Tag Archives: Betsy-Tacy

Down in the valley

Bloganuary: Who is your favorite author and why?

Like Anno, what I’m reading and why depends so much on my mood that I wasn’t sure I could pick a single favorite author.

But actually, I do have one.

It’s always bothered me that Maud Hart Lovelace never received the same attention as that other author who spent time in Minnesota.

The Betsy-Tacy books were my constant companions when I was growing up. How many times have I read the series? No idea. And I can’t remember when I “graduated” from the elementary school stories and started reading the high school (and beyond) ones. Relatively young, I think—I remember being dazzled.

I grew up in Maud’s Deep Valley (AKA Mankato). My house was in the area known as Little Syria in Maud’s day. And if I trudged up a sizable hill, I ended up in Betsy’s old neighborhood.

In fact, when I was in junior high, I had a paper route where I delivered papers to Betsy, Tacy, and Tib’s old homes. If you’re of an age, you’ll remember the weekly shoppers that landed on your doorstep—advertising and classifieds held together with a smattering of human interest articles. The route was only once a week (rain, shine, or snow). And I didn’t have to collect any money. Again, if you’re of an age, you’ll remember that part of newspaper delivery.

And it was in junior high that I needed Betsy the most. The progressive school I attended—which was run by the university—closed down when I was in sixth grade. The only other option was the public school system.

So on the first day of junior high, I had no friends. Worse, on the first day of junior high, I already had a reputation—as did everyone who attended the progressive school. Fill in the blank with every derogatory term for mentally deficient, and you’ll have what I was called daily.

By eighth grade, I had a friend group. By eighth grade, I’d spent every quarter on the honor roll, so I was deemed a bookworm, a brain, a nerd.

But in seventh grade, when the days were dark, and I was sore from lugging papers around the neighborhood, I’d pull the Betsy-Tacy high school books off the shelf. I’d escape into her world of picnics and dances, the crowd and crushes. My first inklings that I, too, could be a writer began with watching Betsy write.

There’s much I owe both Betsy and Maud. And that is why Maud Hart Lovelace is my favorite author.

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Mid-year-ish Reading Recap

I meant to write this one up at the end of June or beginning of July, but it has been a whirlwind of activity around here: horse camp, the Betsy-Tacy convention. I’m almost never this much of a social butterfly. July has been one hot, busy month, but totally worth it. In fact, I almost don’t know what to do with myself this weekend.

On to the reading (and watching) challenges!

Fifty/Fifty Me challenge

The challenge here is to read fifty books and watch fifty movies during 2012. Where I’m at:

  • Books: 52
  • Movies: 12

Yes, try not to laugh at that. All I can say is if I’m awake enough in the evenings to enjoy entertainment of some sort, I’m almost always going to reach for a book rather than fire up a movie. That’s just how I roll.

If you want to see what I’ve been reading, check out my Pinterest board. It has a list (minus the seven I read for the Rita contest and can’t disclose) of what I’ve read so far this year.

If you want to see the (limited) number of movies I’ve watched, look here.

War Through the Generations WWI reading challenge

I’ve made my goal! And by mid-year! However, I do hope to read a few more WWI books (at the very least).

To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild (review here)

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Fantastic middle grade novel that should appeal to adults as well. One of my favorite constructs–the story within a story. This one is on audio as well and would make a good summer road trip book.

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

I discovered this one thanks to a Facebook post. Yes! Facebook! Good for something.

A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

WWI mystery. If you like the Maisie Dobbs series, this is a good choice for historical/WWI mysteries.

That’s it! I hope everyone else is keeping on track with their reading/watching challenges so far this year. Hey, there’s still plenty of time to make your goals.

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Betsy, Tacy, Tib … and me!

Remember way back in May when I waxed nostalgic about Betsy-Tacy books over at Jennifer Hubbard’s blog?

Well, one thing led to another (as things are wont to do) and I will be on the author panel and signing books on July 21, 2012 at the Betsy-Tacy Convention in my hometown of Mankato, Minnesota.

Am I excited? Completely. Is Kyra, who will be going with me? Also completely. We will, of course, need new outfits befitting such an event.

It just goes to show you: You never know where your writing might take you. In my case, it’s taking me back home–and I couldn’t be happier.

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Filed under Books, Geek Girl's Guide, Promo, Reading, Writing, YA

In which I wax nostalgic about Betsy-Tacy books

I’m over at Jennifer Hubbard’s blog, waxing nostalgic about the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace.

Jennifer is a 2009 Deb and the author of The Secret Year and Try Not to Breathe.

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Filed under 2009 Debs, Reading, Reading & Writing, Writing, YA