Maud Hart Lovelace has a cult following.
I was only vaguely aware of the intensity of that following until I staffed a discussion, led by author Mitali Perkins, of MHL's Emily of Deep Valley. Being more familiar with MP's work than with MHL's, I knew at least that the discussion would be a thoughtful one, and it was. But I didn't know how happy the thirty or so people in attendance would be. I heard an "I'm so happy!" from an attendee purchasing new editions of the Betsy-Tacy books, and the same phrase from another attendee who was just glad to be in a room with people who wanted to have a conversation about a beloved author's work.
I had no idea what they were talking about, and at the same time, I knew exactly what they were talking about. Replace a few details, and their discussions of Betsy, Tacy, and Tib could be mine about Anne, Diana, and Gilbert. They analyzed their favorite characters, wondered about their motivations, and learned about life from them, and it all sounded very familiar.
Less than an hour earlier, my co-worker and I did some comparing of our favorite children's books as we set up for the event. Anne of Green Gables was one of the first titles she mentioned, and I exclaimed almost automatically, "Okay, we're friends now!" I'm thankful that books eliciting that sort of reaction are pretty common. So common, in fact, that that doesn't make me weird.