Michelle Isenhoff

Beverly Cleary

Socks, by Beverly Cleary, 1973, Book Review

Socks is written in true Beverly Cleary style. The cat for whom the book is named was the Bricker’s only pet, pampered, loved and a little spoiled. But his mistress’ comfortable lap began to shrink, and then one day Mr. and Mrs. Bricker brought home a new pet. One that wailed and smelled funny and stole […]

Henry and the Clubhouse, by Beverly Cleary, 1962, Book Review

Henry and the Clubhouse is my favorite Henry Huggins book yet. Of course, Henry overlaps with the Ramona series. She’s his pesky little neighbor. And in this book, the two of them certainly clash! Henry obtained a paper route in the last book. In this installment, his after-school job is funding his building project–a clubhouse that he […]

Henry and the Paper Route, by Beverly Cleary, 1957, Book Review

My boys absolutely love Henry Huggins. These books may be over fifty years old, but the world of Klickitat Street still rings true. Families still have dogs. Little sisters are still pests. Neighbor kids still have squabbles. And boys still have dreams. Henry and the Paper Route, ten-year-old Henry Huggins dreams of having a paper […]

Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary, Book Review

Dear Mr. Henshaw is Beverly Cleary’s highest award-winner, capturing the Newbery and Christopher Awards in the early 80’s, yet it is one of my least favorites. Written as a series of letters and journal entries, with absolutely no narration, Mrs. Cleary somehow, miraculously, weaves together a plot, a central-California setting and a well-rounded character. This accomplishment […]

Ramona and her Father, by Beverly Cleary, 1977, Book Review

Ramona and Her Father is another installment in the life of the Quimbys. Within, Mrs. Cleary maintains her characteristic anecdotal style, but she’s tied her chapters more fully together to give us a glimpse inside the mind of this precocious child. And to our surprise, we find a regular girl with logical reasons for her outlandish behavior. Ramona is […]

In Honor of Beverly Cleary

Today I’d like to pay tribute to one of the most accomplished, most celebrated, most beloved children’s authors in history.  Growing up, the name Beverly Cleary rolled off my tongue as easily as “Ronald Reagan” or “Michael Jackson”.  Everyone knew who she was.  And her characters – Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beezus and Ralph […]

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