My daughter would adore the library day (me too) that Betsy has. It's magic.

Just read them and judge for yourself.
I am loving all these books! I somehow missed out on reading them as a kid and now I'm finding in them the perfect summer reading experience for an old-fashioned grown-up girl like me. Lovelace was such a fabulous writer. My reader's heart loves all these characters, and as a mom reading these books I aspire to be just like Betsy's mom. I hope to share these books with my three daughters so they can grow up with Betsy and Tacy.
Feb 12, 2010 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 thi
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 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
Mar 09, 2015 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
Aug 06, 2010 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
Jul 27, 2011 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.
Kim Fortin
Dec 28, 2010 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 :)
Blaire Malkin
Nov 06, 2015 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.
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Some great parts but also some parts that haven't aged as well and took explaining to my 8 year old (Uncle Tom's Cabin, book burning, comments about body shape).
Dec 24, 2014 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!
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Betsy-Tacy so far! So good.
Larry Piper
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, I never figured I'd read all of the first four Betsy-Tacy books, but I did. I've got to do a better job of choosing "adult"-style books and not keep coming up with crap, which is, of course, why I kept reverting to yet another dose of Betsy-Tacy. Perhaps it's all for the best. I rather liked my delving into Betsy-Tacy, although I might now suffer from a terminal case of heart warmedness.

So, Betsy, Tacy, and Tib are now 12 and are grown up enough to do things like go downtown on their own.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betsy, Tacy and Tib are a year older which means their tastes and amusements are changing. Among their new hobbies is a fascination with plays! Attending them, of course, but Betsy tries her hand at writing some and all the girls act them. Along with this new endeavor, the girls make some new acquaintances including Mrs. Poppy (currently married to the hotel owner and fabulously wealthy, but former singer/dancer/actress) and Winona Root (daughter of the town's newspaper editor) who both are inst ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Caitlin Keely
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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Priscilla King
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes sweet nostalgic stories
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t know Betsy, Tacy, and Tob’s stories continued until I was in junior high. And then I thought Tib was left out of their fun and so I couldn’t bring myself to read any further books.

But she wasn’t and it took me too long to discover my error. It seems like books are always showing me a new way to think an old thought gone wrong.

This book was a lovely jaunt through the childhood of several girls in my favorite era. I love the lack of screens, the deep snow, the simp
This is my first Betsy-Tacy read, and I can see why the friends who urged me to try it love the series so much. The writing and characters are so vivid, and moments in the plot spark and surprise. Personally, my favorite chapter was the very first. After one of the girls' father discovers the scandalous dime novel they've borrowed from the housekeeper and throws it in the fire, the girls think of an ingeniously naughty way to earn the money to buy a replacement! Betsy's story about Flossie, the ...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

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)
“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.” 1249 likes
“Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.” 96 likes
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