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Paperback Understood Betsy Book

ISBN: 1887840133

ISBN13: 9781887840132

Understood Betsy

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

$5.59

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Book Overview

The insightful story of how an over-protected girl becomes a self-confident young woman.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

One of my very favorite children's books

Oh how I wanted to be Elizabeth Ann when I was little and first read this book! First of all, I thought that Elizabeth Ann was far and away the most beautiful name I had ever heard in my entire life. And I definately identified with the dull suburban upbringing, though perhaps my parents weren't quite so hypochondriatic. How I wished that some distant relatives with a farm would suddenly appear, and take me away so that I could eat maple sugar candy and learn how to churn butter and rescue kittens and go to a one room school house! Twenty years after I first discovered this book, it is still one of my favorites. Written by a leading advocate for Montessori-style teaching, this book empahises the importantes of self-reliance and self-teaching. Although I recognize the moralizing, now that I'm a grown-up, I never felt it when I was a kid and simply delighted in reading (over and over and over again) about the adventures of Betsy and her eccentric Vermont relatives.

One of the best kids books I know!

I read this book countless times when I was younger, constantly checking it out from the library. I rediscovered it recently after finding it again at my college. I reread it and found it just as good as I had remembered; not only this, I read it to my roommate, who also loved it. This is the general reaction from those I've met who read it -- they loved it.Many others have already given info about the story, so I'll try not to repeat that. I think my favorite part is the way that the author addresses the reader, managing to communicate her own opinions while not distracting you from the story. This particularly makes it possible not to take Betsy and her neuroses too seriously during the beginning when she's still afraid of her own shadow. I also appreciate the author's sympathetic view of Betsy. She could easily have described her as a difficult, obnoxious brat (which is probably the way many of her aunts' friends in the city thought of her), but instead she shows us Betsy's strength and true character that comes out gradually as she is challenged rather than coddled. It is a definite success of the author that you grow fond of her rather than wanting to throw your arms up in the air in disgust (at the beginning of the story, anyway; by the end Betsy is very strong, capable, and worthy of our respect).The setting is also very well-done. As many others have mentioned, it gives you a strong feel for the time period and for what life was like back then. This book provided me with one of the strongest mental pictures of what life in our country was like a century ago, and this picture was vivid enough to remain with me for years. Well-done plot, likeable and realistic characters, a strong setting, the ability to make its readers remember it for years -- this book has the necessary ingredients for a true classic.

This was one of my 3 favorite books when I was a child --

I read it over and over. Reading it as an adult I still enjoyed it, but I gained some insight as to why. This novel is about a young girl who feels that the world is a dangerous place and who goes around feeling vulnerable and apprehensive. The relatives who have cared for her have taught her to be frightened. self-doubting, and lacking in self-confidence. Betsy is saved by an illness in one of her aunts that requires her to go live elsewhere. The only option is to live with some other relatives who live in Vermont (in the country), and her aunts think this is not a good place for her to go but there is no choice. The Vermont relatives treat her like a normal and capable young girl who is expected to pull her share of the load. From them, and through her experiences living in the country, Betsy discovers she is competent and that the world is not so dangerous. She experiences love that is not suffocating. She builds self-confidence and self-esteem and becomes a responsible, happy little girl who knows that whatever difficulties present themselves, she will be able to deal with them. I also loved the family she went to live with and wished I could live on a farm in Vermont, too, and make maple sugar in the snow!This is a particularly wonderful book for girls because it is about discovering one's own competence and abilities. I would put it in the same category as "Brave Irene" by Steig, only this book is for the 8-12 year old range, I think.
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