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Editorial Reviews

Narrator Andrea Martin playfully creates a cast of characters surrounding the likable Ellen Tebbits, including the irritating pest, Otis Spofford, the stoutly loyal best friend, Austine Allen, and a host of others. (She's particularly funny as the airy Mrs. Valerie Todd Spofford, the ballet teacher.) Martin saves her best for Ellen herself, conveying with insight and humor the ups and downs of a fourth-grader's life. Martin expresses Ellen's worst fears (does her long underwear show under her tutu?) and deepest joys (Austine really is protecting her from the dreadful Otis!). Children will enjoy this story, which includes valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty, and common sense.

Publisher's Summary

Ellen Tebbits is convinced she'll die of embarrassment if any of the girls at school discover her secret. But then she meets Austine Allen, a new girl in class who's hiding the very same secret. Instantly, the two become best friends. They do everything together, from clapping erasers to riding horses. Ellen quickly learns that embarrassing secrets and pesky troublemakers like Otis Spofford aren't so bad when you have someone special to stick up for you. But then Ellen does something terrible that makes Austine stop speaking to her. Will she ever be able to prove how sorry she is?
©1951 Beverly Cleary; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Mrs. Cleary writes from a sure knowledge of the third grader's world. It all rings true." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

A cute book

I liked this story, but the narration was distracting.

The voice was completely unsuitable --did not have a childlike quality. Sounded harsh, overly emphatic, and lacked freshness.

Too bad, a nice little story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love it

Otis is so funny! And Ellen is silly to! I love it! They are silly!