As a girl, I often read the beginnings of series and, rather than continue on with the series, as the characters therein aged, I would simply re-read my favourite earlier works.

This was true of my L.M. Montgomery reading: Anne remained poised, in my reader’s memory, between her years as a young teacher and her young married years for decades, between Windy Poplars and House of Dreams.

Only recently did I finally accept that she had grown up in those other novels’ pages, whilst I was studiously re-reading her younger years.

Had I owned more of Maud Hart Lovelace’s novels, I probably would have taken the same approach. Emily stayed a young writer. The March girls never grew up. Laura Ingalls never became Laura Ingalls Wilder. In my reader’s memory, I’d’ve kept Betsy, Tacy and Tib young girls as well.

But I didn’t need to work at that because I only had two of Maud Hart Lovelace’s novels as a girl:
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (1942)
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (1943)

My copies are well-worn trade paperbacks and I don’t recall where I got them, but I re-read them many times, though it wasn’t until news of the series’ being republished began circulating that I realized how much I had missed out, not only on the events of their later lives (which I would’ve ignored anyhow!) but on earlier volumes as well.

The Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge seems the perfect time to reconnect with Betsy, Tacy and Tib. I’m very excited about the idea of getting re-acquainted. And, yes, I think I’ll “let them grow up” this time.

For 2010, I aim to read only the first two volumes of the series; I hadn’t heard of the challenge previously, so the sign-up is a whim and it really will be a challenge to read these two in a month filled with other planned reading.

But I’m really looking forward to it!

Challenge Reading for 2010:
Betsy-Tacy (1940)
Betsy-Tacy and Tib (1941)

Completed October 31, 2010

The other titles in the series are:
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (1942)
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (1943)
Heaven to Betsy (1945)
Betsy in Spite of Herself (1946)
Betsy Was a Junior (1947)
Betsy and Joe (1948)
Betsy and the Great World (1952)
Betsy’s Wedding (1955)