Although I’m a huge fan of children’s literature, I haven’t visited it much in the past few years due to the fact that three of our sons are now in college. But the other day I wanted a light, fun read and picked this off the shelf. The story is about two little girls growing up in Minnesota at the turn of the century, a time when cars and telephones were new and exciting inventions. The book opens with references to Lady Audley’s Secret and contains many delightful allusions to books throughout its pages.
Twelve year old Betsy is an aspiring writer. Unfortunately she’s been influenced by sensational and melodramatic novels and is writing stories with similar themes (“Lady Gwendolyn’s Sin”). Betsy’s mother and father handle this problem with gentleness and sensitivity. Instead of condemning her, her father gives her a library card and 15 cents for lunch so that she can spend all day Saturday in town, reading the classics. Her trips to town open up a new world to her.
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown is a book about simple pleasures and great kindnesses. With its references to classic books, it’s good writing, and it’s pleasant tone, I found it hard to put down. Thank you to fellow book blogger, Sarah, for putting this author on my radar. I loved this book!