Six Degrees of Separation: From “Beezus and Ramona” to “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

I missed last month’s Six Degrees, because I was so busy. This time I’m even busier, but somehow in the midst of all the craziness I sat down and cobbled together a list. I found it so soothing—like making a puzzle to take your mind off things. I persevered despite having to finish up my final assignment yesterday for my first horticultural therapy course—almost 50 pages—and having to do my pre course assignments for my next course this afternoon. 

This month we are starting with “Beezus and Ramona” by Beverly Clearly. 

From Goodreads:

“Nine-year-old Beezus Quimby has her hands full with her little sister, Ramona. Sure, other people have little sisters that bother them sometimes, but is there anyone in the world like Ramona? Whether she’s taking one bite out of every apple in a box or secretly inviting 15 other 4-year-olds to the house for a party, Ramona is always making trouble–and getting all the attention. Every big sister can relate to the trials and tribulations Beezus must endure. Old enough to be expected to take responsibility for her little sister, yet young enough to be mortified by every embarrassing plight the precocious preschooler gets them into, Beezus is constantly struggling with her mixed-up feelings about the exasperating Ramona.”

I almost reread the book, as it’s been so long since I read “Beezus and Ramona”, but instead I decided to go in a different direction.

“A Girl from Yamhill” by Beverly Clearly

Instead I started to read this book, the first of Clearly’s two memoirs. I can see where some of her Ramona stories come from. I didn’t know that you can even trip chickens, but that was one of Clearly’s adventures as a young girl. I was also surprised to read that she struggled in school. 

“My Own Two Feet” by Beverly Clearly

After I am finished reading the first memoir, I plan on reading this book, the second of Clearly’s two memoirs, which deals with her life from her college years to publication of her first book, which was “Henry Huggins”.

“Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids” by Elizabeth Haidle

This graphic novel tells the stories of authors such as Maya Angelou, Gene Luen Yang, and C.S. Lewis when they were kids. It’s an interesting read for both kids and adults.

“A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis

Speaking of C.S. Lewis, this is the book that he wrote after his wife died. It’s one that comforted me after my mother’s death.

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis

This though is my favourite of all of Lewis’ books, and it is the book that started my love affair with reading. I still remember sitting in my grade 3 classroom on the carpet in the back corner, enthralled as my favourite teacher read us the book in chunks. It rivals my other childhood favourite “Anne of Green Gables”, which I have put on more than one previous Six Degrees list, for number of times I’ve read a book.

“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” by C.S. Lewis

If I were to be asked my top three in the Narnia series, I would have to say that the first and last books round out my list. So why then this choice? Well this is another case of a character annoying the other characters in the book—cousin Eustace Scrubb who plagues Lucy and Edmund. Also Reepicheep, one of my favourite minor characters, plays a bigger role in this book. I even like saying the name!

So there you have it, my journey through this month’s books ending on a voyage. I hope that you have enjoyed it, and I hope that you will read some of the other posts of this fun challenge.

Shoe’s Seeds & Stories

@Copyright 2021 Linda Schueler

19 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: From “Beezus and Ramona” to “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

  1. Mareli Thalwitzer

    Hi there Linda! I actually haven’t read anything by Beverley Cleary. I didn’t read a lot of English when I was a youngster (I’m Afrikaans first language), but I know her books are still very popular at our school’s library and I guess I just need to pick one up and read it.

    I’m also a big C.S. Lewis and especially Narnia, fan. So glad you shared his books today and they fill your chain nicely.

    May you have a wonderful May!

    Elza Reads

    Reply
  2. Davida Chazan

    Well, Cleary and Lewis are both authors I never read. My sister said we had Cleary books when we were kids, but I don’t remember reading any of them. As for Lewis, my father didn’t like the heavily Christian bent of his books so he wouldn’t let them in the house (we’re Jewish).

    Reply
      1. Davida Chazan

        Well, my father believed they were, and that’s all that mattered. He didn’t want his children “indoctrinated” by them, so he never let us read them. Since they’re fantasy, which isn’t my thing (nor is YA), I’m not going to read them now, but I do get the attraction.

  3. bevbaird

    Wonderful chain Linda. I just finished The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – can’t believe I never read the series before. I’ve ordered “Before they were authors. Should be interesting – as does the 2 memoirs by Cleary.

    Reply
  4. margaret21

    A great chain with an interesting theme running through it. CS Lewis was a favourite when I was a child. Maybe I should go for Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids next – that could be illuminating.

    Reply
  5. Lexlingua

    Ok, now I’ve just got to read Famous Writers as Kids. Bonus points that it’s in graphic novel format! But also, thanks for talking about A Grief Observed, which reminds me a lot of Kubler Ross’s work. Thank you~

    Reply
  6. MarinaSofia

    Goodness, I didn’t know that Beverly Cleary had written her memoirs too, thanks for pointing that out! And yes, how I loved the Narnia series (I had the same covers as the ones you depicted there) – thank you again for reminding me of Reepicheep, who is wonderful!

    Reply
  7. rosemarykaye

    A lovely chain, and one in which I have actually read some of the books!

    Having read some of the Narnia series as a child, I re-read them all with my own youngest daughter and very much enjoyed revisiting them. As a child I don’t think I even noticed the Christian overtones; as an adult I did, but we just ignored them – the characters I enjoyed most were the beavers, Mr Tumnus and the White Witch,

    I knew nothing about Beverly Cleary before this challenge, but I’d love to read her memoirs, she sounds such a fascinating woman.

    And the book about authors’ childhoods is just my kind of thing. I recently read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, a collection of RTE radio interviews with Irish women authors (eg Joan Lingard, Molly Keane, Edna O’Brien, Mary Lavin.) It was so interesting, and in the foreword, Seamus Heany says:

    ‘When they talk about their childhoods, writers come close to the centre of the mystery they are to themselves….the invention of a narrative for one’s childhood is therefore to some extent a creative discovery of the self.’

    So I’d love to read Before They Were Authors.

    My own chain was rather pedestrian compared to yours and stayed with children’s books: https://sconesandchaiseslongues.blogspot.com/2021/05/six-degrees-of-separation-may-2021.html

    Reply

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