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Heaven to Betsy

(Betsy-Tacy #5)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  5,688 ratings  ·  263 reviews
High School is Heaven. It's Betsy Ray's freshman year at Deep Valley High School, and she and her best childhood chum, Tacy Kelly, are loving every minute. Betsy and Tacy find themselves in the midst of a new crowd of friends, with studies aplenty (including Latin and--ugh--algebra), parties and picnics galore, Sunday night lunches at home--and boys!

There's Cab Edwards, th

Hardcover, 268 pages
Published 1945 by Thomas Y. Crowell Company
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Emma I think my mom read this aloud to me when I was 8 or 9 years old, and I had no trouble understanding it and there is nothing inappropriate in the seri…moreI think my mom read this aloud to me when I was 8 or 9 years old, and I had no trouble understanding it and there is nothing inappropriate in the series as a whole.(less)

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 ·  5,688 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I love Betsy and the Rays and the world of Deep Valley! I am discovering them for the first time as an adult and, while part of me is sad I missed out on counting Betsy as a book-chum all these years (I know I would have found her such a kindred spirit in my own teen years), I'm also very glad to be discovering these books at this time in my life -- it is such a joy and a relief from some of the difficult realities in my life right now to slip into Betsy's world of youthful joy ...more
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
With every book my love for this series grows. I love Betsy (even if she IS rather boy crazy in this one) and I love her family and I love her friendship with Tacy. It’s all just so lovely.
Emilia P
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-books
This book is just fine. But there's too much change! Ah!
First of all, Betsy moves! And then, because of that...

My main qualm is that there is way way way too much boy-stuff and not NEARLY enough Tacy. In fact, since Tacy isn't boy crazy she ends up on the periphery of pretty much all the goings on of freshman year. And in turn, I ended up resenting every other girl introduced in this book. In short: screw you, Bonnie and Carney. Give me back my Tacy. ASAP. Also, it was clear all along what a bad
Beth Bonini
The Betsy-Tacy series was one of my 'comfort read' mainstays when I was growing up, but it has been many years since I had last read the older high school books. Over the next six weeks, I plan on rereading the last six books of the series: starting with this chronicle of Betsy's freshman year in high school and concluding with Betsy's Wedding.

Let me just say this: I've read literally hundreds of YA books (both contemporary and classic) in the last decade. A small percentage of them feature hap
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I remember well how appalled I was on first reading this seventeen years ago (at age 30). Betsy had turned boy-crazy and the new illustrator made all the characters look like vacuous dolls. I recovered from these twin blows enough to persevere with the series, and even managed to enjoy it, especially the later books, which were the only ones I reread.

Still, it's been a surprise, a very nice one, to reread the books now, after letting them lie fallow for a good long time, and to find I appreciate
Ms. B
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Update 4/10/20 - (view spoiler) During the current pandemic, rereading this was like eating a favorite comfort food. I loved the closeness of Betsy's family, the exploration of religion and spirituality, and the little details M ...more
Carmen Maloy
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is the first book in the series of "older" Betsy even though it is actually the 5th book in the series. Heaven to Betsy is one of the most characteristic of this loved series. If you haven't read any of the others, you'd still enjoy it! Betsy and Tacy enter the wider world of the Deep Valley High School, the "Crowd," sings around Julia's piano, fudge, Heinz's . . . full of gentle humor, vivid characterization, and affection. It's Betsy Ray's freshman year at Deep Valley High School, and she ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Who Enjoyed the First Four Betsy-Tacy Books
Recommended to Abigail by: Lots of Friends
In a bittersweet moment at the close of Heaven to Betsy, Betsy reflects on her childhood home on Hill Street, which she was loathe to leave, and which now seems to belong wholly to the past: "And yet, even as she spoke, she knew that she did not wish to come back, not to stay, not to live. She loved the little yellow cottage more than she loved any place on earth, but she was through with it except in her memories." That sense, of leaving behind childish things, is continually evoked in this, Ma ...more
May 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. That had to be one of the most chronically shallow main characters I've seen in quite a while. What's worse is that there is no character growth. Betsy cares about two things: her looks and the string of boys she drags around and brags about. When she is called out for not being able to skate, she pretends to have a sprained ankle in order to garner pity and avoid hurting her pride, and she then bemoans the loss of her "tall, dark stranger." Those are her words, not mine. She gloats over ho ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comfort-reads
When I first joined goodreads I added most of this series as the omnibus editions, even though I did not read them that way. Every time I remember that it bothers me, and I'm FINALLY fixing it.

I honestly can't remember my childhood without reading Betsy-Tacy. I keep thinking I didn't read her high school years until I was older, but actually... I must've been 11 or 12. And I didn't stop re-reading them for years. As a pre-teen, I considered myself an amalgamation of Betsy and Tacy. I didn't have
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Might be more engrossing to a middle-grade reader, but considering that it was full of freshman hijinks and social events for 14-year-olds, it was much too long for me. Wouldn't have minded if it had been short like the preceding books. I did like the sisterly bond that grew and strengthened between Betsy and Julia. ...more
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I had actually read this one before and I learned this one was kept outta libraries because Betsy and Julia converting from Baptist to Episcopalian was considered CONTROVERSIAL. ...more
emma grace
Probably my 15th time reading this book...never gets old 😊
Abigail  F
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have read this book more times than I can count. I read it first as a little girl, probably around eight or ten, when I read the entire series almost in a go. I read it again my freshman year of high school; then again my freshman year of undergrad; then again my doing my MA degrees, and sometimes just for fun in between all of these. It's one of my best-loved books. It's one of those books I take with me wherever I go, because I know I'll need it eventually. So here's more of a situational re ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I was underwhelmed with Boy Crazy Betsy in this instalment. Tacy hardly gets a look in because Betsy is so busy partying without her; oh, Betsy sometimes (sometimes!) gets together with her erstwhile bestie, but it's mostly so she can do all the talking about her latest mash and how she feels and what she said and did. These get-togethers are told in about two sentences each. It is mentioned that Tacy doesn't really care...but Betsy's so busy playing one boy off against another or mooning over t ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I was going to give this three stars, until I remembered that I gave Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown four stars. Then I remembered that we were introduced to Joe Willard in this book, so I said "screw it" and lobbed on another star.

It gets a bit exhausting to read pages and pages of how Maud Hart Lovelace based every single thing that happened in the Betsy books on aspects of her own life, which is something I am treated to every single time I finish one of these books. She is definitely bragging
Ruth Mitchell
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my most frequent recommendation. I love the Betsy-Tacy series, best described as Anne of Green Gables set in Minnesota. I do not know why this book isn’t more popular. Please! Please! someone make an TV series based on these books. 🙏🏻

The series begins when the girls are five. But unless you are in grade school, I suggest you start with Heaven to Betsy. Set in 1906 this is the book in which Betsy starts high school and first meets Joe Willard. 🥰

I recently read this series and was reminded
J. Boo
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to eventually follow, but for now I am just adding the note that Lovelace's characters think Helen's Babies is hilarious. I agree with them. ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
I’ve been afraid to read/re-read this, and I procrastinated for a long time. I loved the first four books so much. I have a memory of reading this and Betsy in Spite of Herself when I was young (the only two in this series I knew about and read) and I never re-read them or searched out other companion books so I’m thinking I only liked them at best, and at worst thought they were just okay, and didn’t really like or love them. I didn’t remember this as I was reading so I’m treating reading this ...more
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
7/2-2015 stet

9/2012 Lovelace is such a good writer. I did not notice the artfulness when I was a child reading these books, I only knew I loved them.

12/2009 Is it monotonous to start all my BT reviews with "I love this book"? Well, too bad, I LOVE this book. It's extremely well-written, but that's not why I love it. I don't think I even noticed it was made of words till I was out of my own teens.

Betsy is a freshman at Deep Valley High School, and in this eventful year she goes through some ver
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book about Betsy's freshman year in high school. She is a bit boy-crazy, but it is old-fashioned-innocent boy-craziness. The biggest problem for me is the use of a ouiji board. At that time, it was considered an innocent parlor game, but I think much of the time people aren't aware that something popular and seemingly "innocent" actually can be quite dangerous. However, I think this is a good way to introduce this topic to your girl and discuss choices we make. Betsy has a great rel ...more
Meira (readingbooksinisrael)
I didn't like this book as much as the others. Firstly because I don't like romance and this book was basically about crushes. Secondly because Tacy was barely in it. She was there at the beginning but then mostly fell out and when she did appear it had a different theme than the rest of the book. I was happy to see more of Betsy and Julia's relationship though. ...more
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovelace did a tremendous job in transitioning the books from Betsy's childhood years to her high school ones. Also, as I amor Tony, I have to recommend the book since it is when he is introduced. ...more
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Re-read 1/08 (well, I've re-read this book TONS of times, but now I'm going to start keeping track here, I think).

Re-read 4/11.

Re-read 7/12.
Re-read 9/13.
Re-read 10/16.
Logan Hughes
This fifth book in the Betsy-Tacy series is the first of Betsy's high school years, which are AMAZING. As charmed as I am by the books about her childhood, her high school years are my #1 favorite comfort reading. Each high school year gets its own book, and they each weave fun slice-of-life incidents skillfully into a separate lesson for each year. Although Betsy, like her author Maud, attended high school a hundred years ago, from 1906-1910, her experiences ring just as true (or truer!) for me ...more
Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
This Betsy-Tacy book turned out to be a slog for me. It was filled with parties and shallow flirting, both of which I find tedious and boring, in life and in books. So I just yawned through the whole book and couldn't wait to get to the end. Knowing Betsy as well as I do, I'm quite sure that she's not a shallow person. She's simply going through a shallow phase (as most 14-year-olds do) and I still have high hopes for the rest of the series. ...more
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably my favorite book in the series, it was just so joyful! Betsy is growing up, making new friends, and having a great time-and although at times a little bittersweet, this book was an absolute romp. Betsy and Tacy aren't quite as close as they have been in the best, hence the "bittersweet" characterization.

I'm really looking forward to the next books of Betsy's high school years. I believe any readers looking for a book featuring life in small town America in the early 20th centur
Not my favorite in the series. It was sad to jump from being a sweet little girl to a boy crazy young lady so quickly but I guess everyone grows up sometime. I did not agree with some of the choices Betsy made in this part of her life. I enjoyed her reflections about things at the end of the book and am still excited to keep reading about her growing up adventures.
Jessica Robinson
Probably my 10th time reading this one. It’s a go to, and once I start, I have to read all the betsy books in order. Although, not my favorite Betsy book, it’s a good one. Sets up the high school “crowd” very well.
With the world so crazy, it was definitely time to comfort myself with the Deep Valley crowd.
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BetsyTacy Read-Al...: March: Heaven to Betsy 3 9 Apr 07, 2019 07:15PM  
The best youth series EVER 1 31 Dec 01, 2007 01:15PM  

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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

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)
  • 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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