Book Nostalgia: Beezus and Ramona
By Nadia on August 30th, 2012
It’s Thursday and you know what that means….time to dive into the archives for some book nostalgia! This week, I reread Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona.
Recap: Nine-year-old Beezus tries to love and to get along with her four-year-old sister Ramona, but Ramona’s temperament makes it difficult. Among Ramona’s many misadventures: she gets lost in the park trying to find gold at the end of a rainbow and the police have to bring her home; she puts her doll in the oven when pretending to be Gretel (from Hansel and Gretel) and ruins Beezus’ birthday cake for the second time in one day; she messes up her sister’s game of checkers with Henry and then locks Henry’s dog in the bathroom; and invites friends over for a party without telling anyone.
What I remember: I remembered how annoying Ramona was, and recall being especially horrified when she scribbled all over her library book.
Takeaway: Part of what makes this book a timeless classic is how easy it is to relate to. It didn’t matter whether you (or a friend) had an annoying younger sibling, a serious older sibling, a BIG imagination, or wished you were more creative. There is something for everyone.
One thing that struck me that I didn’t notice when I was younger was the relationship between Mrs. Quimby and her sister Bea. They have a strong relationship and talk on a regular basis. You can tell Mrs. Quimby loves and misses her sister, and wishes she was around more. Beezus idolizes her Aunt Bea, and finds out that growing up, Bea was a lot like Ramona! She has a hard time picturing her mom and aunt as kids and fighting. It’s kind of like when you see a teacher outside of school and it throws you off to see them out of context (and remember that they have their own lives!)
The book reminded me that people mature, relationships change, you don’t have to love someone every minute, and you should never underestimate the power of imagination and creativity.
Growing up, were you more like Ramona or Beezus?
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