As long as I can remember, Beverly Cleary has been in my life. When this challenge began, I thought I owned more of her books than I actually did because I’d read them so often. Long before I started shipping fictional people. Beezus and Henry, in my mind, have always been future couple material. Can’t you imagine? They get married out of high school, Henry works at some trade and Beezus might become a teacher. Ribsy will be gone, but they’ll have one or two more dogs to entertain Ramona when she visits.

I have yet to see the movie Ramona and Beezus. To be honest, I’m hesitant to be fed a Hollywood reincarnation, but if Selena Gomez is a pretty good actor by Disney sitcom standards, she could be decent in a film based on a childhood classic. Will the plot be consistent with the book it’s based off of? Given the ages of the main actresses, there must have been a few changes. This is a treat I’ll save for after this summer’s challenge along with Charlotte’s Web and Charlotte’s Web 2.0.

It’s nice to see that the new publications of Beverly Cleary’s novels on Henry, Beezus, and Ramona haven’t changed much. The biggest evidence with this is money. Fifty years ago, $2.50 was a lot of money to a kid and $20 was a lot to an adult.

Henry and Beezus

One thing I’ve always noticed in Cleary’s novels about Henry, Beezus, and Ramona is that even if the whole book has one goal in mind, each chapter is a tale of a specific shenanigan that keeps referring back to the original goal. I’ve also noticed that everything works out in the end.

Although Henry puts up with a lot, his need to acquire a bicycle pushes him to act accordingly in each chapter.

Beezus and Ramona

Beezus is no different with her plot, but she has to put up with a lot worse: Ramona. At times, though, it always seemed like Ramona was constantly being told she couldn’t do things. By her sister, mother, and father, she wasn’t supposed to do things because “you aren’t supposed to.” That’s a fine defence. Jelly on mashed potatoes might actually be very good, and Beezus even admits to herself that Ramona is right about the first bite of an apple being the best.

Who could say no to this punim?

 On second thought, never mind. Ramona gets herself into a lot of trouble with barely any punishment except “go to your room until you tell us you can be good.”

Ironically, there’s a pen scratch on the page in which Ramona gets in trouble for coloring on a library book.

The new illustrations for these novels are better than the Louis Darling ones I grew up with (see above picture), but the original style has its charm! Ramona is more endearing in these new illustrations. Of course she’s always a pest, but once Henry and Beezus are grown up, she will have matured at least a little.

Beverly Cleary introduced me to the concept of featuring a repeating world and characters without having to publish them all in one series. Each main character here has his or her own series featuring characters from other series.

I’m certainly not done with reading Beverly Cleary, and perhaps never will be, but I must move on to other books for this challenge. At some point in time in the far future, I will reread Socks!

24 titles down, 28 to go.

Days left: 9.