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Comment: Eligible for *FREE* super saver shipping. Amazon customer service with delivery tracking. A book that has been read but is in good condition. Very minimal damage to the cover including scuff marks, or very small tears. Binding has minimal wear, and some pages show signs of use. Occasionally these may be former library books. CD may NOT be included!
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Ellen Tebbits Paperback – August 12, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4–Beverly Cleary's delightful peek into a young girl's life (Morrow, 1951) will capture a new audience in audiobook format. Listeners will giggle at third-grader Ellen's trials with both woolen underwear and her nemesis, Otis Spofford. They will sympathize with Ellen's desire to clap erasers, and her travails in acquiring a giant beet. Then there's the whole concept of being a substitute rat. Through it all, Ellen's friendship with Austine, and their quarrel and eventual reconciliation provide the thread that ties all the events together. You can't listen to this production without laughing out loud. Andrea Martin reads Cleary's text with expression and good humor, creating unique voices for each character. She brings Ellen and her friends to life and makes them shine. Listeners will enjoy the small joys, horrors, and triumphs that make Ellen's life so like their own.–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


“Ellen and her troubles are both funny and touching; we meet her trying to hide her long underwear at dancing school, and playing a substitute rat in The Pied Piper.’ All is told with a downright realism, and the school scenes are choice.” (New York Herald Tribune)

“Ellen is a real girl and her adventures are full of zest and interest!” (The Horn Book)

“Through all Ellen’s joys and sorrows runs a thread of humor that makes the reader chuckle even when he is sympathizing with her.” (Saturday Review)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (August 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380709139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440475194
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Back forty-something years ago Ellen Tebbits was the second book Beverly Cleary wrote. It told the story of an 8-year-old girl who basically has no best friends, wants a best friend, and gets one out of the "Californian" Austine Allen. Friendships like the one between Ellen and Austine (who happen to be in the same class, have the same woolen underwear problem, and also hate the pest Otis Spofford) are rare, and the two girls hold it strong for what should seem like a while. Even though they don't share some of the same characteristics - Austine would rather ride a horse then spend her time reading, Ellen's scared to death about them - they're still best friends. But unfortunately something DOES happen to this friendship, causing what Ellen feared for the most: the absolute silent treatment. For weeks these two former friends aren't speaking to each other. Could this friendship be saved? Will the eight year old girl who feared changing at ballet - until she met Austine - find a best friend in the spunky Californian again? Read and you might just find out. This book is certainly a joy forever, taking you back in time to the 1950s' where woolen underwear was just the world's greatest disappointment. Ellen thought this all - until she met Austine Allen, and things looked up.
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Format: Paperback
Ellen Tebbits is the only child of an overly fastidious mother who wants their home to look like a magazine layout. She laments not having friends and being forced to wear one-piece winter woolen underwear during the cold season.

Otis Spofford is her nemesis, a funny bully who loves nothing more than to play jokes on Ellen. A big jokester, Otis' behavior seems more aimed at humor than malice. Otis' mother runs a ballet class over the Payless Drugstore and Ellen is one of her pupils.

Ellen finally gets her wish for a friend. A husky, assertive girl named Austine moves into the neighborhood and the 3rd-graders are classmates. Otis is also in their class. They share similar interests, including walking past a garden with gnomes. (Kind of makes you think of George Harrison and Friar Park). The girls want to dress alike and even go so far as to pick out a fabric with red monkeys that they like. Ellen's mother is a seamstress and makes a very nice dress; Austine's mother can't sew to save her life and poor Austine looks like she got her dress out of the Rag Bag. This causes jealousy and a falling out.

By the time the girls start fourth grade, Austine has snubbed Ellen until a chance to clear the air presents itself. Although this book was written in 1951, it is a timeless classic. The issues of friendship in the early grades and bullies and growing up have not changed.
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Format: Paperback
Beverly Cleary is one of the most celebrated authors for children in second through fifth grades - and for good reason! This book is from 1951 and a little bit dated, but the theme is clearly seen and timeless. Ellen is a sweet girl who is a little unsure of herself. She meets a wonderful person, Austine, who makes a friendship with her immediately. The girls become best friends and are very happy. However, as tends to happen with girls in fourth grade, they have a quarrel and are no longer speaking to each other. It takes each of them swallowing their pride to rekindle their friendship.
This book serves as a great example of how friends should act with each other. Repeatedly, Austine is able to see the desires of her best friend and ask questions to bring attention to Ellen's show and tell, or divert attention to keep her from getting embarrassed. When they do have their argument, we see the pain that both of them felt and how they were able to save it with a simple apology and talking through what happened.
Why 5 stars?:
Beverly Cleary has written many books that kids can really relate to. This one is no different as it teaches kids how to make friends, behave loyally towards them, and how to keep them. Moreover, it is entertaining and the theme, while clear, does not dominate due to careful writing. This belongs in the library of elementary classrooms, though it understandably would appeal to girls much more than boys.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the first books I read in childhood that I have decided to re-explore as an adult! I loved this book as a third grader. I read it over and over and even created a new book cover for it in our school library!

This book is the story of Ellen, who at the beginning of the book has no best friend and doesn't completely fit in with the other girls at her school. When a new student named Austine arrives from California, everything changes that. This charming little book beautifully portrays the ups and downs of friendship between two young girls.

Beverly Cleary has a wonderful knack for being able to write accurately from the point of view of a young child. She really seems to know how a child would react to any situation and explores these situations beautifully within her writing. Sure the book seems to be outdated, but come on, it was written in 1951! I think this book could be an interesting timepiece to today's contemporary child to see how life was lived way back 50 years ago. Moms stayed at home, cleaned houses and sewed pretty dresses for their daughters. Even the way the girls react to Otis teasing them seems to be of another time altogether.

However, despite the outmoded ways in this book, it's a very sweet story and I still enthusiastically recommend it as a good quick read.
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