About the second article - wow! I would never have thought to connect Ramona to Pippi Longstocking. Mainly because a lot of the dialogue and scenarios in the Pippi books are just fantastic nonsense, after all.
Check out the few comments, too.
But, when it comes to the Harry Potter books and Hermione...I can't help but be reminded of what cartoonist Alison Bechdel had one of her characters say, back in Nov. 2000:
"'Bollocks!' cried Hermione. 'I'd be running this show if those slags
in marketing weren't convinced girls will read books about boys, but
boys won't read books about girls!'"
I like this passage from The Daily Beast, too:
“I was so annoyed with the books in my childhood, because children always learned to be better children, and in my experience, they didn't. They just grew, and so I started Ramona, and—and she has never reformed,” Cleary told Reading Rockets. “Her intentions are good, but she has a lot of imagination, and things sometimes don't turn out the way she had expected.”
With that in mind, it's too bad she didn't have a sequel to Mitch and Amy. That is, true to Cleary's rule of not allowing her characters to reform, they don't stop squabbling - but they aren't really enemies in the first place, which is made clear early on, since they support each other when it really matters.
But...maybe it's a good thing she didn't write a sequel to Otis Spofford. (Contrary to what it says in the 2008 hardcover edition, the book was published in 1953, not 1963.) That is, no, he doesn't reform, and he's NOT a bully like the boy Alan in Mitch and Amy, but he IS mischievous - a term that Cleary refused to apply to Ramona. Example: "Except for learning things, Otis liked school."
So, given the overall wholesomeness of Cleary's books, it's a little hard to imagine how Otis could "just grow" without turning into a boring adult, as Mark Twain predicted about Tom Sawyer - or a preteen drop-out. (As it happens, there HAVE been very young drop-outs who became rich and famous in real life, including ones born in the 19th century, but Cleary would never have gone that far in a novel, if only because she was never controversial, IIRC.)