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34 Reviews
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for non-readers!
Otis Spofford is a boy just looking for a little excitement. To Otis excitement means upstaging a playacting toreador, shooting spitballs at classmates and even his teacher, sabotaging a class experiment, upstaging a friend while helping the local football hero, and especially chasing and teasing the very prim and proper Ellen Tebbitts. Otis' classmates and teacher...
Published on June 19, 2000

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is GREAT!
This book is all about a young boy who gets in trouble alot. He always seems to enjoy to annoy Ellen Tebbits. His mother is a dance teacher at the dance school close to his home and has no time for him. In the middle of the book his class does a experiment including two mice. At the end of the experiment Ellen get to take one home but gives it to Otis instead. I thought...
Published on February 16, 2000


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for non-readers!, June 19, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Paperback)
Otis Spofford is a boy just looking for a little excitement. To Otis excitement means upstaging a playacting toreador, shooting spitballs at classmates and even his teacher, sabotaging a class experiment, upstaging a friend while helping the local football hero, and especially chasing and teasing the very prim and proper Ellen Tebbitts. Otis' classmates and teacher warn him that someday he will get his comeuppance for his antics. When Otis takes his teasing of Ellen too far then his comeuppance finally happens.
Beverly Cleary's "Otis Spofford" was one of the funniest books I ever read. I particularly enjoyed Otis' comments on how "dopey" the characters in the books he had to read for school acted. Ms. Cleary obviously wrote "Otis Spofford" for children who felt the same way about reading as Otis did. Otis is no dope and non-readers will love him for it!
Some of Ms. Cleary's older books are sometimes dismissed as being "quaint" or out of date with their 50's settings and families (father works and mom stays at home.) "Otis Spofford" was written in 1961, but Otis has a single mother who owns her own business and they live in an apartment. In some ways Ms. Cleary was ahead of her time; but there is no denying that Otis is a wildboy of the 50's. "Otis Spofford" is an extremely readable and hilarious book featuring the wonderful drawings of illustrator Louis Darling. (I've always preferred Mr. Darling's idealized illustrations of very 50's looking children (the girls in dresses or rolled up pants with moptop hairstyles, the boys in canvas hightop sneakers and bristled haircuts) which are in Ms. Cleary's older books to the illustrations of her more recent books which make some of the characters look rather ugly- Ramona is so much cuter when drawn by Louis Darling than Alan Tiegrin.)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for even non-readers, January 24, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Paperback)
My 4th grade elementary school teacher was an elderly woman entering the last years of a very long career. She was feared throughout the school as a very strict, no-nonsense diciplinarian. She was a teacher of the old school. She had mandatory oral book reports and woe to the student who was not ready.
She was fairly open as to what topic the books could be about; but she did not allow "war" books. Being a big military history buff even at age 10, this shrunk my preferences significantly. She did offer some recommendations on what was acceptable and prominent was the name of Beverly Cleary.
I went to the library and discovered quite a collection of Beverly Cleary books. I picked out "Henry Huggins" and took it home with me. I started to read it because I had to do a book report on something. As I read I began to enjoy it more and more. I found myself laughing at Henry's adventures. I was hooked. Every week I took out another Beverly Cleary book from the library. Henry, Ribsy, Beezus, and troublesome Ramona were the topics of most of my book reports. I would laugh while I gave my report and soon other students in my class were also reading Ms. Cleary's works.
"Otis Spofford" was different. Wheras Henry Huggins was just an average boy; Otis Spofford was a class clown and an instigator. Otis loved stirring the pot and sometimes his antics went too far. As a boy, I could not help but be enthralled by this wild kid. It is a very funny book.
Among my best friends in grade school were many of the "non-readers" of my class. These were the boys who dreaded being made to read out loud. The boys who never had a book report ready when it was their turn. The boys who got embarrassed by our old school teacher for not being ready. These were the boys for whom Beverly Cleary wrote "Otis Spofford."
I told my friends about "Otis Spofford." And several of them actually read it! Not only did they read it, they loved it! The class must have heard four or five reports on "Otis Spofford" all by students who were known to dislike reading. I think that is as big a compliment for a children's book as there can possibly be.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read-aloud!, May 17, 2005
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Paperback)
I read this to my third grade class and they loved it. Every day we wanted to see what Otis was up to. He is so mischievious that some of the kids really relate, especially when Otis talks about how boring school is (I took no offense). My students couldn't believe the stuff he pulled on his teacher and this was written over 50 years ago! Our favorite was the hair cutting incident. They couldn't believe he actually cut a girl's hair.

If you liked this book I would recommend Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, another story of a boy looking for some excitement. Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is GREAT!, February 16, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Paperback)
This book is all about a young boy who gets in trouble alot. He always seems to enjoy to annoy Ellen Tebbits. His mother is a dance teacher at the dance school close to his home and has no time for him. In the middle of the book his class does a experiment including two mice. At the end of the experiment Ellen get to take one home but gives it to Otis instead. I thought this book was exciting and I was not able to put it down. Even though i told you some of the story get it and read the whole thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Always do your school work right!, February 7, 2005
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Paperback)
The book I'm doing for my book review is Otis Spofford written by Beverly Clearly. I rate this book three star. I rate it this way because I didn't like it, but I kind of did like it. This book is about a kid who needs to do a project but needs a good grade. Otis and his friends do the weirdest project. If he doesn't get a good grade on his work, he will be grounded for two weeks in the summer. If I have to recommend this book I would, especially for people who don't believe in themselves when they're doing school work. If you want to find out the ending you must read the book Otis Spofford.

Emerson, NJ Fifth Grader
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, April 4, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Paperback)
I read this when I was 9 and loved it! It was so funny and sogood! Then my teacher read it to us the next year and the whole classwas roaring with laughter! We loved it! Beverly Cleary is a wonder. Her books are sweet and innocent which is more than I can say for the garbage kids are growing up with these days... When I have kids, I am buying them all of Cleary's books. Way to go, Bev, and congrat's!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This brings back memories, November 9, 2005
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Hardcover)
I read this book back in 3rd or 4th grade. Now in my 50s, I was driving to work today when for some reason I remembered the line: "Toreador, don't spit on the floor," which I then looked up in Google. This led me back to Bev Cleary, the author. (Although Bart Simpson also appears to have said it, I don't watch the Simpsons). In addition to Otis Spofford, she also wrote the Henry Huggins books, which I also enjoyed. A book like this that lasts nearly 50 years will probably be enjoyed by most readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly reverberating and humorous book!!, April 19, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Hardcover)
I recommend all lovers of children's books to read this captivating classic of the exploits of a mischievous young lad, as only a genius such as Beverly Cleary can explain. It made me want to relive my childhood days!
Once I started to read the book, I just could not put it down. Cleary contiuously maintained my interest throughout the reading of the text. I am sure children in the age range of 9-12 will be able to relate to the title character, Otis Spofford.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Otis' mischievous antics are absolutely enthralling!!, September 22, 1997
By 
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Turtleback)
I recently read this book to my 2nd grade class. They absolutely adored Otis. Story time became their favorite time of day. Many have requested their own copies to read independently. I hope this is the beginning of something really big! We are now beginning HENRY HUGGINS
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Taught Me To Love Books, April 23, 2013
This review is from: Otis Spofford (Paperback)
I see quite a few reviews that talk about how this book is great for "non-readers" and this is just review from the perspective of one of those "non-readers."

At the moment I am a 25 year-old male book lover. However, I had a rough start as a child. I remember struggling with reading up until i was in the 5th grade, about 10 years old. I would to pretend to read in class by looking at the text like it was a code, I was extremely embarrassed to read in front of class, and I fought against all book reports or assignments that required reading. I was taken out of my regular class to have one on one specialized help, and after much work she had me read this book. Otis Spofford is the first book I remember reading on my own.

I loved this book cover to cover. I remember laughing out loud and sharing Otis's hilarious stories with my parents and teacher. To this day I can remember the donkey costume , the glow in the dark shoelaces, and a few other details that are iconic to the book. I do not know what makes this book so special, but for some magical reason it has the ability to make kids want to read. I highly recommend this book for any parent to buy for their child. You might have a little trouble getting your child to start it, but I'm certain they will want to finish after reading the first couple chapters!

Good luck to all the future book lovers!!!!
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Otis Spofford
Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary (Paperback - August 12, 2008)
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