Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary


Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Five Gold Stars

Beezus and RamonaBeezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Beezus and Ramona: the first book in an awesome series by my favorite childhood author, Beverly Cleary. Nine-year-old Beezus (so nicknamed back when her younger sister could not yet pronounce “Beatrice”) is sure her sister Ramona must be the most “exasperating” sister in the world, and this chronicle shows how much their unremarkable yet remarkable little adventures warrant…well, warrant being chronicled.

Cleary just gets it. She gets why four-year-old Ramona, whenever asked what color her eyes are, would answer, “Brown and white,” and why Beezus would be so annoyed at this answer that just isn’t right, even while she grudgingly has to admit, inwardly, that Ramona makes sense. Cleary gets why Ramona would do something so silly and troublesome as dump and mix whole eggs, shells and all, into the batter that’s supposed to become Beezus’s birthday cake. Not to be naughty, in this instance, or to ruin Beezus’s birthday, but just “To see what would happen.” Naturally. Of course. *Sigh.*

The thoughtful correlations that Beezus eventually makes between herself and Ramona and their mother and Aunt Beatrice are simple, easily grasped. And yet they’re brilliant in that they, along with everything else in this book, give children the sense that somebody else understands what it’s like to be a child.

Yes, I first read this book a time or two as a little girl, and doing so again as an adult has reminded me afresh, and even to a greater degree, why I loved–love–the Ramona Quimby books so much. Indeed, I agree with the old Chicago Tribune review that called this book “Hilarious–and wise,” and I plan on rereading the rest of the series as well, including my absolute favorite book as a child, Ramona the Pest.

Ramona the Pest


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