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Otis Spofford (Ellen & Otis #2)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  1,929 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Otis Spofford is tops when it comes to teasing. There's nothing Otis likes better than stirring up a little excitement in class. He can make a science project turn out all wrong. Without much effort at all, he can turn a folk dance fiesta into a circus. But nothing gives Otis as much pleasure as teasing Ellen Tebbits. Ellen is so neat and well-behaved--and she never fails ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published 1953 by William Morrow
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
A cute book chronicling the naughty journey of Otis, who enjoys the attention from being in trouble. He goes from one scenario to another, mainly at school where the landlord can't watch. There's no mention of a father in his life, but he is raised by a mother who seems to work most of the time at a dance school. Mischievous Otis seems to both annoy and amuse the teacher, who is the focal point adult in the book. The stories go from a bizarre play where Otis is playing a bull, to a bug disaster, ...more
May 30, 2008 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beverly Cleary at her best. She takes Otis, the thorn in sweet Ellen Tebbits' side and makes him real and lovable. Love that Beverly.
Olivia "Don't Blame Me I Voted for Hillary"
This was my favorite of all of Beverly Cleary's books. Otis was a mischievous boy and I identified with him because I was a mischievous girl at that age.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Not my favourite Cleary story, but still good. You can see how schools have changed; kids no longer stand up at their desks to read or "recite", in third grade they have usually gotten past "Telling Time" into serious schoolwork. The "Mexican Fiesta" echoes the "Good Nieghbour Policy" current in the US at the time the book was published.

I went to school with a boy named Otis, and he too was the kind that liked to "stir up some excitement." My classmate Otis was dislexic before such things were
Mar 12, 2014 Irene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary-school aged kids
Shelves: children
Aw, I guess Otis Spofford is alright. This is another book that I have clear memories of reading when I was a kid, but I'm not sure where it fits in in today's society.

In this follow-up to Ellen Tebbits, we get to know the troublemaker in Ellen's class, Otis Spofford. Surprisingly - and this is the genius of Beverly Cleary - I actually got to feel sorry for Otis. On the one hand, he purposely went looking for trouble - though he called it "excitement". He knew he was misbehaving, and he wanted
Lars Guthrie
'There was nothing better Otis Spofford liked better than stirring up a little excitement.' So starts 'Otis Spofford.' Otis Spofford is an only and fatherless child who lives with his distracted working mother in a small apartment. Otis Spofford, playing cowboys and Indians (one of several anachronisms in 'Otis Spofford,' such as kids using the word 'keen') 'scalps' a classmate obsessed with growing her hair longer by cutting off a hunk of that hair. Otis Spofford meets the 'comeuppance' promise ...more
Nikinnia Smith
This poor kid needs some Ritalin. Otis is very rambunctious, but sweet boy. He gets bored very easily, and he picks on the girl he has a crush on. My favorite part of the book is when the class does an experiment with the rats eating food from the cafeteria versus eating white bread and soda. Otis really grows to love the rat that is eating bread and soda whom he names Mutt. I like how Otis wanted to take care of Mutt. He even skipped lunch to feed Mutt because he thought he was not getting enou ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Melody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heard
Awwwright. As much as I was peeved at Otis in the previous book, well, all is forgiven. Otis has wormed his way into my heart, and I'm much more sympathetic to him here. This is, of course, Cleary's genius at work. I might like Otis better than anyone but Henry.

The narration was especially lovely. There were some glaringly dated parts, but one remembers when this was written, winces, and moves on.
Jeff Johnson
In honour of the wonderful Miss Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday I decided to try one of her marvelous books I had not read as a kid. I had read and reread her essential Henry Huggins & Ramona Quimby books so I decided to try one of her lesser-known gems. This tale of a loveable little freckle faced rabble-rouser named Otis Spofford which was a sequel to Beverly's Ellen Tebbits and seemed to be part of another perhaps companion series to the Huggins books which Miss Cleary did not continue af ...more
Apr 24, 2009 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Boys and girls in readers were always dopes. They were always polite and they never used slang and they hardly ever did anything they shouldn't...Dopes!"

—Otis Spofford, P. 140

This quote encapsulates a lot of the impetus behind Beverly Cleary's amusing story, "Otis Spofford".
The common theme that binds together most of these stories (the book is written more as a series of companion anecdotes rather than as one complete narrative) is that Otis is looking to stir up some excitement, and it is
Story Revolution

There was nothing Otis Spofford liked better than stirring up a little excitement, particularly at school. A less resourceful teacher than Mrs. Gitler would have found him pretty hard to take. But even Mrs. Gitler did not entirely relish the bullfight at the fiesta arranged for the P.T.A. meeting. Otis was disappointed at not being the toreador, but as the front half of the bull he managed to steal the whole show, to the annoyance of his classmates and his teacher. It was then that Mrs. Gitler s

May 07, 2016 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
I read a few weeks ago that Beverly Cleary never wrote stories to teach lessons, she was writing to entertain. She was writing book that reflected the kids she taught in her School. For a long time there were no books that reflected the life of an average American Kid.

Since Beverly Cleary turned 100 this year (still alive and kickin') I have made it a goal to read all if not MOST of her books. 2 down, many more to go! I can't believe I have only read the MotorCycle Mouse Series. I was not vorac
Kristine Hansen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2012 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade girls who get teased by boys
Otis Spofford is the "bad boy" in the neighborhood. His mother is a single parent, the ballet teacher of the town, and is not home much. He first appeared in Ellen Tebbits, where he was fond of tormenting Ellen.

In this volume he gets his own story and is introduced like this: "There was nothing Otis Spofford liked better than stirring up a little excitement." He proceeds to stir up trouble at school and in the neighborhood but always weasels his way out. He clearly is in need of attention.

Dec 05, 2014 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg, comfort
How I love Beverly Cleary! Her stories are so matter of fact and yet they make the ordinary details of children's lives as compelling to us as they are to ordinary children themselves. Reading between the lines, Otis Spofford is too smart for his school, and he may also have a touch of ADHD. When he gets bored, which is often, he wants to "stir up a little excitement." He especially enjoys ruffling the feathers of one Ellen Tebbits, who is prim, proper and well behaved. One interesting thing abo ...more
Mary Beth Phelps
The delightful tale of a rowdy, imaginative little boy who loves to stir up trouble... and how he gets his comeuppance. I simply adore the characters Beverly Cleary creates. They are a little bit of sugar, a little bit of spice, just a touch of vinegar, and positively bursting with personality.
This was so much fun to read aloud to my own little boy, who I have a feeling is going to be in future an Otis Spofford/Henry Huggins hybrid. I'm okay with this, though, since I tended to take a page or tw
Karen GoatKeeper
Otis isn't a bad kid. He just loves excitement which, to him, means pestering other people his age. His favorite target is Ellen who is fed up with it but doesn't know what to do. Then one day Otis gets himself into a dilemma over Ellen and does something terrible. He will pay.
Beverly Cleary's books are always fun to read. Her characters are so true to life. The situations are very believable.
The other thing I really like about Cleary's books is that, even though the children are the main charac
Feb 24, 2015 Lesa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this to my four- and seven-year-old daughters because they loved Ellen Tebbits. They loved Otis Spofford just as much. The reason I gave Otis 4 stars, while Ellen got 5 is because it annoyed me a little bit how Otis often got away with his shenanigans. For instance, when he tampered with the rat experiment, he was ultimately rewarded by receiving the rat as a pet. I know that technically, he got his "comeuppance" at the end, but that didn't really seem to make up for everything bad he had ...more
Susan Johnson
Oct 09, 2016 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably about the tenth time (at least) that I've read this book. This time I had the pleasure of reading it to two of my grandsons, ages 7 and 5, who loved it. The three of us laughed out loud together.

Like all of Beverly Cleary's books about "neighborhood children", any child (or anyone who was ever a child) can instantly relate to the characters. They are so real! Ellen Tebbits, especially, is so much like me as an elementary school girl I can hardly stand it! I, too, wanted my shor
Not as good as Henry Huggins. Henry was a more likable, good natured kid. While Henry did get himself into scrapes, it was not really intentional. Otis was always looking for mischief and I didn't always sympathize with him. Most of the book I was thinking that he was a brat. Also, as much as I thought Henry Huggins was fun (Beverly Cleary's plots and writings style are very enjoyable and not inane), I am wondering why Beverly Clearly's characters never have a lot of brothers and sisters. There ...more
Rebecca McCright
Jun 24, 2015 Rebecca McCright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this precocious boy and reading about all the mischief he got himself into. I really liked how Clearly set the book up so that each chapter could be a story all by itself. That makes it perfect for a small group lesson or a whole group read-aloud without having to read the whole book. Of course, the culminating events do depend on the character development throughout the book. I am looking forward to reading her other book, Ellen Tibbits.
Emily Von pfahl
It's always fun to read a book from the point of view of a minor character from another book. The combination of this book and Ellen Tebbits really shows Cleary's range as an author. You are squarely behind each title character when reading their book, but while reading Otis's you see what a goody two shoes Ellen can be, and while reading Ellen's you see how obnoxious he can be. To be fair, he is a tad obnoxious in his book too.
Nov 18, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the few Beverly Clearys I didn't read when I was a child. As a teacher, I love reading about the wily kid that always gets in trouble. It helps me connect with my own little hellions. Otis Spofford remind me of my sweet little C******* who once told me, with the utmost sincerity, that he wasn't cheating on his spelling test, but "looking at the spelling words in my desk to see how to spell them!" Um...that's cheating. He and Otis could be brothers!
Xiao Wen
I think Otis is a pitiful boy because when his classmates are choosing partners for dance, nobody choose him. However, he protects himself in a wrong way, this makes me feel he is too hyper. When nobody choose him, he stirs up his excitement. Otis is very different from others, he always stands in an opposite opinion with others. I think that he does that because he wants to grab other people's attention on him, and wants other people to care him more.
Jul 03, 2015 Siddharth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smile
This is another book that I gives me more ideas to prank my sister. Beverly clearly yet her book make you giggle and it is not enough to read it once you can read it many times I love how she add many details to the book this a book that can be read by any age even though she is a a adult she imagenied to be a kid and play pranks my favortatie charethers are otis and stewy
Jun 28, 2013 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is 60 years old this year! I wonder if I read it as a child. I certainly read it to my 4th and 5th grade classes way back in 1968-70! Liam and I enjoyed it this summer for our 3rd book club selection. Otis is a very lovable and very mischievous boy who gets into trouble both in and out of school. I've met many Otises in my life, and many have been my favorite people.
The Styling Librarian
Ellen Tebbits and Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary – Realistic Fiction– in some ways each of these books almost feel like historical fiction — for 3rd grade and up – It was special to go back in time to the days when I read these books as a kid. I had this audiobook reserved that compiles numerous Beverly Cleary favorites in one play. I’m so happy to enjoy these old favorites. Highly recommended.
Jan 27, 2008 R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The kid from Stephen King's Rage was merely Otis Spofford with zits, a pistol and erectile dysfunction issues. Beverly Cleary -such a dear- dug deep...climbed her darkest provide this early portrait of the man known by many names -many horrendous names- but y'all can just call him The Walkin' Dude.
Jul 02, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Read this to my daughter this week (except the last chapter which she couldn't wait to read so she read it without me...had to read the last chapter by myself).

Still my favorite Beverly Cleary book. I must have read this book 20 times during my childhood and it still holds up to this day.

Loved it!
Jun 24, 2007 HeavyReader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of spunky kids
Otis is a naughty boy. As a child I got a vicarious thrill in reading of his escapades because I knew I'd never do the things he did. Not my favorite Beverly Cleary book, but I did enjoy reading it.
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Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Beverly Cleary was born Beverly At
More about Beverly Cleary...

Other Books in the Series

Ellen & Otis (2 books)
  • Ellen Tebbits (Ellen & Otis, #1)

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