Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary gives readers a hero they'll relate to—and root for—in this comical and inspiring novel about Henry Huggins's mission to prove himself worthy of his very own paper route. All the older kids work their own paper route, but because Henry is not eleven yet, Mr. Capper won't let him. Desperate to change his mind, Henry tries everything he can think of to show he's mature and responsible enough for the job. From offering free kittens to new subscribers, to hauling hundreds of pounds of old newspapers for his school's paper drive, there's nothing Henry won't try. But it might just be the irrepressible Ramona Quimby who shows Mr. Capper just how capable Henry is.
The well-loved cast of characters is all here in this Cleary classic\x97Henry Huggins and pooch Ribsy, Beezus and her little sister Ramona the Pest. Youthful television actor Harris breathes life into the gang, and his versatility and boyish charms are on full display. In this tale of childhood ambition and ingenuity, 10-year-old Henry devises various schemes to realize his dream of starting a paper route, including an offer of free kittens for new subscriptions. Always lurking is unpredictable four-year-old Ramona. Unfortunately, she represents the narration's one trouble spot. Harris tends to overdo Ramona's voice, rendering her lines in a demanding scream-whine. She comes across as pest-like and annoying for sure, but lacking in dimension, as well. Otherwise, Harris flawlessly animates the entire neighborhood, from sweet and innocent Henry to cocky Scooter to lisping boy genius Murph. Originally written in 1957, this story may leave today's parents wistful about an era with such a carefree childhood. Kids, however, should still recognize themselves in these characters, clear as day. The audiobook also contains an insightful interview with Cleary. Ages 8-up.