Synopses & Reviews
One of the most popular characters ever created by Beverly Cleary is the small brown mouse named Ralph, whose modest appearance disguises the soul of a daredevil. Now he returns in a book that tells how he runs away from home on his mouse-sized motorcycle in search of freedom and adventure.
Ralph's destination is a summer camp, where he hopes crumbs from peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches will be plentiful. But instead of finding freedom, he lands in a cage, doing endless loop the loops on an exercise wheel. The story of how Ralph and a lonely boy named Garf discover they speak the same language involves a villainous cat, a grouchy hamster, and many campers. Each episode is funnier than the last.
On one level, Mrs. Cleary's story is a delightful tour de force. On another, it delivers a message about running away that is all the more effective because it is unobtrusive.
Ralph runs away looking for freedom but winds up a prisoner at a summer camp.
Ralph is the only mouse living at the Mountain View Inn who owns a motorcycle—which means he has the perfect opportunity to explore the mysterious "summer camp" nearby. Ralph isn't sure what a summer camp is, but he's determined to find out. One night, fed up with his younger relatives' pesky demands to borrow his motorcycle, he takes off for Happy Acres Camp.
But once he gets there, he's confronted by a watchdog, a grouchy gopher, and an entire family of cats. Then he's captured by an unhappy boy named Garf. Ralph is desperate to escape . . . but maybe he needs to help Garf before Garf can help him.
Beverly Cleary's plucky Ralph rides his motorcycle straight to adventure in this classic, newly reissued with illustrations by Jacqueline Rogers.
Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary ramps up the humor and adventure in the second book in the Mouse series.
With a motorcycle to rev and the open road to see, Ralph S. Mouse is itching to run away from his overprotective family. But once he escapes to a summer campground nearby, the horrors of the wild make him doubt his plan. Angry cats, scary watchdogs, and grouchy gophers are only the half of it! But then he befriends Garf, a sad and friendless boy at the camp. Though he wants desperately to be back home with his relatives, Ralph realizes that he may need to help Garf before he can help himself.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
About the Author
Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There young Beverly learned to love books. However, when the family moved to Portland, Beverly soon found herself in the grammar school’s low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers.
By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew. And so Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, and her other beloved characters were born.
When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, "From my own experience and from the world around me." She included a passage about the D.E.A.R. program in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (second chapter) because she was inspired by letters she received from children who participated in "Drop Everything and Read" activities. Their interest and enthusiasm encouraged her to provide the same experience to Ramona, who enjoys D.E.A.R. time with the rest of her class.
Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Art from the National Endowment of the Arts and the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively.
Among Mrs. Cleary's other awards are the American Library Association's 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi's 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award.
Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary's books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. In 2000, to honor her invaluable contributions to children’s literature, Beverly Cleary was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary's books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. And her popularity has not diminished. HarperCollins Children’s Books recently announced that the film option for Cleary’s classic book character, Ramona Quimby, had been sold to Fox 2000 and Denise DiNovi Productions. In addition, Portland, Oregon has proudly created The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children featuring bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy, in the park where Beverly used to play.