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Otis Spofford

(Ellen & Otis #2)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,266 ratings  ·  102 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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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,266 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dang; Cleary sure did know how to knock 'em out. Unfortunately the Mexican folk dance segment and the references to Indians date the book, but the multi-culturism is not an issue. Otis' poor impulse control is. Even at the end, when his friends cut him and he begins to learn a bit of empathy, he shows no real remorse; he's irrepressible.

I would love to discuss this with children. Do they think Otis should be on Ritalin or in Special Ed? Do they think he's a bully? How would they cope with him i
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
Olivia "So many books--so little time.""
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.
May 30, 2008 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.
Henry Martin
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Classic Beverly Cleary, which never disappoints.

Otis Spofford is a continuation of Ellen Tebids book, and as such it brings back familiar characters. The tale is innocent and lovely clean fun, which is what one would expect from Beverly Cleary. Especially nowadays, stories such as this one promote clean 'mischief' not marred by technology, addiction to social media, and all other kinds of modern nonsense. It is a book where boys can be boys, and girls can be girls, exploring their world, and pu
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 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 to see h
Feb 19, 2012 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 atte
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 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.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I somehow missed putting this Beverly Cleary classic on my "read" list. It's amazing that I still remember bits of the story after all these years. I remember being such a "girly girl" that I wanted Ellen and Otis to grow up and fall in love!
Katie Fitzgerald
Otis Spofford is the companion book to 1951's Ellen Tebbits. Unlike Ellen, who is mild-mannered and well-behaved, Otis is a spirited troublemaker who is always looking for ways to make his school day more interesting. Throughout this book, Otis causes trouble everywhere he goes. He doesn't quite believe his teacher's warnings that he will someday get his comeuppance until one day he does something to Ellen that might just be unforgivable.

What is most interesting to me about this book
Ayesha Iqbal
I likes returning to Cleary’s World. Her writing is so smooth and flowing. And who doesn’t like her mischievous characters? There is one part in the book that Otis doesn’t like the kids in his reader that he is reading about. They were to good. I think they we’re not real kids at all, but how adults want kids to behave. I saw that to when I read many books in my childhood. Cleary writes with the kid in mind.
Though I don’t like the rat experiment. I really hope people don’t do that and grateful
Eric Oppen
I read this a long time ago, back in the late Sixties or early Seventies. Schools had already changed some from the one depicted (the book seems to be set when it was written) but a lot of things I recognized. And I recognized Otis Spofford instantly.

I had a similar PITA in my life from kindergarten clear up to 12th grade, but a lot of what he did was a lot less humorous than Otis' antics. Even when I was reading this, though, I could see why Otis was the way he was. He apparently di
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book Otis Spofford By beverly Cleary because it was super funny.I would recomend this book for trouble makers because thats what Otis is a big trouble maker.I chose this book because it was my moms favorite book when she was young.I guess the apple dosent land far frome the tree thats why i love this book. ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate how Cleary tried to humanize a "mean" boy. Otis wasn't after causing trouble. He was trying to drum up excitement. My 6yo was pretty scandalized by Otis' behavior.

Unlike some of her other books, I felt this one didn't age as well. The whole reader section on "Indians" was very telling of its time.
So far, this is my least favorite Beverly Cleary book. Otis is obnoxious and a trouble maker. It's not as if trouble finds him, he knowingly causes trouble and tries his hardest to irritate everyone. I was turned off by that behavior. Perhaps I am judging this too harshly because I just adore the Henry Huggins series and I'm definitely comparing the two.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beverly Cleary is simply brilliant. We are absolutely in love with her characters. She makes it hard to read just one chapter per sitting. My 7 year old daughter much preferred this book over its companion, Ellen Tebbits. I adored them equally.
Blaire Malkin
Not my favorite Beverly Cleary. Otis is a classic troublemaker and likes to entertain his class through various pranks but sometimes takes it too far. I hadn’t read this one as a kid and I thought the teasing in it was a little more mean spirited than I expected.
Otis is an annoyance to Ellen. My oldest son really enjoyed listening to Otis's adventures. I thought the ending was lacking in character improvement. However I discussed it with my kids, and it was interesting to hear their thoughts.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As I was reading this book, Otis reminded me of each of my sons. He likes school except for the learning part. He's always trying to stir up some excitement. It was amusing seeing what scheme he'd come up with next.
The Campbell Family
We loved Otis and his antics.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read

We liked the story very much. Good old fashioned humour. Perfect for my boys Glad we read it. Will continue our quest to read all cleary's works!
Megan Bode
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boys
Nick, Will, Alex
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fun to read to my boys!
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute but I never need to read the phrase "stir up a little excitement" ever again.
Alexis Kaelin
Pretty good, though a bit cringe-worthy at parts, especially the "scalping" and Indian talk - yikes.
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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 bor

Other books in the series

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