Henry and Beezus

( 62 )

Overview

For the well-meaning Henry Huggins, nothing ever works out quite as planned—including getting the bike of his dreams. Luckily his pal Beezus Quimby is there to help!

Henry's attempts at raising money for his bike fund keep falling flat. Selling bubble gum on the playground gets him in trouble with his teacher, and then Ribsy's nose for mischief almost ruins Henry's paper route. Even pesky little Ramona Quimby manages to get in the way of Henry's chance at a bike. But no matter ...

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Henry and Beezus

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Overview

For the well-meaning Henry Huggins, nothing ever works out quite as planned—including getting the bike of his dreams. Luckily his pal Beezus Quimby is there to help!

Henry's attempts at raising money for his bike fund keep falling flat. Selling bubble gum on the playground gets him in trouble with his teacher, and then Ribsy's nose for mischief almost ruins Henry's paper route. Even pesky little Ramona Quimby manages to get in the way of Henry's chance at a bike. But no matter what, Henry can always count on reliable Beezus to stick by his side.

Newbery Medal winner Beverly Cleary portrays a genuine friendship, while telling a very funny story boys and girls alike will enjoy.

The laughs continue as Henry attempts to raise money to buy a bicycle. Aiding him, to his great surprise, is none other than a girl! Beezus is different from most girls Henry knows, and readers will come to recognize her special appeal.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Henry, Beezus and Ramona are as real as children on the next block.”
Chicago Tribune
“A very funny sequel to Henry Huggins”
English Journal
“Good news! Henry Huggins is back!”
English Journal
Good news! Henry Huggins is back!
Chicago Tribune
A very funny sequel to Henry Huggins.
English Journal
Good news! Henry Huggins is back!
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6Based on the endearing book by Beverly Cleary (Morrow, 1952), William Roberts does a fine job presenting the antics centered on Klickitat Street. He differentiates the voices of the numerous characters, a challenge when the key players are all kids of similar ages. Ramona's voice is particularly screechy, while Henry's is subdued. In this book, Henry has saved his money, acquired through various enterprises including the sale of cases of mysterious bubblegum found in a vacant lot, to buy a bicycle. Today's listeners may not put things in the "Bendix" and may be astonished that Henry can get a used bicycle (albeit a girl's model) for $4.04, but dogs still misbehave as do little girls like Ramona. Klickitat Street, though short on diversity, seemed a great place to grow up. This is fun family fare and fine for young readers as well.Fritz Mitnick, Shaler North Hills Library, Glenshaw, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380709144
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Series: Henry Huggins Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 134,468
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most beloved authors. As a child, she struggled with reading and writing. But by third grade, after spending much time in her public library in Portland, Oregon, she found her skills had greatly improved. Before long, her school librarian was saying that she should write children's books when she grew up.

Instead she became a librarian. When a young boy asked her, "Where are the books about kids like us?" she remembered her teacher's encouragement and was inspired to write the books she'd longed to read but couldn't find when she was younger. She based her funny stories on her own neighborhood experiences and the sort of children she knew. And so, the Klickitat Street gang was born!

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented to her in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. Dear Mr. Henshaw won the Newbery Medal, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. Her characters, including Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph, the motorcycle-riding mouse, have delighted children for generations.

Jaqueline Rogers has been a professional children's book illustrator for more than twenty years and has worked on nearly one hundred children's books.

Biography

Beverly Cleary was inadvertently doing market research for her books before she wrote them, as a young children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington. Cleary heard a lot about what kids were and weren’t responding to in literature, and she thought of her library patrons when she later sat down to write her first book.

Henry Huggins, published in 1950, was an effort to represent kids like the ones in Yakima and like the ones in her childhood neighborhood in Oregon. The bunch from Klickitat Street live in modest houses in a quiet neighborhood, but they’re busy: busy with rambunctious dogs (one Ribsy, to be precise), paper routes, robot building, school, bicycle acquisitions, and other projects. Cleary was particularly sensitive to the boys from her library days who complained that they could find nothing of interest to read – and Ralph and the Motorcycle was inspired by her son, who in fourth grade said he wanted to read about motorcycles. Fifteen years after her Henry books, Cleary would concoct the delightful story of a boy who teaches Ralph to ride his red toy motorcycle.

Cleary’s best known character, however, is a girl: Ramona Quimby, the sometimes difficult but always entertaining little sister whom Cleary follows from kindergarten to fourth grade in a series of books. Ramona is a Henry Huggins neighbor who, with her sister, got her first proper introduction in Beezus and Ramona, adding a dimension of sibling dynamics to the adventures on Klickitat Street. Cleary’s stories, so simple and so true, deftly portrayed the exasperation and exuberance of being a kid. Finally, an author seemed to understand perfectly about bossy/pesty siblings, unfair teachers, playmate politics, the joys of clubhouses and the perils of sub-mattress monsters.

Cleary is one of the rare children’s authors who has been able to engage both boys and girls on their own terms, mostly through either Henry Huggins or Ramona and Beezus. She has not limited herself to those characters, though. In 1983, she won the Newbery Medal with Dear Mr. Henshaw, the story of a boy coping with his parents’ divorce, as told through his journal entries and correspondence with his favorite author. She has also written a few books for older girls (Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl, Sister of the Bride, and Jean and Johnny) mostly focusing on first love and family relationships. A set of books for beginning readers stars four-year-old twins Jimmy and Janet.

Some of Cleary’s books – particularly her titles for young adults – may seem somewhat alien to kids whose daily lives don’t feature soda fountains, bottles of ink, or even learning cursive. Still, the author’s stories and characters stand the test of time; and she nails the basic concerns of childhood and adolescence. Her books (particularly the more modern Ramona series, which touches on the repercussions of a father’s job loss and a mother’s return to work) remain relevant classics.

Cleary has said in an essay that she wrote her two autobiographical books, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, "because I wanted to tell young readers what life was like in safer, simpler, less-prosperous times, so different from today." She has conveyed that safer, simpler era -- still fraught with its own timeless concerns -- to children in her fiction as well, more than half a century after her first books were released.

Good To Know

Word processing is not Cleary's style. She writes, "I write in longhand on yellow legal pads. Some pages turn out right the first time (hooray!), some pages I revise once or twice and some I revise half-a-dozen times. I then attack my enemy the typewriter and produce a badly typed manuscript which I take to a typist whose fingers somehow hit the right keys. No, I do not use a computer. Everybody asks."

Cleary usually starts her books on January 2.

Up until she was six, Cleary lived in Yamhill, Oregon -- a town so small it had no library. Cleary's mother took up the job of librarian, asking for books to be sent from the state branch and lending them out from a lodge room over a bank. It was, Clearly remembers, "a dingy room filled with shabby leather-covered chairs and smelling of stale cigar smoke. The books were shelved in a donated china cabinet. It was there I made the most magical discovery: There were books written especially for children!"

Cleary authored a series of tie-in books in the early 1960s for classic TV show Leave It to Beaver.

Cleary's books appear in over 20 countries in 14 languages.

Cleary's book The Luckiest Girl is based in part on her own young adulthood, when a cousin of her mother's offered to take Beverly for the summer and have her attend Chaffey Junior College in Ontario, California. Cleary went from there to the University of California at Berkeley.

The actress Sarah Polley got her start playing Ramona in the late ‘80s TV series. Says Cleary in a Q & A on her web site: “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no. I did have script approval for the television productions of the Ramona series…. I thought Sarah Polley was a good little actress, a real little professional.”

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    1. Also Known As:
      Beverly Atlee Bunn (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Carmel, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 12, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      McMinnville, Oregon
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Ribsy and the Roast



Henry Huggins stood by the front window of his square white house on Klickitat Street and wondered why Sunday afternoon seemed so much longer than any other part of the week. Mrs. Huggins was reading a magazine, and Mr. Huggins, puffing on his pipe, was reading the funnies in the Sunday Journal.

Henry's dog, Ribsy, was asleep in the middle of the living-room rug. As Henry looked at him, he suddenly sat up, scratched hard behind his left ear with his left hind foot, and flopped down again without even bothering to open his eyes.

Henry pressed his nose against the windowpane and looked out at Klickitat Street. The only person he saw was Scooter McCarthy, who was riding up and down the sidewalk on his bicycle.

I sure wish I had a bike," remarked Henry to his mother and father, as he watched Scooter.

I wish you did, too," agreed his mother, "but with prices and taxes going up all the time, I'm afraid we can't get you one this year."

"Maybe things will be better next year, said Mr. Huggins, dropping the funnies and picking up the sport section.

Henry sighed. He wanted a bicycle now. He could see himself riding up and down Klickitat Street on a shiny red bike. He would wear his genuine Daniel Boone coonskin cap with the snap-on tail, only he wouldn't wear the tail fastened to the hat. He would tie it to the handle bars so that it would wave in the breeze as he whizzed along.

"Henry," said Mrs. Huggins, interrupting his thoughts, "Please don't rub your nose against my clean window."

"All right, Mom, said Henry. I sure wish something would happenaround here sometime."

"Why don't you go over to Robert's house? Maybe he can think of something to do," suggested Mrs. Huggins, as she turned a page of her magazine.

"O.K.," agreed Henry. Robert's mother said they couldn't give the white mice rides on Robert's electric train any more, but maybe they could think of something else. "Come on, Ribsy," said Henry.

Ribsy stood up and shook himself, scattering hair over the rug.

"That dog," sighed Mrs. Huggins.

Henry thought he had better leave quickly. As he and Ribsy started down the front steps, Robert came around the corner.

"What's up, Doc?" said Robert.

"Hi," responded Henry.

"My dad said maybe if I came over to your house, you could think of something to do," said Robert.

The boys sat down on the front steps. "Here comes old Scooter," observed Robert. The two boys watched the older boy pumping down the street on his bicycle. He was whistling, and not only was he riding without touching the handle bars, he even had his hands in his pockets.

" Hi," said Scooter casually, without stopping.

"Big show-off," muttered Robert. I bet be takes that bike to bed with him."

"He sure thinks he's smart, " agreed Henry. "He's been riding up and down all afternoon. Come on, let's go around in the back yard, where we won't have to watch old Scooter show off all day. Maybe we can find something to do back there."

Ribsy followed at the boys' heels. Unfortunately, the back yard was no more interesting than the front. The only sign of life was next door. A large yellow cat was dozing on the Grumbies' back steps, and there was smoke coming from the barbecue pit.

Robert looked thoughtful. "Does Ribsy ever chase cats?"

"Not that old Fluffy." Henry, understanding what was on Robert's mind, explained that Mrs. Grumbie sprinkled something called Doggie-B-Gone on her side of the rosebushes. Ribsy disliked the smell of it and was careful to stay on his side of the bushes.

Robert was disappointed. I thought Ribsy might ..."

"No such luck," interrupted Henry, looking at his dog, who had settled himself by the back steps to continue his nap. Henry picked a blade of grass and started to blow through it when the squeak-slam of the Grumbies' screen door made him look up. "Jeepers!" be whispered.

Stepping carefully over Fluffy, Mr. Hector Grumbie walked down the back steps. He was wearing a chef's tall white hat and an immense white apron. What's cooking? was written across the hat, and on the apron was printed a recipe for Bar X Ranch Bar-B-Q Sauce. Mr. Grumbie carried a tray full of bowls, jars, bottles, and what appeared to be bunches of dried weeds.

"Is he really going to cook?" whispered Robert.

"Search me," answered Henry. The two boys edged closer to the rosebushes that divided the two yards.

"Hello, Mr. Grumbie," said Henry.

"'Hello there, Henry." Mr. Grumbie crossed the lawn and set the tray on the edge of the barbecue pit in the comer of his yard. He peeled a small object which he put into a bowl, sprinkled with salt, and mashed with a little wooden stick. Then he broke off pieces of the dried weeds and mashed them, too.

Henry and Robert exchanged puzzled looks.

"Need any help, Mr. Grumbie?" asked Henry.

"No, thank you." Mr. Grumbie poured a few drops of something into the mixture.

"Is that something that's supposed to be good to eat?" asked Robert. Mr. Grumbie didn't answer.

"What's that stuff in the bowl?" asked Henry.

"Herbs and garlic," answered Mr. Grumbie. "Now run along and play, boys. I'm busy."

Henry and Robert did not move.

"Etta!" called Mr. Grumbie to his wife. I forgot the vinegar." He coughed as a breeze blew smoke in his face.

" I'll go get it for you," offered Henry, but his neighbor ignored him.

Squeak-slam went the screen. Mrs. Grumbie stepped over Fluffy and walked across the yard with a bottle in her hand. "Hector, can't we take your friends out to dinner instead of going to all this trouble?" she asked, as she fanned smoke out of her eyes.

"This is no trouble at all." Mr. Grumbie added a few drops of vinegar to the mixture in the bowl.

Henry thought Mrs. Grumbie looked cross, as she said, "Hector, why don't you let me cook the meat in the house? It would be so much easier and then we could bring it outside to eat."

Henry and Beezus. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 7, 2012

    I've been a fan of the ramona books since I was a kid this is de

    I've been a fan of the ramona books since I was a kid this is definately something to share with your kids, grandkids,anyone's kids!!!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2011

    I relly enjoyd it very much

    The book was really good i liked it alot. Its about when the old scooter guy keeps showing off his awesome red bike, henry gets jealous and tired of it so when there is a bike auction at the police station henry goes to it. But with beezus.......and the lil pest.......ramona. read it to find out what happens to the poor old henry, the innociant beezus...... ans the little trouble making ramona. Read the book, please it wont kill u to try something new and interesting which is definetly interesting

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Good

    Awsome

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2004

    Hello I am 10 who enjoys all of Beverly Cleary's books

    Well i think all kids and adults will enjoy this book.The best part was chasing Risby!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2003

    This book is very funny

    This book is very funny.You should take it. Don't care how much it is,just take it all ready.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    :)

    =)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Y

    Yay

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Love it

    Its an an amazing book you might like it

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Good book

    Good book

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Loveer book

    I think he is in love!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Fvggfhgjgxjsdrdrsrftfgftfhgytuvugfd

    Vgcgfhgg ggvyt thftyfr gdtcfhghct hfhvygjvh

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    What the

    Spice and wolf what is that?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Beezus And Romona

    Pretty good book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2014

    To number 9

    You shoudent post things like that REALY I MEAN IT SO STOP IT NOW OOOOOOKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Nice book

    I read almost all of beverlys books shes a good auther

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    To no. 2

    Really???

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Awesome book

    A must read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Im in love with Henry I have sex with the cover

    Love it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Yhtg

    Hvy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Best book EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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