5 Life Lessons From Beverly Cleary’s Most Popular Character

Beverly Cleary has a lengthy list of books with memorable characters, but there is one character that shines a little bit more than others.

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Beverly Cleary made countless tales involving adolescent youth and animals running amuck. However, her most popular character gave readers an insight into what’s inside a little elementary schooler’s head. Starting with the character Henry Higgins, Cleary introduced his neighbors, Beezus and Ramona Quimby, where eventually, she created an entire series about Ramona’s journeys of adolescence. Ramona gets in trouble in these books, but through these mishaps, she learns a thing or two about living life to the fullest. Here are the life lessons that she learned!

Be Yourself

ROMONA the best book cover
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Ramona was always herself, no matter who called her a pest (her older sister, Beezus). She was just a kid, wanting to skip up and down the sidewalks, asking questions, or coloring in and out of the lines. When you become an adult, you tend to lose a bit of your identity. You should be like everyone else so you won’t stick out and make a fool of yourself, right? Wrong. Be yourself always — never change your personality just because you’ll fit in a perfect box or because someone doesn’t like you.

It’s Okay To Be Scared

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Ramona had to face a lot of hardships as a kid. A dog would chase her all the way home from school not once… not twice… and it took much bravery to overcome this obstacle. Not to mention, she had to move schools at one point, so she had to make new friends and become more acquainted with this unfamiliar environment. When becoming an adult, there are moments when you feel like you have no right to be scared. You’re an adult; act like one. However, we are still just people, and as such, we should be reminded that bravery is within us all.

At the End of the Day, You Are Loved

Ramona and Her Mother cover by Beverly Cleary, a mother holding her daughter in her arms.
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Ramona may have squabbled with her sister from time to time or witnessed her parents’ passing quarrels, but at the end of it all, she loves Beezus, and her parents love each other immensely. Love does not dwindle in meaningless disagreements, so when you are left in those difficult situations with family, just remember that you still love them, and they love you just as much.

Stay Young at Heart

Ramona Forever cover by Beverly Cleary, Ramona eating a large ice cream cone with chocolate dripping down her shirt.
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Ramona stays in trouble all hours of the day… but for good reason. She’s a kid, living life as it should be. Adults tend to forget how to have fun — how whimsical life truly is. The spark within us all begins to dim. Sometimes, life isn’t as serious as we make it out to be. Find your inner child and give it some love by doing things you used to love when you were younger.

Be Passionate in Everything You Set Your Mind To

Romona's World book cover, romona swinging on arm swings
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Ramona was a passionate child. She was constantly striving to do the things she set her mind on. In any case, Ramona wanted to be many things — such as the naptime wake-up fairy in their early days of Kindergarten. She was a little girl trying to mark her grounds, and rightly so. As adults, we forget that drive because of how overwhelming everything can be. It could be someone more qualified at a job or people you believe are prettier, more intelligent, or funnier than you — none of that truly matters if passion runs through your veins.

Ramona sure has a lot of passion! But don’t we all? Be a kid again by rereading Cleary’s best works.


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