My re-read has given me a burning question: What is up with the title Betsy Was a Junior? Thankfully, Maud Hart Lovelace did not give us Betsy Was a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior, but given that none of the other books has this type of title, why this one?
I suspect that naming the book was as difficult as reading it. Not that it’s a particularly challenging book – it’s just not the most fun of the Betsy-Tacy books. Perhaps it simply didn't evoke any other title for Maud or her publisher.
I mean, look at what happens:
- Betsy accomplishes almost nothing she had planned to during the school year.
- The Crowd becomes even more cliquish and alienates the rest of the school.
- Betsy dates Dave Hunt, the strong, silent one. Whee.
- Margaret almost blows herself up because Betsy doesn’t come home on time.
- No Essay Contest for Betsy. No committee chairmanships for the Crowd.
- Tony almost drifts off into perfectly-awful-land.
- Cab’s father dies.
Valuable lessons are learned (Aber ja! Naturlich!), and there are high jinks as well, but it’s pretty depressing overall.
If you were going to give this book a different name, what would it be? Betsy and the Okto Deltas? Gang Aft Agley?