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Overview

Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary gives Henry's dog, Ribsy, the center stage in this dog's-eye view of the adventure of a lifetime.

Good ol' Ribsy's ever-curious mind has always gotten him into scrapes, but this time he may have gone too far. After a comical turn of events, Ribsy finds himself in the wrong station wagon with the wrong children. Ribsy will do anything to find Henry, but there's plenty of excitement to be had along the ...

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Ribsy

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Overview

Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary gives Henry's dog, Ribsy, the center stage in this dog's-eye view of the adventure of a lifetime.

Good ol' Ribsy's ever-curious mind has always gotten him into scrapes, but this time he may have gone too far. After a comical turn of events, Ribsy finds himself in the wrong station wagon with the wrong children. Ribsy will do anything to find Henry, but there's plenty of excitement to be had along the way—and scoring a touchdown for a local high school team is only part of the fun!

Separated from his owner, Henry Huggins, in a shopping center parking lot, an ordinary city dog begins a string of bewildering adventures.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Henry Huggins's lost dog stars in this delightful story that sparkles with naturalness, heart, and humor.
Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
Mrs. Cleary's style is, as always, refreshing; The characters are real, the dialogue is lively, the humor is unquenchable.
New York Times
Henry Huggins's lost dog stars in this delightful story that sparkles with naturalness, heart, and humor.
Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
Mrs. Cleary's style is, as always, refreshing; The characters are real, the dialogue is lively, the humor is unquenchable.
Children's Literature
Forbidden to ride in the Huggins' clean new car, Henry's dog, Ribsy, runs after it until he is exhausted, forcing the family to stop and let him in. From then on he experiences one disaster after another. While shut up in the car at the mall, he accidentally hits the automatic window control, wiggles out and unsuccessfully searches for his owners. Confused, he jumps into another new-smelling car by mistake and goes home with the Dingleys, who give him a violet-scented bubble bath. Deeply insulted, Ribsy escapes and tries to find his way home. He meets many new people along the way, including a kindly old lady who dresses him in a hat and pipe, a bunch of school children who share their lunches, and a lonely boy harassed by the mean manager of his apartment building. After a dramatic rescue from a fire escape, Ribsy is reunited joyfully with his family. Written in an easy, conversational style and filled with funny situations and sly satire, the fast moving story, although set at least forty years ago, is as appealing as ever. Ribsy is the sweet, spirited embodiment of hundreds of beloved, scruffy children's pets, back in the days before leash laws and animal control officers cramped their styles. Occasional, lively black-and-white drawings add to the fun. 2001 (orig. 1964), HarperTrophy, $5.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Patricia Dole
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Mrs. Cleary’s style is, as always, refreshing; The characters are real, the dialogue is lively, the humor is unquenchable.”
The New York Times
“Henry Huggins’s lost dog stars in this delightful story that sparkles with naturalness, heart, and humor.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061972386
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Series: Henry Huggins Series
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 145,775
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • File size: 4 MB

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 Hungry Flea



Henry Huggins' dog Ribsy was a plain ordinary city dog, the kind of dog that strangers usually called Mutt or Pooch. They always called him this in a friendly way, because Ribsy was a friendly dog. He followed Henry and his friends to school. He kept the mailman company. He wagged his tail at the milkman who always stopped to pet him. People liked Ribsy, and Ribsy liked people. Ribsy was what you might call a well-adjusted dog.

This did not mean that Ribsy had no troubles. He did have troubles, and high on the list were fleas, particularly one mean hungry flea that persistently nipped Ribsy right under his collar where he could not get at it no matter how hard he scratched with his hind foot. If it had not been for that flea, things might have been different for Ribsy.

Ribsy's troubles began one Saturday morning in October when he was sitting out in front of the Huggins' square white house onKlickitat Street keeping an eye on the brand-new station wagon to make sure the family did not drive away without him. The Hugginses had owned the new green station wagon almost a week, and not once had Ribsy been allowed to ride in it.

"We're going to keep this car clean," vowed Mrs. Huggins. "No more muddy paw prints on the seats. No more smudgy nose marks on the windows."

Ribsy knew the Hugginses were getting ready to go someplace, because he could hear Mrs. Huggins tapping around in high heels, a sure sign that she was about to leave the house. He bad also sensed an air of hurry that morning. Henry had dumped half a can of Woofies Dog Food on Ribsy's dish without stopping toscratch him behind the ears. Nosy the cat had been fed and hurriedly shoved outdoors. The Hugginses had not lingered at the breakfast table. All this meant the family was going someplace, and this time Ribsy did not intend to be left behind.

While Ribsy kept an eye on the station wagon he amused himself with his soggy old tennis ball, wet from last night's rain, which he dropped at the top of the driveway and caught as it rolled to the bottom. Then he sat down and, with a great jingling of license tags, scratched. He dug in with the toenails of his left hind foot, starting under his chin and gradually twisting his head until he was scratching the back of his neck. Then he switched to his right hind foot and scratched the other half of his neck. All this scratching did no good, because his collar got in the way of his toenails. He still itched. The mean hungry flea knew exactly the spots that Ribsy could not reach. Henry came out of the house wearing his raincoat and helmet. He stopped to pat Ribsy on the head. Then he scratched his dog behind the ears at the point where the hair became soft and silky. "Want to play catch?" he asked, picking up the ball and throwing it across the lawn.

Ribsy caught the ball on the first bounce and dropped it at Henry's feet before he had to sit down and scratch again. That flea was driving him crazy.

Henry's friend Beezus, whose real name was Beatrice, and her little sister Ramona came running down the street. "Can you go to the park?" Beezus asked Henry. "Mother said we have to get out of the house awhile before it starts raining again.

"Nope," said, Henry, picking up the tennis ball. "We're going down to the shopping center to buy some paint and new jeans and a bunch of stuff."

Beezus held out her hand to Ribsy. "Shake hands," she said. Ribsy agreeably held out his left paw and allowed the girl to shake it. "Isn't he ever going to learn to use his right hand -- I mean paw?" asked Beezus.

"There are left-handed people. Why shouldn't there be left-pawed dogs?"' This seemed reasonable to Henry.

Ramona ran to Ribsy, dropped to her knees even though the ground was wet, and threw her arms around his neck good and tight. Ribsy knew what to do about a small girl like Ramona. Patience was the answer. just stand still long enough and she would go away. It sometimes took quite a bit of patience to get rid of Ramona.

She pressed her face against his and said, "Don't I look cute? Daddy ought to get a picture of this."

"Oh, Ramona," said Beezus crossly. "Daddy can't take a picture of everything you do. Come on. Stop choking Ribsy, and let's go to the park."

Patience had worked. Ribsy was free of Ramona.

"So long," said Henry to Beezus, as his motherand father came out of the house and climbedinto the front seat of the station wagon. Henrythrew the ball down the street and started toclimb in after them. This time Ribsy did not chasehis ball, which he knew was perfectly safe lyingin the gutter. No one ever bothered his soggy oldball no matter where he left it.

When Ribsy was a few feet from the station wagon, the mean hungry flea gave him an extrahard nip. Ribsy could not stand it. He had to sit down for one quick scratch.

"Henry, don't let that dog in this car," said Mrs. Huggins.

Henry hopped in and slammed the door.

"Sorry, old boy," he said to his dog, who had finished scratching and was wagging his tail.

The car started and Ribsy was left behind. Ribsy was not a dog to give up easily. He could be almost as persistent as his flea, and now he started running down the street as fast as he could after his family's new car. This had happened before with the old car, and he knew that by running fast he could catch up at the first stop sign. He managed to stay close enough to get thoroughly drenched with muddy water when the car drove through a puddle. As he expected, he made it to the stop sign, where he stood panting and looking hopefully at his family.

Ribsy. 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
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(49)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 8, 2011

    The dog on the run

    I love this book .If you love adventure this is the book for you. I love how when you stop reading the book your always on a clif like can't stop reading the book.Ribsy is the dog of Henry Huguins.One day Henry goes to the shoping center with his parents and they leave Ribsy in the car. Ribsy jumps out of the car and he goes into another car that smells like his car.He goes with another family and is so confused.Read this book to fing out what happens next.I recomend this book.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Great Story

    Good story about a dog!!!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Cool

    Bio

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Anonymous

    I loved it. When i read it it was the biggest book i'd ever read. The point is is that it was very intresting. It kept me on the edge of my seat all the time. Each chance i got to read it, i always opened the book. There were so many adventures, that i felt i was ribsey. I hoped he would find henrey. When he did i thought that that was the best ending and reunitement between a dog and his owner. I say it was SPECTACULAR. If you didn't understand part of what i was saying because you didn't read the book, that sould already give you a sign that you should read the book. If you do read it, you'll enjoy it. Since it is an opinion that it is a great book, i can't promise you'll love it and give it five stars like me. But, it were a fact i promise i'd promise.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Love this book!

    I read this book every year to my 2nd graders and they LOVE it! It is also one of my favorites of all time. It really makes you think about what is going on in your animal's head :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2011

    A fantastic read !!!!

    This book is for any dog owner or lover A funny tale that pays great attetion to humorous detail A MUST READ BOOK !!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2008

    Great Adventure book

    This book was great! I first started to read it after i read Henry and the Cluhouse,which was also a great book! My favorite part of Risy was the chapter with Risy going to school. Ribsy got lost at the mall with Henry and first went with a family who gave him a bubble bath'Ribsy ran away' and got lost in the highway when an old lady Mrs. Frawliey took him dressed him and went to an old lady convention meeting! Then school'my favorie chapter' a football game and 1 kid steals him! Then the apartment! i would recommend Ribsy to pepole who like adventure books. Read Ribsy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2001

    Ribsy

    Henry Huggins had a dog named Ribsy. Ribsy was very smart and nice. There was a girl named Ramona. She aways hugged Ribsy. Ribsy knew how to make her go away, he had to stay still. Mrs.Huggins got a new station wagon. Ribsy wasn't allowed in it. The Huggins family had to go to the mall before a flood. When the Huggins' went away, Ribsy chased them. Mrs.Huggins decided he could ride in the car. At the mall he saw a little dog and chased it. When he tried to find the station wagon again he found the wrong one and ended up with the wrong people in the wrong town. The Huggins family looked all over but couldn't find him. Will Ribsy find Henry or not?????

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Hmmmmmmm

    I have never read this book. It seems really good by all the reveiws. I think i will read it. I am going to stop now. I do not know how people use 4000 characters when they write.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Awesome!

    Ribsy is so cute!i have a dog like him. His name is lucky.this is the best book in the whole world !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    PLEASE READ

    I love this book! Great job on the book! Hoever hates this book, you dont know what you thinking! I LOVE DOGS!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Read my reveiw

    I LOVE DOGS SO WHOEVER HATES DOGS SCREW THEM

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    This stuff suck

    Boo

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Awesome

    Takes me back...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    Small but good

    If your looking for a good bock its right in front of you. Ti bad its small. I keep wanting to know what happens next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Ribsy

    This is a bad book!!!!! In fact it is so bad it is borring. (Yawn) I hate this book because I hate dogs!!!!!!!!!!! Understand?!!!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    READ PLEASE!

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Great Book

    I really enjoyed it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    READ PLEASE

    Read the sample and it is good

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Awesome

    It was awesome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews

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