Due to the enthusiastic response, the sign-up period for Betsy-Tacy Convert Week has been extended to Sept. 4th. Remember, HarperCollins will send you a copy of Heaven to Betsy/Betsy in Spite of Herself to give away to the unBetsyed friend of your choice.
Excited much? You bet I am. These books were out of print, and now they’re back. Best book news of the year, if you ask me.
The relaunch coincides with a fresh burst of Betsy enthusiasm around here: Beanie, aged 8, is reading them for the first time. Her two big sisters have been fans for years, of course. My girls have never been to school, but they are part of a group of friends every bit as lively and close-knit as Betsy Ray’s high-school Crowd. And something I love is that Betsy and her crowd are themselves a major part of the bond between my girls and their friends. Seems like every time the other girls come over, they make a beeline for the Shelf of Honor where we keep our precious, tattered copies of The Tomes. The books have become a lending library and they seem to be in constant circulation. And I love this, because I really think the series has helped infuse our group with the spirit of fun and camaraderie you find in Betsy’s high-school stories. Equally important are the seriousness and reflectiveness with which Betsy addresses her own teen crises in the context of a deeply attached, affectionate family and circle of friends. Betsy knows that loving safety net is always there to support her, but she also understands that in order to walk the tightrope of life, she must find her own sense of balance, her own steadiness of foot. I’m glad Betsy is part of my girls’ Crowd, these young women with their own tightropes stretching out before them.
On a related note: we’ve been giggling over this hilarious performance of Rossini’s Cat Duet by sopranos Felicity Lott and Ann Murray. Betsy-Tacy fans will understand the connection.
Commonplace Book: Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Poetry As Insurgent Art
Booknotes: Byatt’s The Children’s Book
Our New Family Motto?
“…in the last decade our fiction writers use only ‘I’…”