Beverly Cleary guided generations of girls and boys alike through the rocky, messy, color- and dream-filled days of childhood with her long-running Ramona series, which manages to stay at the forefront of the children’s literary scene even fifty years after the release of its first installment in 1955. Ruth Graham at Slate wants us to remember that even though Ramona Quimby is considered the cornerstone of Cleary’s work, Cleary also wrote four novels focused on teenage main characters, and their first experiences with love: Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl, Jean and Johnny, and Sister of the Bride:
Four mostly forgotten novels she wrote a half-century ago depict teenage life as acutely as the Ramona series dissected childhood. They are also an intriguing time capsule of teen culture in the 1950s and early ’60s. The quartet deserves its own moment in this season of praise for Cleary’s important body of work.