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Ralph S. Mouse Books In Order

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Publication Order of Ralph S. Mouse Books

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Runaway Ralph (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ralph S. Mouse (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ralph S. Mouse Series

Becoming an institution almost within the field of children’s fiction, the American writer Beverly Cleary has produced a large quantity of books over the course of her life. With a large body of work, she had her first book published in 1950 with ‘Henry Huggins’ and hasn’t looked back since then. Over the latter half of the twentieth century she has regularly produced books for both children and young adults, right up until today. This has lead to being admired the world over, with scores of readers relating to both her and characters, as they discover what she has to say. Looking at the minutiae of everyday life, she manages to draw out what makes people human, which she has done through her creation of iconic characters and long-running series. One series that she has excelled with over the years and that has delighted many worldwide is that of her ‘Ralph S. Mouse’ series of book. Following the eponymous character of Ralph S. Mouse, it sees what is ostensibly a small mouse who can talk to certain people who are in need of his friendship. This mostly includes young people who are typically loners, as they find themselves through the friendship with Ralph and the adventures that they have. Making observations about everyday human life, he does things like go to school to see how human’s live, whilst trying to gain a deeper understanding of it all. This leads to a variety of humorous interactions and witty musings about what everything means and why people do what they do, in a series that really has stood the test of time.

Running for three titles, this series ran between the years of 1965 and 1982, with ‘The Mouse and the Motorcycle’, ‘Runaway Ralph’ and ‘Ralph S. Mouse’ being released. There would also be a compendium edition of all three titles, collecting them altogether for the young readers in one bright and colorful edition. Over the years there has also been a film adaptation of the novels, with the Ralph S. Mouse film being produced and released by Churchill Films in 1990.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Initially published by ‘HarperCollins’, this would set the ‘Ralph S. Mouse’ series overall, giving the young mouse his very first adventure. First released in 1965, it would fast become a classic in time, leading to one of the most iconic characters in children’s literature. It would also provide a great entry-point into the work of Beverly Cleary as a whole, allowing the reader to gain a unique perspective into her mindset.

Living in the corner of a hotel room, Ralph S. Mouse resides in a knothole there, watching many families come and go there. That’s when young Keith comes to stay with his family and, not only does he have a toy motorcycle for Ralph, but he also provides an opportunity to go beyond the second floor of the hotel. This leads to plenty of exciting misadventures, leaving Ralph a little daunted by it all, but Keith seeks to bolster the confidence of Ralph to try again. Teaching him how to ride by showing him how to make the sound, Keith helps Ralph achieves his dream and explore the world beyond. Where will his journey take him? Can he find what he’s looking for outside? What will become of the mouse and the motorcycle?

Runaway Ralph

This time released in 1970, this would get released just five years after the arrival of the first novel in the ‘Ralph S. Mouse’ series. Picking up from where the last left off, it provides yet another adventure for the young mouse to undertake, getting into all sorts of hilarious scrapes. It would also pave the way for the third and final book, making this an ideal middle entry for the overall series as a whole.

Taking his motorcycle from the first novel, Ralph S. Mouse has set off on an adventure, following his family chiding and teasing him. This leads him to head off to the summer camp of some children, whereby he will make plenty of new friends and have a lot more adventures. Making asides and observations along the way, the story also contains many of Ralph’s musings on how human’s live as well. This makes for a collection of fun stories and ideas, allowing Ralph to really come into his own as a full fledged character driving the franchise. Can he find what he’s looking for at the summer camp? Will he ever return back home? What will become of runaway Ralph?

Ralph S. Mouse

Coming out through the HarperCollins publishing house once more for a final time, this is the third in the ‘Ralph S. Mouse’ series of children’s books. First published in 1982, it was initially released approximately twelve years after the second, giving the story its final conclusive entry. It would also come in a collection of all three stories as well, thus ensuring its status as one of the most enduring childhood classics to date.

This time Ralph heads to school in order to gain an insight into what humans do here, as well as learning what his ‘S’ stands for. Looking to get away from the Mountain View Inn once more after his cousins keep riding his motorcycle and the hotel manager keeps stating he’ll clean out the mouse infestation. Learning to interact with the other children after young Ryan takes him to school, he’s put in a maze to truly test his intelligence. Is Ralph as intelligent as he first thought though? Can he find his way out and make the friends that he’d always hoped to make? Just who, exactly, is Ralph S. Mouse?

The Ralph S. Mouse Series

Enchanting young readers for generations, this is one series that has really managed to stand the test of time, creating stories that will surely continue to delight. Whilst the books contain fantastical elements on the surface, it is Cleary’s attention to detail that really manages to make the books work. Despite them having a talking mouse, it is themes such as friendship and understanding that really drives the series, giving them a moral center and heart. This goes some way towards explaining how it has come to be that they’re so beloved by so many readers worldwide, as children will continue to discover them for a long time yet.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Ralph S. Mouse

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