“Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.” – Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
What drew me to the Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books as a child was the cover. It wasn’t the one pictured on the left, but actually the original cover from 1940, when the first book was published. (I have always loved books illustrated by Lois Lenski.)
I can still remember devouring the first in the series, not realizing there were more. Imagine my delight when I saw that I could keep reading more and more about Betsy and Tacy. I didn’t own my own copies until I was an adult and bought them online. Growing up I checked them out of the library over and over again.
The books follow Betsy Ray and her best friends Tacy and Tib from age five to Betsy’s marriage. Betsy was a lively, outgoing, imaginative girl. In contrast, her first best friend Tacy was very shy and sensitive. Tib, the last to join the trio, was more adventurous. Betsy loved telling stories and knew in her heart that she was a writer who needed to write. I admired Betsy’s spirited nature, so unlike my own, but felt a connection with her dreams of writing at such a young age. I was more like Tacy, still am for that matter. More often than not, like Tacy, not wanting to be the center of attention. Throughout my life, I’ve related to Tacy on so many levels and loved Betsy for all the ways she wasn’t like Tacy- or me. But like the quote I chose for today, Betsy and I were kindred spirits, losing ourselves in a book. Even at a young age.
I was the only person I knew in my friend circle who read Betsy-Tacy books. Are you familiar with them?