Six degrees of separation – from Beezus and Ramona to…

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but once I saw the starting point I really wanted to join in. I used to get Beverly Cleary books from the library when I was about 7 or 8 – I remember choosing the first one because I was so excited to see that a real life author had my name! Obviously being British mine is spelled Beverley, like the town in Yorkshire.

So, the idea of this game is that everyone starts with the same book – in this case Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Clearly – then adds six more books, each of which links in some way to the one before it, and we see where we end up. The host is Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best and the link up takes place on the first Saturday of the month (yes, I’m a day late linking up).

So, as I have said, Kate’s chosen starting point this month was Beezus and Ramona – very fitting giving Beverly Clearly died not long ago. This is about two sisters – Beezus (real name Beatrice) is the older sister and she often finds it hard to deal with having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona, who usually means well but is quite a handful!

For my first link, I have chosen another story about a mischievous younger sibling. My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards. This one is a little old-fashioned now (it was first published in 1962) but still great fun to read, featuring such stories as the time the narrator’s naughty little sister fell in the stream and got all wet or ate all the trifle at her friend’s birthday party.

From one naughty girl to another… my next link in the chain is The Naughtiest Girl in the School by Enid Blyton. I loved Enid Blyton as a child and I found her Naughtiest Girl books fascinating – a school where the children mostly govern themselves with the teachers only stepping in occasionally? So interesting (to seven-year-old me).

Sticking with the boarding school theme, my next choice is The Chalet School series by ELino M. Brent Dyer… the first of which is The School at the Chalet. I first discovered a few of these books at my grandma’s house (they originally belonged to one of my aunts) and since I loved them so much she let me keep them. I then went on to collect as many as I could, mostly from second-hand book shops (although books 1 and 2 were published as a collection under the title “School Stories” so I got that one new for one of my birthdays). To this day, I absolutely adore this series about an English woman who sets up a school in the Austrian Tirol. It later moves to Guernsey and then a Welsh island because of the Second World War and eventually ends up in Switzerland.

I feel like I should add another book with a Swiss connection since I live there, so up next is Heidi by Johanna Spyri. Do I need to tell you what this book is about? Heid is an orphan who’s aunt sends her to live with her gruff old grandfather in the Swiss mountains. Just as she’s got settled in and come to love the place, her aunt turns up again and forces her to move to Frankfurt to act as a companion to a sickly girl named Klara. Will Heidi ever see her beloved mountains again?

Next, another book about an orphan who is sent to live with relatives – Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery. Emily is slightly less famous than Montogomery’s other orphan, Anne (of Green Gables), but after reading this book for the first time last year I discovered I actually prefer Emily to Anne!

My final link is a little tenuous… but the title of the last book made me think of Emlyn’s Moon by Jenny Nimmo. This is the second book in the Snow Spider trilogy, another series I loved and adored when I was around 7. The Snow Spider was always my favourite of the three books, but I loved the main character in this one – Nia, the middle child in a large family who has always been led to believe that she’s the dull one who can’t do anything but proves she’s really quite special in this book.

So, that’s my chain. All children’s books, all quite different, and all but one very much loved by tiny me.

If you want to see everyone else’s links, see Kate’s post here. And if you want to join in please do – I would love to see what you come up with (obviously don’t forget to link to Kate and also add the link to your chain on her post).

That’s all for today. I hope everyone is well and happy.

12 thoughts on “Six degrees of separation – from Beezus and Ramona to…

  1. Heidi! Oh yes, I read that as well as saw the movie with Shirley Temple in the title role. I can still hear her saying “oh, Grandfather” with that very precise pronunciation she had.

  2. Goodness, I used to gorge on Enid Blyton books when I was a kid. And they were always going out on picnics and used to eat such amazing food. 😂 Naughtiest Girl in School was amazing, and she later ended up becoming school monitor too, haha.

  3. How funny. You’ll see my first link is My Naughty Little Sister. You’ll then see that I didn’t like the Chalet School books ( or Enid Blyton as it happens) so our chains go off in different directions. It’s such fun that we all have such very different ideas!

  4. I love you, Beverley, because you’ve reminded me of some of my favourite childhood books – I loved My Nautghty Little Sister and The Naughtiest Girl in School and the Chalet School series and Heidi, so I was in utter bliss! I have never heard of Emily of New Moon though…

  5. I loved My Naughty Little Sister (especially as I dind’t have one) and The Naughtiest Girl in the School. I too was a bit of a Blyton addict in those days, though when I tried them on my own children they were, in the main, distinctly unimpressed.

    I’ve actually got a copy of Emily of New Moon that I picked up in a charity shop a few years ago – you’ve inspired me to read it now!

    I liked your chain.

    Mine also stuck with children’s books: https://sconesandchaiseslongues.blogspot.com/2021/05/six-degrees-of-separation-may-2021.html

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