Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Betsy-Tacy Back in Print

Today is the day the Betsy-Tacy high school books are being relaunched by HarperCollins! I have introduced so many people to these beloved books and I am always delighted when there is an opportunity to share them. These lovely new editions should attract a whole new audience -scroll down to see the new cover of Heaven to Betsy.

Stuck in an arbitration all day, I finally got a break and dashed down the long mall corridor to the Barnes & Noble Prudential where I was thrilled to find several copies of each of the new editions! As is my wont, I rearranged them to their best advantage:
I loved the Betsy-Tacy books when I was growing up in Newton, MA but I thought I was the only one! (Heard that before?) Set in turn of the (20th) century Minnesota, the books follow two best friends from age 5 until the outbreak of World War I. The books are about friendship and fun, school and family, but what makes them so special that there are fans all over the world is that Betsy is a heroine we relate to. She is ambitious and wants to be a writer but she is human and makes the same mistakes we all made growing up. She procrastinates when she should be studying. She flirts when she knows she should just be herself. She goes to Europe to find herself but recognizes that when America goes to war that she wants to be home in Deep Valley.
I often think that all roads lead to Betsy-Tacy. When my friend Margery decided to attend Vassar, I insisted she borrow Carney's House Party in preparation, about Betsy's smartest friend, who heads East to college in 1909. When the library complained that the book was overdue, I gave up, retrieved it and paid a hefty fine.* Later, when Margery got married in the Vassar Chapel and I was a bridesmaid, I was so disenchanted by the groom I could barely enjoy the fact that I was on the very campus Carney had attended (my instincts were right: the marriage didn't last). Well, not that I hold a grudge or anything, but it's about time Margery redeemed herself by reading Betsy-Tacy! Maybe she will get one of the two new precious sets of Betsy-Tacy which arrived at my door yesterday.
Happily, I made it back to Vassar years later, leading the Greater NY Betsy-Tacy Society on an excursion from Grand Central. On this visit, we didn't have to worry about ill-fated marriages, just about Carney, Matthew Vassar, Maria Mitchell, etc.

* As my mother likes to say, Newton funded its fancy new library on my overdue fines.

1 comment:

The Tome Traveller said...

I've always been a huge reader and I thought that I had read all of the great series as a kid (Little House, Narnia, etc). But for some reason, I never read these, I didn't even know about them.

Recently, I agreed to review one and they sent me the whole set! Couldn't believe it. I can't wait to get started on them, they look just fantastic.