Betsy in Spite of Herself [A Belated Review]

I didn’t quite finish Betsy in Spite of Herself in time to complete the Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge hosted by A Library is a Hospital for the Mind, but I am hoping Sarah will forgive my tardiness.

Once again I was completely enchanted by Betsy Ray. Betsy in Spite of Herself follows Betsy through her sophomore year of high school.  She faces challenges at school, a trip to the big city of Milwaukee to visit Tib, and her First Big Love Affair (as Tacy calls it). She makes great attempts to change her personality throughout but the real Betsy comes shining through.

Again, I am struck by the similarities of Betsy’s high school life in 1908 to mine in 1998. Apparently the passing of almost a century is not enough to change the high school experience of boys, friends, parties, grades, and the self-conscious worries all teenage girls must have.

Reading the Betsy-Tacy books is like curling up with a blanket and a big mug of hot chocolate on a cold night. Even though I didn’t read them when I was younger, there is something comforting about it. I can’t believe I let an entire year pass between reading Heaven to Betsy and Betsy in Spite of Herself. I will not make that mistake again, so stay tuned for more Betsy-Tacy posts this winter. In the meantime, you can read the other challenge posts here.