Betsy and Tacy and Tib and Minnesota.
Who wouldn't love them? Turn of the century grade school and then high school and then college and marriage and Europe and adulthood...
I discovered Betsy Ray and her besties--Tacy and Tib--after moving to Missouri in grade school. I found Heaven to Betsy in the library stacks and I was hooked! I started in the middle and had to work backwards, then forwards, to read Betsy's entire story. I used to have to request Maud Hart Lovelace's books from other library branches, because they were out of print and the entire St. Louis County library system had only one set among all the branches. It's wonderful that they've now been reprinted in paperback more than once (you can see the two styles of cover in my photo--I did have most of them in the style on the right, but when they reprinted two novels per volume in the style on the left, I took the opportunity to replace my older set with fewer books for obvious reasons).
I still love impulsive, very human Betsy Ray, quietly talented and rock-steady Tacy, and free-spirited Tib, and their madcap Crowd of friends at Deep Valley High. Then of course, I have a soft spot in my heart for bookish Joe Willard and his blond hair (I ended up marrying a man with blond hair in 1991, you know).
These books were dear rereads for me each summer, and I still enjoyed them when I reread them a couple years ago.
I wrote a review of the Emily book a few years ago for a book tour, and that link is here (Emily of Deep Valley review).