Book Review: Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary
Title: Beezus and Ramona 
Narrator: Stockard Channing
Publication Info: HarperAudio (2010) – originally published in 1955
Books Read by the Same Author: Ramona and Her Father

This is the first in Cleary’s series of Ramona books.  I listened to it with my daughter at bedtime.  In many ways my four-year old daughter IS Ramona Quimby, creative and mischief and sometimes seems indifferent to the chaos she causes.  So this is a true to life book, and it feels oddly contemporary despite being published in 1955.  Unlike later books, this story is told from the point of view of Beezus who has to deal with a little sister who wants to hear an annoying book about steam shovel, colors in her library book, looks her friend’s dog in the bathroom, invites neighborhood children to a party that no one else in the family knew about, and destroys not one but two of Beezus’ birthday cakes.  Beezus has to deal with the guilt that sometimes she doesn’t love Ramona.  Near the end of the book Beezus mother and Aunt Beatrice reminisce about having a similarly contentious relationship as children but are able to laugh about it as adults, giving Beezus some comfort.  It’s a pretty brilliant book and I’m glad I’m getting to hear it now having missed it as a child.
Favorite Passages:

I am too a Merry Sunshine!

Rating: ****

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