I've seen at least one comment wondering in what order the unitiated should read Betsy-Tacy, and I assume that there are many people who may have been introduced to the series from Meg Cabot's wonderful essay in the Wall Street Journal this weekend who are wondering the same thing. So without further ado, here is the order! Each book link brings you to the book so you can read a little bit for yourself.
These first four books are avaiable in separate volumes -- I recommend for girls 5-9 (and up)
Betsy-Tacy -- book number one, set in 1897, starts when Betsy and Tacy are five and first meet (this one is also available on audio, read by Broadway actress Sutton Foster)
Betsy-Tacy and Tib -- Betsy's and Tacy's adventures continue with the addition of pint-sized, golden haired Tib, a welcome third
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill -- the girls turn 10 in this book, and venture further away from home, and meet a real Syrian Princess who lives in the Slough
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown -- the girls, now 12, venture into downtown Deep Valley, where Betsy is introduced to the library and the librarian Miss Sparrow, an auto comes to town and they also learn about the world of theater
These final six books are now available in 3 2-book sets -- I recommend for girls 9-12 (and up)
Heaven to Betsy-- this is the first of the high school books. Betsy is 14 and a freshman at Deep Valley High. Boys become very important, especially one Joe Willard, a new boy in town.
Betsy in Spite of Herself-- Betsy's sophomore year and she takes a glamorous trip to Milwaukee to visit Tib
Betsy was a Junior-- Julia is off to college and brings back the idea of sororities, which Betsy (unwisely) introduces to Deep Valley High
Betsy and Joe-- Betsy's senior year and finally, she is going with Joe! That is, until Tony (her freshman crush) suddenly changes his brotherly manner to a more romantic one.
Betsy and the Great World-- Betsy is setting off for a year-long tour of Europe, to start her writing career, and to put some distance between her and Joe
Betsy's Wedding-- Betsy returns home as WWI is sweeping across Europe...will she and Joe finally find happiness?
Now, what are you waiting for? All these crazy converters on my blog and Meg Cabot (not to mention Anna Quindlen, Laura Lippman, Mary Kay Andrews, Judy Blume, Nancy Pearl and Joyce Maynard) CAN'T be wrong -- go forth and READ THEM!