Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Betsy Was A Junior and Betsy and Joe

Betsy Was a Junior/Betsy and Joe by Maud Hart Lovelace. Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009. Copy supplied by publisher. My love of these books was made known via twitter & that is how these lovely volumes came into my hands.

As I explained earlier, yes, I posted about Betsy: The High School Years; but with the opportunity to see what was being done with the reissued books, well, I had to post about the new forewords or back matter.

Meg Cabot (who, like me, came to Betsy as an adult reader) writes the introduction to Betsy's junior and high school years. "Slipping into a Betsy book is like slipping into a favorite pair of well-worn slippers," she writes, and we sigh and agree and open up the book once more. A foreword like this is meant for those who have already read the books; to say, let's sit together one more time. Cabot explains Betsy's appeal in that Betsy is not perfect. She makes mistakes. Good lord, the Okto Deltas! A terrible decision, but what a wonderfully illustrated example of why to not have "your friendships fenced in by snobbish artificial barriers." (Tho Cabot being Cabot, she is quick to tell us that Elle Woods teaches us that not all sororities are bad). Cabot reminds us what a whole and satisfying journey Betsy makes, in moving from girl to woman, from a girl who writes to a writer.

Once again, the backmatter contains excerpts and photographs from The Betsy Tacy Companion, a must-read for fans.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

1 comment:

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I loved Betsy Tacy as a kid. It's so wonderful they are reprinting them in such beautiful editions.