Alison Gresik's Reviews > Ramona the Pest

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
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Jan 21, 12

Read in January, 2012

I must have read this book dozens of times as a kid -- every name and image is so vivid in my memory. As an adult re-reading it, I'm so impressed by Beverly Cleary's skill. The story is paced beautifully, with each scene so dense and yet simple, working on many levels.

I was always more Beezus than Ramona, but my daughter can completely relate to her five-year-old impatience, her love of running and shrieking, and the satisfaction of making a great big noisy fuss when she doesn't get her way. And of course, her love of school and her cleverness in drawing conclusions that sometimes miss the mark (a quarter past eight is 25 minutes after eight, since there are 25 cents in a quarter, right?).

Now I can see Cleary working with themes of identity, unconditional love, how good it feels to be bad, and how hard it is to behave when the world just seems to demand stomping in mud puddles and pulling curls.

I look forward to revisiting the whole series and aspire to writing a book that has a fraction of the timeless truth and beauty of Ramona the Pest.
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