My daughter Maggie and I are reading Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby Series. I read these books when I was a girl, except for Ramona Forever and Ramona’s World, which came out after I had “outgrown” the books. My older daughter Sarah never expressed much interest in them, but Maggie loves them. She named one of her stuffed animals Beverly, and she even wrote a letter to Ms. Cleary. It was the first time I’ve ever seen her fascinated by an author.
I can remember very well the good times I had with Ramona and Beezus and the rest of the gang on Klickitat Street. Ramona is a great character because she sometimes has impulses she just can’t control. She tries very hard, but she’s an average kid. She’s not perfect. I thought Maggie would really be able to relate to Ramona. I identify more with Beezus now that I’m grown. I think I was a lot like her as a child. One thing that hasn’t changed about the books since I read them as a child is the acumen with which Cleary is able to perfectly capture the feelings of children. Her stories never ring false, even if they were written for a generation of children whose grandchildren are reading the books today.
Beverly Cleary is in her 90’s, and it is likely that Ramona’s World will be her last published work. I think Cleary’s books were some of the first chapter books I read. I read most of them in second and third grade. I am really excited that Maggie likes them so much. We just finished Ramona Forever, and I am looking forward to Ramona’s World, but it will be bittersweet when we close the last book. Maggie wants to read the Henry Huggins books next, but I think she’d like Socks or Ellen Tebbits better.
This post is Part Two of a series. You can find links to each post in this series on My Life in Books.