Maud Hart Lovelace

For a state that I associate mostly with soy bean farming and Biodiesel, Minnesota is peculiarly rich in Wordcandy goodness. A surprising number of famous American authors (Garrison Keillor, Laura Ingalls Wilder, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wanda Gag) were born or died in Minnesota, including one of my childhood favorites: Maud Hart Lovelace, the author of the totally awesome Betsy-Tacy books.

The Betsy-Tacy series begins at the very end of the 19th century and follows the friendship of two girls growing up in Minnesota from their fifth birthday until their early married lives and the beginning of the First World War. The stories are largely autobiographical, and while Ms. Lovelace did alter a few things to better suit her plot, the lion's share of the adventures in the books actually happened to her and her best friend, Frances "Bick" Kenney. (The two women were still close in their old age--they toured Europe together in their late seventies.) While the early Betsy-Tacy books were clearly aimed at young audiences, older readers can still enjoy them as historical fiction, and they provide vital background for the more sophisticated stories in the later books.


Everywhere, in brand-spanking-new, profoundly ugly reprints. (This pure speculation, but from the look of the cover art, I suspect the ugly new covers are an attempt to cash in on the "American Girl" craze.)

Other Recommendations:
Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy, by Jean Webster

Anything by L.M. Montgomery

Anything by Gene Stratton-Porter

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Posted by: Julia


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