Capturing childhood: Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

Illustration of Betsy and Tacy meeting at their bench

Betsy and Tacy capture the charm of childhood friendship

I recently discovered Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series doing a literature-map search of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Similarly, Lovelace’s series draws on her own American childhood and the target audience ages with the protagonists. In the first book, Betsy-Tacy, the girls are six years old and, after a rocky first meeting (Tacy is very shy and when she tells Betsy her name Betsy mistakes it for some unknown insult) they enjoy many adventures. Lovelace has a gift for turning the everyday events of childhood into exciting stories and the chapters are short and contained so it would make a good bedtime book. There’s some lovely implied emotions and motivations that will be picked up and enjoyed by older readers. Finally, the characters and events ring true in a way that makes it easy to understand and relate to events set over a hundred years ago.

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