Posted in Reading Books

The First Book I Ever Read

Even though the Betsy-Tacy books are some of my very favorites, Betsy Ray wasn’t the first literary “Betsy” I came across in my readings.  When I was in second grade and began reading chapter books, the first ones I remember reading was a series a books by author Carolyn Haywood known simply as the “Betsy” and “Eddie” books.

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The one that stands out in my mind as “the first chapter book I ever read” was Snowbound with Betsy, written in 1962, and is just one of the many books Haywood wrote about a little girl named Betsy and the things she does with her friends.  The first book in the series is called B is For Betsy, which was written way back in 1939, which I actually found a few years ago at a library book sale (with a slightly disappointing revised cover, but whatever).

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I absolutely loved the Betsy books when I was in grade school, devouring them up whenever I could from my school and public library.  My favorites were always ones that took place in the winter:  Snowbound with Betsy, Betsy’s Winterhouse, Merry Christmas from Betsy, and Betsy’s Little Star.  And then when I wasn’t missing winter (I seriously loved winter when I was a kid), I would enjoy reading Betsy’s Busy Summer, and I vividly remember checking it out from the public library every single time it was available.

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Carolyn Haywood also wrote books about Betsy’s friend Eddie, and even though I read a handful of those as well, I never liked them as much and would usually only read them when the Betsy books were checked out.  I guess I considered them to be “boy” books, even though I know we shouldn’t label books as genders, but I was seven years old, so…that’s my excuse.

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I have no idea what other kinds of kids’ books were out in the mid-80s (I wouldn’t discover The Baby-sitter’s Club for another two years), but I’m so thankful that these books were available at the library.  I truly believe it was these books that began my lifetime love of reading.  If I hadn’t found books that I loved right at the beginning of my reading adventures, then who knows if I would have grown to love reading as much as I did.  And if I hadn’t decided that I loved reading, I may not have ever discovered books like The Baby-sitter’s Club or the Little House books or VC Andrews or – gasp – Harry Potter.

So even though Carolyn Haywood left us over twenty years ago, her legacy stays with me because she shaped the reader I am today.  So a huge thank you thank you thank you thank you to her, and I hope my daughter finds books like the “Betsy” books that help her develop into a reader as well.

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And now I ask you:  What was the book that turned you into a reader?

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Author:

I have way too much information floating around in my head, which is why I write things down. I find that books, movies, music, and television are much more interesting than my local news.

3 thoughts on “The First Book I Ever Read

  1. I loved the Betsy books and I grew up in Japan. Can anyone tell me where I can buy the series with the old covers? I don’t like the new covers at all

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