Six Degrees of Separation – From Beezus and Ramona to Flora and Ulysses

Beezus 91244

This is the first Saturday of the month which means that it is time for Six Degrees of Separation, the book challenge, hosted by Kate  from “Books are My Favourite and Best“.

This is such a fascinating challenge and one I am always eager to begin and follow the search for connected books. The fun is in the search for connections and each chain that is created is always so different.

The starting point for us this round is to begin with Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. This beloved author died recently (March 25th) at the age of 104. She left behind a treasure trove of books for young people. Ramona was one of her greatest characters.

Cleary received many awards for her books, including The Newbery Medal as well as Newbery Honors for her books.

From Wikipedia: “The John Newbery Medal, frequently shortened to the Newbery, is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”.

All the books I’ve chosen are connected to the Newberry awards in some way.


1st Degree: Cleary did receive the Newbery Honor award for one of her Ramona books – Ramona and Her Father in 1978.      Ramona and her father 91247

2nd Degree: The winner of the Newbery Medal that year was Katherine Paterson for her book Bridge to Terabithia.

Bridge to T 40940121._SY475_

3rd Degree Cleary did receive the Newbery Medal for her book Dear Mr. Henshaw in 1984.

Dear Mr. H 105999

4th Degree: This led me to another author, Kate DiCamillo, who received both a Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor for her books. (She is one of my favourite authors and I read most of her books to my students when I was teaching) Her first award was an honor award for her book Because of Winn Dixie.

because of W Dixie 357664._SX318_

5th Degree: This led to her Newbery Medal for A Tale of Despereaux in 2004

Tale of Des 37190


6th Degree: Nine years later, in 2013, DiCamillo would once again win the Newbery Medal for her book Flora and Ulysses.

Flora and U 16052012._SX318_


I began with Beverly Cleary and ended with Kate DiCamillo, both authors who have won many awards, including the Newbery Medal and Honor awards for their books.

Next month (June 5, 2021), we’ll start with the winner of the 2021 Stella Prize, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld.

20 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – From Beezus and Ramona to Flora and Ulysses

  1. What a great chain and such wonderful books. I have read them all but one, as well as read them to my children and classes when I was teaching. I will have to check out Flora and Ulysses.

  2. HI there Bev! What a lovely selection and point or origin. I have never read a book by Beverley Cleary, I didn’t read a lot of English when I was a youngster. I have a couple of her books in the school’s library and they are still very popular. I think I’ll take one him this week and give it a try.

    Bridge to Terabithia is my spin selection for Classics Club this week and I am very excited to read it again!

    I’ve also not read anything by Kate DiCamillo. Although I know of her. I’m not sure if there is any books by her in our library, but I will take a look. The Tale of Despereaux is on my Kindle and I just need to get reading!

    Hope you will have a wonderful May!

    Elza Reads

  3. This is a great chain, and I was shocked that I knew so few of them, given that they all won The Newbery Medal. Then I noticed their dates … Nevertheless, I’ll follow these up – I do have grandchildren to buy books for – thanks.

    • Thanks Margaret. It was fun to look back and see all the winning books – so many I have’t read. But the ones I did post I have read and enjoyed.

  4. Great choices! I met Kate DiCamillo at a conference once and she was such a kindred spirit. People behind me in line to get books signed got annoyed because I didn’t want to end my conversation (which, I was sure, was better than theirs because I had read her books). I have an autographed copy of A Tale of Despereaux.

    I made my 6Degrees chain an homage to Beverly Cleary:

  5. Thanks for exploring the Newbery Award and Honor. I have very little knowledge of children’s literature, but I did read Because of Winn-Dixie as an adult because it got a lot of publicity.

  6. This was lovely! I didn’t realize that Ramona had a full series, nor that Cleary had won so many Newbery medals. Desperaux is an old favorite, and I’m turning more and more to middle grade fiction/ Newbery books these days.
    ~Lex (

  7. I enjoyed the connecting theme. I included Dear Mr. Henshaw on mine too because it’s one of Cleary’s books I remember definitely reading when I was a kid. Bridge to Terebithia is such a good book! 🤣🤣🤣

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