28 September 2007

Betsy-Tacy; Or, A New Fixation


A few weeks ago, my supervisor read about DC's Minx line in Library Journal and tried to pass the article along to me, but I explained I already knew all about it and had, indeed, read most of the line. Thereupon she told me how much she wanted to read Plain Janes and Re-Gifters and I said she could borrow my copy of Re-Gifters and she went *squee*.

Well, okay, not actually *squee*, but she was very keen. She loved it. She loved Clubbing and Plain Janes, too, and now we are the best of buds and get along like a house on fire. Or something.

Anyway, when we're alone together at the desk we talk about books we've especially loved or hated. Most recently we were talking about "girl series" and how there don't seem to be many new ones coming out. Oh, there are the Clique books and the Gossip Girls, the Babysitters Club and, yes, American Girls, but they seem lacking the richness of writing and overall quality we remember from series like Little House on the Prairie or the Anne books.

About this time, my supervisor started talking about the Betsy-Tacy series and lost me entirely. When she realized this, she seemed both appalled and gleeful. Appalled that I had never read such classics and gleeful, because now she had someone else to addict. I had, she told me, to read the Betsey-Tacy books. If we did not have them in our library, she would give me her copies. Either way, I must read them.

And I am. I admit that the first book, Betsy-Tacy, seemed a tad simplistic and left a variety of interesting possibilities undeveloped. But, then, it was a story about two very little girls (who probably wouldn't have grasped some of the more interesting/grownup things happening around them) written for other very little girls (who probably wouldn't have been interested). The series follows Betsy and Tacy (and Tib, I guess) all the way up to Betsy's wedding and the beginning of the Great War (WWI) so I can only hope the story will take on more depth over time. Regardless, I am enjoying the Betsy-Tacy books and, if I could find some nice hardcovers on eBay, I'd certainly buy them. The books are all pretty much still available from places like Amazon, but the cover art for the paperbacks is a bit too cute for me (but then I am extremely annoyed with the new Little House cover art and very choosy with my Anne covers, too, so I may just be Ms. Pickypants).

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace w/ illus. by Lois Lenski (HarperCollins, 2007)