Beezus and Ramona

by Beverly Cleary.

183 pages. Best for age 6 and older.

Do you have a younger sibling?

Are you a younger sibling?

Do you know someone who is or has a younger sibling?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then “Beezus and Ramona” is the perfect book for you.

The Beezus of this story is 9-year-old Beatrice Quimby, who got the nickname Beezus because that’s how her little sister, Ramona, pronounced it when she learned to talk. Ramona is 4 as the book opens, and she is a most fabulous — and frustrating — 4 indeed.

Among the things about Ramona that frustrate Beezus the most:

l Ramona rides around the living room on her tricycle while playing one note on her harmonica.

l Ramona fingerpaints and then wipes her hands on the neighbor’s cat!

Ramona’s antics — and the way Beezus deals with them — makes this book very funny. But it is the real love between the sisters and other members of the Quimby family that have made this book a favorite since it was first published in 1955.

Beverly Cleary, who is 95 years old, clearly understands kids and families. When Beezus and Ramona are leaving the library together, the librarian looks at Beezus and says, “Good luck, Beatrice.” That’s because she — along with everyone reading the book — understands how much luck Beezus needs living with Ramona.

— Tracy Grant