Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Betsy & Tacy Go Downtown

Betsy & Tacy Go Downtown (1943) by Maud Hart Lovelace

While sorting through storage bins in the garage, I came across this childhood favorite. It's the only book in the Betsy and Tacy series I ever read and as far I'm concerned that's fine with me. It was an absolute perfect book for this born reader and writer-wannabe. I loved Betsy. I knew exactly how she felt making her first trip to the town's brand new Carnegie library. I still remember my mom taking me to ours and how excited I was to get my first library card (with a metal piece in it and the ka-chunk noise the machine made when the card was used to check out books). I, too, had little notebooks in which I wrote miniature stories. For me, it was mysteries featuring the "Crime Club"--a group of friends not too unlike Trixie Belden and her Bob Whites. Unlike Betsy, I did not shove them in the fire and move on to writing classic-like stories. But I have no idea what happened to those little notebooks with "The Diamond Bracelet Mystery" and others in them...

There are so many things to like about this book. The friendship between Betsy and Tacy and Tib. The way they try to hypnotize Winona Root into taking them to the theater and the friendship that develops thereafter. Winona's surprise for Betsy and her poem. Tib's ride in the town's first-ever horseless carriage. Mrs. Poppy, her quest to belong in her new town, and the heart-warming surprise she makes happen for Betsy and her family. The girls' Christmas shopping trip. The Christmas traditions of Betsy's family. And--Betsy's love of books and story-telling. A truly heart-warming book that was just as much fun to read as an adult as it was when I was young. ★★★★

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