Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday's Finest

"'And that reminds me, Betsy. Isn't it getting pretty cold to write up in the maple tree?'
  Mrs. Ray knew all about the office in the maple tree. She had given Betsy the cigar box. Betsy's mother was a great believer in people having private places."

  "'But if you're going to be a writer,' [Betsy's father] went on, 'you've got to read. Good books. Great books. The classics. And fortunately ... that's what I'm driving at ... Deep Valley has a new Carnegie Library, almost ready to open. White marble building, sunny, spick and span, just full of books.'"

                                                                     -- Both quotes from Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, Ch. 6.

Eliza and I are making our way through the Betsy-Tacy books, and I'm in love all over again, as I may have mentioned before. This chapter in this particular book is a diamond among gems. The way Betsy Ray's mother shows genuine zeal for creating a place for her budding authoress to bloom, the way she gently addresses the discovery that Betsy has been wasting her time on dime store novels, and the way she and Betsy's father come up with a plan to give their twelve year old, who so wants to soar, her first set of wings  -- well, it just makes me want to be Jule Ray when I grow up. I think Betsy's parents were ahead of their time -- but I never realized quite how cool they were until I became a mother myself, with my own nest of hatchlings to tend.

P.S. A while back I mentioned the List of Top 100 Middle Grade Chapter Books, as compiled by readers' Top 10 lists. Slowly, the list has been published, working its way down to the #1 slot. Care to guess the winning book?

Check it out here. Personally, I'm thrilled with the result. Agree? Disagree?

Friday's Finest is a meme from Bookful of Thoughts.


Beck said...

I NEEEEEED to get reading those with my girls. NEED TO.

Anne said...

On the PS... Agree! Totally agree! Every once in awhile we check out the book on tape version that was read by the author, and our librarian told me that reportedly it took E.B. White about 20 takes to get through the chapter containing Charlotte's death, because he kept choking up.

Amy Tague said...

LOVE Betsy, Tacy, and Tib!