"It was difficult, later, to think of a time when Betsy and Tacy had not been friends." Maud Hart Lovelace (1892 ~ 1980)
So, I have to write a bit about Mrs. Lovelace, whose name is like a Valentine, whose Betsy-Tacy books got me through many an otherwise cheerless day back when I was a dorky kid. My cousin and I both had sad moms & tense homes. We both agreed that the Betsy-Tacy books and the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder were our happy childhoods.
The series is set between the years 1897 and 1917, but I'm telling you that these are not just sweetie-nostalgia-clip-clop books. If you are looking for excellent books with terrific, fun-loving girl characters, if you are a fan of Meet Me in St. Louis, DO check out Maud's mostly autobiographical books about her young days in Mankato, a.k.a. Deep Valley, Minnesota. There it was that Maud Hart (Betsy Ray) became best friends with Frances "Bick" Kinney (Tacy - short for Anastasia - Kelly of the red ringlets).
If you do, you might find yourself wanting to find kindred spirits in the Betsy-Tacy Society and/or the Maud Hart Lovelace Society.
Why are there two fan organizations? Oh man, don't even ask. I will tell you that I got to talk to Mrs. Lovelace, got her phone number at the library, called her up and bless her heart, Mrs. Lovelace was perfectly nice about it when I was so goofy and too awe-struck to be sensible on the phone. She passed away not so very long afterwards - I have to believe this was mere coincidence as she was quite elderly - and went to heaven to be with Tacy and Tib and her beloved Joe (dreamboat author Delos Lovelace), Mama, Papa, and Margaret. But they're all ever young in those delightful books, blessed be.