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Maud Hart Lovelace
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Around 1897, in Mankato, Minnesota, Maud Hart Lovelace met two girls -- Bick Kenney and Midge Gerlach. The three soon formed a trio that would be inseparable in their youth and remain friendly throughout their adult lives. Many years later, Maud told her daughter, Merian, bedtime stories about her girlhood adventuresw ith Bick and Midge. Soon, she developed these tales into a popular series of books that was first published in the 1940s. Mankato was transformed into Deep Valley, Minnesota, around the turn of the 20th century. Maud became friendly storyteller Betsy Ray, Bick became shy, redheaded Tacy Kelly, and Midge became the practical, yet fun-loving, Tib Muller.
The series begins with a fast friendship between Betsy and Tacy, who soon enjoy such fun as picnics on the bench on the Big Hill and dressing up and calling on neighbors. When Tib moves into the chocolate-colored house nearby, she quickly becomes Betsy and Tacy' s other best friend. Many of their fictional adventures are based on Maud' s real experiences with Bick and Midge.
As they grow older, Betsy' s, Tacy' s, and Tib' s world grows larger. They climb over the Big Hill that had always seemed so high and enjoy such downtown delights as riding in horseless carriages and going to the theater. High-school introduces them to a new social life, and many members of their Crowd are also based on real people in Maud' s life.
Even though the Betsy-Tacy books wree written so long ago, timeless themes of friendship, family, and love continue to teach us about our past and what we dream for our future. And they remain the perfect bedtime sotries to be shared by a mother and adaughter. The discussion topics, suggested reading list, and author biography in this reading group guide are intended to spark discussion about the wonderful characters and stirring adventures in this enchanting series.
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