Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary

Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly ClearyIn this book Ralph goes to school with his new friend. At school he sparks a debate about the cleanliness of mice and makes a new friend.

That’s really all there is to say about this book. It seemed to build up to something that never came. There was a lot of talk about exterminating all the mice and about how smart Ralph was but in the end all he did was chew holes in things and sit in a glass bowl and sulk until the bully decided to be nice and buy him a new motorcycle.

Maybe I’m expecting too much but I was hoping Ralph would be a little more proactive — sometimes trying to get things done is enough to make a character interesting.

Harrison Ford has made a career of playing characters that fail at everything they do — one theme of Star Wars is that Han is always wrong (The Falcon fails to jump to lightspeed right after he says they are going to, the bunker doors close another layer right after he says he’s got it opened, etc.) and Indiana Jones spends all three movies failing at everything he tries but he is so earnest in his endeavors that we can’t help but hope that this time it will work.

Maybe it’s too much to hope for an Indiana Jones mouse but Ralph could have at least tried to get out of the bowl or to talk to some of the other students, or make his life a little better. Instead he sits and we get second grade classroom debates about the virtues (or lack thereof) of mice.

The story wraps up abruptly and then we are back at the hotel with Ralph once again loving his family that he so desperately needed to get away from in the beginning.

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