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review 2017-08-19 17:09
Ramona's World - Beverly Cleary,Tracy Dockray

I decided to give this book a reread. I loved it growing up and found that even reading it as an adult, I loved it just as much.

Before this, I read Ramona the Pest, in which Ramona is in kindergarten, so it was interesting to see how much Ramona has grown up between book 2 and book 8. This one focuses much more on Ramona being responsible.

I really enjoyed this book. There are a lot of silly situations and funny anecdotes. I also liked Ramona and Daisy's friendship in the story. It was a great example of female friendship without all of the feuding that often occurs in book about girls. Even Susan and Ramona's relationship developed, which was nice to see.

I can't wait to go back and read some of the other Ramona books, although it is bittersweet for me to watch Ramona grown up.

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review 2017-08-18 14:44
Ramona the Pest (Ramona Quimby) - Tracy Dockray,Louis Darling,Beverly Cleary

I loved Beverly Cleary's books growing up, especially the ones about Ramona. I recently found a few copies of my old books and thought I'd read them now that I'm an adult.

I love this one just as much as I did when I was a kid. It is easy to relate to Ramona, even as an adult. She doesn't want to be a pest and she doesn't mean to get into trouble. I really enjoy how Cleary shows Ramona's side of things and how differently situations happen from her perspective.

While some of the things in this book are a bit outdated, it is still an awesome book that is funny, heartwarming, and relatable.

I love, love, love these books.

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text 2017-05-27 07:08
My Personal Literary Canon: Begin at the beginning
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
Then Again, Maybe I Won't - Judy Blume
Deenie - Judy Blume
Tiger Eyes - Judy Blume
Forever... - Judy Blume
The Luckiest Girl - Beverly Cleary
Up in Seth's Room - Norma Fox Mazer

I'm going to start with the books that on the surface might strike some as the most trivial, but realistically, because of the age I was when I read them, would have had the biggest impact.

 

Hands down, the undisputed winner for most influential YA writer has to be Judy Blume.  In my previous post I mentioned I didn't come from an open family.  When speaking about my adolescence, I cannot put too fine a point on this:  my entire sex education consisted of a short movie and forgettable lecture in 5th grade that left me horrified, and the works of Judy Blume.  

 

But I got so much more out of her books too.  Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret might have enlightened me on the more embarrassing aspects of puberty, but I also learned the importance of making up your own mind about your beliefs, and that there was no right answer for everyone.  I also noted the dangers of jumping to conclusions about people you don't know; that their reality is not mine.  

 

Then Again, Maybe I Won't taught me that while change was rarely welcomed, sometimes good and unexpected things came out of it.  Deenie was my personal adolescent nightmare writ large; scoliosis terrified me; after reading Deenie it still terrified me, but I could see how someone might survive it and own it.  Tiger Eyes taught me we all carry guilt, even for the things we aren't guilty of and can't control, and while that may be the nature of things, we should never stop trying to let it go.

 

Then, of course, there's Forever...  I doubt I have to list all that I learned from this book, but the most lasting lesson was this: I'm allowed to choose for myself.  I get to make my decisions on my own terms and I'm allowed to change my mind.

 

This, in my opinion, was Judy Blume's strength.  She never preached to her readers, either directly or indirectly.  She created characters that were confronted by the things her readers confronted, and then gave her characters the rational capacity to find the answers on their own. Adults don't play Yoda in her books; the kids reach their own conclusions, and as a result they serve as examples to their readers.

 

There are other teen authors from back in the day that come to mind:  Beverly Cleary, of course, although not for her much more famous Romana series, but for The Luckiest Girl.  At 16, Shelley leaves her family to spend a year in California with a family she barely knows.  While quite a bit of the book is dated now and even a little twee, what stuck with me all these years was her bravery in getting on that plane by herself, her openness to experience new things, and her unapologetic, unabashed delight in the world around her. I admired her for that - I wanted to be like that too, and I am, mostly. I'll forever be grateful to Beverly Cleary for Shelley.

 

Finally, there's Up in Seth's Room by Norma Fox Mazer.  Like Forever this deals with the weighty issues of first love and how far do you go?  This book fascinated me because it straddled two myths:  If you defy your parents you're automatically wrong, and if you're dating someone older, you're going to be unable to say no.  Finn is 15 and falls for a 19 year old.  She defies her parents after she's forbidden to see him, but she calls the shots with Seth.  She decides what she is and isn't comfortable doing and she sticks to her guns.  As a stubborn teen, Finn spoke to me in ways nobody else ever did.

 

I give my mom (deservedly) most of the credit for the strong-willed, independent woman I am today, but it's just as accurate to say these women deserve to share the credit with her; they went where she was unwilling or unable to go, and I doubt she could find much fault with their lessons.

 

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text 2017-04-18 13:33
12th April 2017
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary

She was not a slowpoke grownup. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next.

 

Beverly Cleary

 

Today we celebrate the birth of Beverly Cleary! The creator of enduring characters like Ramona Quimby and her sister Beezus was a librarian who wanted to write books that reflected the lives of the children she grew up with and worked with.

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review 2017-04-08 04:39
A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What Is a Noun? - Brian P. Cleary,Jenya Prosmitsky

This book is a good book to introduce nouns. This noun shows the readers how nouns can be a person place or things. I think this is good book for teachers to introduce his or her lesson on nouns. I would use this book when I am ready to do a known lesson with my students. I also would use this as a visual for students who need to see what a noun is.

RL: 2.7

Ls: GLE

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