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Beverly Cleary refused to teach kids how to be good -- and generations of young readers fell in love with her rebel Ramona

By Kristin Girten, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Arts and Humanities/Associate Professor of English, University of Nebraska Omaha
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There’s nothing like being reasoned with by a 4-year-old girl.

“‘Stop it,’ ordered Beezus. ‘Stop it this instant! You can’t eat one bite and then throw the rest away.’

‘But the first bite tastes best,’ explained Ramona reasonably, as she reached into the box again.

Beezus had to admit that Ramona was right. The first bite of an apple always did taste best.”

The author of this scene is Beverly Cleary, who died on March 25, 2021, at the age of 104. The book is “Beezus…


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