Book Review: Runaway Ralph

Runaway Ralph
Ralph S. Mouse #2
by Beverly Cleary
Read by B.D. Wong

My rating: 3.5 / 5
Genre: Children’s classic, fantasy

I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first, I think because Ralph starts with the motorcycle and spends the first little bit of the book just trying to keep it from his family. Then he begins to yearn for freedom, so he doesn’t have to share his motorcycle. I mean…I get it, kinda, but mostly I just feel like he’s being selfish and spoiled. Granted, he has dozens of siblings and cousins and would easily spend all night giving them rides and not have time to ride it himself, and it’s clear that his mom and uncle, who forced this on him, don’t get him at all. But I still didn’t care for his attitude.

It was interesting to watch poor Garf, a kid who isn’t happy with his circumstances either and acts out in different ways, from Ralph’s perspective. I liked how the camp leader lady is portrayed—that she clearly cared about Garf and trying to help him come out of his shell and not hate being at camp so much. It’s a nice change from kids’ books where adults are so often terrible people at worst or apathetic at best. Overall, not as charming as the first, but not bad.

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If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!