Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Betsy Books by Carolyn Haywood

We have recently discovered some chapter books from the 40s and 50s that my second grader loves and I happen to love them as well. Since that is such a rare occurrence in many households I wanted to share them with you.

Carolyn Haywood was a prolific writer in her time. She wrote books about little kids doing what little kids did back then, and as someone not raised in that time I was surprised and discomfited with the idea that our children these days are sheltered.

Ten year olds were building large projects with real tools, taking their four year old siblings to their friends' houses, delivering papers, going on rides in the local ice cream truck, and any number of exciting times. The stories are wholesome and fresh. Some of them were re-published with exciting "up-to-date" covers so they are attractive to kids who might not want to read an old book.

I love love love them and so does Emmy. The average reading level is AR 3.5.

Some of the books we have read in just the last week are:
Back to School with Betsy
Betsy and Billy
Betsy's Play School
Betsy's Winterhouse
Betsy and the Boys
"B" is for Betsy

There are many many more and they are not all about Betsy.


Emily said...

I'm going to get those! Have you read Milly Molly Mandy? Caitlyn read it in first grade, but it's another one of those vintage eye-openers (only I think this was written in the 20s).

Sarah said...

I will have to look up that one, thanks.

Ruth Ann said...

I looked the Betsy books up and found that there is a whole series on "Little Eddie" for boys as well...some of them are at the library. I can't wait for Emily to be able to read these treasures about Betsy...thanks for sharing!

Terence said...

I attended primary school in the early '60s, and the Haywood books were de rigeur even then. Our teachers read them aloud to us (usually a chapter a day) starting in second or third grade, as I recall, and we went through at least two books in the series every year. By the time I moved on to junior high in '67, I had read all of them on my own and was wishing my own childhood had been as interesting. The only comparable books were the Henry Huggins series by Beverly Cleary (which we also went through by at least two books every year).