Daily Archives: October 4, 2009

Heaven To Betsy (Betsy-Tacy 5) by Maud Hart Lovelace

Heaven To Betsy In Spite of Herself

Earlier, I commented on the first four Betsy-Tacy books, the children’s books. Now, I’m moving on to the next book in the series.

Heaven To Betsy marks the transition of the series from books aimed at children to more of teen audience. Another two years have passed, and much has happened from age 12 to age 14. Betsy is starting High School, and has turned the corner from child to young woman.

Betsy is now crazy about boys and her worried about appearance, about being popular in general. Her family has moved into town, and she’s no longer across the street from Tacy. Tib has moved away (or “poofed”, as my daughter says). Betsy and her sister Julia are now good friends, as opposed to always bickering in the past books. There is a whole new cast of characters.

The change in the books is deeper than that. Betsy is starting to reflect on the person that she wants to be. She has trouble figuring out what is important, and in sticking to a plan once she makes it. In short, she’s a relatively normal 14 year old.

In Heaven To Betsy, Betsy explores the social scene at various churches in the area. Although her family is Baptise, she and her sister join the Episcopal church, and find that it resonates with them. They ask their parents’ permission to change churches.

Betsy sets aside her long-standing desire to become a writer, because none of her new friends are interested in such things. Later events cause her to look inside herself to see whether this is really what she wants.

As an adult, I found this book a highly enjoyable read.

My 11 year old daughter read it as well, and she liked it, but with more reservations.

She thought the gap between Betsy and Tacy go Downtown and Heaven To Betsy was too big, and that too much had changed. She was particularly annoyed that Tib had “poofed” without more explanation. She thought that all of the new characters made it almost like the first book of a new series.

tlc-logoI think she’ll enjoy the later books more in another year. Like Tacy, my daughter doesn’t (yet) understand all of the fuss over boys, and isn’t (yet) feeling the pull of changing herself to suit others. She’s not seeing much of it with her peers, either. She read Betsy in Spite of Herself on her own, but has since drifted off to other books. I’m not going to push it now, I’ll just remind her of them later.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review these books!


Posted by on October 4, 2009 in books, reviews


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Giveaway: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Lovely BonesYes, another giveaway! I couldn’t pass up this chance, considering how much I enjoyed this book, and how much I’m looking forward to the movie.

I read The Lovely Bones for my Book Club L two years ago. I wasn’t pleased when my group selected it. I thought it sounded dark and depressing and not like something I wanted to read. But one of the reasons I participate in book clubs is to expand my horizons, and I picked it up, although not without some grumbling.

I loved it. It was still grim subject matter, but the way it was presented kept it manageable.  It was fresh, and it was truly unique.

I’m not posting a review at this point, because the details of a book start fading for me after a week, let alone years.

I’m not going to reread it right now because I’m in the “see the movie, then read the book camp”. It simply isn’t possible to include everything from a book in a movie, and I can enjoy the movie more if  I’m not mourning all the parts that were left out.  I don’t want the book fresh in my memory.

My book club like The Lovely Bones, and I think we had a good discussion (although my memory is a little fuzzy there as well).  There’s a Reading Guide posted if your book club wants some help with what to talk about (we frequently use them, although this one doesn’t look familiar).

I’m pretty sure we’ll pull together a book club movie night this December.

If you want to read the book before the movie is released, or if you want the book on hand for reading after seeing it, here is a chance!

Thank you to Hachette Books for allowing me to host a giveaway of 5 copies of The Lovely Bones!


  1. Leave a comment to enter.  I’ll get your e-mail address if you are on WordPress or you enter it where requested.  Make sure it is valid!
  2. If you have additional entries, you can leave them in the same comment.
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  4. One more entry if you let other people know about this giveaway! On your blog, on Twitter, another social site. Just let me know.
  5. As a bonus (for an additional entry) tell me about your favorite movie adaptation of a book.

Having an address (not a PO Box) in the US or Canada is a requirement. I’ll pick the winners on the evening of October 24 25 (extended for one day).


Posted by on October 4, 2009 in books, giveaway


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