Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy #1)” as Want to Read:
Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Betsy-Tacy #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  23,968 ratings  ·  1,194 reviews
Best Friends Forever

There are lots of children on Hill Street, but no little girls Betsy's age. So when a new family moves into the house across the street, Betsy hopes they will have a little girl she can play with. Sure enough, they do--a little girl named Tacy. And from the moment they meet at Betsy's fifth birthday party, Betsy and Tacy becoms such good friends that ev
Hardcover, 122 pages
Published August 14th 2007 by Perfection Learning (first published 1940)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Betsy-Tacy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jennifer It was one of my favorite book series when I was young. In fact my stepsister and I nicknamed ourselves Betsy and Tacy to this day! Wholesome and stan…moreIt was one of my favorite book series when I was young. In fact my stepsister and I nicknamed ourselves Betsy and Tacy to this day! Wholesome and stands the test of time!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,968 ratings  ·  1,194 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy #1)
Carmen Maloy
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Betsy-Tacy series may be the most influential set of books I ever read. I reread them over and over, because they never lose their beauty. Betsy-Tacy is the first book in the delightful series by Maud Hart Lovelace. Five-year-old Betsy longs for a best friend and finds one when Tacy moves in across the street. Together they have many adventures, including going on picnics, selling sand, playing with paper dolls, going "calling" on neighbors, climbing The Big Hill, and going to school for the ...more
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all-time favorite series as a child. I read every book in the Betsy Tacy (and Tib!) series multiple times and fervently wished I lived on Hill St. with them at the turn of the 20th century. I am so obsessed with this series that I want to visit Mankato, MN and see all things Maud Hart Lovelace related. Maybe I can force my daughter to get interested in this series when she is old enough?? Then, I'll have an excuse to read them all over again.

Sacrilege that it is for me to say this, as a child
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Melody by: Probably Mrs. Borski, worlds most awesome librarian
Shelves: favorites
9/2012 This book gets better every time I read it.

12/2009 I have loved this book so long I can't remember when first I read it. I certainly didn't have two numbers in my age. I've re-read it countless times, and every time I've read it as an adult, I marvel at Lovelace's skill. Told from the perspective of a five-year-old girl, it rings true on every possible level. Read from the perspective of a forty-five-year-old woman, it's poignant and heartbreaking and nostalgic and delightful. This is my
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Sep 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all kids with the caveat of knowing that this is an old book & women who have not yet read it
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) by: Ginny Messina
Thank you to Goodreads friends Ginny & Constance: I saw Betsy-Tacy among your favorites listed on your profile pages and borrowed this book from the library – even by chance got the original 1940 edition which was pretty cool.

How did I miss this series of Betsy-Tacy books when I was a child?! I would have really enjoyed them. The titles Heaven to Betsy and Betsy in Spite of Herself do sound familiar so maybe I did read those; I don’t remember.

This Betsy-Tacy book is so well-written, and the illu
We loved this story. Two young friends meet just as they are about to start school. Apart from the absence of cars and the fact that however rural your home might be 5 yr olds don't go off alone together these days, much of this book could have been in present time. Imaginative play, family life, happiness, sadness and the beauty of the passing seasons. ...more
Sherwood Smith
There were a few books I skipped reading in my local library, and this was one. Most of the books I skipped were boys' sports, or monster books, but also I tended to skip anything illustrated by Lois Lenski. Illustrations were too integral to the story for me, and if I didn't like the cover art or the frontispiece, I often wouldn't read a book until talked into it.

Yep, I missed some good books that way; I still haven't read the "Limberlost" books, which I remember taking down, looking at, and h
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-childhood
Has it really been seventeen years since my first (and hitherto only) reading of this book? This time around I liked it better than I did back then. Back in 2000, I was eager to start a series so many of my book-friends loved, but I was impatient to find myself reading a book about 5 year-olds, and was a little underwhelmed. Rereading it now (after reading some of the later books in the series multiple times), I appreciate how beautifully layered the series is, with each successive book showing ...more
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle Grade Readers / Anyone Who Enjoys Vintage Girls' Fare
Recommended to Abigail by: Many Friends
"Unexpectedly delightful" is a phrase that keeps popping into my head, as I sit here considering how best to describe Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy, the first in a long series of books about two (eventually three) young girls growing up in Minnesota in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Begun at an unfortunate time, when a dreadful head cold, and a feeling of being out of charity with the world made the author's somewhat expository style rather irksome for me, the story won me ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Chandra
I wish I had an innate love for the Betsy-Tacy books as so many of my friends do. I honestly do not remember encountering them in my childhood, so either we did not read them or they didn't "stick" even then, so I have none of the childhood warm-fuzzies that I do for some other series of yesteryear. Reading the first book now as an adult... I did like it, and appreciate it, but it didn't resonate with me the way many other books of similar style have done. It just felt a bit sparse and character ...more
Ginny Messina
I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, and have many favorites from childhood, but none have ever meant as much to me as the happy and cozy Betsy-Tacy books.

My beloved aunt dug a dusty old copy of Betsy-Tacy out of her attic for me when I was 4 or 5 years old. From the very beginning, I wanted to climb inside this book and live there forever. Written in the 1940s, it is an autobiographical account of Maud Hart Lovelace's turn-of-the-century childhood in Mankato, MN--which become
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Audrey by: a friend of my mom's when I was very young. Forever grateful!
A delightful book that celebrates the innocence and imagination of childhood. This book is written for a very young audience and makes a perfect read-aloud. When I was little, all I wanted was a friend like Tacy. :) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: growing up is okay, but nothing compares to the magic of childhood—when simple things can become most adventurous and exciting. This book is the first in a series of ten books about Betsy (plus two books about other characters in which she i ...more
Ah! The world of little children. We forget what life was like when we were 4, 5, 6 years old, the wide-eyed wonder of the world, the power of our imagination, the love of our family, and the pure joy of the the friends we laughed and played with. If you have children and grandchildren then you experience it again through their lives. And you can experience through the words of a wonderful book like Betsy-Tacy. It's a timeless story that's just as beautiful to read today as it was when it was wr ...more
Allison Tebo
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Perhaps I would have liked this more when I was younger . . . perhaps. While this was a perfectly fine little book, it struck me as a little blah and stilted; not nearly as brilliant and honest as Elizabeth Enright or Jeanne Birdsall.
I needed it. A warm story, that made me smile.

[I envy Tacy that she had Betsy. I hadn't...]
This book reminded me of my own childhood --- when the next block was an unknown, when everyone in the neighborhood had a name and an attitude towards kids, when one played without toys and hid in tall grass and visited the woods. It was also a time when children could wander unaccompanied almost anywhere. When home furnishings were not arranged to accomodate TVs and home entertainment centers.

Well, having taken my walk down memory lane, I can talk about the book a bit. Mrs. Lovelace, it seems,
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: little girls
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Ahh! the innocence of youth! This is a really cute book about two little girls who become best friends. It takes place at the turn of the century which makes it especially charming. It's written in a very simple way which makes it perfect for younger children to enjoy. I read it to my two little girls ages 6 and 4 and they loved it so much that we have decided to read the next one, too, "Betsy-Tacy and Tib". ...more
Jul 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this with my mom as a child. The stories are so cute and I remember wanting to be just like the girls. I still sometimes thumb through the book and find new stories that I have forgotten. It is also interesting to reread since the innocent point of view of a child is captured perfectly.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Turns out I'm more old and jaded than any teenager has the right to be, because I found this to be a 100 page slog about quirky childhood antics. However, I'm going to keep reading, because I first encountered these as 'Anne of Green Gables but she follows her career dreams' and book 10 sounds like one worth sticking around for. Also: Joe, whomever he may be. ...more
Christina DeVane
Received this for my birthday and read it all that day!
Such a classic girl’s book that brings me back to my childhood like a warm drink on a cold day!
Betsy is 5-6 yrs old in this book, so great for beginning readers.
Delightful from beginning to end! I vaguely remember reading this and the second in the series many years ago but truly enjoyed it all the more now. Meeting 5yr old Betsy and her meeting little Tacy, her BFF and then the book concluding with the introduction of the newest little girl in the neighborhood, Tib. Such a beautiful, sweet story about friendship, adventures, families, school days, and town storytelling.
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm 99% sure I read this as a girl, but have no recollection of it. As an adult, I thought it was utterly charming. It reminds me of a few of my other childhood favorites: the 'B' is for Betsy series, the Ginnie and Geneva series, and the All of a Kind Family series. Simple and engaging and delightfully nostalgic. I can't wait to read more of the series. ...more
Angelina Gearke
This book was so cute! It was perfect to read aloud to my 4.5 year old daughter, as the girls are are five in this book. I loved the nature descriptions, and the family descriptions, and the whole atmosphere of the book.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary school aged girls
Shelves: children
A very sweet story of two little girls growing up in a simpler time. In this day and age of social media and online games, it was refreshingly quaint to read about a time when ladies went calling, milk was delivered in horse-drawn wagons, and children's play was limited only by the scope of their own imaginations. Betsy and Tacy, both five years old, play games and explore their neighborhood with their mothers' permission but without adult supervision.

The author takes Betsy and Tacy through sev
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
I can't remember when I first starting reading this series but 2 years ago I bought them all again to read and own because as a child I had always checked them out from the library. I re-read them all and although the first stories are meant for child level readers I enjoyed a trip down memory lane with Betsy, Tacy, and Tib (a character who comes later on in the series). The reading level grows with the characters which is good for young readers. Utterly delightful stories of adventures and frie ...more
This works as a delightful stand-alone novel about friendship and family, but when I look at the entire series, I marvel at how MHL creates such a strong foundation for all the books to come. It always comes back to a present of a friend.

Simple language, but this is the most poetic one in the series.

Re-read for VSC. Last read: 1-28-07 (not counting audiobook listens)
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an absolutely idyllic childhood. It's a shame I didn't read this when I was five or six. I would have loved it. Even as an adult, it's really cute and sometimes very funny (and other times very touching).
Quick, pleasant read.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Every single detail is dear to me!
Amanda M (The Curly Reader)
This book was pure joy. The Easter Egg chapter especially was so beautifully touching.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a kid. Really, all I recall is loving it. It was a long time ago ;+)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • All-of-a-Kind Family (All-of-a-Kind-Family, #1)
  • The Saturdays (The Melendy Family, #1)
  • "B" Is for Betsy
  • Understood Betsy
  • Home for the Holidays
  • In Grandma's Attic (Grandma's Attic, #1)
  • Mandy
  • Pies & Prejudice
  • The Moffats (The Moffats, #1)
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, #1)
  • In Aunt Lucy's Kitchen (Cobble Street Cousins, # 1)
  • Caddie Woodlawn (Caddie Woodlawn, #1)
  • Ballet Shoes
  • Wish You Were Eyre
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown (All-of-a-Kind-Family, #2)
  • Beezus and Ramona (Ramona, #1)
  • Miracles on Maple Hill
  • Dear Pen Pal
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 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)

Related Articles

Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
33 likes · 4 comments
“This was Betsy and Tacy's private corner. Betsy's mother was a great believer in people having private corners, and the piano box was plainly meant to belong to Betsy and Tacy, for it fitted them so snugly.” 6 likes
“Sometimes the west showed clouds like tiny pink feathers; sometimes it showed purple mountains and green lakes; sometimes the clouds were scarlet with gold around the edges. Betsy” 1 likes
More quotes…