Readers of all ages have enjoyed reading about Ramona Quimby since she made her debut as a side character in the Henry Huggins series. Beverly Cleary was smart in giving the little lady her own series of novels. The Ramona books are filled with everyday challenges, the pains of growing up, trials of family life, and of course, lots of spunk.
I admit I feel a bit gutsy in proposing a modern-day counterpart to such a well-loved childhood literary figure, but I’m going to do it anyway. I love Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine. Just like Ramona, Clementine finds herself in plenty of tight spots, and just like Ramona, Clementine manages to win us over with her good heart. Both series feature caring, working-class families that are sometimes exasperated by their daughter’s actions, but ultimately know she means well.
If you haven’t yet discovered them, check out the Clementine books, which are full of heart and humor.