Saturday, 1 May 2021

Six Degrees of Separation ~ Beezus and Ramona

 Beezus and Ramona

Cleary, Beverly "Beezus and Ramona" - 1955

 #6Degrees of Separation: from Beezus and Ramona (Goodreads) to Samuel August from Sevedstorp and Hanna from Hult

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I love the idea. See more about this challenge, its history, further books and how I found this here.

This month’s prompt starts with Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. It was chosen in honour of the author who died last month.

It's always interesting to see how the covers, especially of children's books, change over the years. Since I haven't read anything by Beverly Cleary, I thought I make a little image strip of some of the covers. I don't remember seeing anything by Beverly Cleary in Germany when I was little and my boys were not much into her, the books were "too girly". 

Since this book is about two girls whose names appear in the cover, I have chosen to list books with two names (mainly children), as well. Some of them are better known than others but I hope some people will find something that interests them.

Dai, Sijie "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" (French: Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse Chinoise) - 2002
Children growing up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution were often thrown into another life, from the city to the countryside and vice-versa.

Grimm, Jacob und Wilhelm "Jorinda and Joringel" [German: Jorinde und Joringel] - 1812
A fairy tale about two young people who fall in love but have to overcome some obstacles, as usual in fairy tales. You can find a link to the translation of this and other fairy tales in my link.

Busch, Wilhelm "Max and Moritz" (German: Max und Moritz) - 1865

Two very well-known boys in Germany, not the nicest of kids with not the best ending but it came to mind right away.

Atwood, Margaret "Oryx and Crake" (MaddAddam # 1) - 2003
The two main characters in this dystopian novel, Oryx and Crake, remind me of children, they are naïve and innocent. Let's hope we never get to this stage.

Shakib, Siba "Samira and Samir" (German: Samira und Samir) - 2004
Another world, another story about a girl growing up in Afghanistan with no chances to ever get out of a vicious circle … unless she changes her identity.

Lindgren, Astrid "Samuel August from Sevedstorp and Hanna from Hult aka A Love Story" (Swedish: En kärlekshistoria: Samuel August från Sevedstorp och Hanna i Hult) - 1975
The famous Swedish author tells us about the life of her parents. Of course, we don't just see them as children but that's where the story begins.

Look for further monthly separation posts here.


  1. I absolutely LOVED Beverly Cleary as a kid! I hope Eleanor will love her books too. Though, I did read Henry and Ribsy to my class one year and it was so dated just because of the prices of things in stores, and things like that. Even so, I can't wait for Eleanor to try them.

    1. Thanks, Sarah, I just talked to another blogger who was surprised that we hadn't read her. I think she is quite American. I answered that I grew up in Germany and had never heard of her before I went abroad and lived among English speaking people. My boys grew up in the UK and the Netherlands but her books are not especially popular among boys, so that might have been the reason. Also, I haven’t seen her much in England, her name only popped up when my sons went to an international school where we also had Americans, she might have been a classic in some countries but not necessarily everywhere.

      But I know very well what you're talking about with prices of things etc. If you read an old English books, they still talk in schillings and farthings etc. Or in Germany it would be Mark instead of the Euro all kids grew up with.

      But so lovely to talk about it. Thanks for bringing up this side of the topic.

    2. I am not surprised that Ramona is not the must-read in other countries as she is here. It makes sense, as we can't expect everything to be translated into every language - especially when we think about how communication has changed so drastically from the time the books first came out up to now.

      Your boys might have enjoyed the Henry and Ribsy books, those were great as well. Or The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and all of Ralph the mouse's adventures.

    3. Lots of books are not translated because they wouldn't mean the same to readers in other countries though there are more translations from English into other languages than the other way round. I think the rule is, the fewer speakers of a language, the more translations into it. I am always sorry when I can't recommend books I read in German or Dutch that haven't been translated into English.

      I don't think my boys ever read anything by Beverly Cleary, I just checked the titles of her books again. I also don't remember seeing many of them in our book sales in our international school. The sales were from Scholastics, so we had lots of American books. Maybe these books have their own life for a while, then disappear and come back again when mothers read them to their kids?

  2. I enjoyed reading through your great chain!

    1. Thanks, Carol. I always enjoy going through your lists, as well. I loved your approach. Siblings is a great way to tackle the challenge.

  3. Ahh Max and Moritz was a classic in my home growing up! M grandpa bought the book home (in English) from a trip to Germany. It was so weird when I visited Germany and saw Max and Moritz stuff everywhere because it definitely isn't well-known in the States.

    1. Thanks, Miriam. Yes, they are still quite popular in Germany, even if not many read them to their kids (see my post about it) but they are classics. Probably comparable to Curious George or some character like that.

      I even visited their museum. It's in the town Wilhelm Busch lived in. You can see the mill and many of the places he describes in the book. Might have to do an extra post about it.

      Thanks for the idea. And thanks for your visit.

  4. That was a very interesting and fruitful way to approach this one. Brava!

    1. Thanks, Davida. I really enjoy these challenges, I often have many ideas that lead nowhere but in the end, every idea brings me closer to the books. After all, they all come up in my memory again like this.

      I'll have to see what you came up with. Thanks for visiting.

  5. This was an interesting set of links! I liked the collage you provided of the starting novel. I completely agree with you about the being able to see the changes in the covers. I often wonder if there's more to the change. Is it a reflection of anything like societal values...and then other times I wonder if I'm just thinking too much.

    1. Thanks, Koo. I just checked your chain (and will comment on it in a minute) and that's an interesting way, also. I always love to see where the chains lead the different readers, so fascinating.

      I think you are right with your values thought, times change, values changes, so they change book covers. I remember old books I had for my boys from the flea market that were so out of date with women not having anything to say etc., I just couldn't read those stories to them. And if you see how much books are checked for racism etc. I don't want to say it's a bad thing, on the contrary. But it must have to do with the change of values when book covers are changed.

      I have been a member of an international book club and the different covers (and titles) the different countries always come up with, it tells you so much. Just check a book you like that has been translated on Goodreads and there are so many different covers.

      Anyway, thanks for your visit and for your thoughts.

  6. I loved Beverly Cleary's books when I was younger. I read them over and over again.

    1. Thanks, Lectrice. I think all of those who read her as a child really loved her. That's probably why Kate chose this as a starter book when Beverly Cleary died.

      Thanks for visiting.

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Chris. I love this challenge and will carry on, don't worry. Looking forward to this weekend when there are lots of new ones around.

      Happy Reading!