Technically, I've probably read over 100 books cover to cover this year. Practically, most of that has been the same handful of Betsy-Tacy books over and over at bedtime because they're snug, secure, homey, and easy to fall asleep to.

Not that there isn't problematic stuff in them, they are books about pre-WWI 20th century Minnesota, written in the 40s and 50s. But it's a lot less than other kids' and youth books about American old timey stuff – way less minstrelry, Manifest Destiny, and racism against indigenous people than Little House On the Prairie and that kind of pioneer story.

(In the 10 Betsy-Tacy books and 3 supplemental Deep Valley books, here's what I can think of off the top of my head: someone performs in blackface at a talent show, settler violence is alluded to a few times and an older character romanticizes "Indian wars", there are characters who are racist against Syrians living in town but the racists are in the wrong and that's the plot of "Emily of Deep Valley", and sometimes the antiracists are paternalistic against other cultures.)

Also to compare them to another series of a nearby time period, Betsy grows up but the books don't get dark like the Anne of Green Gables ones do. (There's understandable and sympathetic reasons for that and the Anne books are richer stories, but still...) It might be best to say that Betsy and Co. get to kind of stay in the Anne of Avonlea/of the Island period where it's mostly about the joy of new experiences and community.


And if you'd like a softer version of the Anne and Gilbert slow burn, Betsy and Joe have got you over the course of 5 books. (No one smacks anyone with school supplies, though.)

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