Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

When I was younger, I could not get enough of Beverly Cleary’s books.  I loved hearing about Ramona and Beezus and their friends.  Yesterday, I bought a couple of the Ramona books to bring home, and I started reading one of them last night.  I finished it this morning, and they are just as good as I remembered.

I read Ramona the Brave.  This is the story of Ramona starting first grade.  Her parents have decided to build an addition to the house, so she finally gets her own room.  She is not going to have to share a room with her sister anymore.  Her mom is also starting a job while Ramona is in school all day.  A lot of things are changing for Ramona.

The characterization is fun and you quickly relate to the different teachers.  I find myself wishing that there were more Ramona books, but I will find the ones that are already written and read those again.  Beverly Cleary has a knack for understanding the child’s voice, and I love how she portrays the perspective of a first grader.

I remember huddling in my room reading these books over and over again.  They were some of my favorites.  Re-reading them as an adult reminded me of why I enjoyed them so much.  The storylines are simple, but they ring so true for a young kid.  She tackles the types of problems and feelings that kids often have and puts you right back in first grade with Ramona.

My first grade teacher was amazing.  Her name was Mrs. McAllister.  I still remember her classroom.  When you went in the front door of the school it was down the hall to the right on the right-hand side.  Her class was the one where I made the book for the young authors competition.  I remember when we made artwork with our home address and phone number on it as we were learning to memorize our address and phone number.  I remember writing letters in her class.  I remember some of my friends from her class as well.  That was a really fun year for me.  I wonder where she is now.

It is amazing how books can remind us what it was like to be a child.  More adults should read children’s books and remember the wonderful (and not so wonderful) feelings of being a kid.  I am off to read for a little longer before I head in to work.  Until next time, Happy Reading!

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