The Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary
Recommended for: Ages 6 and up
This series is about a girl's life starting when she is four. The first book focuses on Ramona's older sister but the rest of the series focuses on Ramona. When Ramona is young she is a brat, but by the end of the series, which ends when she turns ten, she mostly just gets into scrapes.
I'm not exactly sure why I loved this series, but I read it several times. The books are funny part of the time and when I was younger I was as confused at some of the things as Ramona was, for example it took me a little while to understand what the Dawnzer song was, "The Star Spangled Banner," but it didn't give the lyrics. Ramona is a brat at first and since our dog was bad as a puppy, she got the middle name of Ramona. One thing that I do like about this series is that Ramona gets in trouble when she is bad and her misbehavior is not portrayed as something good.
Not every author is able to write ordinary life in an interesting way. I've read a couple books about the characters' ordinary life that were boring. Beverly Cleary is one of the few authors I have read that is able to write ordinary life in an interesting way. Her characters are also well done. In the first book, Beezus, Ramona's older sister, struggles with not being frustrated with her little sister. Her characters are realistic and none of them are perfect, but many of them are still likeable. Throughout the series, Ramona grows up a lot from the beginning of the series.
There are eight titles in all: Beezus and Ramona, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Ramona and her Mother, Ramona and her Father, Ramona Quimby Age 8, Ramona Forever, and Ramona's World. The first one is not from Ramona's point of view, but I still count it with the series.
I would recommend it with the one caution, that Ramona is not a good role model, but it is a good series and one of my childhood favorites. Writing this review is making me want to read them again.