Ralph S. Mouse-4 Vol. Boxed Set

Overview

This wonderful Mouse Box Set, by Beverly Cleary, contains four books: The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ralph S Mouse, Runaway Ralph, and Strider.The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Ralph only wanted to ride the mouse-sized motorcycle someone had left on the table in the hotel room where Ralph lived. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle take a terrible fall into the wastepaper basket, where they are trapped until Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, rescues them. Keith teaches Ralph to ...

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Overview

This wonderful Mouse Box Set, by Beverly Cleary, contains four books: The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ralph S Mouse, Runaway Ralph, and Strider.The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Ralph only wanted to ride the mouse-sized motorcycle someone had left on the table in the hotel room where Ralph lived. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle take a terrible fall into the wastepaper basket, where they are trapped until Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, rescues them. Keith teaches Ralph to ride the motorcycle, and the two of them soon find out that adventures can be both fun and dangerous!Ralph S. Mouse

When Ralph's home at the Mountain View Inn is over-run by rowdy mice who want to use his red motorcycle, he packs up his prized machine and moves to a new home — inside Irwin J. Sneed Elementary School! Runaway Ralph

Ralph has made up his mind — he is going to run away. Envisioning fun, freedom, and delicious crumbs from peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, he hops on his red bike and zooms away to the summer camp down the road. Once he arrives, he runs headlong into a strict watchdog, a mouse-hungry cat, and even more fur-raising escapades. Suddenly home doesn't seem like a bad place to be. Strider

In the sequel to the Newbery winner Dear Mr. Henshaw, Leigh Botts is down in the dumps. His parents have divorced and his dog has run away, and it doesn't look as if things could get any worse. But Leigh's life takes a turn for the better when he adopts a stray dog named Strider.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
One might know that if Beverly Cleary were to invent a mouse, it would be a down-to-earth, boyish mouse with a proclivity for getting into scrapes. A good story!.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary
Beverly Cleary
New readers find a friend in Beverly Cleary, who displays an uncanny understanding of kid life in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Henry Huggins, and other titles in her classic series of books about life on Klickitat Street -- books that hold up decade after decade.

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

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Chapter One
The New Guests

Keith, the boy in the rumpled shorts and shirt, did not know he was being watched as he entered room 215 of the Mountain View Inn. Neither did his mother and father, who both looked hot and tired. They had come from Ohio and for five days had driven across plains and deserts and over mountains to the old hotel in the California foothills twenty-five miles from Highway 40.

The fourth person entering room 215 may have known he was being watched, but he did not care. He was Matt, sixty if he was a day, who at the moment was the bellboy. Matt also replaced wornout light bulbs, renewed washers in leaky faucets, carried trays for people who telephoned room service to order food sent to their rooms, and sometimes prevented children from hitting one another with croquet mallets on the lawn behind the hotel.

Now Matt's right shoulder sagged with the weight of one of the bags he was carrying. "Here you are, Mr. Gridley. Rooms 215 and 216," he said, setting the smaller of the bags on a luggage rack at the foot of the double bed before he opened a door into the next room. I expect you and Mrs. Gridley will want room 216. It is a comer room with twin beds and a private bath." He carried the heavy bag into the next room where he could be heard opening windows. Outside a chipmunk chattered in a pine tree and a chickadee whistled fee-bee-bee.

Ralph S. Mouse

Chapter One
A Dark and Snowy Night

Night winds, moaning around corners and whistling through cracks, dashed snow against the windows of the Mountain View Inn. Inside,, a fire crackledin the stone fireplace. The grandfather clock as old and tired as the inn itself, marked the passing of time with a slow tick ... tock ... that seemed to say, "Wait ... ing, wait ... ing."

Everyone in the lobby was waiting -- the desk clerk, the handyman, old Matt,, who also carried guests' luggage to their rooms, Ryan Bramble, the son of the hotel's new housekeeper, and Ralph, the mouse who lived under the grandfather clock.

The desk clerk dozed, waiting for guests who did not arrive. Matt leaned against the wall to watch television while he waited for the desk clerk to close up for the night. Ryan, sitting on the floor to watch television, waited for his mother to tell him to go to bed because he had to go to school the next day. Ralph, crouched beside Ryan, waited for the adults to leave so he could bring out his mouse-sized motorcycle. Unfortunately, Ralph's little brothers,, sisters,, and cousins, hiding in the woodpile and behind the curtains, were also waiting.

On the television set, a sports car crashed into a truck, shot off a cliff, and burst into flames.

"Wow!" Without taking his eyes from the screen,, Ryan said., "There's a boy at school named Brad Kirby...

Runaway Ralph

Chapter One
Ralph Rears a Distant Bugle

The small brown mouse named Ralph who was hiding under the grandfather clock did not have much longer to wait before he could ride his motorcycle. The clock had struck eight already, and then eight thirty.

Ralph was the only mouse in the Mountain View Inn, a run-down hotel in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, who owned a motorcycle. It was a mouse-sized red motorcycle, a present from a boy named Keith who had been a guest in Room 215 over the Fourth of July weekend. Ralph was proud of his motorcycle, but his brothers and sisters said he was selfish.

I am not," said Ralph. "Keith gave the motorcycle to me."

That evening, while Ralph waited under the clock and watched the television set across the lobby, a man and a woman followed by a medium-sized boywalked into the hotel. They had the rumpled look of people who had driven many miles that day. The boy was wearing jeans, cowboy boots, and a white T-shirt with the words Happy Acres Camp stenciled across the front.

Ralph observed the boy with interest. He was the right kind of boy, a boy sure to like peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Since the day Keith had left the hotel, Ralph had longed for crumbs of a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

A grating, grinding noise came from the works of the grandfather clock...

Strider

Chapter One
From the Diary of Leigh Botts

June 6

This afternoon, as Mom was leaving for work at the hospital, she said for the millionth time, "Leigh, please clean up your room. There is no excuse for such a mess. And don't forget the junk under your bed."

I said, "Mom, you're nagging. I'm going to Barry's house."

She plunked a kiss on my hair and said, "Room first, Barry second. Besides, where would the world be without nagging mothers? Everything would go to pieces."

Maybe she's right. Things are pretty deep in my room. I hauled all the rubbish out from under my bed. In the midst of all the old socks, school papers, models that have fallen apart, paperback books (one library book -- oops!), and other stuff, I found the diary I kept a couple of years ago when I was a mixed-up kid in the sixth grade. Mom had just divorced Dad and moved with me to Pacific Grove, better known as P.G., where I was a new kid in school, which wasn't easy.

I sat there on the floor reading my diary, and when I finished, I continued to sit there. What had changed?

Dad still drives his tractor-trailer rig, lives mostly on the road, and is late with his child support checks or forgets them. I don't often see him, but I don't get as angry about this as I did in the sixth grade...

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