Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Betsy~Tacy

Betsy~Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
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's review
Sep 14, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed, fiction, novel, childrens, historical-fiction
Recommended to Lisa by: Virginia Messina
Recommended for: all kids with the caveat of knowing that this is an old book & women who have not yet read it
Read in September, 2007

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 illustrations are wonderful too. It certainly describes a more innocent time (no worries about child kidnapping here!) and it shows a mostly idyllic childhood for these two girls, although the story does not shy away from life’s difficult parts either. I loved the depiction of the friendship. Captured so well how imaginative young children can make such good use in play of such items as old appliance, in their case piano, boxes. I grew up well after these girls and in a city, but I recognized the rhythms and the specifics of these girls’ play so well from my own childhood. Adored Betsy's storytelling!

Note for modern kids: Reading it for the first time in my fifties and in 2007, I did notice the sexist language, but it would be obvious to young readers that this story took place a long time ago, and I’m sure that many of my favorite books from my childhood have the same issue. And I’d happily still recommend all of them.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Ginny & Constance & any other Betsy-Tacy fans:

I've read Betsy-Tacy; do you suggest I read all of these or are there just a couple or a few of the Betsy-Tacy books that would give me enough of a good read:

Betsy-Tacy and Tib
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
Heaven to Betsy
Betsy in Spite of Herself
Betsy Was a Junior
Betsy and Joe
Betsy and the Great World
Betsy's Wedding

and there are 3 other related novels:

Carney's House Party
Emily of the Deep Valley
Winona's Pony Cart

and at least one biography of Maud Hart Lovelace.

Any opinions? Keeping in mind that my to-read list is already way too long but that if reading all of them is what it takes to get the full story, I'll consider it.

Thanks for any opinions from any Betsy-Tacy fans.

message 2: by Virginia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Virginia Messina Hi Lisa,

I saw that you were reading Betsy-Tacy and have been waiting to hear your reaction. I'm so happy that you loved it!

I would say definitely yes—-read the other 9 books in the series. They are all absolutely wonderful. To read the series beginning to end is a major treat! Beginning with the 5th book, the illustrator changes to Vera Neville, giving them a slightly different—-kind of more grown-up—-flavor.

I have never been as attached to the other three books—which are actually related to the Betsy-Tacy series—but they are still good.

Let me know if you have trouble finding any of the books. If you want to buy them, I think soft cover copies of all are available from the Betsy-Tacy Society. (


message 3: by CLM (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

CLM Yes, I say read them all, but you can do so gradually. I prefer the books where Betsy is older (beginning with Heaven to Betsy) but you must read them in order.

Enjoyed your review!

message 4: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Thanks guys! Ok, I'll read them all. And of course I'll read them in order!: I'm very OCD like that. :-)

My library has them all so I'll get them there.

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