September 30, 2011

Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge

This month, Sarah over at "A Library is a Hospital of the Mind" is hosting her 3rd Annual Maud Hart Lovelace reading challenge.  About four years ago, I stumbled upon a delightful little book called Betsy-Tacy at the public library.  It's a children's book, and though I often enjoy young adult or even children's fiction, this one was just a bit elementary even for me.  Still, it was sweet and fun, a real comfort read.  It reminded me a bit of a few of my other favorite authors, particularly Laura Ingalls Wilder.  When I discovered that there was actually a series of these books, I determined that someday, I would get back around to the works of Maud Hart Lovelace.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that Betsy-Tacy is actually quite a long series, and that Mrs. Lovelace traced her characters all the way through to their adulthoods and marriages!  I simply LOVE series like that, because they tend to bring their audience along with them, letting the reader grow up with the main characters.  Of course, if you discover the books as an adult, as I have done with these, you miss some of the joy of that experience, but when I found Anne of Green Gables, I was the same age as Anne in the first volume.  As I grew older, I found that I was most interested in whichever installment of the series showed Anne at an age closest to my own.  (Indeed, I'm getting ready to read them again in the next few months, as it will be the first time that I've read them since I had my first child, and I'm looking forward to re-reading the 6th book, in which Anne begins having children.)  I'm all anticipation to read more of the Betsy-Tacy series, because I expect that they, too, will lose their elementary aspect more and more as the characters mature.

I abhor reading series out of order, and as I review for several publishers, I can only take on one of the Betsy-Tacy books for this month, so I won't advance as far into the girls' adventures as I would like during this challenge, but I definitely mean to go on reading them after this month is over.  I'll be reading Betsy-Tacy and Tib, and I sincerely hope that my daughter will enjoy these delightful books when she gets older, so that she can experience growing up with them in a way that I wasn't able to do.

3 comments:

  1. Emily of Deep Valley is the only one I've read so far, so I'm starting at the top. :) I love that this series follows the girls through the years, too. There's not a whole lot of books I know that do that!

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  2. I can't stand reading a series out of order either!

    I ADORE Anne Shirley and all of her stories, and I would love the chance to go through her books again sometime soon. Enjoy them for me!

    I'm not familiar with Betsy Tacy! Oh dear...they sound really neat, though, especially since you say the author carried the series so far in the life of the character. Very cool.

    ~Asheley (Into the Hall of Books)

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  3. The Sue Barton series also follows a girl from her first day at nursing school through her nursing education, young single years in NY working in a slum, marriage, marriage troubles, children and adulthood. I think they take place in the '30s. Highly recommended.

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